DJ Beardy Weirdy* ‎– Digital Music Therapy

Label:
Wild Things Records ‎– WILD CD006
Format:
CD, Compilation
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Tracklist Hide Credits

1 Hoodwink (2) Kaput
Written-By, Producer – Kelton Jones
7:05
2 Hoodwink (2) Dark Energy Rmx
Written-By, Producer – Kelton Jones
6:19
3 Archaic Lost Tribe
Written-By, Producer – Kanlis Konstantinos*
7:41
4 Avalon (9) Never Enough
Written-By, Producer – Leon Kane
6:56
5 E.V.P* Monkey Magik
Written-By, Producer – Alex Diplock
7:15
6 Error Corrective Olabotomy (Surgeons Mix)
Written-By, Producer – Nick Howdle Smith*
7:03
7 Psymmetrix Real Fuckin High
Written-By, Producer – Al Crowther, Richie Elmes
6:21
8 Archaic Anaconta
Written-By, Producer – Kanlis Konstantinos*
7:24
9 E.V.P* R2LSD2
Written-By, Producer – Alex Diplock
6:21
10 Module (5) Loonavercity
Written-By, Producer – Paul Dunk
7:06

Companies, etc.

Credits

Notes

All tracks (c) 2008
Mastered @ Wired Masters (UK).

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode: 5060147121513

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antic

antic

August 17, 2016

2007 was a pretty busy year for Wildthings Records crew. Not only were they excessively touring the globe to promote their UK-brewed brand of psychedelic trance music, but they've also managed to release two artist albums – incredible Error Corrective's "Fade Instinct" and phenomenal Realitygrid's "Reality Check". By the end of the year their long postponed third compilation – "Digital Music Therapy" saw the light of day. The CD's title can be abbreviated to "D.M.T.", which – of course – is one of the trippiest psychedelic drugs known to man. So, does the music really measure up to such ambitious description?

The journey begins with two tracks by Kelton Jones, a.k.a. Hoodwink. In all his tracks released so far he displayed love for complicated drum-loop sequences, often very break-beat influenced, with minimalist sound design and creative programming. "Kaput" opens the compilation with sequence of echoing, resonated drum sounds; then picks up the pace with the introduction of groovy full-on bassline and layered drum loop. Things start getting more interesting at 1:50 mark, when this sort of melodic acid stabs appear. For the remaining 5 minutes sounds come and go, morph and twist but unfortunately the track somehow lacks distinct main theme and clear direction. It's pleasant, but that's it. "Dark energy" at first seems to copy the same recipe, however soon it becomes clear that this is a whole different kind of fish – the drums are more varied (the metallic hi-hat rules!), the background noises and effects create mysterious atmosphere and the acid stabs – this time around – form a really coherent and, dare I say it, almost melodic backbone of the tune. It gets darker and more complicated with each passing minute and drives along nicely to the very end. None of those tracks reaches the level of "Monomaniac" from previous WildThings' compilation, but I silently hope they're just keeping the best stuff for the upcoming "Audio Illusion" debut album. Fingers crossed.

Archaic is a new kid on the Wildthings' block, but damn does he fit right in! "Lost tribe" doesn't waste time and goes straight to energetic bass/kick combo, developed with the accompaniment of bubbly, EVP-trademarked acidic sounds. Chopped-up chord progression leads to the mini-break at around 3:00 mark and then wonderful tribal drums sequence is introduced, with a background discussion on a lost tribe… After that, the tune picks up the tempo again, adding layers of melodious screechy synth-work until the grand finale around 6:30. It's a great tune, especially when you consider that it is a debut of this (Greek, judging by the name?) artist.

Leon Kane a.k.a. Avalon and half of Realitygrid needs no introduction to those of you familiar with WildThings' back catalogue. "Never enough" sets the crazy pace from the very first seconds; assaulting listener's senses with fat, literally obese bass line combined with massive beat (that snare drum is incredible!). Spiralling acid sounds, mixed with delicate hints of melodic line introduced around 2:00 mark create killer, groovy combination. Add to that some creative voice sample manipulations and howling, echoed background acid-growls and you receive a bomb of a tune! Indeed, there's never enough of quality stuff like this.

