Reviews

Duca - After Dark

Label: Tribal Vision
Format: Digital, CD, Album
Country: Czech Republic
Release Date: Sep 2008
Genre: Electronic
Style: Progressive Trance

    Track List:
  1. Snowman
  2. Canadian Visa
  3. Astronaut
  4. After Dark
  5. Ducarlho
  6. 120
  7. Diploma
  8. United Nations
  9. Zakon
  10. Hit the Target
  11. Last One

Good day, good evening.
A direct flight to Serbia into the base of young composers. Fruitful land, Fruitful works and even better releases. Also known as Anax, Dusan Sekic aka Duca is surely included in the list of artists that doesn't need introduction. Most of you know when and where he was born. As well as the kind of sound he treats us, DJs and the audience worldwide. Starting with harder sound and with age, as we grow older, we are more with a softer hearts and emotions are being expressed more, and we enter the sound that has no "child sickness" anymore.
Under the serious label "Tribal Vision", we received a serious album named "After Dark" which is characterized with motives before and during the dark. The release for the club and open parties. In addition, as the artist went from words to deeds with sounds, I shall as well in description.

1. Snowman
In the very beginning a big objection. The track is TOO SHORT. It is of standard length and even more than that but firstly I am not a global critic. I review the album from the personal so to say "Home entertainment" aspect and for my taste it's short. If it was bad it would be too long which makes my first "objection" my actual opinion of the track. If we go dubiously into the elements I will emphasize that the track's theme intrigued me a lot. The duration of the track specially fitted. I love when the simple theme lasts long; because it means it has exceptional notes no matter how light they are. The rhythm is standard as it should be. It is the best when the accent of innovations is put on other elements of the track because people quite often exaggerate the rhythmic innovations and they ruin the track which with its theme had a tendency to be good. It seems the simplest way to express the innovations is on the rhythm but in fact it is the hardest. Thank God this guy knows that unwritten theory and made this sound experienced.
The warm up!

2. Canadian Vista
Surprisingly good, or should I say excellent, techno rhythm in the very beginning. This is one of those that raised on 145 draws "the squirrels out of the trees". Squirrels, as we in Croatia call those "techno maniacs", which is for me a positive slang, but everyone experience it differently. As for me, the tempo of the rhythm of this track is exceptional. With the coming of the bassline, I double affirm that it is more than exceptional. Even with this minimal sound, the track isn't minimal. With massive groove, it is far from minimal. Just because it contains the small number of elements, which confute the upcoming samples further in the track, it cannot be characterized as minimal. If I had to make a bald assumption, I'd say it is a more progressive version of tech house. Super boring lead is definitely one of the elements that force you to stomp. Now, when I say "super boring", I don't mean really boring, but "very good boring", but let's not get into that right now. I think most of you will understand what I wanted to say.
Drive!

3. Astronaut
The follow-up in the same manner, as far as the track's beginning go. In some moments, thanks to these congas or tams or whatever they are, the rhythmic brings me closer to those moments in 90s and good old hits like Frank Tomiczek, Westbam, Motte, Felix, etc. Electro bassline sets this track on higher level and, of course, starts the engines. It is interesting for me that split on the break, but I would like to hear that in the club, even though I can get a clear image listening to it at home, sometimes the song can deceive, but I'm not saying that is the case here. I just wish to hear it in the club. This is one of those songs for the set between the hits, to keep the atmosphere after the euphoria and set ground for the next highlight which is about to come.
Splendid!

4. After Dark
The album carrier. Maybe there were in the previous tracks I can't remember now but they surely welcomed me here. I love when they stick old school for me and don't bring philosophy into it with all those hyperspace breaks and splits. Tell the essence and let's have a blast and not to have to translate and anticipate the music. At least I am that simple regarding that. I will chase breaks in Drum (d'n'b) where they belong, right?
Exceptional filter on the theme as well as the entrance and the continuance of the theme with the rhythm. A genuine cocktail ride. The only difference with the previous three tracks this one isn't the one to deserve the title name. Far from it being bad, but the predecessors were better, that's all.

5. Ducaralho
What a track name lol. I would like to know what's behind the name and behind the track is the wind on the rhythm according to the beginning.It would be cool that track remains just as a groove part and become something like a DJ mix tool track. Short "chorus through" theme to call it like that in my opinion would fit better if it didn't exit that chorus. It would sound more techno. Nothing's wrong with it with full bass treatment but for my taste an entry fly in moment would be ideal to continue. Of cours it thrilled me when that moment actually repeated multiple times through the track. The back-melody is fantastic and any comment on that is needless. The stretch of the sound is standard way of SFX tricks that works every time or at least I haven't heard a track where it didn't fit. So far this track is the calmest on, but it is also the most aggressive one. It is not the classic aggressiveness but it carries that sharpness in the theme which is enough to clench the jaw without any opiates

6. 120
Perhaps it would be good if there were a break beat of some sort in the middle of this album to shift the course of the rhythmic and after that bring on track with the next one. If we look at the album as a whole and we review it as such then the conception of the tracks view like that. It is again just my opinion. Maybe someone would play the 1st then 5th, then 8th, then 6th etc.
Excellent carpet theme. I noticed that this album dominates with beautiful themes. I already said that it has more or less standard rhythm and with every right I believe it's the way it should be otherwise the entire story and the unity would be shattered. I see that just like when a super skilled drummer goes to solo in the middle of the song that is intended to be more calm and sparse in nature. He shows his skill, but at the wring time and in the wrong place. Therefore, Duca's moves on the rhythm gets the highest mark from my part if we separate elements of the tracks individually.
Oh, and to note that the lead at the end of the track didn't click for me on the previous theme but that is again a matter of taste.
Good!

