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…
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!
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!
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!
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!
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
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!
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!
“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…
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…
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(!)