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Jaïa – Fiction (MPDQX/Digital Structures, June 2005)

pr0fane
Multiphase

Started Topics :  418
Posts :  3816
Posted : Jun 23, 2005 01:29
Artist: Jaïa
Title: Fiction
Label: MPDQX/Digital Structures
Format: CD (Jewelcase with 8-page inlay)
Released: June, 2005
Cover: http://217.160.138.169/pic_b/dig1cd016_b.jpg

Tracklist:

01. In
02. Serial Groover
- 03. Gate I
04. Orchestra2.0
- 05. Gate II
06. Eyengui
- 07. Gate III
08. From Tokyo
- 09. Gate IV
10. Rouge Marine
- 11. Gate V
12. Out Of Control
- 13. Gate VI
14. Electric Sunrise
15. Interval Of Intimacy
16. Desert Walk


Review:

In 1998 a French duo called Jaïa released an album called "Blue Energy" – an album that had a stunning mix of ambient and uplifting psytrance, and received amazing feedback before it was eventually sold out. With a re-release in 2000 under the name "Blue Synergy" (which also included 6 new tracks) they released their 2nd and so far latest album before splitting up and going separate ways. One part of the duo, Yannis Kamarinos, decided to carry on under the Jaïa name though, and now, 5 years later he is ready with the long awaited 3rd Jaïa album "Fiction".

Behind the release is no less than the Swedish powerhouse label Digital Structures, and the package is very professional compared to most other releases – the inlay doesn't seem much at first, but opening it up reveals a quite impressive wide drawing very connected to the music inside. I'm sure everyone who owns this will understand.

Before I go on with the track-by-track review, let me just say that I'm going to take a slightly different approach this time, as the album has a quite special build-up. Between all the dancefloor-tracks there are some short "Gates" (between 30 seconds and 2 minutes long), that connect the different tracks. I'm not going to review these short gates, but just say that they're very well-executed, clever and full of little surprises – and without them the album wouldn't have been nearly as good as it is now. Anyways, lets get down to business.

01. In
First of is a pretty long intro – taking us with Jannis through the streets of Paris (I guess) and back into his studio where starts grooving on a set of drums, followed by a dreamy sequence with big, delicious pads, before landing again on the way to a party. Walking through the streets of Paris again, getting on a train, and arriving safely at the party just in time to hear "Serial Groover" spinning.

02. Serial Groover [130 BPM]
"Serial Groover" is a very laidback progressive house tune, just oozing with atmosphere and with a nice, appealing vibe. The track is constantly evolving and it combines different elements like stunningly simple melodies, a few lush pads and some extremely sexy trumpets. Amazing track with a very positive effect on the mood – I will definitely use it a lot on future blue mondays.

04. Orchestra2.0 [135 BPM]
The first Gate brings us into a big old opera, where the orchestra is warming up, and the concert begins with "Orchestra2.0". The opera singer is there, and so is the violins and the piano, and in perfect combination with the progressive grooves the result is a marvellous tune – epic, progressive psytrance when it's best.

06. Eyengui [135 BPM]
Things get deeper and darker with "Eyengui" – a track with some seriously gloomy undertones, which can easily be associated with being lost in the jungle with something lurking around every tree. Later in the track it gets seriously tribal with some heavy percussion and african chanting – this must be how a secret party in the jungle sounds like. My favourite part must be the female sample – weird, yet incredibly sexy.

08. From Tokyo [140 BPM]
"From Tokyo" brings us through the busy high tech metropolis of the capital of Japan – one of the two fastest tracks on the CD, and quite close to the dance friendliness of full on, yet much more tasty and nowhere near as stressful. On top of it all is some extremely busy tribal percussion, which I personally associate with Safri Duo – a nice touch.

10. Rouge Marine [128 BPM]
After some very overwhelming waves in the 4th gate we are swept under water in "Rouge Marine". The groove is very housey, but don't let that fool you – this is a very atmospheric track, totally swept in delicious soft sounds and sweet pads. This is pure auditory pleasure from the first to the last second, and especially the break around the 3 minute mark is one of the most beautiful and overwhelming breaks I've heard in a long time.

12. Out Of Control [140 BPM]
The tempo is raised again in "Out Of Control", and like "From Tokyo" it's pretty close to full on territory with its fast rolling bassline, yet also with a more progressive buildup. I really liked the collaboration "Passengers" with Silicon Sound on Exposure Productions "Digital Performers" compilation, and "Out Of Control" is pretty close to that – a bit more rough around the edges, but certainly very good.

