|7||Rhythm, Circuit, Echo||7:16|
- Artwork [Sleeve] –
- Mastered By –
- Written-By, Recorded By, Mixed By –
Recorded and mixed at The Echo Chamber Studio, London.
Mastered at Soundmasters, London.
Mastered at Soundmasters, London.
- Barcode: 630883005023
- Matrix / Runout: CA TWSCD38 @@ IFPI LY88 9/17/2010 2:31:21 AM 0000638233
- Mastering SID Code: IFPI LY88
- Mould SID Code: IFPI 127E
- Label Code: LC02112
- After two highly acclaimed albums, Prometheus presents us his third visionary work, with a simple name and a simple yet effective cover - "Spike".
Though I am usually not a Twisted Records follower, let alone a die hard Benji fan, what gave me a kick up the arse and prompted me to jot these words down was a very surprising change in direction and a radically different approach to psy trance as we know it, or better yet, what I like it to be.
Abandoning the pure psychedelic sound of his former albums, Prometheus offers a more accessible, while at the same time more versatile, sound.
Venturing into electro, freestyle, state-of-the-present minimal techno and large, festival suited psy trance work outs, "Spike" is not out there to please the purists. The first track are warm-up material, and things really start moving with Triplets. Unfortunately though, its lead sounds like a retarded seal was singing the Carmina Burana for a nickle and dime prize at the local ZOO karaoke festival.
Up next is Blue Tubes, great progression, and a melodic passage in the mid section to die for. Too bad it never elaborates upon that lead, but it maintains a very lighthearted, accessible flow until the end. With all of its twists and turns, this will satisfy even the more demanding listeners.
2010... If this track doesn't get festival areas wilding out throughout the summer season of 2010, nothing will. This isn't original or any of that mind expanding gibberish people are obsessed with for reasons unknown to mankind, this is just a damn well executed party track. With its melodic breakdown, the humming pulsating bass and simple layering, Benji Vaughan has created a stomper which can easily break the chain restraints of psy trance and seek support elsewhere. You don't agree? Well, I wish I cared, but I'm kinda too busy dancing, so... In addition to that, anybody who samples a Bukowski poem in a dance music track must be a genius. Period.
We move on to Dark Star, where the siren sound is sure to get everyone's heart beat increased. It's one of those irresistibly uplifting hooks, in the vein of Jam & Spoon's Storm.
Rush has a cool micro melodic structure and vocal trickery/play, has a real potential to cross over to minimal techno dance floors of today where stuff like this, if properly used, can sound much better than in a psy trance orientated set, where it would be totally misplaced in my opinion. Not really my style or sound, but a skilled DJ may get more out of it than initially expected.
Rhythm, Circuit, Echo follows the similar path, and I'd dig it much more was it not for the loathed vocoder vocals going "rhythm, circuit, echo" killing any possible pleasant moment in this track,
Taylor's Machine is freestyle, with a very dramatic melody and some sweet effects coming out of everywhere, including occasional xylophone keys and a large combined explosion of all the previous ingredients used previously at around 04:20.
Colt and Datcha are two tracks I was most surprised by. Namely the latter which is an awe inducing short piece packing an emotional punch thirty minute compositions cannot portray, let alone a three minute tune. All I have to say about is is: Benji, if you ever read this, please make an effort to release an ambient album. Not psychill, not psybient but a bona fide proper ambient album.
To conclude. This album's greatest strength relies in its versatility. A little of something for everyone. However, former fans and those expecting a sequel to "Corridor of mirrors" might be disappointed. My verdict would be to listen to this album with open ears. If all you seek in music are distorted and tweaked samples, text book psy trance tracks - then you should steer clear of this release, as it's just about anything but psychedelic, and by that I don't mean anything negative. If you're out there to fetch some good music, then "Spike" might have more in store for you than you thought. This album does not contain a stylistic follow up to the classic Samothraki, but it has Benji Vaughan showing more balls than 85% of the scene ever will.
In my book, not a classic, far from it, but an album definitely worth checking out.
Oh yeah, and uhm, Benji, if you don't play out 2010 and Blue Tubes across the globe throughout the ongoing party season, there is something seriously wrong with you ;-)
- Spike finally sees Benji reaching his potential as an artist, as we are given a wide variety of fun upbeat psytrance, melancholy downtempo and creative breaks in a surprisingly cohesive LP. Sound quality has improved, artistic ideas have been fleshed out and in my mind, the artist known as Prometheus has finally come into his own and it is a great thing. This is one of my most enjoyed albums of the year in any genre and I'm glad it came from one of the promising figures in the psy realm, whatever "psy" means in this case. Listen loudly and often! Highly recommended.
- Edited 12 years agoBenji gives us his 3rd solo studio album as Prometheus, his trancey alter-ego. His 2004 debut introduced a playful, childlike approach to music, supported by a strong ability manipulating sound behind the knobs. Backed by the musical expertise of Twisted Records, u can imagine the level of production involved. This album meets the expectations and even surpasses the previous one as it reaches a higher level of complexity: the sounds are richer and more homogeneous, creating an organic quality I do not recall from Benji's previous work.
The compositions have also taken a step up: his tendency to repeat half-empty loops too much is gone, bringing this album to the pace his previous 2 deserved. The tracks keep evolving rapidly, no boring listening zones (Fast Train & Triplets). The melodies build-up more confidently as well, showing the level of maturity this artist has obtained. If his first album was a stylistic introduction and the 2nd one a technical accomplishment, this 3rd one is where the 2 fuse together, reaching a new level. Big ups for Benj.
The confidence also reflects the in stylistic experimentation in some of the tracks (DarkStar & Rush). However, While all tracks eventually reach a trancy apex where the melodies come to a peak in terms of multilayered arrangements, the "previews" tend to be more downtempo and by far less complex. In comparison, they fall short of the best parts in each track while they could - and should - be as intense as any. Infected Mushroom's latest album is a good example of how any stylistic experimentation can produce equally powerful melodies along a track without having to wait for "the best part at the end". More confidence would make all the tracks on this album, in their entirety, a joyride.
All tracks are presented "as is" with no continuous mixing and follow a pretty casual formation: start as "mainstream" trance and take a test drive, both in tempo and in style, as the album continues. Taylor's Machine and Colt have both been previously (albeit in earlier versions) released and seem to have been placed there rather unceremoniously. Datcha, the ending track, is the most remarkable piece in this album, imo, and perhaps the most unique I've heard from Benji, ever. A very short ambient piece yet one that carries an unusual amount of emotion and drama, a story and feeling that I wish would have been elaborated on and extended to the rest of the album.
Benji, make an ambient album, plzktnx.