Futurised is the second ambient-influenced, Psy/Chill album by Psyfactor since the release of Endless Universe in 2008. I never heard that album (save for samples) so I can't really comment, but read some positive reviews on it. That said, a full review ensues of this new Psy/Chill release.
1. Discovering Andromeda begins as a dreamy, ambient-influenced score. There's what appears to be an altered goat and/or individual's voice laughing that somehow works wonders. A chilled, downbeat kick drum enters around 1:52. The song moves forward, surrounded by gorgeous soundscapes, emotive melodic and psy sounds. These have been combined very well, producing a heavenly backdrop. I love the beat, and virtually all ingredients throughout the track until the last thirty-eight (or so) seconds, the latter where the track seems unsure when to end. I think that the beat could have continued just a little longer; fortunately, the section with the beat changes up and avoids repetition. An evocative score pours across the layers like liquid at around 3:32. The entire world seems to be swimming in colors and lights; with elements ranging from romantic to intoxicating. The last minute or two could have used a little more touching up (direction and magic). But the first two thirds are engaging, and showcase strong craftsmanship. This is a magical, tasty, and beautiful opening track. It's sensual too. I love it. B+
2. Flying Dolphins starts out with many psy sounds/scapes that are enhanced with ambient notes, multiple layers of ambient notes actually. There's an curiuos, fast paced sound/melody rising and lowering. It's soon met with more zesty, psy notes. Those notes temporally disappear to front a brief moment of breath before the song takes off via beat at 2:31. I really like this part, as the song seems to balance beauty and sensation fairly well. More notes arrive, some echoed; they carry the song to new areas of the land, and to a calm clearing, before soon taking off again. Tiny, melodic ingredients are gradually placed into the bigger pot, though the beat could have possibly changed up a little. The song seems almost bursting with sounds, for better or worse, and has less of a magical feel than the previous track. Furthermore, the sounds seem almost too layered at times; they don't flow as well, nor seem as congruent as the first. Overall this is a pretty good track with an experimental edge; I give the artist credit for taking risks. I'm simply not in love with the song. B-
3. Are We Alone begins with strong ambient notes that soon melt into a warm and intriguing, psy backdrop. Now THIS is the sound I love from this artist so far. I think the previous track was trying too hard. We're taken through a peaceful aura of colors in the first half. A slow, fairly soft beat appears, soon changing up, and letting the sounds breath in the infinite universe. At around 3:12, a tasty psy sound (like a skipping melody) trips over the reoccurring beat. The song develops nicely, and enters an evolved, celestial realm at around 4:10. There are so many nice elements working together here, yet none seem to overpower the other. In the last minute, the song loses its beat and elegantly returns to its contemplative, ambient-influenced direction. This is one of the most solid tracks by Psyfactor I've heard, and with a more satisfying ending than the opening, psy/chill number. Very good track! B+
4. Futurised is an energetic and driving, uptempo number. It's loaded with cool sounds, melodic elements, ambient notes, flying soundscapes, and a fast, motivating beat from near start to finish. Although I found the second song fairly good at best, I better see the draw to Psyfactor's non-psytrance, uptempo work with this one. The beat provides an intense energy and gives the album more variety. I'm not bothered that the song seems more beat/driven than that with melodies, although there are many melodic elements. The style, approach, and energy is inviting and catchy enough. Cool track. B
5. In Space is my favorite uptempo track on the album. This is an energetically driving, sweetly textured, and visceral/pulsating electronica/psychill number. The kickass beat, and how it changes up around 3:30 reminds me of some of my favorite electronica tracks growing up by Prodigy, Chemical Brothers. But before the track falls into Psy-influenced techno, the artist changes up the beat in the second half after a fantastic interlude. Suddenly, the vehicle takes off with what appears to be breaks around the core energy and rhythm of the ride. Both my girlfriend and I really like how the song takes off and develops, as well as the break/beat (and all other) work in the second half. While not every listener will like every track obviously, this is one of my favorite songs of 2010. Excellent work. A-
