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Frechbax - Frech AJACD002
Review, written by Deathposture

Glatte, tiefe progressive Trance - Sehr intelligent produziert!

Ajana Records is the newly established sublabel of Germany’s hard-hitting Trishula Records. The first release was the compilation A Magical Journey released in June of 2005 – and what a great debut that was… Showcasing some sweet, sweet downbeat tunes from around the world. On this second release the focus is on Frechbax - a progressive trance outfit of one Sebastian Auer from Germany. I’ve never heard any of his stuff before, so I have no expectations whatsoever… But according to the promotional material Seb spend more than one year of studio-time preparing this CD – so let’s find out what all that time went into…

Let me take you thru the tracks…

#01: Schall Und Rausch
We kick things right off with some sound and intoxication… Yeah, that’s one of my fav’e combos, so why not!? This is über-chilled, laidback progressive downbeat – kinda dubby, but then again not really… I like the sampled horns/sirens/whatever that sounds like they are sampled straight outta LOTR… They work perfectly in conjunction with the percussion here… And the sweet little melodies really top it off… This is a tour de force in progressive rhythm… Beautifully executed!

#02: Ahoi
We move into eerie downbeat territory here… Check out the spooky voice-bit in the intro… Holy smokes, what is that? Soon we’re treated to a sweet, sweet reverb FX alongside the phat, lazy bass… Oh yes, this sounds great – it’s progressive but still very laidback – and spooky at the same time… What I’m trying to say is that the atmosphere in this track sounds very unique to me – bedazzling even! Nice track!

#03: Micromini
Now that must be really, really small? The organic, watery intro sports more atmospheric, realistic sound-wizardry… Really, this sounds so fucking great in headphones… Again the rhythm section is very, very original here – and although this sounds kinda minimal I bet there are many layers at play… I’m especially taken by the first half of this track – there seems to be a short period of stand-still towards the middle here – but luckily it picks up again for the last part… Another fine track!

#04: Lollipop
Suck on my lollipop – bitch! The sirens from #1 are back… But this time the pace has quickened and we’re in full-blown progressive territory now… Oh yes, this is omnipotent dancefloor material… Deeeeeeeep, progressive trance – beautifully balanced by a feather-like melody and another rich rhythm section… Despite the many elements, this still has a minimal quality to it… And quality is the keyword here – this is fucking awesome!

#05: Schraube Rmx
The screw remix! Yeah, this is a remix to an older Frechbax track released on a CD-R in 2003… Haven’t heard the original, so I can’t really tell what was changed for this remix… What I can tell you however is that this is more full-blown dancefloor material… Rich progressive trance with trippy little melodies – all within a basic, minimal framework… This is good, but Lollipop was better… But the quality level on this album is very high – so the competition is fierce. The first part of this track is a little bland – but after the breakdown with the voice sample things start to pick up… I just wish the entire track was like that… Still a nice track though!

#06: Fuck
Despite the weird track name, this is actually pretty good… Holy shit – just check out the intro! A spooky moaning thing is going on here – reminiscent of the girl in The Blair With Project … ‘We’re gonna die out here!’ … Anyway, this is also dancefloor friendly, minimal progressive trance – with a spooky atmosphere… I didn’t even know that minimal, progressive horror-trance was a genre – but after listening to this, I can tell you it is… Dieses ist gespenstisch! Fuck!

#07: L.S.D.
“We were somewhere around Barstow when the drugs began to take hold! … They gave me the LSD & they took me to the hotel, I don't know what they've done to me but I remember it was horrible. They gave you what? LSD, LSD, LSD!“ Bleh! – The bassline here seems oddly out of place here… And so does the samples from Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas … I mean – come on, how many times have we heard them already? The annoying thing is, that underneath the bland bassline and the voice samples this is a pretty decent track… All this just kinda ruins it for me…

#08: The Rising Sun
And here we have a Hymne zur steigenden Sonne… Yeah, this is progressive morning trance… A little more uplifting than some of the previous track – but still very much Frechbax! The electro-intro sounds pretty cool to me – so does the tribal drums… Yeah, I can vividly imagine this being played on the dancefloor when the sun rises… It’s good stuff, but not as good as some of the previous tracks – also the last couple of minutes are a little boring…

#09: Suendenboch
I have no idea what a ‘boch’ is, but ‘suended’ translates into ‘sins’… Anyway, this is more progressive morning trance… The intro revolves around tribal drums and cool Klaus Kinski voice samples… I really, really dig the percussion here… It sounds so simple, but yet so intoxicating and trance-inducing even… Yeah – this is some good shit! A tribal-dance-your-ass-off dancefloor bombshell - bounce motherfuckers!

Frech is German for ‘impudently’ which means something or someone that is characterized by offensive boldness; insolent or impertinent – basically; arrogance or being audaciously rude… But nothing can be further from the truth – I perceive this album as very warm, very welcoming and very mature… It’s a complex really coz some of these tracks are kinda minimal and introverted – but still so damn rich and intoxicating… Also the production sounds absolutely stunning here – Tim Schuldt in 4CN Studios sure knows his shit… Yeah, I’m very impressed by this debut album – nice going Frechbax!

With the exception of the L.S.D. track I all the tracks here… The cover-art sucks though, but don’t be fooled by its bleak appearance. This is a very good album! Mr. Auer has found his very own, deeply unique sound and I always embrace that in a scene where plagiarism often prevails… I will not hesitate to give this album my warmest recommendations – fans of intelligent, border-seeking progressive trance must check this out… It’s brilliant! Don’t forget the head-phones for this one - Enjoy!

Favourites: 1, 2, 3, 4(!), 6, 9(!)


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