The first cut "Riding High" [Bullet 350 mix] and Warriors of light are the only cuts on this release that would entice me into buying this but both can be had on "Warriors of light" 12" vinyl so that's where I am heading.
I have seen this album get hailed as a prime and proper example of old school goa trance done in a way it should have been pulled off. Not to cause too much fuss around here, I seriously don't understand what the hype is all about, and based on what grounds does "Oscillating phenomena" at times get ornamented with so many flattering opinions.
Sure, it has a great and simplistic old school charm, great flow and an easy on the ears sound of the music. Now, being a fan of old school goa trance that I am, Evolution's sophmore effort at no point touches many of my favorite (and in my opinion way more memorable) albums from the era; "Geomantik", "Trippy future garden", "Rock bitch mafia", "Multimoods", "Violent relaxation", etc. The melodies, elegant yet catchy, are well done and linear, but too formulaic and similar from track to track. The acid, used in abbundance, never really comes through in a strong, brave and dominant way, but is always somewhere around there, but it never really breaks loose and jumps at you with its power.
The pace and flow. I don't mind when the overall tempo of the album is mildly toned down, as in the cases of for example Etnica's debut album or Paradise Connection's self titled release, but most of the times the pace at which the tracks move just doesn't cut it for me here.
However, the album has some very bright spots. First of all, there is Water Spirit, a mid tempoish goa trance tune, similar to only maybe a handful others, with really deep and soothing melodies, layed over placating percussion. There there are my two favorite tunes on the album: Alien Phenomenon, a party monster with a insanely dense climax during its last two minutes and some change, and the pulsating Warriors Of Light, a pulsating acidic track, with a pretty corny sample, but undeniable drive and a really impressive palette of sounds and little details. Quite probably the most skillfully moulded piece of music here.
Those three tracks aide, the rest of this album leaves me dissatisfied. It is all solid goa trance, front to back, and make no mistakes about that, but it just isn't convincing enough to make me jump all over this album and place it up there with the best of them. I could go on and claim how "Oscillating phenomena" perfectly fits into the second class of old school goa trance releases, meaning it's a well executed album with a few stellar moments, but it falls a few inches short of reaching the quality standards set by some of its contemporaries. It is an album well worth your time and attention, pity is that it is really hard to find for an accessible price, and one too many times has it been sold like an instant stone cold classic. Do give it a listen if you get a chance to!