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LABEL: EMI Electrola RELEASE DATE: June 11, 2001 GENRE: Hardstyle, Hard Trance
// review by Jeff

The future is NOT now -- it's later!

Fans of the hard trance genre should be familiar with DJ Scot Project, also known as Frank Zenker. He has produced a string of popular hard trance tunes, all of which can be easily identified by his method of naming. There's a regular name for a song, preceded by a single letter. He is recognized for such tracks as "FM (Feelin' Me)", "R (Rock!)", and "L (I Want Your Love)", as well as the two tracks featured on this single: O (Overdrive) and F (Future Is Now!). Indeed, this single features two songs, and together they form a single that shows both the average and the above-average sides of his work.

The first track is "O - Overdrive". This is not a far cry from acid music, but still can hold its own with a wobbly bassline before arriving at the main chorus. It's admittedly a bit stretched out and slow, as many trance tunes of its time tended to be, but it still works somewhat well in this song. However, it's the altered vocals and overall combination of melody plus bassline and beats that create the standard Scot Project atmosphere. Unfortunately, like some of his other more popular selections, the "cheese factor" is there and it begins to dissolve into the pool of generic trance music. It's not a bad tune by any means, but there is very little to distinguish it from many other tracks he and his genre colleagues have produced. The Airplay Mix will deliver everything that you need to hear with no excess; the Original Mix will give the hardcore fans the complete "Overdrive" experience. There is also an Arome Remix here, although Arome is just another one of DJ Scot Project's aliases. It's a bit more breakbeat-based and is more wacky than the original. Interestingly enough, the melody from the original has been completely scrapped and what we get instead are acid synths to take us on the "Overdrive" journey, not unlike the style of fellow German producer Kai Tracid. While it's not a stellar remix, it certainly puts more emphasis on the subdued aspects of the original while adding some acid funk to the recipe. That's never a bad thing.

The other tune here is "F - Future Is Now!" which is a little less orthodox. Perhaps what listeners will remember best about this is the eerily-presented filtered vocals over cool cosmic pads: "The future is now / Forget the past / The present's gone / Until the gorgeous night / Outrageous mind-blowing nightmares end up in a never-ending fight." I am not quite sure what these cryptic lyrics are referring to, but they sound pretty darn awesome in the song. Rough synths create an unusually emotional refrain amidst a smooth beat and bass combo. These are the highlights of the song, spaced out by a beeping build-up that isn't particularly intriguing but still serves its purpose. Overall, I find this one to be the better of the two tunes being offered here, mainly because it sounds more unique than "O - Overdrive" but also simply because it appeals to my ears more. The gritty overbearing synths work surprisingly well and the melody is dandy. The Video Mix serves to deliver the primary points of the song, but the Original Mix is a bit more detailed. Clocking in at over ten minutes in length, there are a few more audio special effects going on, although you won't be missing anything extravagant, aside from the beeping becoming more tuneful at certain points. Finally, there is the Hardriff Remix which provides a more metallic beat and occasionally some more common synths in place of the beeps. The main melody is gone from this remix, focusing more on these beeps. However, since I tuned in more for that melody, I feel that this remix deviates too far from the source material.

In sum, this single provides hard trance fans with just what they are seeking, but not a lot else. It could essentially serve as the gateway for non-fans or for those fans who have yet to hear a DJ Scot Project track (and those who already adore DJ Scot Project will assuredly enjoy this). Both of these tracks are also featured on his 2005 album, "A1", which provides a thorough examination of the musical mind of DJ Scot Project. If you're into this type of music, I recommend checking out both this single and that album. However, I will have to place "F - Future Is Now!" on a higher pedestal than "O - Overdrive" for its level of originality.


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