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Oliver Jones - Picking Up The Pieces (Sofa Beats, March 2006)

pr0fane
Multiphase

Started Topics :  418
Posts :  3816
Posted : Apr 25, 2006 18:38
Artist: Oliver Jones
Title: Picking Up The Pieces
Label: Sofa Beats (Iboga sidelabel)
Format: CD
Released: March, 2006
Cover: http://217.160.138.169/pic_b/sfb1cd002_b.jpg


Review:

"Picking Up The Pieces" is the 2nd artist-album to come out from Sofa Beats. Sofa Beats is the chillout/lounge/ambient sidelabel for the Danish powerhouse label Iboga Records, which undoubtedly is one of the most important players on the progressive psytrance scene. "Picking Up The Pieces" is by the relatively unknown act Oliver Jones, consisting of 2 musicians who's been involved in the progressive psytrance scene for years. The most well-known is Oliver Bierlich, one of the originally two members in Reefer Decree (which is now his soloproject), and also previously known as Oryx. The other member in Oliver Jones is Jonas Christiansen, who has collaborated with Oliver Bierlich on some Oryx-tracks in the past.


01. Intro
First is a 1½ minute long intro, that doesn't provide any big surprises, but does have a pretty nice atmosphere. Some trumpet-sounds are stretched, twisted and reverbed before they echo into the next track...

02. Misty Morning
The atmosphere quickly gets colder and deeper with "Misty Morning". It has a very nice, relaxed groove, lots of different layers of sound-effects, voice-samples and plenty of development throughout the track. Cool urban dubby track with a somewhat gloomy vibe.

03. Club Velour
"Club Velour" is the only track on the album, which has been previously released. It was originally released on the 2nd "Floating Point" compilation a couple of years ago, and it's a jazzy tune with chilled 4x4 beats and different teasing melodies. Although it isn't among the best tracks on this album, but it's still a fine tune with a very positive vibe.

04. Horn Control (Jaw Control Remix)
We get a flashback to the golden days of the Reefer Decree trance-sound with "Horn Control (Jaw Control Remix)". It has that typical Reefer Decree trance-bass from their glory days, embellished by trumpets and twisted guitar-samples, that in some way remind me of Celtic Cross - although the track itself can't compare to Celtic Cross. Good track though.

05. Aurora
"Aurora" is sort of a short transition-track. It's only running for just over 3½ minutes, and doesn't really have anything that makes it stand out on the album - a fine little dubby track, but quite anonymous in the big picture.

06. Mochila (Ojos De Brujo Remix)
Up next is another track running for around 3½ minutes - a remix of "Nr Ventilaor R 80", originally released by a band called Ojos De Brujo. I haven't heard the original, but this remix is really nice, optimistic stuff, a very catchy mix of jazz with strong, Spanish female vocals and chilled dubby beats. Play this, and you'll have the chillout dancing in no time.

07. Picking Up The Pieces
"Picking Up The Pieces" also has some pretty good vocals, although they are definitely not as dominant as in the previous track. Generally it's a very delicate track - it has some very tight breaks, and the bright melodies are spot on. Nice, chilled grooves.

08. Money In The Pocket
"Money In The Pocket" starts out with a slow groove, but gradually evolves into a really delightful and uplifting morning track with sweet piano-lines, flutes and segments of phat, heavy beats. A really cool track with a very urban feel - great stuff.

09. Dynasty Dundee
Things get a little bit more upbeat with "Dynasty Dundee". It has some broken grooves and steady 4x4 beats which run at 125 BPM, but the first part of the track doesn't really grab me. Things gradually improve up till the last half of the track, where we're introduced to some sweet, naïve melodies. One of the weaker tunes on the album in my opinion.

10. Benchmark Modesty
The transition from "Dynasty Dundee" to the next track, "Benchmark Modesty" is way too abrupt - but that doesn't change the fact that "Benchmark Modesty" is really, really good. It's a quite busy breaks-tune with really larger-than-life, uplifting pads, lush strings and generally a very trancey feel. Stunning track, my favourite on the album.

11. 7 Minutes
The last track is a bonus track, "7 Minutes" - taken from the upcoming Reefer Decree album "Point Of You". It's a quite odd tune with 4x4 beats running at 130 BPM, like a crossover between housey grooves, twisted psychedelic effects and dubby beats. A somewhat special tune, but I can't really decide if I like it or not.



Bottom line:

The only track I had heard by Oliver Jones beforehand was "Club Velour", and I actually consider this one of the weaker tracks here, so needless to say I was quite pleasantly surprised overall with the "Picking Up The Pieces" album. Generally it's a bit more experimental than the norm from psy-related chillout releases, with elements of dub,lounge, ethnic music (but not nearly as much as the standard in todays psy-chillout releases) and breaks. I found the album quite dependant on mood - sometimes I think it's a marvellous album, while at other times it doesn't grab me as much.

