Sonic Cube - Filter

Tribal Vision, February 2006

Author: pr0fane
Date: Mar 9, 2006
Views: 2604

Review by:
Jannick Andersen // DJ pr0fane (Dance N Dust Records)
www.sunrisesupplies.com



Artist: Sonic Cube
Title: Filter
Label: Tribal Vision
Format: CD (Jewelcase with 12-page fold-out inlay)
Released: February, 2006
Cover: http://217.160.138.169/pic_b/tvr1cd007_b.jpg


Review:

After a very successful 2005 with some truly outstanding releases, which for instance resulted in being voted as the no. 1 new label by the users of Isratrance.com, Tribal Vision Records is ready to make an even bigger impact on the scene in 2006. Their first release this year is by the Swiss duo Sonic Cube, consisting of Ueli Schilli and Daniel Müller, also known as Sonnenvakuum. Not much have been heard from Sonic Cube since the release of their self-titled critically acclaimed debut album back in 2003, and since then the 3rd member, Tobi Wirz, left the project to pursue his solo-career, with his highly successful progressive house project Greed.

But now, 2? years later and following the recent release of the \"Cloud Buster\" EP, the duo is ready with their 2nd full length album \"Filter\". Can they live up to the expectations after the first album?


01. Hide [125 BPM]
The album starts very promising with \"Hide\". The intro is really atmospheric, with sounds reminding me of older scandotrance - and luckily it doesn\'t seem as hasty as most album-intros these days. The rest of the track is rather sweet as well - despite a BPM at only 125 BPM it seems rather fast, bouncy and groovy, and the vibe is super positive. Great opener.

02. Last Jedi (feat. Sonnenvakuum) [134 BPM]
The tempo is kicked up a good notch with \"Last Jedi\" - a track with very distinct qualities, but also a track which is sadly slightly disfigured by some corny and terribly misplaced jedi voice-samples. Despite the samples, it isn\'t all bad though - the groove is pumping and beefy, and the atmosphere is ranging from slightly gloomy to uplifting and melodic. Ok track overall.

03. Cloud Buster (Album Mix) [135 BPM]
Next up is \"Cloud Buster\", a track which recently was released on an EP with an absolutely lovely André Absolut remix on the flipside. Although the cover says it\'s an \"Album Mix\", I don\'t hear any distinct differences from the original - it\'s still a nice morning track with sweet, toned down melodies that climax with 1? minute left to go. Good work.

04. Amnesia [134 BPM]
From the rolling slightly psytech-influenced grooves in \"Cloud Buster\", the album is taken in a slightly more tribal direction with \"Amnesia\". The grooves are quite housey but faster, while the melodies are more in the vein of traditional psychedelic morning-progressive. Sweet and very enjoyable morning tune.

05. Test [135 BPM]
\"Test\" continue with the fast, yet housey grooves - this time with a lot more punch than in the predecessor \"Amnesia\". For the first half it proceeds rather well, but with a few minutes to go the track is rather demolished by some, once again, quite misplaced voice-samples. This time vocoded vocals telling about \"dancing in the skylight\" - I don\'t like it, maybe because it reminds me of an annoying French discohouse-hit that polluted the radio a while back.

06. Danger [135 BPM]
The album is taken back on track with \"Danger\" - the hard groove from \"Test\" is still intact (but this time more in the background) and the rest of the tune is much, much sweeter, with lots of emphasis on the melodies and big pads. The overall atmosphere is lush, trancy and uplifting in a sweet, almost naive way, and this is surely one of my favourites on the album.

07. Microbes [132 BPM]
The tempo is lowered a bit with \"Microbes\", but this track surely still packs a good punch. The most dominant element here are some female vocals, and - unlike most of the other tries with vocals on this album - it works rather well. They are rather sexy and fits the atmosphere and the pumping housey grooves - add to that a few simple, yet very effective melodies, and you have another highlight.

08. Xcute [128 BPM]
\"Xcute\" is the last dancefloor track on the album, and it could have been a very worthy way to end the album as a whole. Despite having a low BPM compared to most of the material on the album, it is probably the most trancy of the tracks here, with big, eternal pads, and sweet melodies. Generally it has that lovely epic-trancy vibe some psy-purist might consider over the top, but I personally find very appealing. Delicious tune.

09. Astray (feat. Sabrina) [66 BPM]
\"Astray\" marks the end of the album in a weird, yet very non-traditional way - for a psy/progressive album that is. In short it is a laidback pop-track with some fairly nice guitars, but also with some very cheesy female vocals, which didn\'t suit my taste at all. By far my least favourite track on the album.


Bottom line:

After a few years where the Sonic Cube project seemed faded into oblivion, \"Filter\" is a worthy re-entry on the scene. Compared to the first album, the self-titled \"Sonic Cube\", where Tobi Wirz (Greed) was part of the project,\"Filter\" seems trancier - the highlights are really excellent, but sadly the CD is slightly disfigured by some, in my opinion, cheesy and misplaced vocals and voice-samples. Especially in the final track.

Overall, that doesn\'t change the fact that \"Filter\" is another solid release from Tribal Vision records - not the best so far, but a recommended buy for fans of clean and polished progressive house/ progressive trance crossover music.


Favourites:

1, 3, 4, 6 (!!), 7, 8 (!!)


Verdict:

7,5/10


Link:

Sonic Cube: www.soniccube.ch
Tribal Vision Records: www.tribalvision.cz

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