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Various Artists (Label Samplers) - Five Years in Space 2007-2012 CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Label Samplers)


Various Genres

4.02 | 5 ratings

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4 stars US indie label Trail Records was formed back in 2007, and have since then delighted people in the know and a few lucky reviewers with two or three annual releases of psychedelic and space rock of the finest quality. Most of them compilations or reissues of albums that should have been better known when released first time around, but also with a few releases from better known bands and the occasional original production. All albums given a superb remastering by Trail Records in house expert, and supplied with original artwork that holds the same high standard as the music itself. The end result are CDs that documents visually and musically that this is art, in stark contrast to the bland audio entertainment and superficial image branding major record labels have tried to get consumers to buy in the last couple of decades. To commemorate their 5 year long history as purveyors of high quality psychedelic music, Trail Records have assembled what appears to be a promotional disc. "Trail Records: Five Years in Space 2007-2012" is the name of the entity, and it would appear that this production is not available as a regular commercial product. So if anyone wants ton get a copy of their own, you'll probably have to contact the label directly and ask if it is at all possible.

What we're treated to here is one select track from each of the label's releases, plus one track from a forthcoming production. And for fans of psychedelic rock and space rock this compilation is a treat, I can't imagine anyone who regards themselves as fans of these stylistic expressions that won't be captivated by at least a few of the tracks here. And I'd guess that quite a few would regard this as one of the most superior compilations in their collection.

Kiuila opens the ball with dampened, elegant psychedelic rock of the mystical variety, complete with tribal rhythms and eastern haunting instrumental motifs. Vespero continues with a piece just as elegant, this one an improvisational affair sporting echoing guitar licks, droning and surging keyboard effects and ethereal female vocals, transporting us carefully out into the beauty of outer space somewhere. Siddhartha continues the journey in space with their somewhat more mysterious, Eloy-tinged creation Black, and then Sky Cries Mary relocates us to a suitably appropriate dance floor on a nearby space station with their particular brand of dance friendly, accessible, melodic and energetic brand of psychedelic and space-drenched pop/rock.

Beyondomatic then transports us into a calmer locale with Starbong, providing pleasures of a lighter and more ethereal nature. Eastern Syndrome takes over the task of providing a soothing atmosphere with their darker tinged brand of mellow, melodic rock utilizing gentle psychedelic and space-tinged instrumental motifs to emphasize their melancholic general nature. Ole Lukkoye comes next, and now we're taken into a nightclub in space somewhere, with a relaxed, lazy atmosphere dominating the proceedings. Sky Cries Mary then returns for a dreamlike, hypnotic trip into the ethereal spheres again with their splendid live version of the lazy, melancholic Rain.

KRTL is given the task of waking the spacefaring party goers from their slumber with their energetic drum and bass patterns as the firm foundation in their brand of space rock, transporting us down to Earth again where we're taken on a trip In the Labyrinth, apparently a wooden area populated half and half by Celtic and eastern mythological creatures. And in a small, dark corner of the forest we encounter Barrett Elmore, whose story The Nixie is a dark-toned and haunting one that most likely will give some associations to a specific set of doors. A Chemical Breeze transports us away from the mystical realms again, with a majestic rise back into outer space, although this final part of the journey so far has a few bumps prior to reaching whatever location we're headed towards.

Oh well, I might not be much of a storyteller, but I do hope that the few paragraphs above have given a brief and hopefully positive impression of the twelve tracks that populate this sampler from Trail Records. And if anyone should be in doubt: This is a disc that comes as highly recommended as all other productions from this fine, indie label, a venture that hopefully will supply a steadily increasing audience with their fine quality productions for a good few number of years still. A fine sampler from a fine label, whose emphasis on art on all levels have been and still is impressive on all accounts.

Windhawk | 4/5 |


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