Astrix "Artcore"

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Review by PKS
Astrix is back with his second album on Hommega Productions...

Avi Shmailov from Israel is out with his second album on Hommega Productions. It is also released in collaboration with Vision Quest in Japan. He gained huge popularity after his debut album called Eye To Eye released in 2002. That was mainly because of his quite clubby, powerful style, which made people easy going on the dance floors worldwide. He has played in about every corner of the world, and here is finally a new album full of new tracks for his fans.

Astrix "Artcore" Hommega Productions 2004 (HMCD37)

1. Poison
2. Monster (Remix)
3. Tweaky
4. Techno Widows
5. Artcore
6. On Fire
7. Underbeat
8. Sex Style
9. Beyond The Senses

As already mentioned, this guy make trance for the masses in a clubbier way than most other Israeli full on acts. The first track starts slow with an atmospheric, floating vibe before the full on, rolling, heavy bass line hits in. Drifting, trancey, morning trance with some pretty nice melodies, and luckily this doesnít fall over to the cheesy side. We get some relaxing breaks in between and there is a nice variation all the way through. A pumping track Iím sure will be a hit on the full on dance floors worldwide and among Astrix fans. Track 2 is originally an interesting collaboration between Astrix and Infected Mushroom (Amit Duvdevani and Erez Aizen), but here is the track remixed again by Astrix. Still, you can easily hear the influence by Infected Mushroom in there. This track sounds very massive and you get some typical Infected riffs and even some vocals. This is also one of the fastest tracks on this album (147bpm). Full on to the bone, but in a quite clubby way. Track 3 has a more dramatic sound. Very pumping beat with a drifting vibe. You get some vocals in this one too, but not annoyingly much. This one becomes very melodic too at the end. Track 4 called Techno Widows was released about a month ago on an Astrix CD single called Coolio, which was some kind of teaser for this album. That was actually the best track on that CD single in my opinion. Very drifting track, which builds up all the way. You get some guitar in there too, but not in a bad way. He has made this track together with Ido Ophir and Ohad Aharony.

Track 5 has the album title Artcore. This one starts with a fluffy melody. Now we are over on the totally clubby side of full on trance. In my opinion, you get some quite cheesy moments in this track, with a lot of uplifting, fluffy melodies playing around above the beat. Track 6 is the other fast (147bpm) track on this album. Here, things get better. A massive full on, very intense track, with a much darker vibe than the previous tracks. In the middle of the track a heavy guitar jumps in and take the show. Iím pretty tired of bad rock guitars like this in trance, and it reminds me way too much of bad full on like Skazi, Exaile etc. Track 7 slows a bit down. A stumping track with a groovy bass line. I also like the sounds in this one, which sounds a bit more psychedelic than most other tracks on this album. It is a pretty dark vibe in this track, and when a floating evil sound sneaks in on the break at the end of this track, things almost sound a bit scary. Track 8 jumps back to clubby land again. It starts with a fluffy melody and the track continues in an uplifting, sort of happy style. A stumpy track with groovy beats and an easy digestible melody that might become a hit in the more clubby crowd. There is also some nice guitar in this one. The last track slows things totally down. This is a relaxed track with bpm varying from 100 to 130 beats per minute. It starts nice and floating and we get a quite atmospheric vibe through the entire track.

Astrix delivers an album with good production and tracks that for sure will hit the masses in the more clubby part of the psytrance world. His music isnít very deep or experimental and might sound a bit polished. With other words, quite easy digestible music. Personally, I have seen this guy live two times in Sweden and Germany, and people went totally mad on the dance floor, so he sure knows how to move the crowd.
PK (

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