14. Electric Sunrise [135 BPM]
Last track for the dancefloors is "Electric Sunrise", starting quite mellow with female vocals and some relaxing chords, before the bassline kicks in after 1 minute and 10 seconds. The vocals and chords are the returning theme of the track, and overall it feels very relaxed. Not a peak-time track, but excellent material for morning-time or the opening hours of a party.

15. Interval Of Intimacy
Time to get down on the ground after the dance-music, and "Interval Of Intimacy" provides just that – a 3 minute break in kind of a standard psy-chillout style with big surrounding soundscapes, and some very caressing, pleasing drops of water. I can imagine it sounds like lying in a Japanese garden.

16. Desert Walk
The final track is "Desert Walk", and it surely lives up to its name. With lots of Middle Eastern influences, vocals and flutes combined with some very relaxing drums, this feels like a long, lonely and very windy walk in the dunes of the Moroccan desert before reaching the destination 9 minutes later: the end of a truly amazing album.


Bottom line:

I can't remember the last time I was so overwhelmed with an album at the first listen – it's hard to describe the thoughts going through my mind when I heard this masterpiece the first time, but one thing is for sure – it touched me very deeply. 5 years is a long time, but Yannis obviously took his time, and "Fiction" stands out as one of the most complete albums I have heard in a very, very long time – not only is the production absolutely brilliant, the musical content is also amazing, incredibly diverse and filled with surprises and perfectly put together as a journey or a long dream. The last trance releases that had a similar album feel to me (and not just a more or less random collection of tracks) were Saiko-Pods "Phutures & Options", Sashas "Airdrawndagger" and Younger Brothers "A Flock Of Bleeps" – and I even found this baby better than 2 of these.

Besides from all the praising of the album - is there anything I didn't like about it? No. Well, the only thing I can think of, is that I have preferred if "Rouge Marine" was a bit longer (it's only 5:33), but that's just in the very, very nitpicky department. Also some psytrance fans might be intimidated by the low BPM of some of these tracks, but please put the "oh no, this is boring house-music" prejudices aside – this album is certainly not boring and monotonous. If you like dreamy, melodic trance-music, yet deep and never naive – I'm certain you'll love this. Hell, if you like good music you'll love this.

Hands down, this album is absolutely essential, and without a doubt the best album I've heard so far this year (sorry Antix). Don't waste any time – order it now.


Favourites:

2 (!!), 4 (!!) 6 (!!), 10 (!!), 12, 14


Verdict:

9,5/10 – Essential in every collection


Links:

MPDQX/Digital Structures: http://www.mpdqx.com/ds
Jaïa: http://www.jaia.net          DJ pr0fane (Iboga Records) | Multiphase
www.sunrisesupplies.com | www.iboga.dk | www.soundcloud.com/pr0fane
Phenomeon


Started Topics :  2
Posts :  4
Posted : Jun 23, 2005 02:18
Very good Review pr0fane, I agree with u in 100 %

The album just a mastarpiece...very good and pro sound...beatiful and fresh idias...just perfect...!!

Jaïa keep it up and good luck !

Phenomeon
----Dawn----
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  19
Posts :  789
Posted : Jun 23, 2005 04:06
Good review - and a good proggy album. Lots of really nice tracks that stand up well on their own but with this i think it's a case of the whole being more than the sum of it's parts.

I like the structured format - it's almost like taking a bus ride to different themed places, listening for a while and then moving on - with the 'gates' being the journey. Usually when i hear the expression 'this album is a journey...' i think 'no it's not... it's just some guy arsing around on Cubase' or whatever - but this is an exception.

On the negative side - i have to admit i did find a few parts of it dull and i didn't like track 6 at all but like it or not, i can't argue with the production. Personally, i wouldn't rate this any way near as high as the Younger Brother album but that's just my opinion (and it's a different genre anyway).

Definitely one to check out (even if you usually find this kinda thing too clubby for your tastes) and it deserves to do very well.           Am i the only one who believes in solipsism?
HandA
Inactive User

Started Topics :  9
Posts :  890
Posted : Jun 23, 2005 12:51
A very good album. Much better than Antix. But two issues annoy me are.

1. The best tracks are way too short compared to the long ok tracks.

2. The over all speed is a bit too fast for me. I would have loved it to be more slow. It tend to be a bit stressed at times.

