Music Reviews

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Artist: Phenotract (@)
Title: Within A Second
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Tinman Records (@)
Rated: *****

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Within A Second is Phenotract's debut release on the Tinman Records label which also sports such talents as Dubok, Crocodile Shop, Cydonia, and I Parasite. That said, Phenotract's sound is accessible to lovers of EBM, Synthpop and Trance. Utilizing a combination of these styles as well as house, other dance beats, and ethereal elements Eric Shans combines whispery vocals to create a sound that vears from the paths forged by Dependent, A Different Drum, and DSBP Records for example, yet utilizes elements influenced from all of these musical aspects. The only quality which shows any weakness at all are the vocals, slight though it is, but the overall tightness of his music shows real talent that will likely make some serious advancements in future releases worthy of attention. Interestingly Phenotract has an otherworldly and dreamy quality to it's sound while maintaining the energy required for good dance music. The first noticeable standout on the disc is "Motionstate", a great EBM trancefloor romp with "Lunartrip" to follow in it's wake later on the disc. Then there’s the funky sounds of "Drifts" and "Distant Voices" plus the retro industrial (nearly Die Warzaw-ish) "Red Glow". However the most likely to pump the EBM floors might be "Neosymmetry" though a bit more variance would do it some justice. There are many great tracks on this release which take a slight detour from what has started become 'standard' styles in the EBM and Synthpop genres while still including elements of Trance yet consciously not following the patterns laid down by others and instead forging his own way. This is very obvious in Eric's work as Phenotract and that combined with the strength of this debut leaves plenty of room for building excellence. He's well worth checking out, you decide, and hopefully future projects will bring Phenotract higher on the rungs of industry success! It's easy enough to get lost in these rhythms and that's a good thing. The instrumental tracts combining EBM and Trance are the strongest points on this disc and well worth the time. Others have said better than I can: "Drawing inspiration from classic EBM, House, and Hard Trance, Phenotract strives to meld these potentially disparate styles into a seamless whole. Phenotract has a distinct feel, a thick, adventurous Electro sensibility with otherworldly, vaguely House-like beats and breathy, understated vocals. The album also features extensive production work from Isaac Glendening of Cesium 137 (for whom Phenotract mastermind Eric Shans plays live keys). On Tinman."



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