Let me start by saying that this is not just any new album appearing in the shops out of nowhere. No, no. This here, is the long anticipated, much debated, the crucial third release of Astral Projection, by far Israel's biggest name in the world of electronic music in general, and trance in particular. Rumors have it, that Dancing Galaxy, Astral's 1997 release is the biggest selling Israeli CD outside of Israel's boarders, and also the best selling trance album of all time, worldwide. It doesn't matter what the real figures say, Dancing Galaxy is a wonderful piece of music that deserves every bit of the reputation it has and its follow up has to be special.
From the minute you press Play, and until the very last second, the beat does not stop pounding. The rhythm section kicks in right at the start, in the ninth measure and seems to never stop. Nilaya starts with delicate brushes of uplifting melody, that very quickly turn into that wall of sound that is so Astral it cannot be done by anyone else. The melody goes back and fourth and catches you instantly, and the groove is definitely there.
Before you notice, Another World is already bouncing away. Written by Avi Nissim, Guy Sabag and Yaniv Haviv a long time ago, this is a mix to Astral Projection's first released track ever, which was also chosen as the title track. It is a massive rocker with a monumental build up from around min 3.50, that is followed by a flow of rhythm and melody, uninterrupted till the end. Impressive. Visions of Nasca (T3) marches on, pounding heavy beat, psychedelic synth line together with delicate sampler work, make up a very energetic, edgy track, that wont let go till the beat break at around min 6.00 and the great build up that follows.
Searching for UFO's (T4) is my favorite track on this album, for all you X files fans, this track will ring a bell. Being back in space with Astral is an excellent journey, through massive synth riffs, supersonic booms, and a melody to whistle to. One for the hall of fame.
Tryptomine Dream (T5) adds an element of drama to the general groove with a windy synth pad that flows through this track and give it a minoric feel. Trance Dance (T6), written by H. Schippers, is exactly what its name implies- a classic party anthem, no doubt about that. The beat-break at min2.00 launches a massive groove with an instantly recognizable Astral tune, and the build-up at min6.25 sets you flying. Mahadeva '99 (T7) is a slightly more relaxed piece, with a nice tune and a somehow gentler beat- it's a remix to the classic track Astral did with Jorg from '96 (Trust In Trance vol. 2).
Aqua Line Spirit written by Boris Blenn starts off with a grinding synth pad that develops into an energetic run through an accelerated groove and bouncy melody. Note the chord transpositions from min4.45 and on- just brilliant. The massive synth sounds used here make this particularly psycho-grindy track very special. Still on Mars (T9) is a traditionally slow track to mark the end of an excellent ride. Slow evolving but massive, this track grinds you through a spooky sort of melody to a gentle stop.