Reviews

Kino Oko - Alphabetically Divided Highway

Label: Tribal Vision
Format: CD, Album
Country: Czech Republic
Release Date: 26 Aug 2008
Genre: Electronic
Style: Freestyle, Techno, Progressive Trance

    Track List:
  1. Any Kind of Structure
  2. Made in Satisfaction
  3. Body and Mind
  4. Mother Mature
  5. Symphatetic Magic Death
  6. Story of Forgotten Notes
  7. Stand By Me
  8. Pure Irony
  9. Remedy Express
  10. Messiah Formula
  11. Through the Round Window

Kino Oko is one of those artists that I like to analyse throughout the music that he makes. I followed his work since first project Tromesa and of course, enjoyed in every moment of that progressive techno sound. From time to time he expressed more and more electro note in every project that he was involved. Actually, after his album from year 2005 under the name "Lost Entertainment", I realised that with project Kino Oko, Grzegorz provided more electro motives in some kind of progressive form, based on electro beats as well. Of course he always tries to give audience sound for any moments, morning, sunset, nights, open spaces, clubs. For example, tracks "Dead birth in the sky" & "Man upon the rainbow" are ones of the kind that sound like you can lift up your hands to the morning sunshine or in the culb ambience and disco lights, and you will feel the same effects just in different way. In both cases, these would be awesome moments. This is what I appreciate. Does he have the same effect on this new fresh release? Well lets see/hear!

Put CD in deck and press Play...

1. Any Kind of Structure
And we have beautiful sound and melody in the same style of Kino Oko. Start of the track sounds like some downtempo ambiental with peaceful minimal beat. Rhythm is very club moment and is perfect for night drive under the visual effect, BUT, as I said in prologue of this review, I can also see myself on some open space in the morning with this track. However, this track is in the right place on album. It's perfect for start or ending set. Track theme is amazing and can be really good motivation for a bit distorted remix track by, for exemple Extrawelt, cause they have that kind of style which is full of emotions and driving.

2. Made in Satisfaction
And its realy made in satisfaction. Sounds like perfect extension for previous track. Someone is paying attention on album concept. Very nice. Also, it's a little bit more agressive, I said A BIT, not much, which is coming from time to time through the theme. About the vocal, I must admit that I don't like its style at all. Actually, I may have got the point of artists, and again I say may have, where I don't like the message expression, with woman's voice or clear man's voice with a bit of delay or something, but also I don't like in tracks that kind of, let's say, comic way of talking.Sometimes can be ok like in "Dead birds in the sky" but here I don't like it at all. I hope that people will understand what I am trying to say.

3. Body and Mind
Well in this song vocals have much, much better way of expression and effects. Maybe even at one moment, have some SFX vocal melody. Maybe its just effect on me like that, but in my head, I compose like that when I hear this track. Anyway, I must say that if track have vocals in its arrangement, then that must be perfect fit on music, in my opinion. Sometimes repeating lot of time could have bad effect on track, but in this one "Body and mind" really moves me. Music part of track I dont have to mention cause this is kind of relaxing but dancing style I like. Electro, but not to much, progressive but not to much and perfect melodic short themes. Brilliant admixture of nowdays popular styles of electronic music.

4. Mother Mature
First thing that I noticed in this track is that it have much more oldschool motives then previous tracks. Track is almost POP of '80s. Hurricane!!! Sorry but POP of '80s is my first love and actual touch with electronic sound and it's very nice to hear that kind of influence on artists music in todays tracks. I tried this track in my car also... My advice, it's better to try that feeling when you read my description in this preview, just please volume UP!

5. Symphatetic Magic Death
SNAP! Snap is my favorite sound in music. Probably that stay me from time when I was listening to music just on records, not even from tapes. Nowdays I notice that some of artists put that kind of sound into tracks. I like that.
Great access to innovative trance style with a combination of classic. That piano sound is totaly... I don't know how to explain... strange, excellent, wierd at the same time. And, maybe, someone will ask, "Where do you see any simularity with trance style in this track?", just hear that bassline for just one moment! Perfect track for some full on remix and on the other hand, perfect performing that style of bassline in this kind of music like Kino Oko do.

6. Story of Forgotten Notes
Great start of track. Reminds me on old break beats stuff that I used to listen. Very nice relaxing expression of theme in track. I don't know why, but at one moment this track reminds of Daft Punk style. Of course, in much more peaceful form. I noticed after this album also, that Kino Oko is one of that composer that can reach any style of mucis and present in his unique way. Everything can hold that powerful form even with that coming down style of presenting/producing. Big respect for that skill!!!

