Phony Orphants - It'Cetra Album Review
Article posted by TweeKUniT on 10/10/2005 10:29PM
The Phony Orphants are considered one of the legendary groups of the progressive scene, with their last album “Symphony” one of the undisputed classics of the genre. Emok and Jeppe are both key players in super-label Iboga, and their dark disco sound is original and unmistakeable. I must admit I had amazingly high expectations when I heard a new Phony album was on the way, and it certainly hasn’t disappointed. “It-Cetra” is a classy extension of the style PO have become famous for, updating the sound into the new millennium and creating another benchmark setting album.
The production on this album is 2nd to none, their years of experience has ensured each track takes an individual direction but at the same time creating a consistant sound to the album- very hard to achieve if you ask me. The new sound is definitely feeding off the cross-over that the progressive scene is experiencing at the moment, with much more application for house and club djs. This doesn’t mean they have let go of trance either, and this is a refreshing thing. Updating the sound to fit the time but not losing the thing that made them famous- they should be commended for this!
The track opens with the mysterious groove of “Rise”, a pulsing electro influenced groover with nice dark atmospherics. Serious and uplifting at the same time, great stuff. “Sex, Drugs…” continues the feel, this time with more of a dark old school vibe. Reminds me of something on the older Phoney album. Big sexy female voice (love the chains whips!) samples and brooding rhythms- Its great how these guys manage a dark feel without going into minimal territory. Definitely one of the highlights of the album for me. Wiiickid stuff, I think this one will be a big hit on dancefloors all over the globe.
I had a copy of “I want to feel” from Revolve magazine and I thought it was pretty tight- it was the reason my appetite was so wet for this album. I had an opportunity to play it a few weeks ago and it went down really well. Sleezy warm basslines and slinky samples. Definitely one for the daytime, sun and beer. Great stuff! “Got What it Takes” moves into groovier, more outdoor territory with its lovely tribal percussion lines and funkier feel. Will please fans of the older Phony releases I think.
The album has started to ease back a bit, and “Mi Corazon” is the deepest, proggy groovy yet. Slower BPMs and more housey sounds with a deep spatial groove that keeps everything nice and easy. Love the big warm frequencies in the end of the track- the electro influence comes back at the end making this tune, in my opinion, perhaps the most marketable track on the cd to the club scene. Wouldn’t go bad outdoors either though, just one of “those” tracks. Cross over potential for sure.
“Promise You” brings it back to darker, more trancy territory. Perhaps the most driving track on the album, one for the morning when the dust is storming and the dancefloor flailing. The bass just keeps pushing harder and harder, and its leads keep the epic feel of the track…slamming stuff… perhaps the best track on the album for me. No nonsense progressive TRANCE music. “Going Down” featured on a compilation a while back, and while it’s a great track, sometimes it disappoints me how labels put too many pre-released tracks on the album. I guess Iboga really want to push the Phony sound, but I still see no reason to have 2 of the album tracks released on CDs before the album came out. But I’m not one to complain too much, and the track is classy stuff. Wickid bass and full daytime hustle going on. Good if you don’t have the compilation anyways…
“Party” moves in yet another different direction, this time with a bit of an oldschool, 80s style retro vibe. Rising electro sounds, makes me think of bad hair and plastic jewellery. Retrodelica for sure, maybe not the best track on the album for me, but I do have personal things against the 80s, haha! “House for my Spouse” (great title btw!) closes the compilation in true style- warm, intelligent house music track that I could imagine playing in stylish lounges and bars all over the shop. Lovely live instrument samples, big horn section and blissfull melodies. Something to get everyone smiling, I love this track! Great to see the diverse nature or these guys, they can make anything!
Overall, this album is a masterpiece in my opinion- Fresh and original, yet at the same time holding onto its roots. The hardest thing to do in a 2nd album I think, these guys have pulled it off as well as it could have been done. Well done Iboga and Phoney Orphants, this one will be remembered for a while. It’s a good marketing ploy by iboga to release on both vinyl and cd, as it covers both markets (the tracks that feature on wax are definitely the more club oriented of the album). I don’t think many old phony fans will be disappointed- It-Cetra rocks!
Review by Jesse
8.5 / 10
favourites - 2, 3, 6