Jaia - Fiction (Digital Structures)

review

Author: Damion
Date: Aug 4, 2005
Views: 2810

Date: Aug 4, 2005
Text: Damion
Taken from: www.psyreviews.com
Vote: 6/10

I’ve got an unapologetic soft spot for Jaia. Mai Mai I love to bits as much as when I first heard it, and most of Blue Energy gets an airing from time to time, still sounding fresh. I was excited about his reappearance recently, and couldn’t wait for this album… Fiction, however, is a bit on the awkward side. Each tune is split from the last by a sort ambient “piece” that sits in the middle, and has its own track name. These range from diverting to baffling. I’m only reviewing the “main” tracks here, but the point is you can tell that Jaia’s gone for a different approach... Fiction isn’t an album of dancefloor groovers for the dancefloor, but an artist album (with the emphasis on “art”). Serial Groover has a sort of disco vibe to it, but it works wonders. Fluid, dreamy and with a breakdown that sounds like DJ Rap’s Spiritual Aura. Joyous, basically – with plenty of clever touches (like the brass section coming in at the end, which just about works.) Current 12” Orchestra 2.0 is a strange one, it’s got a wonderful chummy-sunshine groove that’s adorable, but the full-blown orchestra bit is way overboiled, erring too much towards the cheesy side and sounding not far off La Serinissima. It’s vast, however, and very individual, but… it’s appeal is going to be limited. Eyengui is more tribal, and has an almost fullon-ness to the bassline… picking up perhaps one too many layers, it sounds a little too busy at times. Once again though, it’s complex and intricate stuff and definitely makes for absorbing, interesting music. From Tokyo is an instant winner, locked-in from the start with that perfect energy that trance is all about. The sounds are perfectly balanced against each other, both in terms of melody and in terms of production, and it’s got a midsection you’ll want to have babies with. The final section, where pads take over from deep clattering percussion, is outstanding… sounding a little like Jam & Spoon at their peak, it sets you down beautifully at the end. The same quality and wonder extends into Rouge Marine, a housier groove that comes alive once a warm pad and braintickling topend come in. Breathtaking stuff: it sounds like being in love. Out Of Control heads more into fullon territory, and echoes quite sharply with Jaia’s old output. In fact, at times it sounds like it’s following the same pattern as Mai Mai. The main early line is liquid stretchy, but the second half sounds like Protoculture with samples of a French bloke over the top. Elegant Sunrise is probably the most confusing track this week, an intro that could be Jean Michel Jarre staggers into a drop-dead gorgeous groove, simple but effective. The breakdown gets very bog and very quirky (and slightly Jarre again), and with some baffling chord changes, but then once it gets going again it’s blissful. Finally desert Walk brings the album to a close, slomo 4-4 with an eastern-reggae vibe. I think I can see what Jaia’s aim was on this – to make music *he* wanted to make, in his own confines and not sticking to any sort of rulebook about what makes trance. Fair enough. Problem is, that this approach renders it mostly uninteresting to DJs, who play to dancefloors…maybe exposing an inherent problem with trance… Anyway, while this is an interesting listen it’s very rough around the edges and, despite its VERY-high-highlights, trying before buying is essential here.

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