Of course this is my opinion and about taste.

I'll give it 8/10


@ dawn... hmmmm why compare it with a different genre? I dont really see the point at all.. Maybe I should go and promte this release in a Younger Brother review?
Glen.C (Iboga Rec)
IsraTrance Full Member

Started Topics :  52
Posts :  686
Posted : Jun 23, 2005 12:52
great review...

mines in the post and it seems like this will be perfect for any sets i have coming up under the sun!
          http://www.facebook.com/GlenC.IbogaRecords
http://www.myspace.com/gleniboga
www.iboga-records.dk
Spikers & Midinoize - Lisbon Hooker (Glen C rmx) coming soon on Earhead Audio
canyouhearthegoblins


Started Topics :  6
Posts :  214
Posted : Jun 23, 2005 13:00
dribble all over the floor
saw him in france but cant remember
should be nice and smooth and runny and french
werther


Started Topics :  2
Posts :  18
Posted : Jun 23, 2005 14:41
A good album (6, 8) but for me not so innovative as Profane says, a lot of "old school" tracks, some reminds me what Koxbox did long time before (and i prefer by far what Koxbox did at their time).

I don't like so much this "orchestra 2.0" track, for me the mixture with classical music doesn't work so well, i can't explain why, but i just feel the intention is not successfull.

But yes the production is there and Jaia is a very talented guy, and it's a nice album.

Acidhive
IsraTrance Full Member

Started Topics :  76
Posts :  2014
Posted : Jun 23, 2005 16:29
Ik think this is massive. Ever since I first heard 'Hypnostatique' I've been wondering what could be done with this style. The Peter Pan Syndrome track gave another good example, and now there's this. I love the feeling this album creates, and the Gates all serve as a nice intro to all the tracks. There's real thought and musicianship in these tracks, from the subtle (but great) use of padsounds to the clever use of the voice (and other) samples. Exemplary, and, for me, one of the best albums in a long time. Thumbs up Yannis! Now please, don't let us wait another six/seven years before producing another album ok??           "Subconscious unravels at the point of death, and all time it has known erupts into a moment. As death extinguishes us, so we become it."

[Esoteric: Subconscious Dissolution Into The Continuum]
----Dawn----
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  19
Posts :  789
Posted : Jun 23, 2005 17:40
Quote:

On 2005-06-23 12:51, HandA wrote:
@ dawn... hmmmm why compare it with a different genre? I dont really see the point at all.. Maybe I should go and promte this release in a Younger Brother review?



Because in his review Pr0fane wrote:

Quote:

The last trance releases that had a similar album feel to me (and not just a more or less random collection of tracks) were Saiko-Pods "Phutures & Options", Sashas "Airdrawndagger" and Younger Brothers "A Flock Of Bleeps" – and I even found this baby better than 2 of these.

          Am i the only one who believes in solipsism?
TiMMY
IsraTrance Full Member

Started Topics :  100
Posts :  1480
Posted : Jun 24, 2005 12:09
I liked your review Pr0fance, sounds like a unique experience.
I think I'll buy it
nano-mechanic

Nano Mechanic

Started Topics :  9
Posts :  75
Posted : Jun 25, 2005 17:38
Great album full of imagination..indeed a must have..
I must say I was astonished with some tracks mainly Orchestra 2.0 and Out of Control but all the other ones are well constructed, very groovy and it must be a hell of a live-act with lots of variations in styles..

Congrats to Jaia and Digital Structures           nano-mechanic@yodanet.se
orensob


Started Topics :  0
Posts :  65
Posted : Jun 26, 2005 02:21
bla-bla-bla-a mast have......that all i can say!
Jespar


Started Topics :  5
Posts :  118
Posted : Jun 26, 2005 22:08
Swell review, pr0fane.

Incredible warm and rich experience, which also overwhelmed me totally.

Going straight into the shopping basket, this piece.

Coomzy
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  30
Posts :  270
Posted : Jun 27, 2005 06:33
I love full-on and usually don't buy progressive...

but I bought this and all I can say is wow!!!

Do yourself a favour and buy this, a masterpiece in every sense of the word.

kenny


Started Topics :  4
Posts :  116
Posted : Jun 27, 2005 13:53
Very unique album, that doesn't blend in. Highly recommended!
Trance Forum » » Forum  Music Reviews - Jaïa – Fiction (MPDQX/Digital Structures, June 2005)

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