7. Stand By Me
And I am!!! I'm on the half of album and not going anywhere. I know that peacefull intro on this track is just prelude to disco beat that will come later. Arrpegio melody is fantastic! Again it brings me back in the old time. Bassline have the most beautiful sound on album. Bell-shaped melody is awesome part in song. Totaly melancholic & dancing track.

8. Pure Irony
Trancy moments again. I think that effect which sound like some expression of animals, for exemple, monkies is unnecessary in this track, but this is the matter of taste, nothing else. Rest of track is great for me. Theme is pure emotion more than irony. Maybe that apes effect should present that Irony from track name.

9. Remedy Express
Maybe I missed by some accident in previous track but I have just been waiting when some glitchild moments on that album will show up. I never really liked that kind of effect but after some artists like Le Saboteur or Shulman or Talpa, I find that moment very interesting, just without overreacting. In this track, that effect is on the right place in normal volume of using. It gives me the feeling like rhythm is break beat from time to time. Oscillation of bassline is also perfect. Tiny melodies and big deep one-shot moments, completes my expectation.

10. Messiah Formula
From the first moment I was thinking that kick will go like trough that filter that makes him without bass on it, just on intro of track and then will be something like big pump and start drive normaly, but I was wrong and pleasantly surprised! Song carries on with the kick like that and the other parts of track play like track have full drive. Ok, my tension is still on the top and in expectation of big bang and track still drive without full kick sound but drive me no matter. Like those moments when composer overreacts and it goes through your mind "C'MON!!!". That tension was filled with electronic vocal that I like the most to hear in tracks. Robot singing. Something beautiful. Track still carries on!!! Element by element, from effect to effect, from sound to sound and finally it happens! It totally makes me chill!!! Kick have full power that I was looking for more than a half of the track. Melody is kind of Europian style, it's amazing!!! Whole trip is like in paradise. This is what I'm talking about somewhere at the beginning of my review, when I mentioned remixing track with Extrawelt. MELTING!!! Don't drive with this song ON! It's too perfect for not trying to fly! Just one complain on this "THE BEST" track on the album, second part of track is TOO SHORT for my taste! It's great that first part of track is that much long with all that trip to carry over the entire pre-euphoric part, but after that, Grzegorz, should do the same thing like with first part, just over and over and over... WOW! Simply the BEST!

11. Trough the Round Window
...and I discover that previous track actually HAVE kind of extension, JUST... just a bit different than it was in my mind. Like, calm down version and it's equally great as much as I expected. About the vocal, had the luck cause I used to listen to Hard Core and Trash Metal, and I like that half whispering vocals but in this arrangement, in my opinion, I think that would be better if vocal was 100% whispering speech.


And finaly, at the end, this is one totally fresh new creation, which is holding the style from previous album but have totally different view of story. Emotional in every way of looking and in the first place, powerful calm down music. What does that mean? Well in my head it means everything but in free translation it's something like, "everything you do on agressive and to euforic way, I can achieve same effect on people with much more relaxing style & production." And I say thank You for that kind of music.

At the end of this review I just want to say that I'm not here to promote campaign against the piracy, no matter if I dont like that kind of getting music. Just want to say that some of releases JUST DON'T DESERVE to be compressed. Thats all.

I hope that You enjoyed this as much as I did.

All the best!

Lara

VA Unconventional

Label: Horns and Hoofs Entertainment
Format: CD, Compilation
Country: Russia
Release Date: May 2008
Genre: Electronic
Style: Techno, Psy-Trance, Tech House, Electro

    Track List:
  1. Kalumet - Pandora's Box
  2. Mantik - Lounge Deranger
  3. Alic - Liquid Modernity
  4. Sophicos - Ain't Like That
  5. Midi Miliz - Phenomena (Atmos Remix)
  6. The Rockitmen - Overhazed
  7. Metalogic - Picknik
  8. Midi Miliz - Stalker (Alic's Liquid Disco Reconstruction)
  9. October Rust - It Came From Outer Space
  10. October Rust - It Came From Outer Space

First of all, I must say that, when I saw the names on this compilation, I kind of realized that this compilation will be something interesting for me. Put in the player and play:

1. Kalumet - Pandora's Box
Well, it's kind of interesting minimal techno sound, but not that much for my taste. In general, track have interesting theme, just a few samples doesn't match with other lines in track. I must say that theme in this track is awesome. That little melody is like from a cartoon. Great idea.

