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LABEL: Platipus RELEASE DATE: March 22, 1993 GENRE: Trance, Acid
// review by SoyBomb

Deep something.

Throughout the last couple of years, I've reviewed some of Art of Trance's more recent releases, and I've pretty much declared them void of substance. They're fine for audio, but there isn't much meat on their bones. But I also tend to believe that Art of Trance's older material had more to them, so I figured, why not get into my time machine and travel back to one of Art of Trance's (a.k.a. Simon Berry's) earliest releases — in fact, his very first — and see if my theory holds true.

The first track is Deeper Than Deep (Third Eye Mix), which is actually the original. After a brief padded trance intro, the acid kicks in (the sound, not the drug, although...) with a rolling passion for a couple of minutes. After a while, the acid suddenly goes techy with a stronger junglist rhythm, but the problem is that, aside from the pounding 303 that warbles and morphs throughout, there really isn't much variation at all in this track, aside from the lovely trance at the beginning. It would probably set a club aflame regardless.

Also featured is a remix, Deeper Than Deep (Poltergeist Remix) by Poltergeist... which is also an alias of Simon Berry. Eminating similarly with a slowly rising sci-fi trance vibe, this one switches over to a similar acid arpeggio as the other mix, though with more uplifting tones, and includes more trance pads in the background to enrich the song's overall flavour (not the whole time, mind you, but enough to make this the superior mix).

Next up: a visit to the Sea of Tranquility, booting up with a strong synth right from the get-go. The chords are a little eerie and didn't make me feel tranquil at all. It's a weird cacophony of sounds, this tune, filled with creepy laughter and other jarring jabs of sounds. Is this a trance tune or the soundtrack to a weird abstract art exhibit? Nothing in this track meshes together well and is overall a rough listen. I'd avoid this one in the future.

The EP closes with Colossal Cathedral, and the opening organ definitely gives away that cathedral vibe. This tune's a bit more palpable with a blend of acid squelches, organ arpeggiation, and the occasional odd ethereal yell. Halfway through the tune, the rhythm goes a little more haywire, but things soon settle down again. Colossal Cathedral is perhaps the most melodic song in the package, although it's still very rough around the edges overall.

Back to my original hypothesis that Art of Trance's older material has more substance. Well, perhaps the Deeper Than Deep EP isn't the best example, as it sounds more like the work of someone who's still coming to grips with the hardware and with what a melody is. There's a primitiveness to this music, particularly Sea of Tranquility, which is anything but. There's potential in some of this music, but Art of Trance is far from there at this point. Being his earliest release, it can be forgiven, but this certainly isn't a good example of his capabilities.


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