Evolutionize’s bootleg of Smash the Control Machine recently went online in preview form, and the full version will be downloadable once he reaches 1000 SoundCloud followers. He’s gained one for sure, as I realised that the TYFTH account hadn’t yet connected with him. I’d have been more than happy to correct that without the carrot of a free tune, but this is a brilliantly aggressive bootleg that I’m looking forward to trying out in darker sets.
Le Dos-on’s Voice of the Wolves is the biggest Splash Energy Recordings release for quite a while, appearing on CD and digitally a month or so ago. Fans of Le Dos-on’s recent sound will find lots to enjoy here, but there are enough elements of his older, FINRG-influenced style to widen the album’s appeal beyond that.
Anastasia is good example, with a sound somewhere between UK and Finland, and would likely mix well into either style. Quite an uplifting track then, followed by the Substanced/Transcend-esque Chaotic Infection. Again, not an especially dark tune, but more than matches most of the harder stuff we’ve heard so far this year, with some excellent work on the filters. The title track, Voice of the Wolves, harks back to Le Dos-on’s older tracks, with the classic ‘catchy melody over some twistiness’ and a very short break keeping the pace high. One of my favourites on the album, this.
Umbla drops the bpm for a Aryx/Paocala-style trancy tune that starts really well but fades away a little, just as you’re expecting the next level to kick in. I’d be interested to hear a remix/rework though, there’s lots of potential. Tsukumogami has more than a hint of Hybridize to it, what with the piano and simple-but-catchy melody. We’re back to freeform speed here, and plenty of melodic-mix potential.
We Are Here, We Are Waiting sets off into UK freeform territory after a deceptively promising intro. There’s even an electro section for those who like that sort of thing. This leads into a bona fide trance track at 145bpm, Signals Intelligence, featuring some really nice elements that lead into a lovely breakdown. The melody again seems just short of the complexity you’d expect, but it’s a nice change of pace.
Unnamed is by far my favourite track on the album, and manages to channel some of the emotion you often hear in Le Dos-on’s best tracks. There’s a Nomic-esque feel to the intro, before some echoes of Betwixt & Between with the pianos in the breakdown. As the drop arrived I was praying for some demented filtering, but sadly it wasn’t to be – still, this is a quality tune and lifts the album into must-listen territory.
Overall Voice of the Wolves is really worth checking out. Personally I feel the addition of a Psycho Stalker track and some more of the melancholy that Le Dos-on does so well would have improved the album no end, but after so many releases on various labels that might have been a tough ask. The CD is still available, but all the tracks are also online at Le Dos-on’s bandcamp.
Alchemiist and J-Mx’s wild new track is part of the long-awaited Smiling Corpse 002, and bodes very well for the rest of the compilation. A nice mix of the guys’ styles, Escape Velocity really reminds me of the best Hybridize tracks that nailed the ‘freeform + trance’ subgenre. Definitely one to look forward to, but in the meantime there are plenty more 002 previews appearing on the Smiling Corpse SoundCloud.
After Shimotsukei’s Hardcore Summer Bash 2014, let’s keep the standards high with a look at Cuedy’s latest Freeformaniacs mix. You should know what to expect from Cuedy by now – plenty of deep melodies, some next level transitions and a nice variety of old and new.
The first half is as good as I’ve heard for quite some time, with a nice darker element balancing out the melodies and some brilliant connections. Blood Sacrifice isn’t my favourite Betwixt track, but that blend into Human Fraility gets better each time you hear it. Also congrats to Cuedy for a brilliant use of the Yksisarvinen remix – it always seems to awkwardly stand out in other sets I’ve heard, but here it’s a lovely progression after Icy Clouds.
The second half of the set seems to lose some momentum, but that might just be the lack of tunes that really appeal to me. Quality choice of finale with Tendrils of Reality though, and it does seem as though Morita yuuhei’s other melodic freeform tracks have plenty of mix potential.
Another recommended hour from Cuedy then, and thanks to the man himself for the tracklist you see below.
01. Epyx & Cyrez – 4th Dimension
02. Alek Szahala – Icy Clouds
03. Le Dos-On – Yksisarvinen (Qygen Remix)
04. Evolutionize – The Second Renaissanse
05. Betwixt & Between – Blood Sacrifice
06. Morita Yuuhei – Human Frailty
07. Suge – Yabarekabare
08. Morita Yuuhei – Xiendealice
09. Nomic – Suicide Machine
10. Pearsall – Dreaming of Berlin (Le Dos-on Remix)
11. Nightforce – Symphony For The Devil (The Virus Escaped)
12. Lost Soul – Warlock
13. Morita Yuuhei – Astrics
14. Wyrm – Tendrils Of Reality (Qygen Remix)
I can already hear the cries of ‘Get back to freeform, you charlatan’, but I promise this’ll be the last mention of my recent-ish jungle/drum and bass set. It’s now up on SoundCloud, so anyone who enjoyed it back in August can finally download via the TYFTH page.
As for other stuff…I recently received a pretty exciting booking, and put together a little promo mix in anticipation of the event. Sadly the gig has been postponed, and so I might keep the mix under wraps until then. It’ll be going online eventually though, as well as some other bits and pieces.
I’ve also got enough freeform-related items for a few posts, so expect them sometime, as well as an essay of sorts that has been in the works for goodness knows how long. Once the freeform dries up again (it’s been that sort of year, let’s be honest) there might even be a couple of other topics to keep the site sailing towards the end of the year.
