Various Artists - Mountain High 2

Candyflip, October 2005

Author: pr0fane
Date: Jan 12, 2006
Views: 3034

Review by: Jannick Andersen // pr0fane

Artist: Various
Title: Mountain High 2 - compiled by Alex Candy
Label: Candyflip
Format: CD (Digipack)
Released: October, 2005


From one of Greece\'s most well-known labels Candyflip, mostly known for their releases in progressive circles, comes the 2nd compilation in the chilled out \"Mountain High\" series - compiled by the label-manager Alex Candy. The first chapter contained 11 tracks from artists like Vibrasphere, J.Viewz, Aes Dana, Nada, Solar Fields and Cell, and on the 2nd chapter Cell, Kick Bong, Aes Dana and Solar Field return - in addition to a bunch of newer artists.

01. Cell ˆ The Gate
French Alex Scheffer, better known as Cell, has in a few years established himself as one of the most sought after psychedelic chillout acts, with his easily digestible form of ethnic influenced chillout. \"The Gate\" is pretty close to his usual formula, and it works like a charm - very deep and engaging atmosphere, with a slightly mysterious touch to it. One of my favourite tracks from him.

02. Max Maxwell & TKY - Twilight
Max Maxwell, known from releases on labels like Ceiba, Com.Pact and Zulu Lounge, team up with the Agitato-regular TKY on \"Twilight\". Another ethnic psychillout tune with fine male and female vocals, sweet piano melodies and some slightly shrill synths. Kind of nice but nothing more.

03. Kick Bong ˆ Way Of Life
The French Franck Jousselin, better know under his Kick Bong project, with releases on labels like Spirit Zone and Peak, as well as an album on Ultra Vista, is up next with \"Way Of Life\". A uplifting, yet kind of melancholic tune with a beautiful vocal heavy on fx. It\'s slowly paced, but has a very catchy and bassheavy groove that will surely get people dancing in the chillout.

04. Lideres Band ˆ Close (Chill Mix feat. Bede)
Lideres Band is a quite new trio from Barcelona, Spain (actually this is their first release), but it shines as a really impressive piece of work, and certainly not as something coming from newcomers. It has a laidback, funky feel, and with a nice dynamic touch with real instruments like strings and flutes. Very positive track.

05. Max Maxwell - Isha
The Kiwi Max Maxwell continue with his 2nd track on the compilation, \"Isha\", and once again it\'s a very ethnic tune with male and female vocals (which, in this case did get slightly on my nerves), although this time more energetic. Fine track, although it doesn\'t really stand out.

06. Lideres Band ˆ Secrets Of The Truth
\"Secrets Of The Truth\" is the 2nd contribution by the Spanish trio Lideres Band, and it\'s quite different compared to the first one. Not quite as organic and chilled, but with a more upbeat feel, and sweet piano-melodies. Good tune, but doesn\'t quite live up to the first one.

07. Kick Bong - Ballad
\"Ballad\" continue where Kick Bongs first track \"Way Of Life\" left of - in danceable 4/4 chillout territory. \"Ballad\" has some distinct samba-influences, and the mood is uplifting, yet with quite mysterious undertones in forms of dark pads and gloomy vocals. Not quite as good as \"Way Of Life\", but a good tune overall.

08. I.X.Ù.P. - Forever
I don\'t know much about I.X.Ù.P., apart from the fact that it\'s a one-man project from Greece, and that he also appeared on Ibogas first \"Floating Point\" compilation a few years back. \"Forever\" is a quite enjoyable tune, with an atmosphere reminding me of walking through an oriental market, yet with a quite digital touch. The \"Lord Of The Ring\" sample seemed misplaced though.

09. Lideres Band ˆ Duende (feat. Bede)
With 3 appearances the new Spanish trio Lideres Band certainly made a huge impact on this release. \"Duende\" is darker and more jazzy than their first two inputs though, but still, mainly use to the dominant use of real instruments, with a very organic touch. Not up there with \"Close\", but certainly has it\'s place on this release.

10. Aes Dana - Bam
Frances Aes Dana is one of the most well-respected acts in the psychedelic chillout-scene today, and \"Bam\" is indeed another great creation from him. It has a dark and mysterious atmosphere, and slowly raises in intensity, peaking with some amazing drones and deep 4/4 beats. Exquisite track.

11. Solar Fields ˆ Good Times
Last but not least Swedens Magnus Birgersson close the compilation as Solar Fields with the track \"Good Times\". The sound is very ambient-trance\'ish with absolutely beautiful yet simple guitar-melodies and stunning uplifting pads. A marvellous end to the compilation, and the kind of tune you\'ll wish to hear in the chillout when the sun is rising.

Bottom line:

First things first: \"Mountain High 2\" is a good release, containing mostly the delightful ethnic psychillout you hear at all festivals nowadays, and gloomier and deeper soundscapes. The flow is really nice, and it\'s obvious that a lot of thought went into it. It doesn\'t quite live up to its predecessor though - where the 1st chapter had a very high overall quality, and some truly amazing tracks in the bunch, this CD is more on the average, good-but-not-great side, with only a couple of tracks of spectacular quality.

So overall a chillout compilation well above the average standard - not a classic release, but certainly well worth the money.


1 (!!), 3, 4, 10 (!!) 11 (!!)




Candyflip Records:

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