Review by PKS
First compilation on Red Cells Records in France...
Red Cells Records is a new exciting label based in Paris, France. They are now out with their first compilation called Hunters, which is compiled by dj Ananda.
Hunters (Red Cells Records) 2005 (REDCR001)
1. Silicon Sound – Modulate
2. Chromatone – Automagic
3. Artifakt – Razor
4. Phyx – Ghost Blade
5. Triskell – Tensegrity
6. Phatmatix Vs. Audiobrains – Sonic Machine
7. Digital Talk – Mathematix – Back To Earth
8. Phatmatix – Back To Earth
9. Blue Planet Corporation – Groove On The Moon
First out is one of the most known artist within the melodic full on scene, Silicon Sound (Johannes Regnier) from France. He always manages to give us a melodic morning vibe. Here we get a quite atmospheric track, with a lot of floating vibes as usual. A little softer than his previous works, but not bad. Track 2 is by Chromatone (Lawrence Hoffman) from the United States, who has released several full on tracks on various compilations lately. The track we get here goes in a night time direction, with groovy rolling bassline and intense sounds swirling above. I miss some more variation here. Track 3 is by Artifakt (Matthew De Nobrega) from South Africa. He has released an album (Artifakts) in 2003. The track we get here goes in a night time direction, but it reminds me quite a lot of Rinkadink, because of the sounds that reminds me a bit of computer games or something, which is not exactly my cup of tea. Track 4 is by Phyx (Ian Summs) from the UK, who is presented on many different full on compilations. He is also part of Twisted System. Here we get pure guitar trance. I don’t know why, but this kind of guitar trance has become really popular the last couple of years. For me it reminds me too much of Skazi, which is really bad. This sounds very much like hard house.
Track 5 is by Triskell (Fred Sauvand) from France, who has released tracks on several different labels such as Peak, Timecode, Mindfunk, Hadra and Ketuh. Here they continues the night time style, with jumpy sounds above the bassline, but again I miss some more creativity here. Track 6 is a collaboration between Phatmatix and Audiobrains. Here we get darkpsy with mystic, almost scary vibes floating above the monotonous bassline. Dark and intense all the way through. Track 7 is a new track by Digital Talk (Luc Achintre & Julien Fougea) from France. A rolling track, with some nagging, jumpy sounds. No surprises here, but something for those who like it dark and intense in the night. Track 8 is another track by Phatmatix. Here we get another dark night time track. Rolling darkpsy with scary movie themes all the way through. The last track on this compilation is the biggest surprise. A new track by Blue Planet Corporation (Gabriel Masurel) from France! And what a track!! This is a beautiful down tempo journey, with a great atmospheric vibe. Very dreamy and one of the best tracks I have heard in a long time!
Well, I can say that the Blue Planet track makes this CD worth the money alone! The rest is mostly something for those of you who are into the darkpsy style, but I was surprised by the variety here. From melodic morning trance to dark night time vibes and back to a atmospheric, trippy journey at the end...
Full-power hyper-trance w/soft edges…
Red Cells Records is a new label from Paris, France. It’s run by DJ Ananda who was formerly a part of Turbo Trance and Mechanic Sound Records. According to the promotional text what we can expect from this debut compilation is ‘twisted leads, emotional and crunchy melodies, deep and dark atmospheres with strong rolling rhythm and phat beat’… Right, that’s promo-talk if I ever saw promo-talk… But the tracklist does look impressive, so why don’t we find out for ourselves…
Let me take you thru the tracks…
#01: Silicon Sound – Modulate [138 BPM]
As the BPM-indicator reveals we kick things off with a softer track – just to get you in the mood. Johannes Regnier from France has seldom let me down with his softy, uplifting morning trance… This is not re-inventing the wheel – not by a long shot. But it does what it’s supposed to do – it’s uplifting, joyous, fluffy morning trance with distinct progressive influences… Pretty nice, but surely not the best track on this compilation…
#02: Chromatone – Automagic [145 BPM]
Next up is a track by the American producer and mastering expert Lawrence Hoffman – despite his tracks being on loads of compilations recently, this is my first encounter with his own music… Anyway, the pace has quickened now, and this is full-blown party music to be played at night… Rolling synth lines, bubbling acid-bits and melodic pads – with a pumping bassline somewhere in the back… I really like the breaks here – they spice things up… This sounds really well-produced – Mr. Hoffman’s studio experience doesn’t go unnoticed - but somehow it also sounds a little hollow to me… I dunno it just seems like we’ve heard this a billion times before… It’s a familiar flavour – it even tastes good… But something’s missing…
#03: Artifakt – Razor [144 BPM]
Artifakt is Matthew De Nobrega from South Africa… A Time Code/Mushroom Mafia/Afrogalactic regular…The party-vibe is still pumping and this is much more to my liking – the edges are harder now and this reminds me of Xatrik and to some extend also Rinkadink… Yeah – this track is dope! Constantly evolving, changing direction and generally this track keeps surprising me in a good way… I mean, just listen to the build-up here – so fresh, so trance-inducing, so fucking great… Brilliant track!
