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Trance Forum » » Forum  Music Reviews - RealityGrid - Reality Check (WildThings Rec, May 2007)

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RealityGrid - Reality Check (WildThings Rec, May 2007)


Started Topics :  9
Posts :  66
Posted : May 19, 2007 02:46
Artist: RealityGrid
Title: Reality Check
Cat. No: WILDCD005
Label: WildThings Records
Released: 04 May 2007
Info & samples:

The review:

Back in 1995 the then-unknown UK label WildThings Records released their debut V/A "Wild Rumpus". Just few listens of the samples in internet shops made me realise that this is the sound I was looking for, the sound I thought we'll never hear again, the true back-to-the-roots kind of thing. Two of the tracks on that compilation were written & produced by RealityGrid - a duo consisting of Alex Diplock and Leon Kane.

Since then, Alex has already managed to release a highly acclaimed solo debut album "Harmonic Module" as EVP (Electronic Virtual Psychedelia) and two new tracks on V/A "Alpha Rhythms". Leon took his time apparently, as there is only one track under his Avalon moniker that I know of, however it was one of the highlights of the V/A "Alpha Rhythms" with its infectious and screaming melodic line. Sadly, the RealityGrid tracks featured on that CD ware far from satisfying in my opinion. I felt they lack punch and flow; they seemed a bit uninspired. I was asking myself then - how can this be possible, that those guys who create such wonderful tracks alone can't work the same magic together? Well, I'm glad to report that they still can!

"Reality Check", their debut album and 5th release from WildThings Records features an artwork from none other, but Alex Diplock himself. The guy's multi talented it seems, because apart from writing great music, he created a unique and eye-catching inlays for their debut. The theme for it is based around a graphical representation of the reality grid - "the interconnected DNA matrix of the physical plane, the structure that contains the holographic blueprints of our micro / macro-cosmic fractal dimension". Pretty far out, eh? Well, I wouldn't expect anything else from two skinny, long-haired hippies freaking out on stage behind their mixing console! Suffice to say, the artwork pretty much accurately reflects the mood of the tunes. Also the greenish colours might attract a confused Matrix fan, which is a plus for labels and artists fighting for each dollar with Internet these days...

I was planning to make a track-by-track review, but it proved impossible in this case. It is beyond my vocabulary and imagination to describe some of the sounds they use! The full-on bass line is probably the only typical thing here, but even in this area they try to be innovative - their rhythmic section is always funky and playful; the changes in pitch and velocity make it much more interesting than those overused 16-notes machine gun bass lines. The drum loops - despite being quite simple in construction for the most part - give that extra power and punch to the tracks. But what is really interesting, are the lead sounds. They start with a simple waveform in a plain few-notes sequence, which doesn't sound very exciting at first, but as the track progresses they add more and more effects to the sound and mangle it beyond recognition. Adding layers of noise from the whole range of sonic spectrum they managed to create unique, rhythmic and musical patterns, even though there's not much music in a traditional, melody-on-a-scale meaning in there. What I particularly liked is that rare feeling that it is not a loop-based music. Hard to explain it really, because obviously it is created from loops, but all this tweaking and modulations make the impression of listening to live, jammed music! You can almost see those two twisting the knobs like crazy, tranced-out shamans of sound! The variety of effects the use - filters (low-pass, hi-pass, ban-pass and notch), distortions, flangers, ring modulations, delays & reverbs - adds to the richness of the music - you listen to a high-pitched hi-pass filtered melodic sequence, then suddenly few bars after that sequence turns into bassy and crunchy background noises. The way all those tracks are arranged and are interacting with each other creates a feeling as if you were transported back to the good old heydays of goa-trance, but instead of eastern scale uplifting melodies and Shiva statues you're thrown in front of a wall of up- and down-spiralling alien acid sounds. They succeeded at producing that sharp, metallic and squelchy sound that we expect of today's psytrance, but at the same time they stayed away of all those cheap dark-trance sounds and cliché tricks on one side and cheesy plastic production techniques on the other. They've struck a balance somewhere in between, creating a niche of their own; a modern day psychedelic trance in its purest form. If you add to that the impeccable, crisp and meaty production, then you can be sure that any of those tracks can go through the dance floor like a hurricane.

But, there's always a 'but'. In case of the album at hand, it is the problem of sameness. Most of the tracks follow the same pattern - there's an atmospheric background at the beginning, a more or less full-onish beat and pushing waves of spiralling, screechy & squelchy sounds. Then, at around 2:30 - 3:30 mark there's a break when all the rhythmic activity stops and the ambient noises are re-introduced with occasional spoken sample thrown for a variety in couple of tracks. Few seconds after the music strikes back in full force, pushing and pushing even further until the final run, sometimes interrupted for tension with a short wind-down at around 4:30 - 5:00 mark. No doubt it works a treat on the dance floor, but in the context of home listening it makes the whole listening experience a tad bit less enjoyable. It is a collection of storming dance floor tunes, rather than an album with a concept or journey. But I'm sure, with talents like theirs, we'll see that sooner or later...

