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 don’t worry, I wasn’t expecting anything like Lish with this release. I’ve seen Taktic Mind’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 don’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 “ravey peak” thing- I hate buildups that you feel like your at some bad hard house club. Some of the stuff I’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 don’t like- I think it does go into that “ravey” sound a bit too far and its what I didn’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 “rave” lead at the end really kinda does it for me- but then again- that’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 feel… But again the big electrorave kind of lead pops up its ugly head- I won’t bring it up too much more ok, haha!
Shade vs PTX is another of the collabs- again its pretty “full-flight”- nice pumpy bassline at the start, I really like it… interesting percussion and stabs and some nice big sweeping sounds give the first bit of the track real promise… Very gradual build up, but the track takes off by mid-way- giving way to a rolling bassline and some head-piercing leads… 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- doesn’t go too overboard, thank god!
They have my attention again with “Grid”- Loud are another of those new acts from Israel I’ve dug all the stuff I’ve heard from them… 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 he’s going solo- there’s nothing wrong with that though, dancefloors need to smile. But again we hear a bit too much of the “rave sound” coming at me- too many build ups just wear me out, not build me up… 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 doesn’t mean I don’t get into their tunes still- Under Cover is a nice morning sounding track with a bit of rocking feel… 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 there… definitely could imagine having a dance to this one. Positive morning music for fans of stuff like Rinkadink or Fatali.
Ultravoice’s second collaboration is the title track to the cd, Top of the Hill. Again it’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 lines… Gets a bit too full flight again, but I did the guitar toward the end, I’ve always liked acoustic guitar in trance music, and this is played pretty nice… 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 up… 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 it’s a little of both. Even though I’m quite well known for my love of prog, I’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 “trend” in full on, the ravey thing is whats killing it for me… you can blaim one person for it, but if it’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 wasn’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!)… I don’t think an artist album should ride on other peoples music this much… 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 progresses… Passable, but only just for me.