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V/A - Ultrapop [Fabula 2004] CD

IsraTrance Full Member

Started Topics :  168
Posts :  2984
Posted : Nov 15, 2004 22:28
V/A - Ultrapop [Fabula 2004] CD

Ultrapop is the first compilation from Fabula Records, following up on the Loopus in Fabula album Astrofunk. The mission here is clearly to showcase a diverse array of funk-fortified psychedelic groovers, and that has certainly been accomplished! While progressive trance has earned a wide respect for putting groove back into the mix, the refined Nordic sounds seldom stray too far into outright funkiness as this release so clearly does. While you may at times hear a particularly groovy track on a compilation, there haven't really been any funky psytrance compilations made outside of Finland and, years ago, in Australia. For that reason Ultrapop is a very welcome release from the Fabula crew. Now on with the album:

Phat Kontrollerz opens the album with Simple Control Complex, a slow and deep psychedelic exploration of moody atmospheres that will please many listeners. The sounds are sharp and precise with a timely flow to them, diving into darkness and emerging with a flourish of slick chords shortly after the half-way point. A nicely refined introduction to the album, ultra-groovy and highly psychedelic.

It's great to see Antiscarp Warriors on a real compilation after many releases in the Finnish Underground. Invalead is exemplary of their style - grooving bass line with plenty of simmering psychedelic sounds loaded on top. Contains a few samples from Logan's Run, and of course the horns come in to play. A touch of the breakbeats and rolling analog stabs round it out. Think of it as a slightly more unsettling variant of Haltya's funky offerings.

The esteemed Kiwa provides Offset next, following up on their 2nd album release Retroactive. The sound is just what you'd expect from them - highly polished drum work and smooth dynamic bass lines. While a full album of the style wasn't to my liking, this single is full of class, and quite enjoyable. A very nice set of funky riffs and groovy motifs, and their high production value really shines on this single.

Loopus in Fabula pick up some old school influence for Casbah, an obvious tribute to a well known classic. The slapping bass line carries much of the track with its jumpy prominence. Clean electro sounds provide the melody in key sequences, and we even hear some dabbling with tribal drums and jazzy flutes. The arrangement drags as the song wears on however - it could have used a bit more punch. Funky Town was better but this rehash will win Loopus some fans on the dancefloor no doubt.

The amusingly titled Fraktalik Penis from Praecox immediately startles with odd-sounding riffs and tricky sounds as another groovy bass-heavy beat kicks in. A complex arrangement of mechanistic tendancies and strange atmospheres combines to make a rather delightful excursion into dissonance. Plodding its way to the end, it's an enjoyable bit of synth dabbling for early evening dancefloors.

Kino Oko's Czakrum and Bocianum rocks it from the word go. Big funky bass lines unleash and soon some retro noises come into play. This is quite unlike the last song I heard from this group some years ago, the excellent Koj Azm Bed, but it has a complimentary charm to it. No-nonsense jittery grooving with something of a Texas twang.

Loopus in Fabula continue digging with The Chase, an eerie rumbling excursion into deep grooves which sounds fairly similar to some of the middle tracks on their recent album Astrofunk. Strange vocal manipulations and tripped-out trumpets emphasize a weird mood, with chugging bass like a freight train running nearly non-stop. Better than Casbah and surely a future hit with weird music fans.

Dendron, side project of Merv Peppler (of Eat Static), released the Supernatural Jazz album some time ago on an obscure label. Finding it has been next to impossible, so it's nice to see the title track getting a proper release here. Rough broken beats with jazzy hook, predictably quite eerie and spaced-out. A great diversion from the four-to-the-floor, with an authentic old school character to it.

Popper Hnool, alias of Transdriver, provide the next track: Disco. A slower groovy beat greets you at the door and soon a medley of subtle elements gives this one it's distinct character. Never overdoing it, the artist integrates a wide variety of funky elements such as the subtle horns and guitar. Not what I would have expected to come out of Russia, but it's very good and nicely polished.

Seinis closes the album with one righteously funky finisher, Nifty Fifty. Ever since Tales from the Trip I've had a real fondness for Eki's work, and this is just a great tune with fun melodies and excellent production. Similar in some ways to the song just prior, but with it's own unique character. Still very slow and groovy, a sure delight on dancefloors everywhere!