Next we have the most experienced member of the London-based crew, Mr Alex Diplock known better as EVP and second half of Realitygrid. Alex, in my mind, has that bi-polar quality to his stuff – either it's incredibly good, or it is bland and boring. "Monkey magic" fortunately belongs to the first category. Unlike previous two tunes, this one takes it time to develop; starting with apt monkey screams and congas. The track builds up for two and a half minutes, then it all gets more dense and complicated, with sounds appearing and vanishing, morphing and twisting. At 4:20 all hell breaks loose as this razor-sharp, hi-pass filtered, heavily processed acid sequence appears. It does not let go until the last seconds, getting even more mad and twisty! On par with "Never enough"; although more psychedelic and less melodic in its style.

Error Corrective (Dan Warburton & Nick Howdle-Smith) have made a huge impression on many people a year ago with their debut album "Fade Instinct", presenting their own, very characteristic and personal brand of psychedelic trance music. Many of the tracks on that album had that nocturnal, graveyard horror flick atmosphere to them, which greatly appealed to my taste. Add to that the elegance of composition and arrangement, attention to detail and immaculate programming skills and you more or less get the picture. Anyway, I'm mentioning all this because "Olabotomy (Surgeon's mix)" sounds exactly like that – it's heavy, haunting, scary and awkwardly melodious (a'la killer clown stuff from Hallucinogen) and has all those trademark EC hooks, like delayed arpeggios, fat synth lines and unearthly background voices. Problem is, I often find that track annoying. Don't know why, but it's probably the bassline that's causing it, because it has this repetitive, ascending tone which makes me feel as if I am being dragged by my (non-existent!) hair on the ground. Also I'm not sure that the melodic elements always work properly. Good track nonetheless, just need to be in the right mood to appreciate it.

I wanted to write that Psymmetrix (Al Crowther and Richie Elmes) are two newbies with only two released tracks (here and on previous WildThings' compilation), but to my shock I discovered they've released a no-one-knows-about album in 2007! I definitely must check that stuff out, because "Real Fuckin' High" is in my opinion the best track on this CD. From the classic Bill Hicks quote featured at the beginning of the tune, through the groovy rhythm section and flawlessly executed build-up, to the crescendo of old-school spiralling, acid drenched final run starting at around 4:00; this is perfect. Don't be fooled, it's nothing new under the sun, but the way it's all put together, mixed and arranged makes "soft hairs on my arms become punkies" (to quote famous post from psynews.org)!!! It's flowing, it's gentle but at the same time it's hard and metallic. That's a perfect combination in my book and thus first (and only) 10/10 mark on here.

Archaic comes back with yet another track, called "Anaconta". This one tries to repeat the successful recipe used before, but somehow it fails. The way I perceive music is highly dependant on small details. And this track, starting from silly title (why with 't' instead of 'd'?), through annoying voice sample to totally out-of-place shouts and cheers, is simply to much. True, there is some clever sound design and the melodic elements are not half bad, but this one simply doesn't connect with me. An average track.

"R2LSD2" confirms my theory about bi-polar quality of Alex Diplock's music. In comparison with "Monkey magic", this tune is less intricate and engaging. It is based strictly on those bubbly sounds, highly processed acid stabs and squeaky leads. Now, I'm certain such combination can work wonders on the dancefloor, but it simply gives nothing to hold on to in home listening environment (and that's my domain). Good stuff, but not as great as his first tune here or e.g. "Hippy bullshit" from V/A "Alpha Rhythms".

The last track of the compilation, "Loonavercity" presents a new face - Module (Paul Dunk) – in WildThings artist portfolio. In many ways this one's similar to Psymmetrix' "Real Fuckin' High" – it's hard, grinding and squelchy; it develops nicely adding layers of sound and semi-melodies. I love the way it calms down a bit somewhere in the middle, repeating manically the "D" from "LSD" sample on top of highly filtered drum loop! Again, we've heard this type of sounds countless times, but it's oh so damn well put together. Wicked track!

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So, to conclude this lengthy review, it has to be said that – in my opinion – this compilation is not as ground breaking as V/A "Wild Rumpus", but I think quality-wise it's comparable with V/A "Alpha Rhythms". Just like on that CD, this one has a couple of great tunes (#3, 4, 5, 7 and 10) and the others are good (#2, 6 and 9) to average (#1, 8). It does not represent any drastic change in WildThings' style, but then again maybe it's not time for that yet?

If you're looking for psychedelic trance music, sounding up-to-date with regard to production level and sound design, but still true to its underground roots you don't have to look elsewhere. This might also be a good start to dig deeper into WildThings' discography, as there is couple of other gems to be found there.

4/5