Loud (6) ‎– 5 Billion Stars

Label:
Nano Records ‎– NAR1CD044
Format:
CD, Album
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Tracklist Hide Credits

1 Why Was Music Created
Featuring – Raja Ram
2:52
2 5 Billion Stars 11:07
3 Unique Drum 8:55
4 Green Star Movement 7:37
5 Rain Tonight 2:11
6 Peace Pipe 10:33
7 Africa 101 7:29
8 Symbiosis 8:53
9 Goblins Talking 8:55
10 Deep River Song
Featuring – Shulman
9:50

Other Versions (1 of 1) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
NANOOCD044 Loud (6) 5 Billion Stars(11xFile, MP3, 320 + File, MP3, Mixed, 320 + Album) Nano Records NANOOCD044 UK 2016

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antic

antic

August 2, 2016
edited over 2 years ago

Well, this one’s a head-scratcher... Considering the feedback I saw to the samples of “5 Billion Stars” before its release, your stance on it will largely depend on how familiar you are with Loud’s discography, as over the years their music changed a lot. They started with critically acclaimed “Some Kind of Creativity” in 2006 - a very energetic, immaculately produced and arranged full-on dripping with acid lines, clever breaks, buildups and peaks; a technical and musical marvel. They’ve been following on that road for some time, but inevitably slowed down gravitating towards progressive trance tempos. Their 2012 album “No More X” was met with very mixed reception, because their homage and contemporary reimagining of the classic trance sound of Platipus Rec. (Art of Trance, Union Jack, etc.) was not to everybody’s liking.

2016’s “5 Billion Stars” is even further departure from their original sound and likely from the expectations of their original fans - it’s a concept album, built around the notion of return to the nature, to the tribal gatherings, the indigenous beliefs and spiritual world. The title of the album is an invitation to leave the comfortable confines of luxury lives we made for ourselves (5-star hotels) and get in touch with our roots - travel the world bare-footed, sleep in tent under the star-dotted skies (a 5 billion star hotel). The music therefore visits various continents and countries - Australia, Africa, India, (native) America, etc. - and consists of recordings the artists acquired while touring there: speech samples, chants and singing, live instruments, ambient noises, etc. All this is juxtaposed with electronic beats and sounds, but even there Loud is trying to imitate real instruments, e.g. the pitch of basslines and drums modulates over time to mimic how real drum, tabla or similar devices sound. Also, while there’s traces of trance in there - especially in 2nd half of the album - it’s rarely a central focus and it’s more akin to introducing a familiar element to the otherwise foreign concept, so that the audience has still something to hold on to. If I had to point to similar releases, I’d say that Juno Reactor’s “Bible of Dreams” / “Shango” phase comes pretty close in that it also accentuated the tribal elements, but “5 Billion Stars” is even less trancey, more laid back and down-tempo. It’s not a trance album and definitely not goa-trance one, but it’s a very good meditative, hypnotic and spacey music with psychedelic elements and meaningful message. Sure, there are some jarring or cringe-worthy moments there (some of the repeating voice samples), but on the other hand it’s also full of small and big ideas, sequences and passages that show their skill and experience as true musicians, able to go above and beyond the cliche looped-sequence-over-a-4/4-beat. It’s a sound of matured and confident artist, not having to show off anymore with stuttering bass, breakneck transitions or surgical precision effects.

I’m expecting the reactions to this to be very polarizing and therefore I’m hugely impressed for Nano Rec. to have released it. It took me a good week to really appreciate and understand what Loud wanted to achieve, but right now I can’t take it out of my head - it’s deep, musical, rewarding and challenging release. You may not like it today, but it should be in your collection just in case you “get it” some day :)

5/5