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Various Artists

Teknofonic Essentials Vol. 1

Review by Gary Hill

Compilations like this are almost always mixed bags. This is no exception. Some songs are quite strong. Others don’t stand as tall. Given that there is an electronic theme here, sometimes it can get a bit samey, too. Still, there are enough standouts to make it worthwhile. It’s a good way to check out a lot of different acts, too.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Sonic Fear - I'll Be Your World (feat. Veela)

Piano elements open this. Some angelic female vocals come over the top in non-lyrical ways. As the lyrical vocals join it makes me think of both Renaissance and Kate Bush in some ways. After the first verse it works to a more electronic and dramatic format to continue. This is very artistic, but still has a lot of heart and soul to it. I love the cool electronic segue section. After that, it gets even more powered up before eventually dropping back to the first section.

Daniel Monroe – Novacaine
A guitar styled section opens this. It works out from there into an electronic jam that’s high energy and a bit like fusion meets electronic prog. As it continues sounds closer to electronic dance music are introduced, too. This instrumental is pretty cool, but not at the same level as the opener.
Upper Regions - Below the Surface
Now, this instrumental is particularly cool. It’s like part Synergy and part Kraftwerk.
Jon Lambousis – Confusion
Here we get another high energy instrumental. It reminds me quite a bit of Synergy, too.
3logit – Limits
This cut has vocals. It’s more of a modern pop rock jam. It’s a bit too overproduced for me, but it has some cool moments. As far as I’m concerned this overstays its welcome a bit. It’s my least favorite track here, honestly.
This Human Condition - Psychotropic (Lobotomy Mix)
Now, this is more like it. There’s a creepy section that opens this. It feels almost like something out of a horror film. From there we’re taken into something that’s a bit like a more electronic version of Duran Duran. It’s great stuff.
Scott Cameron - The Stars Above
I really like this instrumental a lot. It has a stellar kind of vibe, fitting the title. It’s very much like modern space rock based electronic prog. It’s also one of my favorites on the disc.
Acid Daze – Trigger
This instrumental leaves a bit to be desired. It’s more like house music than anything else. It’s just a little boring.
J Tizzle - Body Talk
I love the electronic groove on this one. It’s kind of a combination of Kraftwerk and electronic dance sounds.
Cypha Da Moonchild - Drip Drop
There is an Asian tuned percussion vibe to this. It’s not bad, but a bit lackluster.
Time No More – Biodiversity
Another electronic cut that’s just sort of average, this would probably be a stronger compilation if they left one or two of these off of the set.
Elastic Plastic Generation - Elastic Plastic Generation
Now, this is more like it. It’s high energy and has a cool Latin groove. Yet, there are space rock things here along with sounds like Kraftwerk. This is great stuff. The vocals bring a hip hop element to this.
Hyphontriq - Taken (feat. Infinite Crown)
I really like the trippy kind of groove this song. The female vocals add a lot to it, too. It’s another of the standouts.
Ermias - Back to the Bass
Although this instrumental has a solid groove to it, it does seem to stay around a bit too long.
Boom – Pure
Electronic dance music, modern prog and something like Gary Numan all seem to combine here. Probably half of this is instrumental. The whole thing is just very cool. It’s another standout tune.
M!nts – LFO
This instrumental is one of the more effective ones here. It has some space music, modern prog and more built into it. It does have a tendency to overstay its welcome, though.
Derrick Anthony - Obama Goes to Cuba
High energy, this is a dub-step cut that’s pretty entertaining. It’s, again, a little on the overlong side.
Perry Engineering - House Music in London
Not sure about the London part, but this is definitely house music. The only vocals are spoken, echoey and just say the title. There is a spacey drop back mid-track. It’s not a bad song, but a little average. It’s also too long.
S.G.B. – 4
Although this instrumental is no big change, it has enough energy and groove to make it stand out nicely.
Addliss - The End
I like the space edge to this instrumental. It’s also not a big change from a lot of the rest, but it works particularly well despite that.

 

 
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