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December 10 , 2018
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Pixel - Reality Strikes Back

 ( HOMmega ,  Nov. 2004 )

1. Pixel & Silent Sphere- Smart Planet 140bpm 7:46 2. Astrix & DJ HighGuy- Chaos (Pixel & Wrecked Machines remix) 144bpm 7:53 3. Pixel- Flip the Script 142bpm 7:39 4. Pixel & Intelabeam- Happy Lepsya 145bpm 6:37 5. Pixel & Goblin- Wild and Friendly 145bpm 7:13 6. Pixel & Wrecked Machines- Real Pimp Never Gets Caught 145bpm 6:10 7. Pixel & Sub6- Teder Beseder (live mix) 140bpm 7:27 8. Pixel- In the Snooze 144bpm 6:40 9. Pixel & Ran Shani- Disco Nection 134bpm 7:24

Finally- a debut album from long established artist: Eli Biton - Tal. Quite a paradox I know, yet it is the case here. Pixel has been in the trance scene for quite a while now and is a reputable DJ who has released tracks with some of the biggest names around. This album has been highly anticipated by many, so let me start with the review.

1- Smart Planet- we begin at 140bpm with those patented Pixel beeps and bleeps. A smooth filtered base intro gives way to an intelligent starter. Very nice fm sounds flying around, nothing aggressive- very clean production. This track was made with Silent Sphere and those touches are felt. My favorite part is the use of samples here; the radio communication "conversation" is panned in a way that’s very clever. Very good track to start sets with.

2- Chaos Rmx- Mixed into from the previous track, Pixel and Wrecked Machines give their version of this Astrix morning smasher from last year. At 144bpm the full on baselines are rolling on. I like this track much better then the original. Luckily, the female vocals and "nitzhonot" were done away with. The tribal percussions are used here and mashed up to create something new. Not my favorite track, but much better then the original.

3- Flip the Script- This track is actually like 2 different ones mixed into one. It starts off as something and midway "flips" into something totally different. At some listens I really like this track, at other passes, I find myself fast forwarding to the next one.

4- Happylepsia- I don’t know how this guy goes about making his loops, but you get a sample of a full loop in the start of this track. I really like that. This is one of the highlights on this album. A pumping progressive push forward and a techy feel in this one, this track runs onward into a dark atmosphere. Large reverbs, small noises, clever percussions and to the point samples that have substance. Intelabeam's sounds are floating around here as well. Good work by both, one of the best tracks here.

5- Wild and Friendly- Here comes a consecutive 145bpm track, this time with Goblin of Psysex. This collaboration, one of many to come in the form of "The Unstables" is my personal favorite on this album. It is the most acidized tune here by far. I think this duo has very good potential to create intelligent psy-music. Those, patented Goblin zaps and a very well balanced mix is one of the few things that are high quality here. The track, much like the samples dictate is going through lots of changes, a metamorphosis. Big buildups, awesome breakdowns and a heavy finish, top notch work.

6- Real Pimp Never Gets Caught- Although we are still flying at 145bpm, you wouldn’t know it. A groover of a track made with Wrecked Machines again (expect more out of this combo as well). I like the percussion work here very much. Everything is kept clean, no need for defined obvious melodies; you can make those in your head using the spaces.

7- Teder Beseder- One of the first tracks that were released from Sub6 was this one. It was a smasher and paved a way for their entry into the scene. This live mix has similar ideas, it gets more to the point, quicker then the original, I always felt that it took it too long to open up. Those big reverbed snares, and heavy percussion loops give way to the vocals. In this version you can tell more what they are singing, but I don’t like it so much, I find it a bit irritating... I have a general bias against singing in trance music, since it usually takes me out of trance.

8- In the Snooze- Picking up the pace a bit again, In the Snooze is a fun track with skillful loop work and percussions, again, the groove is felt and the track moves along nicely. Not the best one here, but not bad at all.

9- Disco Nection- The last track here is made with Ran Shani, a name I do not know much about except that he is doing non-trance, electro music. I like this track very much, at 134bpm this closer comes smoothly at the end and eases us out of the voyage we went through. Congas and bongos, noises and high-hats play all around you in crisp stereo, although its 7:24, I wish this track was even a minute longer, its that good… the progressive side of things a-la-Pixel.

Recomendation:  When people ask me what good trance music is out there, I name this album as one of my examples. It has substance and guts, finesse and style. I like the level of production here, super squeaky clean. The music is never too heavy on the ears, yet not boring at all. Hard to imagine that this is the debut album from Pixel... feels like a mature piece of trance psychedelia anyone should have in their collection.

Favorite tracks:1,4!,5!,6!,9!

Review by : Gadi Vered

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