Oliver Jones - Picking Up The Pieces

Sofa Beats, March 2006

Author: pr0fane
Date: Apr 28, 2006
Views: 3562

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

Artist: Oliver Jones
Title: Picking Up The Pieces
Label: Sofa Beats (Iboga sidelabel)
Format: CD
Released: March, 2006


\"Picking Up The Pieces\" is the 2nd artist-album to come out from Sofa Beats. Sofa Beats is the chillout/lounge/ambient sidelabel for the Danish powerhouse label Iboga Records, which undoubtedly is one of the most important players on the progressive psytrance scene. \"Picking Up The Pieces\" is by the relatively unknown act Oliver Jones, consisting of 2 musicians who\'s been involved in the progressive psytrance scene for years. The most well-known is Oliver Bierlich, one of the originally two members in Reefer Decree (which is now his soloproject), and also previously known as Oryx. The other member in Oliver Jones is Jonas Christiansen, who has collaborated with Oliver Bierlich on some Oryx-tracks in the past.

01. Intro
First is a 1? minute long intro, that doesn\'t provide any big surprises, but does have a pretty nice atmosphere. Some trumpet-sounds are stretched, twisted and reverbed before they echo into the next track...

02. Misty Morning
The atmosphere quickly gets colder and deeper with \"Misty Morning\". It has a very nice, relaxed groove, lots of different layers of sound-effects, voice-samples and plenty of development throughout the track. Cool urban dubby track with a somewhat gloomy vibe.

03. Club Velour
\"Club Velour\" is the only track on the album, which has been previously released. It was originally released on the 2nd \"Floating Point\" compilation a couple of years ago, and it\'s a jazzy tune with chilled 4x4 beats and different teasing melodies. Although it isn\'t among the best tracks on this album, but it\'s still a fine tune with a very positive vibe.

04. Horn Control (Jaw Control Remix)
We get a flashback to the golden days of the Reefer Decree trance-sound with \"Horn Control (Jaw Control Remix)\". It has that typical Reefer Decree trance-bass from their glory days, embellished by trumpets and twisted guitar-samples, that in some way remind me of Celtic Cross - although the track itself can\'t compare to Celtic Cross. Good track though.

05. Aurora
\"Aurora\" is sort of a short transition-track. It\'s only running for just over 3? minutes, and doesn\'t really have anything that makes it stand out on the album - a fine little dubby track, but quite anonymous in the big picture.

06. Mochila (Ojos De Brujo Remix)
Up next is another track running for around 3? minutes - a remix of \"Nr Ventilaor R 80\", originally released by a band called Ojos De Brujo. I haven\'t heard the original, but this remix is really nice, optimistic stuff, a very catchy mix of jazz with strong, Spanish female vocals and chilled dubby beats. Play this, and you\'ll have the chillout dancing in no time.

07. Picking Up The Pieces
\"Picking Up The Pieces\" also has some pretty good vocals, although they are definitely not as dominant as in the previous track. Generally it\'s a very delicate track - it has some very tight breaks, and the bright melodies are spot on. Nice, chilled grooves.

08. Money In The Pocket
\"Money In The Pocket\" starts out with a slow groove, but gradually evolves into a really delightful and uplifting morning track with sweet piano-lines, flutes and segments of phat, heavy beats. A really cool track with a very urban feel - great stuff.

09. Dynasty Dundee
Things get a little bit more upbeat with \"Dynasty Dundee\". It has some broken grooves and steady 4x4 beats which run at 125 BPM, but the first part of the track doesn\'t really grab me. Things gradually improve up till the last half of the track, where we\'re introduced to some sweet, naïve melodies. One of the weaker tunes on the album in my opinion.

10. Benchmark Modesty
The transition from \"Dynasty Dundee\" to the next track, \"Benchmark Modesty\" is way too abrupt - but that doesn\'t change the fact that \"Benchmark Modesty\" is really, really good. It\'s a quite busy breaks-tune with really larger-than-life, uplifting pads, lush strings and generally a very trancey feel. Stunning track, my favourite on the album.

11. 7 Minutes
The last track is a bonus track, \"7 Minutes\" - taken from the upcoming Reefer Decree album \"Point Of You\". It\'s a quite odd tune with 4x4 beats running at 130 BPM, like a crossover between housey grooves, twisted psychedelic effects and dubby beats. A somewhat special tune, but I can\'t really decide if I like it or not.

Bottom line:

The only track I had heard by Oliver Jones beforehand was \"Club Velour\", and I actually consider this one of the weaker tracks here, so needless to say I was quite pleasantly surprised overall with the \"Picking Up The Pieces\" album. Generally it\'s a bit more experimental than the norm from psy-related chillout releases, with elements of dub,lounge, ethnic music (but not nearly as much as the standard in todays psy-chillout releases) and breaks. I found the album quite dependant on mood - sometimes I think it\'s a marvellous album, while at other times it doesn\'t grab me as much.

If you\'re looking for some relaxed beats without sounding too much like a lot of the other psy-related chillout releases out there, this is a good buy - but I wouldn\'t label it as essential.


2, 4, 6 (!!), 7, 8, 10 (!!)




Iboga Records: www.iboga.dk

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