Once upon a time in the Magic Forest of La-la-Land, a beautiful flouro Goa fairy was upset at her boyfriend, an angry little dark-psy-dwarf with dreadlocks under his armpits. He had always been somewhat of a weirdo with a bad temper, but lately he was getting more and more aggravated. He screamed at the poor fairy so fast and so loud that she didnít even understand him anymore, he made no sense whatsoever. As luck would have it, one day she met a big Barry White-like looking deep-house bear and fell madly in love with him. He was everything that her boyfriend wasnít- respectful, confident, romantic, groovy and he knew how to please a fairy. After spending a night with the deep-house bear she suddenly realized what was wrong with the angry dark-psy-dwarf: He had a really small penis! And all the screaming and ranting he did was to compensate for that. So the fairy moved in with her new lover and they made nine beautiful children who were as calm, relaxed and confident as their father, the deep house bear, but also as sparkling and colorful like their mother, the Goa fairy.
And that, my dear little children, is how the tracks on this album were born. (And their 6 cousins from the Compact Stick)
As the more astute amongst you may have noticed, I am very stoned right now. Therefore I will stop writing about dwarfs, fairies and deep house bears and get back to the real world with a concrete statement: This is Atmosí best album yet! There, I said it. I know that is a very tall statement given the fact that Headcleaner is an absolute classic that re-defined the genre and 2nd Brigade was a pretty fucking awesome follow-up that included Transmission in Vain. However, Tour de Trance manages to top them both. And it does so in the classiest of ways: Quiet, yet oozing of confidence; Subliminal, yet highly emotional; Slow, yet with an unbelievable level of detail in its sound design.
In a way, Tour de Trance is the essence of everything that is Atmos. All the elements that have made his music so easily recognizable and successful over the years are here, just better. That includes the trademark laid-back rhythm section of grooves and percussion (total Headcleaner flashback), the masterful usage of voice samples, the subliminal beautiful soundscapes and the way he makes everything sound so easy. However, what really makes Tour de Trance shine so brightly is the combination of the slow pace with the absolutely stunning detailed production. If you listen closely, there is an entire world opening up between the beats, little subplots and twists and turns, itís like reading between the lines of a book.
As for the individual tracks, all of them are 100% pure class, at least the ones on the CD. The CD takes the listener on one of the most coherent and well-told stories of any album I know, a real Tour de Trance in every way imaginable. To use an old clichť, this is one of the rare occasions where the album as a whole is more than just the sum of its individual tracks (same goes for Minilogueís Animals, for example). Thatís also why I wonít single out any individual tracks. The bonus tracks from the Compact Stick cannot quite keep up the same level but are also very good, except Rhythm Is, which is an absolute deep trippy emotional gem that really should have made the cut for the CD.