#04: Phyx – Ghost Blade [144 BPM]
Ahh – good old Phyx! Ian Summs moved from South Africa to the UK (I guess!?) and pretty much everything I’ve heard from him has been great… This is a darkish, guitar-driven night time track… To be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of the guitars like this – if Skazi did one thing, it was ruining that for me… Luckily Phyx doesn’t overuse the guitar, and the rest of the track is pretty decent too… I like the eerie, razor-sharp stabbing sounds – and the kick-ass full-on part that starts @ 3’47… Effective stuff for sure! I just wish those damn digital guitars weren’t there…
#05: Triskell – Tensegrity [145 BPM]
“Everything we’ve done is forgiven…Everything!” I’ve only heard a couple of tracks from French-based producer Fred Sauvand – and they didn’t really do much for me… This is spacy night time music – with distinct electro parts and a disturbingly bland bassline… It’s like Sauvand is trying a little too hard sometimes – which causes a bit of a mishmash of confusion… This track is pretty decent, without being amazing…
#06: Phatmatix vs. Audiobrains – Sonic Machine (S.Scape Edit) [145 BPM]
Next up is a collaboration between Phatmatix (Stephane Rault) and Audiobrains (Simon Ly) from France… Both have released compilation tracks, but again I’ve been missing out… The intro is really cool here… Distant humming/classical music – whatever it is, it sure sets the darker mood which is present throughout this track… Yeah, this is spooky stuff… Full on like The Misted Muppet, acid-driven like Yum-Yab and evil as Kemic-Al… Check out what goes on in the background – you’ll be amazed what you find if you poke around a bit… Also the Sanskrit chanting is way cool – reminds me of ancient Shiva Sidpao… Yeah - this track has it all… I like this loads – it’s close to perfection!
#07: Digital Talk – Mathematrix (Cryptic Edit) [147 BPM]
Who else than Digital Talk to follow such a track… Julien Fougea & Luc Achintre from France released their spooky album New Age Surf on Acidance back in early 2004 – and since then I’ve only heard one track from them… Anyway, they’re back – and this is one mean-ass motherfucker of a track… The fastest here – and intense as hell! Yeah – their Halloween trance heritage does not go unnoticed… I’m digging the hardcore acid-lines and the many twirls and tweaks… Great stuff – should be played during the darkest hours of the night….
#08: Phatmatix – Back To Earth [145 BPM]
Stephane Rault from France is back with a solo-track…Nice! The intro is sleek with clever voice samples about intuitive disco… The rest of the track is just as good – tons and tons of layers and constant evolution…Hard-hitting and extremely psychedelic… Dark to the core – and very dancefloor friendly… Yeah – this is a nice track for sure!
#09: Blue Planet Corporation – Groove On The Moon [132 BPM]
We started soft – and we end even softer… What we get here is a downbeat morning tune by the living legend Gabriel Masurel from France… I really like this guys comeback – the stuff coming out of his studio recently is as originals as it is good… This is subtle, floating, melodic downbeat – of ambient proportions …So relaxed, yet so groovy… … Fucking aye – we’re grooving on the moon now… BPC style! What a beautiful track – and what a great way to end this compilation!
The first and the last track alone are enough reason *not* to label this as your average hyper-trance compilation… It’s not! There are a lot of good tracks here + a couple of tracks that doesn’t really do it for me… But the vast variation within a dancefloor friendly framework makes up for that… I guess what I’m trying to say is, that this is a solid compilation… I like how we get a mix of different styles here – from uplifting morning trance w/proggy roots and melodic, floating downbeat – to acid-ridden, full-power, nocturnal hyper-trance… That’s a great mix for the most part!
Also let me take a minute to comment on the very classy artwork here… Alaska from France sure knows his graphix and this is absolutely stunning… Well done! Yeah, Red Cells Records has pretty much hit the spot here… With only a couple of less good tracks, I like everything about this compilation… Already I’m looking forward to the next one compiled by DJ Saykoyan called Ultim Atom… Bring it on! This compilation is recommended for fans of full-power, nocturnal hyper-trance and intelligent dance music in general… Enjoy!
Favourites: 3(!!), 6(!!), 7(!!), 8, 9