Squaremeat "Astronomical Coffee Break"

Top level Music reviews

Review by PKS
New album out on Exogenic Records in Finland...

Squaremeat (Pepe Kosminen & Francoise Faggott) is back with their fourth album, as usual on the Finish psytrance label Exogenic Records. Be prepared for twisted, weird psychedelic trance as usual from this country. With the CD, you also get a link to eight bonus download tracks.

Squaremeat "Astronomical Coffee Break" Exogenic Records 2005 (EXOCD026)

1. Platypus
2. Liukutaklaus
3. Front Side Rock ’n’ roll
4. Static Traffic
5. Evaporator
6. 2 2 Tango
7. Shinkansen Rmx
8. Pure Coffein
9. Go Away
10. Queen Of The Night

First out is a bouncing track, going the crazy, twisted direction. Tons of swirling psychedelic sounds and some kind of video game alike melody in the background. Experimental and different. Track 2 is a groovy track with bubbling psychedelic sounds and an intense sound picture from start to end. You also get a lot of electro influences with this track. Crazy vodka trance... Track 3 is a pumping track with quite a lot of percussion. This one has a really twisted sound, which reminds me a little bit of some old Orichalcum tracks. Again we get some kind of video game melodies. Totally far out, psychedelic trance that should fit well in a crazy Scandinavian forest party. Track 4 goes massive, with more electro and acid influences. This one goes even more crazy and experimental. Something for those who wants it different from most other trance being released these days. Track 5 is a massive, pumping track, with tons of psychedelic sounds swirling above. The melody in this one is really cool. Totally party track that will make people go mad on the dance floor. One of my favourite tracks on this album.

Track 6 is an intense mix of electro, trance and tribal drums. Crazy sound picture all the way. Track 7 is a remix of a track called Shinkansen. Tons of things happening with a lot of variation. Intense and pretty dark, but light at the same time. Fast and pumping. Track 8 starts with some eastern vibes and break beats, before the stumping trance beat hits in. This one made me smile. Funny vibes and totally twisted. We also get some nice flute sounds in there. Another favourite on this album. Track 9 is some kind of house track, but in a really groovy, pumping way. With psychedelic sounds... Probably a track Tsuyoshi Suzuki could have played in one of his dj sets these days... The last track on this album followes this style too. Some kind of psychedelic house music, but fun and different. The melody in this one is also very cool.

These guys goes a typical Scandinavian forest trance direction. Very different from trance coming out from the rest of the world, except maybe some Australian trance, which makes this album pretty interesting. Personally, intense trance like this can easily become a bit too much if I listen to it too long in one, but it can be really refreshing too sometimes...
PKS (shivapks@hotmail.com)

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Squaremeat "Astronomical Coffee Break"
Death Posture 18.09.2005 19:52
Audio blowjob!

Squaremeat consists of the two freaks Pepe Kosminen & Francois Faggott… Probably the most prominent producers of the über-weird, Finnish trance… This is the fourth album under the Squaremeat moniker and under different names these guys have loads more releases under their belts… As a definite sign of quality, the release outlet is Exogenic Records… Home to some of the most deranged audio madness ever released within our scene… Fuck yes; it’s time for another batch of sonic wizardry from up north…

Let me take you thru the tracks…

#01: Platypus
The guys don’t waste time on boring intro tracks – we’re launched straight into funky, Finnish sauna-trance! This is one of my fav’e tracks here… The static intro, the deep, correlated blunt beats and the general feeling of dark, deep psychedelia… Kinda minimal, but yet so rich in the most minute detail… Hectic yes, but oh so powerful… The nifty little acid-bits are well-placed and the break-down works really well… Sweet track!

#02: Liukutaklaus
More full frontal psychedelia here – Squaremeat style… The rhythm section is pretty interesting – it’s cut-up, sped down, vocoded and utterly mutilated – but it works like a charm… The real charm though, is the über-psychedelic mid-section which reminds me of ancient Psy-Harmonics stuff… Drenched in acid and funky as a motherfucker… Also the percussion goes down really well here… My only gripe is the speed of this choon – it’s too damn fast! I can barely absorb it all with this insane pace… Use this one to scare your neighbours!

#03: Front Side Rock ‘n’ Roll
Rock n roll indeed… After the first couple of held-back minutes, the track really starts to unfold into a deep, potent trance-fest of shroomy proportions… The tweaked guitars take care of the rock n roll bit, and the pounding rhythm-section makes sure you don’t forget where you are… Add enough old-school wall-to-wall psychedelia and you’ve got a winner… Although this is evidently one of the more accessible tracks, it took me a while to get into… But once you’re there, you’ll never look back… This is an extremely powerful track… Gargantuan even!