Overall it's great to hear a compilation of funky treats like this one. All too often I am tracking down single tracks from compilations that I might otherwise not grab just to source the groovy gems of psytrance that aren't quite on the progressive side - songs like Eat Static's City of Sin for example. Here on Ultrapop Fabula have delivered ten in a row, and any fan of the groovy side of psytrance is sure to find something they like here. My personal faves are scattered across the album, but I like the whole thing (excepting a few forgiveable soft spots). Son Kite did the mastering which is an added plus, for all the songs here sound incredibly clear and precise. The cover art is pretty cool, in digipak format, with some rather freaky Asian girls smiling and the funny retro font. Hopefully for us fans of the marginalized funk-trance hybrid styles we'll hear more like this from Fabula in the future...

Favourites: 1, 3, 9, 10

Rating: 7/10

Started Topics :  0
Posts :  54
Posted : Nov 16, 2004 13:47
I realy love Track 10,
Sienis - Nifty Fifty

its realy uniqe & groovy
with cool melodic sounds that make it a realy happy track

IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  23
Posts :  237
Posted : Nov 19, 2004 19:21
nice one THX basilisk           ------------------------

Started Topics :  33
Posts :  346
Posted : Nov 19, 2004 22:16
thnx to all interested in the ultrapoppy music:)!

thnx basilisk for writing somethisng abouit this cd

j           "Soft as possible" - Morton Feldman
IsraTrance Full Member

Started Topics :  90
Posts :  2268
Posted : Nov 20, 2004 11:06
OK, need to get a listen - sounds very promising. 

Started Topics :  33
Posts :  346
Posted : Nov 20, 2004 22:08

On 2004-11-20 11:06, kaz wrote:
OK, need to get a listen - sounds very promising.

...yes kaz, u should:)!           "Soft as possible" - Morton Feldman
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  19
Posts :  218
Posted : Nov 22, 2004 04:16
Tracks 6,9 and 10 are all fantastic
Love them lots           ¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø, Gi'iwa//MuddyPigsº¤ø,¸¸,ø¤ºº
Justin Chaos
IsraTrance Full Member

Started Topics :  117
Posts :  3086
Posted : Nov 24, 2004 20:16
I finally get my Ultrapop copy,and...I must say that I'm quite impressed,basically because I get to the point when I don't have any expectations but...we always can get surprised,still!!!
Besides If you check the names yo say "Hey wait a minute this looks groovy" ...Let's check it out!!!
1-Phat Kontrollerz(Simple control complex):This is a quite a how could I say?Precise tune,every single sound is where is supposed to be,slow bpm,kind of in the nordic style flowing sligthly from the darkness to the bright side of life.
2-Antiscarp warriors(Invalead):Groovy tune from this finnish duo member of the underground finnish scene ,deeply&pushing basslines with some easy recognizeable funky intention.
3-Kiwa(Offset):I'm gonna try to be objective with this track,considering the fact that Kiwa is probably one of my top 5 favorite bands, A HELL OF A TRACK!!!(Well done,very objective Mr. Chaos ) it's funky , it's groovy , the melody treatment it's extremely clean...probably the best track of the comp. if you ask me,inteligent music for stupid people like me(I'm depressed sorry)
4-Loopus in fabula(Casbah):If you like the funky town version so you'll love this version of casbah,a jazzy tune full of fun I would love to see a live-act from this band.
5-Praecox(Fraktalik penis):Hilarious name for a quite serious track,reminds me a little bit the good old days of Tromesa,fat bassline+heavy kick+weird synths=Fractalik penis.Techy I would say.
6-Kino Oko(Czakrum and bocianum):The polish crew keep on freaking,another Tromesa member,this track is a proper revelation played at proper time and place,with this beautiful minimalistic melodies and this tendence to make you dance progressivly,funky and retro as well.
7-Loopus in fabula(The chase):Those voices are doing the job,a neverending track you could say(because of the structure),some trompets and this monotone rythm are so hipnotic that,as I said before,you just can't realize since when you're listening to this tune,If you like the Astrofunk style this is a must have.
8-Dendrom(Supernatural jazz):A breaky one with loads of jazzy influences,specially useful if you want to confuse the crowd and make them dance more slowly just to send another banging one afterwards(that's what I would do at least)
9-Popper hnool(Disco):A very good track with some guitar riffs,slow bpm and (as the title says)a disco reminiscence,sooo funky,alright !!!
10-Sienis(Nifty fifty):This track could work well with popper hnool I think,quite similar,slow bpm,fun and highly danceable,reminds me to one of my favorite bands:Miditerranien.