6. Above And Beyond seems to have received some criticism, but I like to judge a track for myself, so I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt. This song begins more ambient based, and gradually attains many (to near exorbitant) sounds. A chilled beat arrives around 1:19 after a short, catchy lift. The song takes off, though remains down or mid-tempo. Melodies enter one after another, but the ambient notes really stand out as well done. They give subtle direction through the horizon until around 2:22 where a string of melodies pick up. Currently, the song is good. A peaceful interlude takes place at 2:57. Here is where new sounds arrive, particularly two or three (what I'll call) distorted, echoing cords. These distorted cords unfortunately get into trouble later on. Focusing on the song's continuation, the beat returns, and like a gentle tornado in concept: it absorbs numerous sounds around its deep, yet fairly soft and arresting movement. The beat works very well here, and as we cross over the forth minute. The problem is the distorted cords; they seem to become more out of sync to the point of distraction. There is a lot of overlap here, and in the case of the simultaneous pair of distorted cords; such overlap seems to throw off the measure, the timing of the beats. In this sense, I would have removed them entirely, or added something that better takes place. This flaw and/or gripe is heard without almost all other sounds in the last minute. I find it very distracting, and I have difficulty enjoying the song unfortunately due to this technical complication. C
7. Cassiopeya is a big improvement after the previous number. I realize that the artist likes to experiment, but this is the song I would have replaced the previous one with, as it's strikingly attractive, elegant, and catchy. The first ambient-influenced minute appears to incorporate numerous ticks, clicks, hi-hats, and various other elements that appear to produce a beat-free power. A shortly lived beat (great work) soon emerges, and updates itself into an even faster combination. The echoed melody at 2:24 I find rather simple, less contagious. However the ambient notes around 2:40 are very well done. The song is elevated by a lovely, musical fusion at 2:56. This part is wonderful, transcending. The artist pulls it off to an energetic beat those temporal excuses itself, in place of a beautiful interlude, from 4:17 to 5:03. At this point I've felt involved; I'm now enamored by the vibrant energy and harmonies entering. The beat returns as beautiful hymn-esque sounds layer a wonderous backdrop. Then they leave to accomidate a catchy, beat encore in the last minute before the warm atmosphere overpowers the final seconds. This is a strong and passionately produced number filled with lush atmosphere, elements, and harmonies. A-
8. Over The Edge is a healthy follow up to tasty, psy/chill, ambient-influence. The song sounds quite experimental, and although there are many sounds, none seem over worked or crammed. I really like when the artist takes time to develop the harmonies and backdrops, in addition to having unexpected, infectious elements at times. A psychedelic wave trips across the ambient notes and rhythm projected in the first half. The song seems to be growing, sculpturing itself to the magnetic sounds as it progresses. Then, at around 3:45, and before the track dragged for too long, a bizarre yet gripping sound combination enters. It's as if two insects are talking to one another. However both sounds play off each other to near simplicity and brilliance. The flow well, as the bass line appears to strengthen. Towards the final third, the entire melody approach changes up, though remains intact with the dreamy backdrop. I really like this track. It sounds inventive, creative, and diverse in ideas, while remaining solid throughout. Good track! B
9. Back In Time begins with numerous ambient layers. A strong melody enters at 0:32, and is soon enriched by ambient notes, a soft, but deep and effective beat, hymns, psy sounds, sustained melodies, and we're not even at the second minute yet. The beat soon picks up, becomes harder, more effective after the intro. The melodies are good here too, though the initial main melody remind me of a song I have by electronica artist Velvet Acid Christ. The song has a gripping interlude where the beat changes up and chills in the background to the atmospheric/psy elements taking place. It soon returns with its changed up momentum; the song avoids repetition by rebuilding in a sense, many new elements, and tweaking previous sound walls to the new skyscraper. In the final third, the strong beat arrives; it gives the song a more substantial, supportive feel. This is a good psy/chill mid-tempo number. I like the emotive, harmonious feel, coupled with floating backdrop, and beat work. There could have been some cool break work mixed in after the interlude I think, but that's no big deal. The song flows well and keeps my attention throughout. Good track! B
