Code Therapy – [2018] Scape From Reality EP

Icy tech house with beats and style. Monotonic bass lines included. Bring headphones or subwoofers.

When listening to tech house, I am always drawn between two opposite judgments: cool music, but boring structure. No harmonies to speak of, no tempo changes, simplest rhythms, only beats, bass, buildup, some more, wait, DROP, and once again. Why does this even work?

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Point – [2019] Human Music

Slick abstract trance, located somewhere between deadmau5 and Moderat. Genuinely trance-inducing.

Netlabel Digital Diamonds has stayed one of the more active netlabels. As such, it comes up more and more often when fishing for recent releases in the younger parts of the Internet Archive’s audio section. This release is a particularly brilliant gem of cerebral dance music. Doing well both as fancy coding backdrop as well as late night club furniture, its polished soundscapes hide lots of work that must have gone into their effort betraying shiny finish.

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Tornfly – [2012] Solar System Federation

Relaxingly spacious, almost ambient trance. Airy synth lines above sparce percussion.

Definitely not easy listening, this trance-y instrumental space music makes for some intriguing hours of re-listening to its 8 varied entries. Every song starts differently and develops independently from the others. Common are the synth sounds, drum kits and sawtooth bass lines.

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Aleckat And Hynamo – [2020] Apollo EP

Stratospheric sounds hit grounded beats. Solid progressive techno with psy trance influences. Headphones strongly recommended.

Imagine the fat production value of Monstercat, the astro-inspired sound of space backdrops, and the routine of a club music DJ, all at the same time. The result is an EP whose use of Armstrong’s iconic footprint is fully justified. Long, stretched-out bass lines are monotonous, but never boring. But judge for yourself whether this is your cup of trance:

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Osiris4 – [2019] Black Diamonds EP

Simple and effective melodic trance. Digital Diamonds keeps up to its promise.

Long rides, dark evenings behind the keyboard long for meditative, long form music. Netlabel Digital Diamonds specialises in this type of electronic music. This is their 64th release (but not my first review). With only 3 tracks, but over 20 minutes playtime this gives you plenty of time (and me the joy of presenting you two thirds of it all below):

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Scott Altham – [2012] Scott Altham Anthology

Collector-curated compilation of 4 years of electronic music from Scott Altham’s ccMixter profile.

This review is special in that I am the curator of this grandiosely named Anthology. I stumbled upon Scott’s ccMixter profile, where he publishes single tracks, whereas I am a stubborn collector of proper releases. So what to do? His using a Creative Commons license allowed me to create a collection of my favourite tracks from his profiles, uploading it to the Internet Archive. I felt bad about reviewing then, but 7 years later I think I owe it to the artist to publicize his work. It is a bit weird to select my favourites among a pre-selected collection, so I let my usual restriction slip and hit you with not 2, not 3, but whopping 4 tracks:

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2Invention – [2007] In Aeternum

Straightforward trance. No-frills, no female vocals, just beat, bass, synth and simple melodies.

This one is from the good old days of Jamendo attracting thousands of aspiring artists and thus churning out albums in popular genres left and right.

Before, the free music scene (at least in my impression back then) had been mostly dominated by experimental artists. With discovering Jamendo, that impression changed dramatically.

In short, expect very conventional trance music, straight from the rulebook.

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Various Artists – [2011] Quaking Stars

Manifesto of a dead netlabel. Long live Starquake!

Starquake was an active netlabel from 2011 to 2015. During that time, it was dedicated to promote music by their creators and DJs in Torino, Italy. Although short-lived, their music remains an important contribution to the Creative Commons music catalogue for me. Continue reading “Various Artists – [2011] Quaking Stars”

AKU – [2010] Insomnia

Unforgiving hard trance. Take upeat house, remove unecessary vocals, keep just the beats.

Following up on my plan to review more from Bump Foot’s catalogue, I dig through over a decade of electronic music. This release could stand up in a fight against Juno Reactor and Paul Oakenfold – if music were a competitive combat sport, that is. Continue reading “AKU – [2010] Insomnia”

Graham Castronovo – [2012] A Cry Into The Cosmos

Space’y lounge trance. Spacious synth walls, filled with slow beats.

This release has probably similar roots as the more well known music project Symphony of Science, which releases tracks and remixes focused on scientific topics. (Note to self: queue a review for that.) Where was I? Ah yes, this release focuses on pulsating synthesizer sounds and soft percussion. Some songs go a little overboard, but on balance the tracks are well behaved. Judge for yourself with my two favourite picks: Continue reading “Graham Castronovo – [2012] A Cry Into The Cosmos”