Various Artists - Synthetic Chronicles (Neurobiotic, November 2008)

Author: pr0fane
Date: Nov 25, 2008
Views: 2226

The French producer Silicon Sound presents an interesting progressive/full on crossover compilation on Neurobiotic Records.

Review by:
Jannick Andersen // DJ pr0fane (Iboga Records)

Artist: Various
Title: Synthetic Chronicles - compiled by Silicon Sound
Label: Neurobiotic
Format: CD/MP3
Released: November


While we're still waiting for his long-awaited 2nd album, French producer Johannes Regnier aka Silicon Sound has put together a new compilation for the Italian label Neurobiotic Records. Managed by DJ Edoardo, Neurobiotic Records has existed since 2001 and has for years been considered one of the top full on labels, and Silicon Sounds "Synthetic Chronicles" is the labels' 24th CD-release, focusing almost solely on French artists.

01. Antix - Little Honey (Silicon Sound Remix) [130 BPM]
The first track is from Silicon Sound himself. Despite being known as a full on producer, he has also made some interesting experiments with progressive/electro house in the last couple of years, and this remix for Antix's classic "Little Honey" from their "Twin Coast Discovery" album is in the same vein. The characteristic voices and melodies from the original are still very present, and added is a more pumping bassline and some Silicon Sound trademark sounds to give it a more trancy feel. Good opener.

02. Even 11 & Blue Planet Corporation - City Slickers [130 BPM]
Next up is a very interesting collaboration between some of Frances most legendary trance-producers; Silicon Sound and Jaïa as Even 11 and Blue Planet Corporation. "City Slickers" keeps the steady proggy/electro pace as the opening track, and using a simple but very effective offbeat electro-bassline the track keeps on pumping until we're treated with some really classy, larger-than-life pads, melodies and guitar-like effects. Big tune.

03. Silicon Sound feat. Jaïa - Passengers (Voyager Remix) [142 BPM]
The tempo is raised by Voyager, the new solo-project by Thomas Dubreuill from Altöm, and his contribution to the compilation is a remix for "Passengers" by Silicon Sound and Jaïa, originally released on "Digital Performers" from Exposure Productions back in 2005. Apart from a new melody-line towards the end and a more pumping and clean production, this remix is very close to the already amazing original version - surely a good track on its own, but not a very original interpretation.

04. Silicon Sound feat. DJ Psychotrop - Hyperion [142 BPM]
On "Hyperion" Silicon Sound collaborates with the French Neurobiotic label-DJ Psychotrop. They also collaborated on the "Sonica" compilation a few years ago with the splendid track "Preparing For Departure", and once again the result of their studio-work is of very high quality. After an atmospheric intro the track chugs along in a sort of progressive full on way for a few minutes, until the listener is shot into hyperspace with one of the best full on breakdowns I've heard in a very long while. With some truly stunning Vangelis-like pads Silicon Sound again proves that he's among the very best morning full on producers around. Epic track.

05. Polaris - Tribal Quest [144 BPM]
Arnauld Stengel aka Polaris takes over with the fastest track on the compilation, "Tribal Quest". He recently released his 2nd album "Deep The Drum" (also on Neurobiotic), and "Tribal Quest" is somewhat in the same vein, although I think it is better than most of the stuff from that album. Clean production and bright, euphoric yet never obnoxious sounds is what Polaris is well-known for, and even though I could have preferred this track with some elements to make it really stand out. I still find it quite good.

06. Tristan - Dream Machine [142 BPM]
The English trance-pioneer Tristan is the only non-French artist appearing on the compilation, and his contribution is an odd one. "Dream Machine" is from his last album "Chemisphere", and although I find it a great, outdoor-minded festival-friendly and positive track, I can't help to feel that the space on this CD could have been used better on a new track, than on a track that was already released 1½ year ago.

07. Liquid Soul - Unannounced Portal (Side-A Remix) [133 BPM]
It's been a while since we heard something new from Side-A, but here he is with a good remix for "Unannounced Portal" from Liquid Souls first album. After 4 full on tracks the tempo is once again more laidback, with a mix of progressive trance and progressive/electro house. His version of "Unannounced Portal" is quite different from the original and the mix of big trance-like melodies and house-styled groove is really appealing to me. Good tune for both the clubs and outdoor afternoon sets.

08. Jaïa - Fragile [130 BPM]
"Fragile" was a tune I was really looking forward to beforehand as Jaïa holds a special place in my heart as I've been a fan since his releases in the 90's, but frankly I was a bit disappointed. The sound is like always top-notch, but despite this and some excellent voice-sample-work the track seems to go nowhere.

09. Blue Planet Corporation - Tekno Sun [130 BPM]
To finish of the compilation is the track "Tekno Sun" by French legend Blue Planet Corporation. After the first couple of listens I found it a bit odd, but after repeated listens I must say it's a really good closing track - laidback, very atmospheric in a retrospective way and with some hints of oldschool trance here and there. Very charming tune.

Bottom line:

Despite that "Synthetic Chronicles" doesn't reach the same high quality as "Neo::Caine", it has some really outstanding highlights, and generally the mix of morning full on and progressive trance/house works really well. The compilation proves both that progressive/electro house can have epic trance-like qualities, and that morning full on can be both energetic and melodic without being totally over the top cheesy or obnoxious.

In a year where they also released the great Zen Mechanics debut-album, Neurobiotic Records has once again put a very noteworthy release on the market. Now bring on the Silicon Sound album!


1, 2 (!!), 4 (!!), 7, 9




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