Crossing Mind ‎– Beyond Duality

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Suntrip Records ‎– SUNCD42
Format:
CD, Album
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Credits

Notes

All tracks composed, mixed and produced by Stephane Beze at Unity studio, Nice, France
Artwork by Amandine & Romain Torrente, Grenoble, France

℗&© Suntrip Records 2016

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode: 5 060376 222470 >
  • Matrix / Runout: 775.451 SUNCD42 #2 manufactured by kdg
  • Mastering SID Code: IFPI L173
  • Mould SID Code: IFPI 3051

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antic

antic

November 30, 2016

Although scientific studies have proven that the link between exceptional creativity and psychosis is weak, a brief look at the history of art: music, literature, painting, etc. suggests time and again that there’s something to it - from extreme unsocial behaviours, through mental syndromes, to suicidal tendencies. The brain apparently needs to “sacrifice” some of its normal functions to allow the creative part to flourish…

I’m prefacing the review with the above, because I consider Crossing Mind a “mad genius”. His music is capable of delivering incredible amounts of emotion, joy and awe - or sadness - but between those moments there are glimpses of madness. My initial impression of his 3rd full-length “Beyond Duality” were very mixed - I expected he’d further refine his style by conforming to (what I imagine to be) more predictable and standard scales, intervals and progressions. Instead, he even further distanced himself from “typical” kaleidoscopic, patchwork-y and sequenced / repetitive meanderings of typical goa-trance music and doubled down on improvisation and uniqueness. Sure, there still are some typical “goa” sounds and sequences, but that’s not the defining component of his music - it is the extreme use of melody, harmony and emotional expression put into every single note and sound that characterises it. My problem with this approach was that while it mostly works beautifully - and is flawlessly executed in “Cyclotron” and “No Hazardous Material Signs” - in other cases there are brief moments as if Crossing Mind said to himself “F**k it, let’s go full retard!” and just let his fantasy run wild, irrespective of any musical conventions or good taste. In those moments the melodies sound child-like, trivial, naive, chaotic and often corny, to the point that I’d be ashamed of listening to it with other people around. In some cases they develop into something meaningful (e.g. the cheesy lead in “Alpha Centauri” gets much deeper meaning in last 3rd of the tune, when it’s complemented by other sounds), but often you just have to bite your lips, soldier on and hope it ends soon ...which it eventually does. None of the tracks is completely ruined by it, but it’s enough to sour the initial experience and even after getting really familiar with the album - it’s been a month since its release - it still sticks out like a sore thumb and you can’t help but wonder how great the album would be without it…

Still, the amount of awe-inspiring moments, incredible sound design, touching sensibility, storytelling and emotion emanating from this album is unparalleled and it shows that Crossing Mind poured his heart into it - it’s not just collection of cleverly modulated loops and patterns, but genuine artistic vision translated into music. When it clicks, it’s one of the most rewarding and beautiful experiences in the genre. Too bad it’s not consistent in quality, but I guess that’s the price of genius - one can’t operate at peak level all the time.

With regards to mastering - those that complained last time about harsh, sharp and piercing sounds should be happy to know they're mostly gone and instead the bass got a bit more prominence in the mix. As a result, the mastering is clearer, more punchy but still retains that trademark "hollowness" of Crossing Mind which I frankly like very much. I also find the sound palette to be greatly expanded over his previous works, with more alive, morphing and developing lead sounds, even if the rhythm section takes a back seat and received (relatively speaking) less attention.

BTW, this has got to be the most beautiful artwork on a Suntrip Rec. release! More here: https://torrente.carbonmade.com/

4/5 - a flawed, but truly unique experience!