Saturday, September 10, 2005

trance and techno records

Because Ali and Kevin have been busy, and not had chance to update the website, i thought that everyone might be interested in the latest review from Progressive...

Zeus Proof 'The Transatlantic EP'

Aurality Records

Zeus Proof are a brand-new production duo from the UK and the US. Ali Aitken hails from Dundee in Scotland, where he has been DJing for over ten years. He has also released under the guise of Stray Electrix and now teams up with Kevin Oie from the US to record as Zeus Proof. Oie is a classically trained pianist, influenced by the work of great composers like Beethoven and Chopin, whereas the old-school and rave scenes of the early nineties have inspired Aitken. Their first release sees the two producers join forces and combine their musical ideas. The result is a four track EP, the first release on Aurality Records.

The EP consists of four tracks on one slab of vinyl and we kick off the review with the opening track Waveform.


Waveform fuses elements of trance and progressive whilst also incorporating subtle techy sounds alongside various classical sounds. A driving kick drum is accompanied by a deep, moody bassline and the track continues to build, as a piano line is quickly introduced. Subtle melodies and strings take us into a long breakdown in which the same piano is re-introduced, and its impact is far more substantial, and alongside the strings makes for quite an emotional pause in proceedings. The percussion returns before we are left with layers of epic hybrid-like strings to draw the track to a close.


T-Section is a deep and emotional progressive trancer and I am convinced that this production duo are well tuned in to the kind of trance that was being produced back in 97/98. Some great trancey percussion accompanies a low rumbling bassline and the track builds as a foray of lush layered melodies, are gradually introduced. As I said before, the vibe of the piece is quite emotional and the boys have seemingly got an ear for what makes a beautiful melody. This track is void of any big breakdowns, opting for a far more laid back approach, and the rolling percussion leads us to the end of proceedings.


Drown continues the slightly laid back and emotional approach as was the case with T-Section. Rolling 4/4 percussion is introduced after a moving opening to proceedings, in which the duo demonstrate their love for melody once more. The drum arrangement is accompanied by a deep yet warm bassline, complimented by a number of exquisite melodies that gradually evolve. The breakdown consists of an emotional, deep trancey riff underneath a female vocal sample. It is the kind of vocal that reminds me of how trance was before it was given a bad name. The percussion returns and is present for the remainder of the track.


Opening with strings and twinkling melodies, a cut-up breaks drum arrangement is gradually introduced as we embark on what seems to be a slightly different offering in contrast to the previous 4/4 material. A slightly twisted synth line is introduced alongside a very low, subby bassline and both go hand in hand with the percussion. The lad’s love for an emotional breakdown is noticeable once more as we head into another beautiful medley of strings and melody. Subtle keys can be heard underneath this (the handiwork of Oie I presume) and they build, as the drum arrangement is re-introduced again.

A solid offering, from two producers who are seemingly unknown at the present time. This is likely to appeal to fans of both the trance and progressive genres that are partial to the odd melody. The production is good and the duo show that they have an ear for arrangement as well. The four tracks are similar in many ways, yet there is enough diversity within each, to provide a variety of material for the DJ. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for this production duo.