If you're looking for some relaxed beats without sounding too much like a lot of the other psy-related chillout releases out there, this is a good buy - but I wouldn't label it as essential.


Favourites:

2, 4, 6 (!!), 7, 8, 10 (!!)


Verdict:

7/10


Link:

Iboga Records: http://www.iboga.dk          DJ pr0fane (Iboga Records) | Multiphase
www.sunrisesupplies.com | www.iboga.dk | www.soundcloud.com/pr0fane
klaxer
Koan / Vacuum Stalkers

Started Topics :  11
Posts :  380
Posted : Apr 26, 2006 18:16
Thanks for great review Jannick! Sixth track is REAL brilliant!! It reminds me very intense bassline of 80's demo-tune style for old Commodore-64 personal computer. Bravo!
Banel
Behind Blue Eyes

Started Topics :  96
Posts :  415
Posted : Apr 26, 2006 19:32
Unfortunate circumstances has done that the Oliver Jones album - Picking up the pieces (Sofa Beats CD02) was released with a wrong tracklist printed on the cover. Heres the correct list:
1. Intro
2. Misty Morning
3. Club Velour
4. Horn Control (Jaw Control remix)
5. Aurora
6. Mochila (Ojos de Brujo remix)
7. Picking Up The pieces
8. Money in the Pocket
9. Dynasty Dundee
10. Benchmark Modesty
11. 7 minutes (taken from the Reefer Decree album "Point of You")

All tracks written & pruduced by Oliver Bierlich and Jonas Christiansen.
Trompet by Rasmus Juel on track 1,2,3 and 4.           www.myspace.com/michaelbanel
DeathPosture
IsraTrance Full Member

Started Topics :  142
Posts :  547
Posted : May 14, 2006 22:28
Oliver Jones – Picking Up The Pieces

Cover: http://tinyurl.com/ne5lr

Artist: Oliver Jones (Denmark)
Title: Picking Up The Pieces
Format: CD (jewel case)
Label: Sofa Beats (Denmark)
Cat. #: SOFA BEATS CD 02
Distribution: twohandsdistribution.com
Date: March 2006

Track listing:

01. 01’32” Oliver Jones - Intro
02. 07’36” Oliver Jones – Misty Morning
03. 07’25” Oliver Jones – Club Velour
04. 05’20” Oryx – Horn Control (Jaw Control Remix)
05. 03’49” Oliver Jones – Aurora
06. 03’28” Ojos De Brujo - Nr Ventilaor R 80 (Mochila Remix)
07. 06’33” Oliver Jones – Picking Up The Pieces
08. 08’04” Oliver Jones – Money In The Pocket
09. 06’20” Oliver Jones – Dynasty Dundee
10. 05’21” Oliver Jones – Benchmark Modesty
11. 07’04” Reefer Decree – 7 Minutes

Review:

Sunny funny future jazz frolics…

The debut album Picking Up The Pieces by Oliver Jones is officially Sofa Beat’s second release, but due to a number of circumstances resulting in a massive delay, it was actually released after the third release Floating Point 3. Further problems followed when the CD was issued with an error-riddled tracklist, but the tracklist used in this review is the official one corrected by Iboga Records. Oliver Jones might sound like a single producer dude, but it’s actually a moniker used by a Danish duo consisting of Oliver Bierlich (Oryx & late Reefer Decree) and Jonas Christiansen. Let’s find out what the guys have conjured up for us…

Let me take you thru the tracks…

#01: Oliver Jones – Intro
The intro is a pretty sleek trumpet-bonanza accompanied by some choral experimentation and some floating harmonies… Not bad, but too short to make a lasting impression…

#02: Oliver Jones – Misty Morning
”What’s going on here? … Hey, who told her? … So, this house is haunted?” Next up is a very hip, laid-back, inner-city dub-groover… Edgy, smoky and totally groovalicous… Perfect for late nite driving in urban environments or as the soundtrack to hedonist rituals in a high-tech future jazz club… Yeah, this is pretty damn nice downtempo… Smoking!

#03: Oliver Jones – Club Velour
This track was originally featured on the 2004 Iboga chill compilation Floating Point II and once again we’re exposed to a deeply jazzed-up dub-tune… Loads of wind instruments + subtle percussion here… It’s neat and harmless, but also slightly boring I’m afraid… Wallpaper, but nice wallpaper nevertheless…

#04: Oryx – Horn Control (Jaw Control Remix)
This track was originally on the 2004 Oryx album Advanced Retromodel under the name Jaw Control. As the title suggests, this remix has been fitted with a bunch of horns and trumpets and so on… The Reefer Decree touch is also very much visible – and especially the distinct Curved Air reverb groove is very much present in this lovely tune… A slow-burning, low ripping chilled piece of music… Lush!

