Thursday, July 27, 2017

Various - Water

Altar Records: 2009

Hey, remember Altar Records' Elements series? I reviewed nearly every single one of them (including the 'hidden' sixth element) only, what, two or three years ago now? Eh, I could simply check my archives to verify? Oh, man, that was over five-hundred reviews ago – who has time to sift through that much backlog! Though I'm almost certain, should I skim them over, I'd find a hi-lar-ious claim that y'all wouldn't have to wait too long for Water's review, maybe even a ridiculously optimistic prediction of later that year.

Another thing I should probably do is go back to the other Elements CDs (Air, Earth, Fire & Ether) for a quick refresher in this series' development, but why bother? I have to admit, when I first got the collection, Water didn't stick with me on my initial run of each volume. Not because it lacked dope tunes or anything, but because I knew the other four (plus one!) would require my immediate focus for review, thus letting this one slip by the wayside. Now, with it finally up to the mic' with its chance to shine, Water gets all the solo glory it deserves, none of its elemental siblings crowding it out of the spotlight. At least, I'm assuming that's how I've approached this, because I honestly don't recall Water being this good when I got it way back when. Did I even listen to it before?

Like, the first track is Marianna Falls from Asura, with Charles Farewell executing at his Asuraian best. The languid pace, the spacious sounds, the sense of uplifting cinematic grace... holy cow, how did this song not make the cut on his 360 album the year after? And speaking of Ultimae alum', Aes Dana is here too with Cyan, doing that steady-paced prog-psy thing he often does so well. Androcell also shows up for a rather Balearic bit of psy-dub in Seahorse Dreams, which makes sense given the marine theme of this compilation. Man With No Name's oldie Sugar Rush is also given a lush reworking from a Kanc Cover, more known as Opsy around the time this came out.

But hey, enough about the outside talent, what of the Altar roster, how do they stack up? Pretty good for the most part. Chronos does a widescreen psy-chill thing in Planetarium, AstroPilot ups the pace to prog-psy's chugging domain in Voda, DJ Zen offers up a lengthy goa-breaks-psy-world-chill-trance remix on Zymosis' God Is Mine (it's so long, he kinda' throws everything into the pot), and RA brings Water to a close with a pleasant enough psy-chill cut in Creation Of Tefnet.

If there's any complaint to be had with Water, it's that the elemental theme is only loosely followed upon throughout. Perhaps this collection of tunes have a more 'flowing' feel about them compared to the other Elements, but that's about it. Really, Water is just another solid CD of music from Altar's formative years, which ain't no bad thing at all.


ACE TRACKS:
Asura - Marianna Falls
Chronos - Planetarium (Aquarius Edit)
Man With No Name - Sugar Rush (Kanc Cover Rework)

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