Shimotsukei’s Hardcore Summer Bash 2014 is one of the most highly recommended sets for a long time, but some teeth-gritting will likely be needed to get you through the first couple of (very nicely mixed) hardcore tracks. inner universe is the point where things really get going, and the set becomes a brilliant example of how to use some very tricky tunes.
That happy hardcore opening seems all the more incongruous when you realise where the set is really heading – the darker, psychedelic avenue of Betwixt and Alek Szahala’s freeform backed up by the best use of dark psy I’ve heard all year. Just check that connection from Reincarnation, while Hidden Radiance makes a really nice appearance. Some of the psy might stick around for a little too long, but that’s the nature of the genre – it probably says a lot about freeform these days that so many of us are pillaging other styles to get some darker atmosphere into our sets.
Higurashi isn’t my kind of tune, but it’s definitely worth sticking with until the brutal introduction of Battle of Dawn. How nice to hear it at its natural bpm, and so begins the high speed final section of the set, including a why-haven’t-I-heard-this-combo-before transition between Anmitzcuacah and A. Pink Magic will divide opinions at 200bpm and doesn’t blend as smoothly as the previous tunes, but no arguments about the use of 12 little fragments, it’s a perfect finale.
I can imagine some people wishing for a few more tracks of ‘normal speed’ freeform, especially given the wonderful transitions and atmosphere on show here, but this is a superb (if unusual) hour that really confirms Shimotsukei as one of the DJs to watch these days.
01. MesoPhunk – Within Those Eyes [F/C Lucky Lotus Records]
02. Elipton – Happy Forever [F/C Lucky Lotus Records]
03. Icon feat. R.Cena – inner universe [Exit Tunes]
04. Dark Whisper – Polymorphia [HSS Records]
05. Betwixt & Between – Hidden Radiance [ALiCE’S EMOTiON]
06. Betwixt & Between – Reincarnation (Remaster) [CDR]
07. Exemia – The Demons of my Reflection [Free]
08. Chum – Higurashi no Naku Koro ni [Exit Tunes]
09. Blender & Nomic – Battle of Dawn [CDR]
10. Alek Szahala – Anmitzcuacah [Electronica Exposed/FiNRG]
11. Le Dos-on – A [Free]
12. Alek Száhala – Pink Magic [FiNRG]
13. Betwixt & Between – 12 little fragments of silence [HARDCORE TANO*C]
Showing that even his unfinished tracks can put most contemporary freeform to shame, Aryx has gone all philanthropist and is releasing some of his unreleased material via SoundCloud. Redux is a collab with Substanced that really manages to preserve the sound of both artists, striking a nice balance between dancefloor energy and a deeper mood in the breakdown. Granted, the track might be lacking that ‘something extra’ that would have seen it get a release, but it’s a lovely effort that should find a home in many a melodic set.
Keep a close eye on Aryx’s SoundCloud for any other uploads, and for news of his upcoming trance project.
Apropos to nothing in particular, this is one of the tunes getting me through my commute this week, and so why not share it with TYFTH? The Long Dark Remix of VotS was the best version by far, adding some extra chops to the drums and a much improved bassline. Definitely blows away the 1996 version…
I feel another non-freeform YouTube roundup coming on, but hope you enjoy this one for now.
Still a few sets I’ve been meaning to mention, starting with a psy-influenced hour from Australia’s Inoxia. There’s no faulting the ambition in this one, and the effort to take the listener on a trippy journey into psy and freeform really impressed me.
That said, there were a few missed opportunities after the fabulous intro and the Jesus Raves section – with such a demented (and nicely mixed) opening, the set seemed to be crying out for some Qygen, older Alek Szahala or Betwixt & Between. Instead there’s the slightly disappointing choice of Power of Universe, before getting back into the mood with some nice ikaruga and Vyral XIII selections. The set has lost some of the unique atmosphere by that stage though, and it’s more about enjoying the tunes on their own merits.
The final section (maybe beginning with Evolutionize’s Tandoku) heads into more typical, energetic territory, and ends things on a classic note. Plenty of interesting ideas here then, and lots of potential for future Inoxia sets.
Sorry about the quietness for a couple of weeks – I’ve been bureaucratising my way through another visa renewal. Almost done though, so here’s a quick look at the info for the next instalment of CODEX.
The biggest disappointment has to be the absence of ASAHI, as his previous set was dark, melancholy and definitely one of my favourites. I’ll be doing my best to bring some darkness to this event though, and I’m actually pretty inspired after my last set (or at least the first half) turned out to be one of the most consistently atmospheric efforts for a while.
Despite being another afternoon event the attendance is looking to be higher than last time, and as it only takes a few extra ravers to really liven up a floor there’s already plenty to look forward to. The full lineup is below, but keep an eye on the Facebook event page for more.
2014 / 11 / 01 Sat
R-Lounge 6F @ Shibuya
13:00 OPEN – 20:00 END
Door:2500 YEN (1Drink)
W/F :2000 YEN (1Drink)
Thumpa (Rebuild Music , UK)
DJ TECHNORCH (999 Recordings , JP)
Alabaster (Cradle to Grave)
Le Dos-on (Splash Energy/SOLIDBOX RECORDS)
NONAKA+CHIN (SPREEMO , Freeform Bros)
PlasmaDancer (FINRG Recordings / NRGetic Romancer)
raqhow (CODEX / Freeform Bros.)
VJ ALE (RisingGENERATION / deeepa)
Manabirds (RisingGENERATION / iNSRiRE)