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June 24 , 2019
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Atmos - Tour de Trance

 ( Spiral Trax ,  Dec. 2008 )

1. Stay Awake 9:16 2. Skintrade 8:11 3. 46 DAZ 7:41 4. To What My Mind Attend 8:06 5. Ride the Flow 8:10 6. Nick of Time 8:00 7. Power On 4:35 8. Into the Groove 8:31 9. Jellybean 8:02 Compact Stick bonus tracks: 10. Rhythm Is 8:07 11. Runner Up 8:00 12. Instant Cargo 9:03 13. Codename Bruno 8:30 14. Persian Chiller 8:23 15. Stay Awake (The Delta remix) 6:21

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.

Recomendation:  †
To sum things up: listening to this album of condensed pure Atmos-ness like 50 times over the last week I think I have finally figured out why I like Atmos music so much, and why people talk about the Atmos frequency that you either get or donít get: At the core, itís really deep house. Just with trance instruments. It is now perfectly clear to me. And really, trance and deep house are a match made in heaven, in their purest form they both explore deepness, one focuses in on the hypnotic, the other on the soul. Atmos does both.
10/10. Best Record of the Year. One of the best 3 trance records ever (Next to Union Jack and Terra Ferma)

PS: The Compact Stick is really worth it: 6 new tracks (1 super awesome track, 1 awesome chill track, 4 very good ones) and cool other stuff, including live video. The artwork really fits the music as well. I can totally picture myself sitting in that space ship going on a tour with Atmos (the guy sitting next to him in the cockpit even looks like me, only half as fat...).

Review by : Aje

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