#04: Static Trafic
Fuck yes – this is even better… The bassline is sharper and crispier here – with enough flaring acid-lines and twirling melodies to appeal to a wider audience… I really dig the outer-worldly spin that seems to be put on this track! If the previous tracks haven’t catapulted you to space, this one will… This is triiiiiiippy! Best track so far!

#05: Evaporator
Woow – this one is spot on! This reminds me of the sound of Wave Soup which I used to flip out to back in 2000… Acid-driven, hyper-active, über-hectic, pixelated sauna-trance when it’s best… Old-school, yet timeless – funky, yet distorted… Fast-paced, in-ya-face psychedelia… Check out the cool bassline half-way through – that one will bang your eardrums for years to come… Awesome! Shroomadelic track!

#06: 2 2 Tango
This track has everything – ‘cept tango! This is on big ol’ melting pot of flaring electro riffs, groovy percussion bits, EDM blurps, sharp acid-stabs, bubbling psychedelia --- and everything in between! Holy shit – this is so frekkin intense and hypnotizing at the same time… You know when you’ve been Tango’d! Triptastic!

#07: Shinkansen RMX
This track has one of the sweetest intros of the album – atmospheric as hell; it just sucks you in… The track itself is more fast-paced, lively, bubbly electro-hissing bizarro-trance… Rich in detail with enough Japanese gibberish thrown in to freak you out… I like the sped-up wobbly effect here – kinda melodic, but still chaotic in the way only Finns can do it… Experimental to say the least, and not as funky as its predecessors… A decent track!

#08: Pure Caffeine
Time for the astronomical coffee break? Yeah, this is by far the most easy-accessible track here – and for that I’m grateful… It’s good to calm down a little after a heavy dose of sauna beats… Again we’re treated to a very nice, harmonic intro… Beautiful even… When the beats are presented we’re still in a well-polished state, with spiralling synth melodies, epic flutes and soft percussion + of course the banging Squaremeat bassline & breakz just to piss everyone off… A very nice track!

#09: Go Away
This track has a more housey approach to Finn-trance… But rest assured, it’s still very much Finn-trance in all its wicked glory… Seasoned with electronic farts, digital burps and the phattest bassline this side of the Moog… Nice, but unfortunately also kinda forgettable….

#10: Queen Of The Night
“Got milk? … Have a helicopter ready – we need it now! … Read my lips!” I dunno if it’s appropriate to talk about an oddball track on an Exogenic release – but if there ever was one, this is it… A highly experimental, housey, hybrid-track fusing together a thousand pieces… Repeated, funny voice samples, cut-up beats and breakz, twirling melodies, synth-action, groovy bassline, etc… This track has it all – without going over the top… In fact, this is very pleasant and if I had to, I could play this to my dad and he’d nod his head… Yeah – my dad is cool, and so is this track… ;o)

And this is where things could have ended… But as a very, very cool feature this enhanced CD offers download of another eight Squaremeat tracks… As a thank-you to people who bothered to buy the damn CD instead of just downloading it… So – let’s take another stroll with the Squares…

Let me take you thru the bonus tracks…

#01: Finnish Kedish
“That’s it… As far as I’m concerned, my job is done!” Yeah, this is more full-power psychedelia… Very cool this one with its evident hard-house hints and its morphing, aggressive synth-stabs… A very focussed, driving track – teKknoid in appearance and definitely darker than most else here, but I like it dark… Straight from the deepest, darkest Finnish forests… Stellar track!

#02: Kohtalon Ivaa
“Disco… Disco… Disco!” Do not let yourself be deceived – this may be disco but seldom have I laid ears to a more deranged version of disco than this… Instantly groovy; this is a hard-hitting, gut-dropping piece of work… Psychedelic in nature, rich in detail, and oh so fucking sweet… The electro link is evident and goes perfectly hand in hand with the Finnish bonbons handed to us here… Gulp! Another brilliant track!

#03: Kukko Bill
Check out the very cool, Squarepusher’esque, perverted intro… Fuck – this is seriously deranged… Cut-up beats and breakz, steam-engine bassline, trippy twirling acid-lines and enough psychedelia to go around twice… Oh, and I really, really dig the old-school Raja-flute bit towards the end… Damn, I’m sure this could cause severe brain-damage if listened to whilst on LSD… It should really come with a parental advisory sticker… Amazing track!