If you're a little bit tired of the typical 4/4 stuff,if you think there is nothing else to do in psy-music,if you like to have fun on the dance floor:Give Ultrapop a chance!!!It's not going to let you down you,funky as hell,top sound quality&production,one of the great surprises this year.
Congratulations to fabula records people,keep it up,we need you!!!

          My fake plants died, because I did not pretend to water them.

Started Topics :  33
Posts :  346
Posted : Nov 24, 2004 21:37
thnx for support guys!

          "Soft as possible" - Morton Feldman
suomi guy
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  33
Posts :  347
Posted : Nov 27, 2004 12:59
very very nice album, finally another album that is worth buying.
the sienis in there is just AMAZING!!! nice to see them change style. track 4,6,8 rocks too.
funky jazzy album for the morning, can't ask for more.           "My single one to cross the ways that have heart, any way that has heart. That way I cross, and the only test that is worth is to cross all its length. And that way I cross watching, watching, out of breath"
Don Juan
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  23
Posts :  237
Posted : Dec 2, 2004 07:05
THX to all supporters and underground musiclovers           ------------------------
Voice of All
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  48
Posts :  762
Posted : Dec 2, 2004 11:30
Thanks Basilisk for very interesting review. It is realy great and I will get the CD certainly after reading it. Loopus in Fabula, Praecox and Popper Hnool are very wanted artists and I'm sure that I will not be dissapointed.           Spiritual guides are to practice and serve in ways that cultivate awareness, empathy, and wisdom.
Dance N Dust
Dance N Dust

Started Topics :  83
Posts :  419
Posted : Dec 2, 2004 15:10
good psy cd, i like the master of son kite in here..
if u like psy music and funky sound, this is the cd for you...
also i find here trax from 4-Loopus in fabula(Casbah)
its like psy but chili as well..
nice one..
best tracks for me: 1,2,3!!,6!
nice cd cover..
good luck fabula records

Started Topics :  20
Posts :  356
Posted : Dec 31, 2004 05:52
Various Artists – Ultrapop

Fabula Records 2004 FABCD02

Phat Kontrollerz – Simple Control Complex
Antiscarp Warriors – Invalead
Kiwa – Offset
Loopus In Fabula – Casbah
Praecox – Fraktalik Penis
Kino Oko – Crakrum And Bocianum
Loopus In Fabula – The Chase
Dendron – Supernatural Jazz
Popper Hnool – Disco
Seinis – Nifty Fifty

If there is one thing I have grown tired of in today's psy-scene, it is cookie cutter compilations. You know the type... Look at the back cover, find the biggest name and then you basically know what the rest of the CD will sound like. I seem to recall a time when I could buy a compilation fairly regularly and get a nice mix of what I expected and something different that I might not have heard elsewise. Unfortunately those type of releases are definately the exception today and therefore I'm happy to report that Ultrapop is definately one of those exceptions. Those of you who like a little variety in your compilations and want to stretch your musical boundries a bit will find a lot to like here. Lots of variation, lots of groove and not a single cookie cutter full on track to be found.

Phat Kontrollerz starts us off with some nice deep progressive stylings. I am of two minds of on the progressive sounds, finding some of it to be amazing and the rest of it mind numbingly boring. "Simple Control Complex" is of the variety I like. Groovy, sonically clean, yet full, lots of percussive action and some surprising sonic mood shifts make this building beast a winner in my book. A promising start to the comp here.

"Invalead" by Antiscarp Warriors is next up. Upon hearing the grooving bassline and weird snyth sounds I though to myself "Finland" and a quick look inside the cd jacket proved my hunch right. Some Finnish music I find to be weird just for weirds sake, but this is a quality piece of work. It has all the bits of the Finland sound I like, without an undue amount of "hey look at this weird sound/sample I came up with" going on. I like the smooth and steady interplay of the simple kick and bassline, above which various layer of madness dirft back and forth. Crazy wigglying synths, chopped up horn samples, bouncing percussion.... Good stuff.

