VA – New Order 2 (Hom Mega)

Posted in Reviews 2009 by - August 03, 2009

 

New order volume 2

 

Riktam & Bansi kick off with No Fear, a decent enough tune to set the pace of things to come, but one that I can’t help feeling is a little bereft of soul, as though the boys have been holding back on us. There’s a lot of buzz about their housey output recently, and I have to say I’m yet to be convinced: it’s electro, Jim, but not as we know it because it’s still being built around Fullon scaffolding.

You can rely on Nyquist to do lots of good things, and raising the energy and quality meters are part and parcel of Cubanizm’s effect. This is progressive as it should be; the concentration is on the groove, the feeling, the atmosphere. It doesn’t need hooks, it doesn’t need forced changes. It’s fluid, flighty and fantastic.

It’s good to hear Ticon back with something new (and I fully now expect emails pointing me to bits I’ve missed recently, but that’s fine). Juan From Columbia has a decent disco peak, and while it lacks some of the funk and intrinsic movement of their high-watermark material, it still does what you want it to more or less when you want it to do it. Meanwhile Liquid Soul’s Spell is hardly there, and then it is, and then it isn’t again.

Schatsi’s Dead End gets a remix from Yotopia, and when two of the highest-quality names in the business collide like this you know you’re onto a winner. It’s spacious, cruisy, dynamic and the final run is pure Yotopia genuisness.

Lish are treading pretty thin ice at the moment. I was never a complete bomb on their sound, and increasingly these days they seem to be resting back on their laurels and creating just the sort of play-it-safe, go-nowhere progressive that personally sends me to sleep. White Buds does just that. It’s so disjointed from your ears that it’s hardly bothering, like a shit employee who turns up, clocks on, clocks off, goes home.

Things get infinitely more interesting with High Pressure from Khainz, better known to the tiedyed fraternity as Frekualize, lesserly as Thujon. This is a monster — it smacks you around the side of the head right at the start, with a solid, well-definied and highly original sound. Add a farty bass, plinky topend playfulness, a wonderfully daft breakdown and a slightly paranoid edge, and you have what is known in the trade as ‘a bit of a winner’.

Ido Ophir and Miki Litvak are better known as Domestic, and Meshugaim has infinitely more balls than their psytrance output. I’ll always be cynical about artists changing styles, leaving the hugely unfashionable fullon for trendier progressive, but when the sounds are as vastly different as is evidenced here, I take my hat off to them. Think Boshke Beats drinking coacoa.

Finally, A.Balter’s Art Off closes the album in an errie and evocative way; it’s moody, slanted stuff that is among the more interesting tracks released under the progressive banner over the last couple of years.

I can’t help but feel that New Order 2 is a bit of a schitzophrenic little fella. Certainly it doesn’t have the cohesive, spirit-capturing flair of the first compilation. But that came out at a time when the progressive genre was still formulating itself, and the crossover was an exciting and relevant one.

There’s a good mix of styles here, and if we agree that most compilations prefer to find a style and then stick to it, then New Order 2 should be commended. Liquid Soul and Lish are undoubtedy the weak points, and one questions whether their inclusion as big names was based on a commercial decision rather than an artistic one.

Whatever, as a snapshot of the current progressive and techno crossover climates, New Order 2 does what it sets out to do. The good outshines the bad, which is becoming an increasingly rare phenomenon.

This post was written by psyreviews