Perfect Stranger - Learning = Change

Iboga, March 2006

Author: pr0fane
Date: Apr 21, 2006
Views: 2797

Review by:
Jannick Andersen // DJ pr0fane (Dance N Dust Records)

Artist: Perfect Stranger
Title: Learning = Change
Label: Iboga
Format: CD (Jewelcase)
Released: March, 2006


Yuli Fershtat is undoubtedly one of the most important figures on the Israeli psytrance scene in the last decade. Under the name BLT he released no less 4 albums on labels like HOMMega, Krembo and Tokyo Dance - the last one being the collaboration-album \"Anything U Want\" with Danni Makov, released in 2004. After the release of the last album, Yuli decided to end the BLT project to concentrate on slower music, and Perfect Stranger was born.

Since the launch of the Perfect Stranger project, he has already appeared on releases from labels like Iboga, Flow and Iboga, as well as having compiled the 2 Iboga compilations \"Set:4\" and \"Hibernation\", so naturally there where some expectations for his new \"Learning = Change\" album on Iboga.

01. Starter [130 BPM]
\"Starter\" - well, here\'s a no bollocks trackname for you. The track with the well-chosen title start the show in style - no time is wasted on a long, beatless intro, instead the groove is there from the first second, and it slowly progresses, adding more and more elements along the way. A nice, laidback opening tune with a sweet melodic theme - good job.

02. Dr. Feelgood [132 BPM]
The tempo is raised with \"Dr. Feelgood\", and it\'s also slightly more dancefloor oriented than the opener. A lot more stuff is going on, the percussion is more intense, and the tribal beats are deep and heavy. Another tune made with the outdoor dancefloors in mind - very cool, although still quite laidback.

03. Morning Blues [133 BPM]
Ok, now we\'re really getting started - \"Morning Blues\" is by far the most intense track on the album so far, with a stomping, rolling bassline, crowdpleasing breaks and peaks and some uplifting vocals and effects. A really delicious morning stomper, blending the tribal and psychedelic with the brighter, more trancy elements to perfection.

04. Those Days [134 BPM]
\"Those Days\" is even faster than the previous track, but not quite as intense. The groove is more reclining, and generally it\'s a deeper track, blending sweet, subtle melodies with the solid organic grooves. Another fine track, although I feel that it is one of the least impressive on the album as a whole.

05. Hyperdrive [130 BPM]
Things get even more interesting with the next tune, with the strangely ironic title \"Hyperdrive\". It has a hard groove, which is a striking contrast to the deep, thoughtful atmosphere the track has overall. The melodies are absolutely wonderful, and this track definitely stands out as one of my absolute favourites on the album. A potential DJ-favourite this summer.

06. Truth (with Emok) [133 BPM]
Up next is \"Truth\" - a collaboration with one of the founders of Iboga Records, Emok, a Dane widely known for his stunning DJ-sets and productions as part of the duo Phony Orphants. Emok bring some slightly more electro and progressive house oriented sounds into the album, and even though it\'s not as tribal and psychedelic as the rest of the tracks, it does work rather well.

07. Nobodys Perfect Remix [134 BPM]
\"Nobodys Perfect\" was originally released last winter on the \"Set:4\" compilation, and it was Yulis first release under the Perfect Stranger name. Here is a new remix that isn’t remarkably different from the original, but does contain more power on the percussion and an extra layer of melodies. Although it, as a remix, doesn\'t add much to the original, this is still a good tune on its own.

08. Desert Session (with Zen Mechanics) [135 BPM]
Next up is a collaboration with Zen Mechanics from Holland, also known as Spanner - undoubtedly one of the rising stars of the psytrance scene, with releases ranging from ambient over progressive house, progressive trance and full on, with a full-length album on Neurobiotic in the making. \"Desert Session\" is the most intense track on the album, with a heavy, rolling bassline and some seriously massive dance floor potential.

09. Schatsi - Radio Schatsi (Perfect Stranger Remix) [124 BPM]
Last track is a remix of \"Radio Schatsi\", originally made by Yoni Oshrats (known as Ace Ventura, and previously a member of PsySex) electro-project Schatsi. It is by far the slowest track on the album, blending the somewhat commercial sounds of the original and the organic, tribal sound of Perfect Stranger - a cool, different approach for an album ending.

Bottom line:

Despite having released some really memorable tracks over the years, Yuli Fershtats really seem to be best on his albums. His last album as BLT, the collaboration with Danni Makov \"Anything U Want\" was a really strong album leaning towards full on, and \"Learning = Change\" is also a real treat. It is very organic and tribal, and even though all the tracks have solid 4/4 beats, the real potential is for home listening - it\'s a deep album that will likely need some time to grow on you, but give it some time and it will offer so much.

\"Learning = Change\" is another high quality album from Iboga Records, and an album that proves that - despite being a part of a scene dominated by fast, stressful kiddie-trance - Israeli artists can also produce mature progressive albums with soul, depth and a very personal touch. Keep doing what you feel is right Yuli!


1, 2, 3 (!!), 5 (!!), 8 (!!)




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