2. Mantik - Longue Deraner
Mmmmmmm let's start. Beat says "hello" to everyone. Maximum respect for this kind of "more progressive then techno" sound. The most are like chill out motives and melodies all over the tech & progress beat. Super heat and super bassline. Real disco moving. Somewhere from 2/3 of the track starts a bit more techno style of track and then again chill and ambient pads and melodies. Juicy! I like SFXs and the way that they travel through the theme. For this track I could tell that it is for "Eyes close sway" moments!
Great job!!! I understand that for DJs track finishes just like it should, but for a CD and ordinary consumers, end of track should be a bit different and not that suddenly stopped.

3. Alic - Liquid Modernity
I can say that it continues in almost the same style as previous track, just a bit more techno and electro style. Really great theme and sound for presentation of that theme and ideas of artists. I'm still in "eyes close sway" moment. If I were a DJ, I would use track like this to chill crowd after euphoric drive. It's the same strategy as in sport, where player set the ball to other one for final kick and getting score. LOL. Maybe it's funny, but I'm experiencing this moment like that. Even a DJ set must have a strategy when combining tracks. And this one is a clue for "get the scoore" on the dancefloor.

4. Sophicos - Ain't Like That
I don't know if it is on purpose or random, but this track should be right on this place, after previous, even in DJ set. So much energy and emotions at the same time. The best thing is that I like the most of the instrumens which makes like chill bells sound and fat leads which presents bassline in track. This is the best thing for me in track and this tune contain every element that is a match for my taste. And after this track, I can already say that this is more progressive then techno compilation. I expected total techno, but this is kind of a mixture of Tech & progress! WONDERFUL!!! Really nice to hear that.

5. MidiMiliz - Phenomena (Atmos Remix)
OK, does somebody want to rip my heart out or what?! Atmos in combination with Midi Miliz!!!??? What's next? Extrawelt vs GMO!!!??? AWESOME!!! Honestly, I don't know which kind of version is better for me. Original or this one. I like Atmos music and also MidiMiliz music so much, and when I heard this combination, it got me on the first second of the track. Tomas put a bit trancy style in this and got very nice product of this tune. So much atmospheric and night music. Thats what I need.
Excellent job on this track for sure.

6. The Rockitmen - Overhazed
Even Metalogic and Alex made a bit of progress sound with trancy bassline and hard sidechain at the start for this compilation. But as much as the rhythm is techno, everything is ok!
Kiddin'! I like this sub tones in bassline. It sounds like concrete drill. Just, in my opinion, I think that for this kind of rhythm, they should put some industrial moments, melodies or something. Theme that is in track, is magnificent, just it's that kind of rhythm that makes a confusion with other elements. This is just my opinion. In general, track is great.

7. Metalogic - Picknik
HM. This track, I think, is the one I would put as the last one. Kind of an outro of compilation. Many people would think that it would be a bad track if it's outro. This is totally wrong. For me, of the same significance are intro, middle and outro. This track just have that kind of theme and story that, in my opinion, is for outro place. Something like "after all..."  Super great.

8. Midi Miliz - Stalker (Alic's Liquid Disco Remix)
GREAT SOUND FOR KICK!!!! And it is a Disco!!! Excellent start of track. Pure pumping in the clubs! Totally fat plastic pipe sound!!! Tiny bells should be a bit less emphatic, everything else is perfect. Excellent track for ending warm up and start jumping! Bassline have imposing sound. Just like kick. Those two elements make the whole track. Really beatiful job!

9. October Rust - It Came from Outer Space
This kind of style I like to call "pumping style". I like this kind of rhythm, but I don't like the vocal in this track. I think that vocal can be bettet than this one. Theme is relaxing and nice. For warming at best. I like fat sounds that this project used.

10. Fuzzion - Solar
Old school of electro "lets say" bassline, requiuem for my soul. I like that sound. Especially with delay from time to time. Theme in the track reminds me on raves from 95-96. Beautiful times! Totaly relaxing track. One of the track that have same vibe indoor as much as outdoor parties. Maybe cause of a lot of reverb on sounds. Lots of ambient moments. Nice!

The whole compilation as concept have very great vibe and story. There is no declination between tracks. Everything is set like hand in a glove. Also very serious sound. Respect for all artists, Alic and Horns & Hoofs rec.
All the best to people and bring us more plastic fantastic.

Lara