#05: Oliver Jones – Aurora
Next up is a short little track which is basically a mish-mash of dub, electro and jazzy shenanigans. Flow wise it works pretty nice and DJs spinning alternative music might find it useful… It’s interesting yes, but sadly too short to make a lasting impression on me…

#06: Ojos De Brujo - Nr Ventilaor R 80 (Mochila Remix)
This track was originally made by the Spanish ensemble Ojos De Brujo - the children of the street rumba and polyglot flamenco. Here it’s remixed by Oliver Jones in an elusive Mochila outfit. Confused? So am I, but do not despair, as this is a smoking tune… Style wise we’re somewhere bordering Gotan Project and Fila Brazillia… Mediterranean upbeat flamenco-tech… Totally lush and totally sexy!

#07: Oliver Jones – Picking Up The Pieces
The title track is also a turning point away from the lush, laidback grooves – and this is a weird synth-meets-80ies-electro hybrid… Spacy modern at times, and déjà vu retro-like at others… And it’s definitely among the funkiest pure-electronic tracks I’ve heard in a while… Like the classic Popcorn tune exposed to pure Moroccan hashish… Very interesting!

#08: Oliver Jones – Money In The Pocket
This track is perhaps the most evolving one off the entire album… It’s like a journey from deep inner city dub, over sharp electro-clash to wide spanning, epic and Balearic trance… The melodies are somewhat melancholy but somehow they still manage to make me smile and bounce my head… The sheer level of musical styles is very impressive in this track – it’s another stand-out!

#09: Oliver Jones – Dynasty Dundee
The next track continues the synth-meets-80ies-electro of track #7, but where it really worked earlier, this attempt seems more forces and the novelty is wearing off… Advanced Atari-electronica here – not bad, but not great either…

#10: Oliver Jones – Benchmark Modesty
The last pure OJ track is perhaps the most uplifting on the album… Subtle breakz & percussion, huge organic pads and dream-trance piano melodies… Sounds like something that Moby would conjure up after a 72 hour ketamine session… And that’s meant as a compliment, as this is a pretty sweet tune. Maybe a tad on the cheesy side, but the irregular beats saves the day…

#11: Reefer Decree – 7 Minutes
At the time of release, this track was a taster from the upcoming Reefer Decree album Point Of You released by Iboga in May 2006. And holy shit, if I wasn’t looking forward to the album before, I sure am now… This is pretty minimal club-tune that’s absolutely soaked in retro-electro FX… Like tech-trance made on a 1990 Amiga and tweaked on a 2006 Powerbook… Sweet!

The Oliver Jones album is good – and much better than I expected. Style wise, this is not as chilled as the rest of the Sofa Beats catalogue. Sure, it’s downbeat, but at least half of these tracks work equally well on the dancefloor as in the chill-out… And hey, that’s a good thing! I also really like the musical diversity of this album. Lounge, dub and chill, electro, dance, club, ethno world beats and much, much more – we really get all sorts here! It’s the full package!

I like the majority of the tracks here – and there are no painstakingly boring tracks either. And most importantly: This album doesn’t sound like anything else released within our scene – it’s very, very refreshing and for that reason alone it’s interesting. The retro cover art fits certain aspects of the music, but I doubt it will win any design prizes. But who cares, the music is great and I’ll recommend this to anyone interested in unique electronica. This is nothing, if not unique. Enjoy!

Favourites: 2(!), 4, 6(!!), 7, 8(!), 10, 11

DeathPosture


External links:
Iboga Records: http://www.iboga.dk
Discogs: http://www.discogs.com/release/646838
Saiko Sounds: http://tinyurl.com/rs2yw
TranceShop: http://tinyurl.com/nsp3b
Amboworld: http://tinyurl.com/s9lgg
Psyshop: http://tinyurl.com/rdzez
Wakyo: http://tinyurl.com/rs4t2           On really romantic evenings of self, I go salsa dancing with my confusion...
blueOrb
IsraTrance Full Member

Started Topics :  100
Posts :  1698
Posted : Jun 3, 2006 08:13
decent cd ...i like a few tracks here and there ....nothing too new and refreshing though ....track 1,3 and 8 are good
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Trance Forum » » Forum  Music Reviews - Oliver Jones - Picking Up The Pieces (Sofa Beats, March 2006)
 
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