Etnica – Live In Athens 1996 (DAT)

Posted in Reviews 2012 by - January 10, 2013
Etnica – Live In Athens 1996 (DAT)

Well, what a jolly surprise this was. I had no idea there was even a recording of Etnica live from 1996 (although I was loosely aware of a bit of Brixton folklore that one night at the Fridge, when they were supposed to be recording a live set / jam / live PA, but that one of Etnica was too binned to hit the Record button.)

It is, folks, a genuine bona fide 1996 live recording, mastered deliciously, and it’s incredible. At first listen, I’d forgotten that it was actually something from back in time that somehow surfaced to the present day. Apparently, the DAT tapes weren’t in the best condition (hands up who from 1996 actually is in good condition) so in a sense, we’re lucky to even have this.

And there are acid lines! Eastern melodies! Fast bmps! Slow bpms! And most of all, that triumhant Etnica stomp, that makes its presence felt somewhere a third or so of the way through Floating Universe and is then very much your friend for the next hour.

It’s quite staggering just how accomplished this was, even then. The music is fun, fluid, fat and dazzlingly intricate. It has a warm, analogue sound that underscores just how different things were pre-laptop, when a Live was a Live PA and musicians carried instruments and men were men and people wrote songs with a tune you could hum, etc.

My personal favourite Etnica track, Vimana, gets a decent 10-minute work out and their remix of Crop Circles’ Lunar Civilization brings the set to a close with a huge, joyously fluoro bang.

I enjoyed the remix of Pleiadians’ Time Dilation, a weighty fifteen minutes that’s as good a summary of Etnica as ever you’ll find. However, the second CD of unreleased Etnica tracks I found quite tough going. They were always a prolific act, and it appears that they wrote more than they released, a lot of which is quite directionless and a bit ploddy.

There are moments of brilliance for sure, and I managed a full listen through only skipping a couple of times, but the main event is the Live set, which knocks spots off anything that a studio could produce.

All up then, this definitely gets the seal of approval. 1996 was a bugger of a long time ago, but hearing every sweep and blurp of such an influential act’s Live PA like this is a real treat for the senses. You’ll buy it for the first disc, and the second disc rounds off the collection nicely.

  • Release Date: 12/7/2012
This post was written by psyreviews
  • Fredrik Alm

    I would have to agree with just about everything said here, just adding that on the second disc Mental Puzzle, Fluorophilia Camps Bay and the remix of Jungle Trax are the real gems in my opinion.

  • thisisdamion

    Thanks Fredrik! On a second listen I’m with you on Fluorophilia Camps Bay. Maybe the others just require further and deeper listens!

    • Fredrik Alm

      Yeah, go ahead and give it a little more attention. They’re really worth it!