Digital Mystery Tour - D.M.T Express (Sofa Beats/Iboga)


Author: pr0fane
Date: Oct 13, 2005
Views: 4148

Text: pr0fane -
Date: Oct 13, 2005

Artist: Digital Mystery Tour
Title: D.M.T Express
Label: Sofa Beats (Iboga sublabel)
Format: CD (Jewelcase with 4 page inlay)
Released: September, 2005


Digital Mystery Tour is a project with 5 members - the most influential on the album being Stephane Holweck, an old member of Total Eclipse and Juno Reactor, and still producing psytrance under the name The Antidote. Another old member of Total Eclipse, Loid Vanpoucke, is also involved in Digital Mystery Tour, and so is Florian Seriot from the Toires project and two quite unknown players on the psytrance scene, Michio Baba and Guillaume Thevenin.

In 2001 they released their first self titled album on Twisted Records, and now, 4 years later they\'re ready with their second album \"D.M.T Express\". The label behind the release is Sofa Beats - a new sublabel to Iboga, dedicated to downbeat, chillout and ambient releases. Iboga have previously released several downbeat compilations over the years (\"Floating Point\" 1+2, \"New Entry\").

01. DMT Express
The journey begins with the title-track \"DMT Express\" - a relatively short (5 minutes) track with a quite lovely atmosphere, and a nice, relaxed groove on top of a mellow 4/4 beat. The atmosphere is somewhere between the organic and the digital, with a delicious flowing pads on one side, and on the other side a slightly shrill synth and some heavily processed vocal-samples, some of which feels a bit out of place. Fine opener.

02. Rue Des Roses
Where the opener was good, but not really that interesting, things get much better with \"Rue Des Roses\". Much more organic, with focus on an utterly marvellous acoustic guitar, accompanied by the relaxing sounds of birds singing, divine harps and enchanting ethnic vocals. Really good tune, flows extremely well.

03. Caraibo Grove
Like the first 2 tracks, \"Caraibo Grove\" is produced by Stephane Holweck alone, and again the atmosphere is very nice - starting quite digital with a tight synth, and slowly getting more ethnic, with some tribal percussion. Quite good tune, although I would say some of the percussion seems a bit too mechanic, and not really dynamic enough.

04. Voodoo Love
\"Voodoo Love\" is the first track the entire Digital Mystery Tour crew, and for most parts it\'s really good and well-crafted. It\'s a lot less chilled than the first 3 tracks, with a groove running at 120 BPM, making it suitable for slow dancing in the chillout. What I don\'t like is the vocals though - I find them annoying, and they seem way too dominant in the acoustic image.

05. Hikari Land
Here we get one of my favourites, the ultimate feel good tune on the album. \"Hikari Land\" builds on a really delicious groovy bassline, adding some very \"tribal\" male vocals - I don\'t know what they\'re saying (Moroccan maybe?), but they really suit the overall atmosphere of the track. Excellent tune, some way reminding me of the opener from Kaya Projects \"Walking Through\" album, but without the piano.

06. KIA (Toires Remix)
Florian Seriot is up next with \"KIA\", the first track without Stephane Holwecks influences, and the end result is pretty good. A lot of north African influences, and starting pretty dark in atmosphere, using some slightly melancholic vocals, but slowly getting more and more blissful.

07. Dematerializer
\"Dematerializer\" is the most gloomy tune on the album, with dark metallic synths giving flashbacks to the \"Violent Relaxation\" days of Total Eclipse. Unfortunately the overall impression is affected by a babbling female robotic voicesample used in both the beginning and the end of the track saying \"? we got a special download for you that is irresistible. Free trial versions are available at\". Fine track overall, but I have a hard time figuring out what the purpose was with that sample.

08. Pneumatic Bleeps
While the grooves in the previous tracks have been quite static, with the usual 4/4 beats, \"Pneumatic Bleeps\" is more breaks-inspired, using some heavily reverbed percussion, and continuing with the somewhat gloomy atmosphere from \"Dematerializer\", but perhaps going even deeper. Simple, yet very delicious and slightly funky.

09. Spirit Of The Deep
\"Spirit Of The Deep\" is more traditional beatless ambient, with nothing but long and huge atmospheric pads in the first 4 minutes, before picking up some heavy beats in the final part. Lush and slightly melancholic, but not highly original - and again a few minutes too short.

10. Sleeping Among Trees
\"Sleeping Among Trees\" conclude the journey, continuing the deep, nearly beatless ambient from \"Spirit Of The Deep\". Long whispery pads give associations of what the atmosphere must be like in and old forest, and the album comes to an end, unfortunately somewhat soon.

Bottom line:

Being released on an Iboga sidelabel, and with the reputation of the involved artists in mind, I was maybe expecting a bit more than the album did deliver. What especially bothered me was some of the vocals, which seemed terribly out of place, but also the playtime was slightly disappointing. Too many of the tracks were too short, and in total the album is only 60 minutes long - I would have preferred if it would have been at least 5-10 minutes longer.

That doesn\'t mean it\'s a bad release though - overall it\'s a very enjoyable album, and there are definitely some divine moments of pure bliss, where the talents of the people involved really shines through. Don\'t expect something very groundbreaking, but a pleasant journey into ethnic psychedelic chillout.

Recommended buy, yet not essential.


1, 2, 5 (!!), 7, 8, 10




Iboga Records:
Digital Mystery Tour:

Review by:

Jannick Andersen // pr0fane

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