Another Finnish act, Kiwa, is next with "Offset". We start off with some atmospheric flybys and breaky bits, then start piling up layers of percussion before cutting out for a brief second and then finally dropping into the base bass/kick groove. "Offset" is somewhat tribally progressive in some aspects, but there is a lot more going on here with the endless amount of layer addition and subtraction going on. Yet another winner here, and even better, all the tracks so far stand up on their own and aren't part of the sort of one flavor sonic mush that so many releases are becoming.

Loopus In Fabula are next up with "Casbah" and if you know Loopus In Fabula, then you know something different is coming your way. This track almost seems to say "Yeah baby.... funky Jaaaaaazz" to me. Hell its even got a flute solo! While its perhaps not my favorite track of the comp, it definately is solid, and even more important, original. The fact of the matter is, it is rare that a person will love every track in a comp, but I'd much prefer a strong track that's not my usual style to run of the mill filler. This is a strong track and definately not filler.

Praecox are next up. In my darker moments I like to put on Praecox's dark ass semi industrial monster 12"s released on Hadshot a few years ago, so I was excited to see what "Fraktalik Penis" would be about. Again, we have a very different sort of track here that seems to combine some of the weirder elements of some of Loopus In Fabula's work, with a slightly colder sonic palate and focus on a sound that I can only refer to as a Jamaican steel drum gone totally awry. There is a lot more development going on here than the older Praecox tracks I am farmiliar with. While I wasn't entirely sold on the beginning of the track, by the half way point I have definately been sucked in. Again, not my usual cup of tea, but a good solid track regardless.

As Monty Python would say "And now for something completely different". Kino Oko jumps right in with a bassline that I can only describe as a full on bassline as it should be done, rather than how it is usually done. However the rest of the track has about as much to do with full on as a Yanni record. The bassline and kick prove to be the launch point for everything else here. We have some rambling real slap bass floating in and out, a wide range of flybys, some various percussion loops and some various small medolic bits. All in all it sounds like it should be really boring, yet it is made just right and somehow keeps my attention through out.

Loopus In Fabula are back with "The Chase". After intial being tricked into thinking something goofy is coming, with switches into a 2000-ish moody dark minimal bassline with some of the usual accompaning flybys, although with other sounds that only Loopus would think to add in this sort of track. Another solid track here and completely different from their last offering.

Dendron's "Supernatural Jazz" is next, starting like a mutant 1980's break beat rap track. It then shifts gears into a morphing breaky track that reminds me of something Matsuri Productons might have put out several years ago. Sometimes smooth, sometimes dark, its great, but definately a track I can't see many labels having the guts to include on a "psy" comp, so again, big props to the Fabula Records crew for being daring.

Popper Hnool's track is next and being that the track is called "Disco" we can be pretty sure of something in tune with the overall "different" vibe of the comp here coming. Complete with real drum samples, wah'ed guitar lines, more horns and a "funky baby" bassline, We have another track that is not your usual fair here. Like "Casbah", its not really my style, although I can definately get into it.

Sienis closes the comp with "Nifty Fifty". If there has been one vaguely common element on this comp, it has been a sort of vague loungy-jazz vibe popping up here and there and Sienis has this same vague vibe, although in a completely different way. With the exception of the wah guitar samples and such, the sonic palate here is more modern psy than the rest of the comp has been, but the song structure is completely unlike most of the psy you probably listen too. All in all its an excellent track with almost a touch of "party" vibe to it and a great way to finish off the comp.

The end result - Simply put I like this comp a lot. Even if there are a few tracks I am not totally in love with, this compilation is a great lesson in that it is ok, and even usually good to have some variety in a release these days. In the days of everyone playing it safe, I give Fabula Records a lot of credit in doing something very different. And if that alone wasn't reason enough, there is a lot of damn fine music here too. Highly recommend to the open minded!!!

          New Album: Jikkenteki - Flights Of Infinity
Available for free at
PAR-2 Productions
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  45
Posts :  1046
Posted : Jan 1, 2005 15:06
very very good album i love it

my fav is : Seinis-Nifty Fifty
funkyyy amazingg track

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