Tactic Mind - Top of the Hill (Compact 2006)
Article posted by TweeKUniT on 11/05/2006 2:21AM
Com.Pact Records has definitely had some mileage in the scene- their diverse base of Israeli talent has always shown strongly over the years- the Lish album in particular was pretty landmark for me, but donâ€™t worry, I wasnâ€™t expecting anything like Lish with this release. Iâ€™ve seen Taktic Mindâ€™s name pop up around here and there- had heard a few tracks, but not a whole lot so my judgement was pretty open when I listened to the cd.
I donâ€™t mind Israeli dancefloor music done well- its definitely gotta have a bit of spice these days to interest me, and maybe sticking a bit away from the â€œravey peakâ€ thing- I hate buildups that you feel like your at some bad hard house club. Some of the stuff Iâ€™ve heard trance wise lately has really turned me off- they kind of touch on some of themes in these tracks, and it might be something that I might have to get used to if I wanna keep listening to a bulk of Israeli full on (Thank-god for guys like U-Reckon!)
This album definitely has elements I like and donâ€™t like- I think it does go into that â€œraveyâ€ sound a bit too far and its what I didnâ€™t like about the release- I think if it where your kind of thing- you like the electrofull on leads and big buildups- then it would be a corker of a cd. It does have some pretty damn crisp production though, and some of the ideas with the sampling and stuff are pretty cool- Its not totally a bad listen for me.
Album starts with Circus Animal- an interesting breaks intro gives way to a rolling bassline- skwelches and stabs, along with a pretty cool voice sample keep the first half of the track pretty nice and funky- but the big â€œraveâ€ lead at the end really kinda does it for me- but then again- thatâ€™s what a mixer is for, haha!
They have quite a few collaborations on the CD- one that pops up twice is with Ultravoice- the first track Real Mind is along the same lines as the first- funky and uplifting dancefloor music, with some crispy production- very positive kind of feelâ€¦ But again the big electrorave kind of lead pops up its ugly head- I wonâ€™t bring it up too much more ok, haha!
Shade vs PTX is another of the collabs- again its pretty â€œfull-flightâ€- nice pumpy bassline at the start, I really like itâ€¦ interesting percussion and stabs and some nice big sweeping sounds give the first bit of the track real promiseâ€¦ Very gradual build up, but the track takes off by mid-way- giving way to a rolling bassline and some head-piercing leadsâ€¦ Maybe not my taste so much, but would definitely be a good dancefloor track and is one of the stronger tracks on the album for me.
Mahamudra are an artist that never fails to impress me- they are one of the fresh faces from Israel making music that remembles the really good morning stuff I like (like black and whites old stuff, same goes for Timelock). Deadly! A winner again in this one- along with the Loud collab its definitely my personal favourite on the cd. Funky and fat bassline with some nice clicky percussions, slutty guitars and stabby lead kind sound, has a nice progression throughout and manages to keep my attention to the last couple of minutes of the track- doesnâ€™t go too overboard, thank god!
They have my attention again with â€œGridâ€- Loud are another of those new acts from Israel Iâ€™ve dug all the stuff Iâ€™ve heard from themâ€¦ And this one is tuff stuff- dirty and driving bass with some really tough production work and some crazy psychedelic leads- Loud manages to get some real phatness out of his everything, and I think it shows a lot in this track. Good collaboration I think, well done.
With Time Machine we are back to Tactic Mind by himself. A big rolling bassline and some playful leads keep the track nice and positive- seems to be a feature of the Tactic Mind sound when heâ€™s going solo- thereâ€™s nothing wrong with that though, dancefloors need to smile. But again we hear a bit too much of the â€œrave soundâ€ coming at me- too many build ups just wear me out, not build me upâ€¦ being said though, again is it just my taste? I guess so, cos there is a lot of this music coming out lately.
We are back to the collabs- this time with Dark Soho. DS have always interested me as an artist- I by far liked their first release over anything they have done since, but this doesnâ€™t mean I donâ€™t get into their tunes still- Under Cover is a nice morning sounding track with a bit of rocking feelâ€¦ Really pumpy bassline keeps the track hovering at a nice level- lots of glitchy leads and a nice progression making it one of the solidest tracks on thereâ€¦ definitely could imagine having a dance to this one. Positive morning music for fans of stuff like Rinkadink or Fatali.
Ultravoiceâ€™s second collaboration is the title track to the cd, Top of the Hill. Again itâ€™s a bit of a rolling bassline, he really should maybe vary it up a bit, seems to be preoccupied with the same couple of linesâ€¦ Gets a bit too full flight again, but I did the guitar toward the end, Iâ€™ve always liked acoustic guitar in trance music, and this is played pretty niceâ€¦ saving grace.
The closing track is Taktic Mind solo again- and for me Medical Resource is the strongest solo track he produced on the album. A bit more minimal and driving, its got a wicked hooking bass and some nice interesting computer game kind of sounds- keeps it definitely down there too, just gets deeper and deeper instead of building upâ€¦ I think if he continued along with a bit more music like this he could actually win me over as a fan. Well done, keep up this shits!
Overall, when reviewing stuff like this- I wonder if its personal taste or bad trance music- and ive come to the conclusion itâ€™s a little of both. Even though Iâ€™m quite well known for my love of prog, Iâ€™ve always had a passion for full on as well, and I think I have a healthy appreciation for all types and trance and can be impartial- at the same time, I think much of the current â€œtrendâ€ in full on, the ravey thing is whats killing it for meâ€¦ you can blaim one person for it, but if itâ€™s a majority of the scene, then I guess its just more a sign of the times, commercialism seems to be rearing its ugly head a lot in our precious music!
But said and done, this wasnâ€™t a terrible release for fans of the style, and there were a couple of interesting tracks on there- for people who listen to positive morning full, they might not have the same view as me.There were a couple of pumpers on there, and it leads me to believe I think this guy just released the album too early (along with a list of collabs the legth of my arm!)â€¦ I donâ€™t think an artist album should ride on other peoples music this muchâ€¦ But if you like the style, check it out, I dare say a fair few people will get into it, and I think he might be someone to watch has his writing progressesâ€¦ Passable, but only just for me.