7. Diploma
Is this the moment when the artist graduate? Maybe the artist himself didn't think about it but if you ask me this track title automatically gives impression for me and me alike that this is in fact "homework". The timpani bass section of technoic character so far proves it as well as its continuance. Totally excellent section. The track threatens to become a favorite and I'm becoming more and more surer that our visions about the track names match. This let's call it rubber theme should be fatter just for a shade and it would be perfect. I like the echo effect of the reverb on those little congas and following rhythm samples a lot. However that is secondary relevant thing. The main relevant thing is the drive. Definitely!
The club is calling you!!!

8. United Nations
More electro than the rest. Definitive conclusion. No matter the resemblance between bass line's colors in every song it detains individuality. By the way the track has an excellent background for some Miss Kitten vocal. Maybe Duca could in some future works deal with some of her acapellas. I think it would be a great remix as well as an excellent promotion of the project itself. Under the makeup of the new age lies the former sound of the 80s and that is one of the big scores of the artist. In the end even the track title fits into my trip as I listen to it.
Way to go!

9. Zakon
This track sounds totally like a radio version of the original track. Now someone might ask how and why. Well I'm not saying it is not club music far from it but according to my separation or grouping which track goes where I would sort this one into radio stack for album promotion. This one even sounds like the one you would do a video for. At least I'm experiencing it that way which doesn't mean someone else might as well right? It is probably because it is more close to that sort of composition domain. It marks off with this calm story which is more for home listening. Let's just say that the vocal version of the track do better in clubs and could be even put as maxi single on an EP.
Very relaxing moments.

10. Hit the Targets
We can hear a bit of trancy moments here. Positive. Is that the influence of the raps in the past? It's like Chicane and Pink Progressive influences overlap. Definitive morning favorite. This one would be a very good choice for chill sets in a sense when you shift from beatless or break phase to the more flat sections of the rhythm.
I like it a lot.

11. Last One
Just like the title says. I expected an ambiental track as the last three progressed in taking the atmosphere off to a calmer level. Regardless of that the story remained to "float on the clouds". I like the entry of the bass line from a filter of some sort silenced with the mild hint of the hats. The theme was craftily extracted on the minimal break which generally thrills me because not everything is in savage bursts. On the so-called breach of the break section the path that track continues is unexpected which is for every praise but in any case my personal opinion is that he could go on with a slightly different composition because the drive of the bass on that section a bit empty and the section is in accordance with the track but is long for that kind of bass line. There the flow was breached but not significantly changed to disrupt the story which is quite good. I find the ending of the song a bit short.
Mostly cool track.


The album is completely told in very good manner. The order of the tracks is almost perfect. When I say almost I mean that it needed a small break beat moment in the middle to break the 4x4-album terminology. A lot of new techno influence some trance moments mostly old school and exceptional instrument approach.
From my point of critic "After Dark" leaves good impressions. Relaxing danceable listenable with beautiful themes and loads of drive. Many different styles that overlap discreetly and don’t breach each other's space they represent. I can only grade highly that kind of combination.
Sold!

Lara

Side Liner - One Way To Paradise EP

Label: Soundmute Recordings
Format: WAV/MP3 EP
Country: Croatia
Release Date: Dec 2008
Genre: Electronic
Style: Downtempo, Ambient

    Track List:
  1. Footprints (vs Kanc Cover)
  2. Folder of Feelings (vs Sunhize)
  3. One Way to Paradise

1. Side Liner vs Kanc Cover - Footprints
Nice and melodic start of track, with slow rhythm introduction. Great pads and really full atmosphere. Very nice color on bass line and its pretty massive. Guitar sample that starts fits in very great. Also, there is like some brass in background and with rhythm from start it makes this track full. And also, there are small piano notes in background, while the main melody is playing. Many elements tightened and produced very well. Small break with main melody and very massive pads in background, cool change and just wait to hear what will happen next. And starts synth like arp with filter (or flanger) on it. Superb! Track is also full of fx elements in background. You can feel both the happiness and some kind of sorrow while listening this track. Many interleaved elements and melodies, nicely produced. Great job and great story in this track!!

2. Side Liner vs Sunhize - Folder Of Feelings
A little bit classical introduction in ambient style. Again nice pad and rhythm that is coming from filter. Snare is really nice. Very similiar bass with previous track and more agressive rhythm. Comparing to first track, here is bigger accent on rhythm. Nice chords that fade in befor melody and play in background. Cool arping melody. Very nice piano notes on break and background pads and fx-es. I like this kind of breaks, when everything stops. Great timing and fantastic continuation of track, with small snare fill! Very nice arrangement of track. Ending should be slightly longer in my oppinion. Me liked it!

3. Side Liner - One Way To Paradise
Start with arping synth melody and bass. Rhythm is again full of elements, tams, toms, i liked claps a lot. With reverb on few elements, nicely fited. Once again, very nice notes on melody that cames in in the middle of track. Break is great and slowly introducing another melody and another theme. End of break could be little bit diferent, to sudden continuing for me. And it drives very nice till the end, with very nice pads in second half of track. Very nice tune!


I must say that this is great release! I love ambient music and playing it while I'm preparing for bed or early in the morning. This release is made for that moments! You forgot on every single problem and just enjoy this 20 minutes. This man really knows how to make fantastic harmonies filled with many background elements and fx-es. I really enjoyed listening to this one!

Lara