10. Purple Sky is a strong ambient-influenced number. The powerful bass line (without overdoing it) is great, and reminds me of some of Solar Field's recent work. I would have liked if maybe the melodies were developed a little more, but they sound good. There's some clever, dynamic mixing; the beat work is excellent, and sounds great with the melody/sound work, lush atmosphere, and ambient notes. The latter has supported the album nicely. It would have been nice if maybe more were done to build upon the tone and feel of the strong bass line early on. As the song seems to go through numerous sound details in order to hold the listeners attention. Take Solar Field's for example, who adds many details but also accomplishes so much power with grace, and typically less animation. Overall this is a pretty good track. B-
11. Neptunes Waves is yet anther ambient-influenced ride, albeit a consistent (without much of a beat) one throughout. It sounds nice, but I find the overall track more monotonous than the others, lacking in emotion and intrigue. What appears to be piano enters towards the end, but there are very few notes; not much seems to happen. I think piano in general can add good emotion depending on the artist's vision and musical abilities. The song here sounds less ambitious than the other tracks. It's okay, but kind of forgettable compared to many others I feel. C+
12. Out Of This World utilizes a beat to support the melody work. I suppose the song is more interesting than the previous number, at least for the first half, as it seems unsure where/when to end. Among all of the sounds however, I find very little that arrests my attention. Sure, much of it sounds nice. I would have preferred if less subtle work was incorporated in these final moments, or last two tracks. Many nice sounds take place, but not much relative to structure or direction seems to happen. I'm left unsatisfied in this final chapter. Towards the last two minutes, it seems that whatever support this may have had, disappears; sounds kind of pour all over the place. It sounds kind of random to me, and not as congruent as the previous songs. That said, Psy/Ambient lovers may better appreciate this atmospheric number since it is more Psy/ambient based. C+
In conclusion, Futurizeed is an interesting release with some very strong work/tracks on it. This isn't ambient alone per say. Tracks are loaded with numerous elements. Some involve driving beats of various kinds. Others incorporate a down/mid-tempo feel. There's plenty of uptempo work too. The album isn't perfect though. For instance, the beautiful, sunrise, psy/chill opening could have had a clearer ending, and Above And Beyond "becomes a big mess" (my girlfriend's words, though she loved the opening) after the first several minutes. Flying Dolphins seems to involve almost too many sounds at times, and at the expense of numerous sounds appearing less connected with others. But I like it to some degree, and it's through experimenting in part that the artist's work has matured. While I'm getting my negatives out of the way, I'll add that the last two tracks don't interest me, and a track or two in the second half seems similar in beat to one earlier on, and the mastering could be better (especially track 6 which makes me want to pull my hair out the more it progresses). Relative to positives: Psyfactor seems to break, or at least bend conventions at times, combine sub-genres, and basically come up with his own. For starters, I love the opening, chilled track, which could have been inspired from Goa, to Psy/Chill, and downbeat. Both Discovering Andromeda and In Space put a smile on my face, similar to the way I used to feel when listening to one of my favorite tracks by Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, or Crystal Method, thanks to having strong direction, melody/sound work, beats, and energy. Naturally, these aren't techno songs, but deliciously influenced psy/chill numbers with lots of psy, ambient, down/mid, and uptempo work. The beats (and the changing up of them) are generally great throughout the album too. Furthermore, Cassiopeya is just beautiful. Generally speaking, there's no limit to improving, and if the artist's third psy/chill album can correct and strengthen what was weak here, a masterpiece (yes, it's a subjective word) album may not be far away. Futurized is an interesting, well done album with a handful of very good tracks on it. While there's some room for improvement (the same can be said for every artist), I'm currently adding this to my top 5 Psy/Chill (includes downbeat, ambient-influenced) albums of 2010. Good release.