Around the world in two daze… (sic intended!)
Ajana Records is the chilled sub-label of Germany’s Trishula Records – and things have been moving fast for this rising label. The first release A Magical Journey was released less than a year ago in the summer of 2005. After three artist albums, most notably the wonderful Capsula album Synthesis Of Reality, it’s time for the follow-up. Perhaps the name A Magical Journey 2 isn’t very original, but at least that indicates that this will be a continuous series – and that’s a good thing, coz the first one sure had its moments… The track list of this, the second one, looks promising too – so let’s venture out on another journey… =D
Let me take you thru the tracks…
#01: Electrypnose vs. Ecalypt – Nabuconodosor
The journey starts with a lenghty exposition of epic proportions. Conjured by the Swiss sound magician Electrypnose (Vince Le Barde) who recently graced us with his second album, the magically diverse Le Tireur De Ficelles (Peak Records 2006). On this track Vince is in cahoots with his countryman Ecalypt – a project I have zero info on... Anyway, this track is a slow-burning, subtle piece of ethno-dub seasoned with simple, uplifting melodies and hypnotizing didgeridoos... Very soothing and relaxing music... Lovely!
#02: Olien – Ozeanic
Olien is Olivier Bach from Germany, and with this track he takes the journey to a more upbeat place. The organic, watery intro is cool and it soon transforms into a more percussion-ridden piece of groovy downbeat... The tribal/organic combo is pretty neat, though not overly innovative… It reminds me of Aluna… Nice for sure!
#03: Chronos – Sky Path
Russian producer Nikita Klimenko also produces music under his Shankar alias, but is perhaps better know as one half of the Secret Trick duo which as a couple of tracks released on different compilations. This is the first downbeat stuff I hear from his hand though… What we get here, is pure melodic, floating downbeat… Ambient at first, but soon some fluffy melodies and subtle beats are thrown into the mix…It’s all nice and smooth, but sadly it’s also pretty boring and predictable…
#04: Unstable Elements – Technical Illusions
This duo consists of Kornev Maxim & Epifanov Andrew from Russia… They released their debut album Technical Illusions on Kagdila Records but I’m afraid it passed under my radar unnoticed… I have to check that out though, as this is an interesting track… Highly digitized, electro-ridden, dubby and mysterious downbeat… Like Bluetech on coke or Psyfactor on downers… Very interesting!
#05: Atriohm – Beyond Rituals
Everything I’ve heard from Macedonian producers Leonid Golcev & Aleksandar Golcev have been high quality – and so is this! This is deluxe chill-out – totally ripe and totally lush! It’s a big mishmash of ethno-tribal world beats and snazzy, wiggle-your-toe friendly compositions – all tied up in an almost Shponglesque or Entheogenic-like manner… Evidently those familiar links are also what prevents me from grading this higher than ‘good’… But hey, it *is* good!
#06: Capsula – Dice Man
Yosef Shamay impressed me immensely with his stunning debut album Synthesis Of Reality released on Ajana Records in late 2005 – and it was about time we heard more from this talented Israelite… Unfortunately this track isn’t as good as I’d hoped for… Sure, it’s nice and chilled and dubby and floating… But that’s it – it’s nice, but not up to par with previous Capsula stuff…
#07: Procs – Fascinating Superhero
Swedish producer Mikael Stegman has always been somewhat of a favourite of mine – despite his somewhat introvert debut album Stuck In The Oven With Me released by Ajana Record’s sister label Trishula Records in 2005 + his mildly disappointing track off the Sanatonic Audio compilation released by Sanaton Audio earlier in 2006… I still haven’t given up on Procs and I’m hoping he’s got a couple more aces up his sleeve… And I’m happy to say, that this track is the best I’ve heard from Procs in a while… This is hugely atmospheric, esoteric, mature and experimental downbeat – rich in contrasts and it’s easily the most psychedelic tune here… Simple, yet complex. Chilled, yet hectic. Naïve, yet beautiful. Simply brilliant! Welcome back Procs!
#08: Psyfactor – Galileo Space Mission
I’ve got somewhat mixed feelings about the output of Russian producer Dimitri Korablin… Let’s just say that basically I like most of his older stuff, but his latest album on Ajana Records, the chilled Endless Universe, was a complete and utter miss for me… It was way too boring and I didn’t like it! This track however is easily better than any track from the aforementioned album… This is more versatile and has better progression – and the output is interesting for a change! Nice one! We’re still not re-inventing the wheel here, but it’s interesting enough to retain my attention. Welcome back Psyfactor!
#09: Zoe Wheelingz – Shadow Is Back
AFAIK this is the debut release by French producer Virginie Scheerens – and what a debut! This is highly experimental, oddball electro-clash… Upbeat dubby rhythms + irregular beats which are much more IDM than downbeat… This is a pretty crazy tune and definitely very different from everything else on this compilation. Different – yes! Interesting – somewhat! Good – not really! Maybe it’s just me who doesn’t fully understand this kind of music, but I don’t really understand its relevance here… Ah well… Onwards and upwards!