Trance and Tide offer contrasting electronic experiences

The DJ mixed compilation is popular item on the Electronica music market. It typically features various artists whose songs are remixed by popular DJ’s. Two of the latest releases in this category are Trance: The Progressive Experience and the two-disc TIDE:EDIT:07.

Trance is a remix by DJ Vicious Vic, a popular figure on the international trance circuit. TIDE is by the long-time DJ team of Saeed & Palash, who have been mainstays on the international club scene since 1994, playing all over Europe and even in local clubs like Miami’s Space.

Trance, a 12 track CD, for quite obvious reasons, fits under the rubric of “Trance,” which might alter the expectations, for better or worse. TIDE, a two-disc album containing 22 tracks, is “Future House.”

Trance: The Progressive Experience does well to live up to its name. The songs are long, even tedious, and have a tendency to put the listener into a dense, coma-like state by sheer force of repetition, which may be good thing, considering the style, but it is appallingly mind-numbing.

The tempo is fast, which is good for jumping up-and-down like a fool – were one so inclined – or playing video games. The simple three- or four-note melodies could have been composed by a deaf chimpanzee and are subjected to a myriad of effects to no betterment of the music. The hooks are never quite as catchy as DJ Vicious Vic seems to want them to be.

The breaks and changes are so predictable that the tracks happily thump across the border into the clichí©; but then again, what is clichí© when so much depends on constant repetition?

The only “progressive experience” the listener will find in Trance: The Progressive Experience is movement through up-beat, albeit uninspired, Electronica. If ambient music that makes no demands on the ear -or the mind- is desired, then it would be difficult to find a more qualified album.

Saeed & Palash’s TIDE:EDIT:07 differs greatly from Trance. These two DJ’s have a sophisticated sense of rhythm. Every song enhances the perpetually driving beat, creating complexities that move each beat into the next and give the DJ’s room to ply their trade. The two CD’s are individually mixed, which allows the listener the opportunity to compare styles.

Saeed seems to go for a more atmospheric, softer sound. The music feels more relaxed and less frenetic than Palash’s more danceable, percussive sound (“percussive” because, by god, it sounds like there are samples of some real drums). The Palash disc seems to be the party album.

TIDE:EDIT:07 has words, and although they can’t properly be called songs, they do contribute some certain degree of ideation to the tracks. They come off as being a tad pseudo-intellectual (when all’s said and done, saying “Ocean of Blue” or “Space is essential to our lives” eighty times never really means anything) and might be grating, especially if one isn’t under the influence of a narcotic.

DJ Vicious Vic’s Trance: The Progressive Experience and Saeed & Palash’s TIDE:EDIT:07 are substantially different records. Trance displays a masturbatory use of gadgetry on tracks that go nowhere and do nothing. TIDE demonstrates how, in the hands of sophisticated and imaginative DJ’s, Electronica, regardless of “genre,” can demand listening, and that is what good music does: it demands participation.

Trance: The Progressive Experience is available on Neurodisc Records Inc. For more information, check out their website at www.neurodisc.com

TIDE:EDIT:07 is available on Star 69 Records. For more information, check out their website at www.star69records.com or www.addictiverecords.com