Interesting thing is that after 5 days of listening to it in various conditions (home, car, work etc.) I still can't pick my favourite tracks - they all seem to be equally good! If I'd had to choose, I'd say that the tracks that stray away of or add to the above mentioned formula are a bit more interesting, for example "Daylight Safari" for being slightly more melodic then others, "Rehabit" for its hilarious drugs addicts samples, "Starting Grid" for its heavy beat and crunchy leads ripped off of Alienated's "Fluff factory" or "Extra Terrestrial Integration" for incredible final run, juicy mid-section and beautiful helium-poisoned congas.

The bottom line:

So, if you're looking for a truly underground, intelligent and powerful psychedelic trance music, that will bring back the memories of the past whilst still sounding up-to-date, then you can't miss this CD. Even though the sound is pretty much similar throughout the album, it still is very unique and individual in the context of the whole scene - they do not copy anyone, which is good enough a reason to give it a try in those times, when following a trend to cash in on a tested formula is a norm...


Started Topics :  1
Posts :  147
Posted : May 19, 2007 16:36
reality check is one of the top cds so far for this year..trully underground and pure psychedelic..
Reality Grid
Reality Grid

Started Topics :  0
Posts :  4
Posted : May 22, 2007 16:13
Thanks for the review Antic:)


IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  32
Posts :  736
Posted : May 22, 2007 23:51
agreed, impossible to write a track for track review for this album...mostly because the tracks are so similar to each other, but in a good way! solid consistent album from start to finish. psychedelic without falling into the same predictable patterns of most full-on. though i like EVP tracks, the reality grid project is a perfected version of that sound. more swirly psychedelic atmospheres and rythyms instead of straightup in-your-face pounding. one of the best albums of the year so far, for sure! 9/10
IsraTrance Full Member

Started Topics :  60
Posts :  1151
Posted : May 22, 2007 23:51
really strong cd... one of the very few which i like all the tracks... finally something purely psychedelic without bullshit way to go guys
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  18
Posts :  599
Posted : May 23, 2007 20:38
Sounding great so far after a couple of listens. I agree that most of the tracks sound the same - but they are all pretty much amazing tracks so , great as a DJ tool - not so great for home listening. Hopefully we'll get a bit more variety next time - but for now, I ain't complaining .

Wicked album, from a great London label.
           - - It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice... - -
Reality Grid
Reality Grid

Started Topics :  0
Posts :  4
Posted : Jun 29, 2007 01:54
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  25
Posts :  131
Posted : Jun 29, 2007 19:11
this music is working so well on the dancefloor.great party music guys,all the hard work has paid off.please people,feel free to tell you mates to book the guys and add a certain wildness to any party guaranteed.
party on!!
natural born chiller

Started Topics :  2
Posts :  9
Posted : Jul 2, 2007 16:44
this cd is truly awesome i just cant control any part of myself when listening to it. I cant wait to see these guys live presumably absolute chaos will ensue. Well done guys on possibly the greatest album i have ever purchased.

Started Topics :  2
Posts :  101
Posted : Jul 4, 2007 18:15
psychedelic trance at its best. it`s definitely a grower ...

playing at parties with great feedback ..

highly recommended

IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  14
Posts :  50
Posted : Jul 24, 2007 04:00

On 2007-07-02 16:44, natural born chiller wrote:
this cd is truly awesome i just cant control any part of myself when listening to it. I cant wait to see these guys live presumably absolute chaos will ensue. Well done guys on possibly the greatest album i have ever purchased.

well thanks for such an interesting review, and great feedback... Can we quote u on this?

we playing tranylvania Calling next weekend.

see u on the dancefloor!!

EVP / RealityGrid
Tsabeat/Sattel Battle

Started Topics :  158
Posts :  5306
Posted : Jul 24, 2007 13:42
awsome realese boom alex and leon good work
hope to cath ya soon again was hella fun in oz festivals 
natural born chiller

Started Topics :  2
Posts :  9
Posted : Jul 25, 2007 03:13
On 2007-07-24 04:00, evp wrote:
Can we quote u on this?

absolutely,your creativity is truly inspiring.saw you guys at the glade great set loved the way it was constructed,some sensational tracks not on the album,so heavy.sadly in part due to the magic of the set legs definately could not take transylvania
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  32
Posts :  736
Posted : Jul 30, 2007 08:44
btw, the latest EVP track i heard is a step above these tracks, so i take back what i said before!
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  40
Posts :  661
Posted : Jul 31, 2007 01:45
looks interesting, for sure ill chech this out!
Trance Forum » » Forum  Music Reviews - RealityGrid - Reality Check (WildThings Rec, May 2007)

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