#04: Mexico Hatsico
“I was four years old and I saw this silver basketball on the ground. There were blinking lights all around. A square opening, with a grid opened up and they wanted me to put faeces into it!” Wow – a spacy, electro intro sets the pace here… The bassline is ever changing and the overall weirdness is very much intact here… Bouncy as hell and as funky as James Brown…Check out all the little melodies that float around all over the place… Nice! A funky number, with a brilliant sample!

#05: Right Choice
Haha – now we’re doing psychedelic line dance! Complete with guitar-riffs, dripping acid your far-out space-cowboy psychedelia… The groove is so damn thick here – it’s dripping down the walls… You’re getting hypnotized here – and you don’t even have to open your eyes! Another sweet, sweet track!

#06: Thunder Thumb
Another beautifully executed intro… Flute, birds singing, native chanting, deep tribal beats, etc… Pure bliss! … And then BAM – the Squaremeat explosion! Sweet mother of Ghandi – this is the most intense, ripping, mindblowing track so far… Reminds me of Juno Reactor – with the unique, ultra-phat Squaremeat touch to it… A track with orchestral proportions! Trippy as hell! Hands down, the best track here! Perfection!

#07: Tunturi Haitari
We stay in wonderland on this funky number… Sharp electro hisses, a driving rhythm section and nice, melodic pads in the background… Add a big splash of psychedelia, and you’re left with another full-blow party choon… Watch out, or those multilayered melodies will get inside your head like little, drilling worms…

#08: Turkey Dance
Things are wrapped up with a dance for Turkey… or a turkey dance! You decide! The intro is absolutely soaked in nifty acid-drops… It’s coming out the wood-work! And soon enough we’re exposed to the most sought-after Squaremeat jungle boogie sound… Extraterrestrial cyber-funk designed to make you soil your armour… Relentless, border-crossing stuff here… A genre-bender just like the others… A good track, but not among the best of the bonus tracks… But still a nice track for coming down from the long, 18 track trip… ;o)

Well I’ll be damned, if the bonus tracks aren’t better than the actual CD tracks… Don’t get me wrong, the actually CD is indeed impressive, highly unique and trippy as hell… Definitely worth a purchase just for those tracks – but the bonus tracks are even better! That’s right – this is the best damn anti-piracy device I’ve ever seen – those 8 golden tracks are nothing short of brilliant… I’m so glad to own the CD that holds the key to download these lovelies… You really, really, REALLY get your moneys worth with this CD… And as if the music wasn’t raison d'être enough to buy this CD, you also get to own the coolest CD artwork I’ve seen in years… If you haven’t seen it already, you must check out the deeply trippy, super-detailed, funny artwork by Seth/Flowering Nose… And don’t let yourself be fooled by the front-cover alone… This artwork stretches all the way into the digipack! The detail level is impressive! Pure brilliance!

So – is it all good? Well, yes and no! It depends on how well you absorb the special Finnish sound really! Personally, I need it in smaller doses! I’ve used this analogy before, but it’s the best way I can describe it… Listening to Finnish trance is like drinking whiskey to me – a couple of shots are good, but drinking the whole bottle makes me barf… And as such, I don’t find this CD perfect for home-listening… I need smaller doses, but when consumed in smaller doses, this is one helluva ride… Equally mind-blowing, ass-wiggling and sensory challenging… It’s a real fucking treat for more than just your ears! But beware – this sound isn’t for everyone! I’d advise a listen before purchase – but rest assured, the bonus tracks are indeed a bonus… They are even better than an already good CD! So – check it out, if you like genre-bending, hi-quality music… This is as good as it gets! Enjoy!

CD tracks: 1, 3, 4(!), 5(!!), 6(!), 8, 10(!)
Bonus tracks: 1(!!), 2(!), 3(!!), 4(!), 5, 6(!!!), 8


External links:
Exogenic Records: http://www.exogenic.com
Squaremeat: http://www.squaremeat.net
Saiko Sounds: http://tinyurl.com/7es8t
TranceShop: http://tinyurl.com/cud2t
Discobole: http://tinyurl.com/ahwbg
Wirikuta: http://tinyurl.com/7kaqn
Psyshop: http://tinyurl.com/8zasm
Ajuca: http://tinyurl.com/d6gwj
Chaos: http://tinyurl.com/9lqff
Juno: http://tinyurl.com/a3ctw

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