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Aerolink - Skypilot [Tokyo Dance 2005] CD

IsraTrance Full Member

Started Topics :  168
Posts :  2984
Posted : Jul 6, 2005 17:45
Aerolink - Skypilot [Tokyo Dance 2005] CD

1 Cloudwalk 143 bpm
2 Luftgemisch 140 bpm
3 Pleasure Addicted 138 bpm
4 Way to access 132 bpm
5 Funky C 134 bpm
6 Skydive Part 1 145 bpm
7 Skydive Part 2 130 bpm
8 Morning birds 130 bpm

Aerolink is the new project of German act Psychonaut, known already for their hypnotic brand of psychedelic trance. Here they are exploring the friendly side of progressive psytrance with eight new tracks ranging in speed from 130 to 145 bpm.

Cloudwalk is a beautiful opener with the sounds of birds throughout the lengthly introduction. Spacious chords and growing pads culminate with the first dropped beat and the first hi-hat shuffle. Two minutes into the song the bass line hits, and the metaphorical plane that serves as the album's subject is in the air. Throughout the duration, the percussion remains intricate, with a nice rolling rhythm that is occasionally accentuated with a slight tribal touch. The first break near the half-way point introduces a fitting female vocal sample: "let me be"... this spirals out of the depths and frequently returns to ethereally drift over the grooving beat as time passes. On it flows without much in the way of surprises, through a satisfying series of pumping grooves that are elegant in their simplicity. A competant beginning to the album.

Luftgemisch (air mixture) begins to show the funkier side of the group with a shuffled percussive flow and groovier bass line. This is a lighter track with a thick Germanic sound and a smooth flow. The standard mid point break introduces a simple chiming melody and a few more tribal influences such as a didge and some faint drum elements. The last half is a replica of the first, with small hints of the new elements introduced in the break. While this makes for a track that isn't something to get excited about, it does serve well as background music.

Pleasure Addicted has a sleeker quality to it, almost operatic in nature. Again the progression is delicate and sublime, with a hypnotic quality that breaks down the conception of time. The first sweeping voices pan in around the three minute mark, and shortly thereafter a characteristically light melody finds its way in amidst all the swirling atmospheres. The break is a blend of sweet silences, cinematic overtures, and a caressing melody. Overall this track has a luxurious quality, very sedate and almost sensual... nicely done.

Way to Access is much slower, with a bass line that lopes around instead of pumping along. The atmosphere is thick with ethereal sweeps and pads, all placed with skill to provide a sublimely flowing background. Small melodies creep in and chime through the haze, leading through subtle layered progressions that blossom in time. The breakdown features a sample: "information waves are never really lost / you just needed a way to access them". The latter half isn't quite as active as the middle, with more focus on the moody groove, slight tribal hints, and subtle drifting sounds. It doesn't make a huge impression but continues the flow of the album nicely.

Funky C returns to the slick realms of vaguely futuristic progressive. The beat has a distinctly groovy feel to it, with another nicely layered bass and percussion arrangement. I detect a very slight connection with the Phony Orphants sound on this one, mainly with regards to the tone expressed in one of the chords which frequently makes an appearance throughout the track. The now standard middle break lets the bass line shake loose and grow out from the abyss into a smooth return. Every once in a while that funky bass goes a little unruly in the latter segment, but there are no massive changes here - just more linear progression with a polished outro. Decent, once again.

After that lull, the album charges back with the fastest track here - Skydive Part 1. Despite being uptempo, this track remains rather tranquil, with soothing chimes and sparkling melodies that pass on by as the track drives forward. The middle segment lets the energy fall as the elements dissassociate and scatter, only to gradually return as the later minutes are reached. There are
some pleasant sound textures in use here, artfully placed with a gentle touch. With such an emphasis on the graceful feeling of the composition it can come across as rather dull at times, and this track certainly doesn't seem to be as fast as it is.

Skydive Part 2 drops down 15 whole bpms and naturally grooves along with a heavier, more spacious beat. The mood continues to be very sedate, with only minor changes in the flow and structure throughout. The warm bass pulses with an organic feeling, and sounds quite nice on a good system. Calm and tranquil is the mode here, and there isn't too much to report. The artists have certainly accomplished the sublime.

Morning Birds closes the album with what I feel is the best track from the album. This is very slow and groovy morning music as the title might suggest, and features some very lush work on an acoustic guitar. Emotional pads sweep and curl from the first moment, though the track takes a sparse turn in the second. Slow builds reintroduce sounds previously hinted at, and one can make out the faint impression of the incoming guitar riff as the track drops into the break. The rest is simply nice melancholy beats with these smatterings of acoustic guitar work, and a long outro that fully relaxes the listener with the chattering of birds on the way out.

I usually try to relate an artist's sound to others in the field to gain some perspective of where they fit into the picture. It took some thought, but here are some subjective comparisons I made about the sound on this album. It is deeper than Sensifeel or the newer Native Radio singles, more pumping than the Iboga sound, lighter than Lunaspice, warmer than Phony Orphants, not nearly as energetic as the new Tegma, close to Space Safari in some ways, nearly as rich in bass as the sound of B.L.T., but less diverse... much like Son Kite's Colours album, Skypilot is a loop, with the bird sounds in the introduction of Cloudwalk making a nice progression from the closer, Morning Birds. It is questionable whether there is a conceptual theme at work here, but the music of Aerolink certainly works best in the context of a full album. On a compilation I suspect these songs would have been drowned out by more active and distinct material.

In essence, Skypilot is a sedate trance album for moments where you would like some background beats but not so much involvement... the synthetic sounds may be thick, but the arrangement is purely ethereal, resulting in a calm and groovy product. If there is any flaw, it is simply that there aren't many distinct moments, and I expect many listeners would find this release to be quite dull. It is most likely not music for a party, but certain specialist DJs could find a use for it. Being exactly an hour long the value is a little less than some other modern progressive releases. For these reasons, I'd call this an average album - polished and nice to listen to, but it doesn't distinguish itself.

Rating: 5/10
Faves: 1, 3, 8

Started Topics :  74
Posts :  507
Posted : Jul 7, 2005 17:14
Hi Basilisk,

i´m happy to see somebody write a review
about the AEROLINK Album.
Thanx for you words and i hope you
enjoying Skypilot for a long time
I will meet them tonight and tell them about.
Psychonaut´s new album is coming soon
on Hardboiled Records !
s.h.e.e.p.(y) greetings
Just released
V.A. Hardboiled Wonderland

Started Topics :  418
Posts :  3816
Posted : Jul 13, 2005 13:28
I agree about the intro in the first track - very, very good. If the rest of the track had been on the same level as the intro, it could have been pure gold for opening a DJ-set

I also pretty much agree with basilisk on the rest of his review. An average progressive release with pretty good elements, but overall not interesting enough to really make it shine.          DJ pr0fane (Iboga Records) | Multiphase | |
IsraTrance Full Member

Started Topics :  199
Posts :  3476
Posted : Jul 14, 2005 11:12
The first track realy kicks
Very good album           [b]osobuko/b]
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