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Sandman - Witchcraft

 ( Matsuri ,  1998 )

1. Perfect Stranger 9:00 2. Fight or Flight 7:04 3. Luvlie Beach 10:15 4. Ghost Rider (time tunnel remix) 7:54 5. Shockwave 9:33 6. Nostradamus (the prophecy mix) 7:17 7. Bad News (new way) 7:15 8. Mushroom Symphony 10:06

Sandman is locally known as Itzik Levy has been in the trance scene for quite a long time both with Rami Shapira (Chakra) as Witchcraft and by himself mostly as Sandman. This is his first solo album although he had various other tracks published before. The CD came out on the UK based label Matsuri that is managed by Tsuyoshi Suzuki and specialises in non-standard psychedelica. And non-standard it is. The album has a very harsh sound, probably a legacy to Itzikís days in various industrial and gothic bands. The CD begins with a rather slow track (120 bpm) called Perfect Stranger and both the music and the name indeed make you feel like a perfect stranger in the futuristic environment that the Sandman has taken us to. Slow and powerful beats sound almost like machines working, gears shifting and interlocking, and a lot of iron being pounded about. These are the sub levels of his world being responsible for all the work that is done by robots; the rolling roads must keep rolling. Fight or Flight (T2) takes us deeper into this world of technology, but where have all the humans disappeared from it? In this track we go in search for intelligent life around us but find none, only more and more electronics governing itself.
In Luvlie Beach (T3) we find out that even the outdoors have irrecoverably changed, hard snares brandishing and faster tempo (145 bpm) give us a feeling of being trapped in this utterly alien to us civilisation everything we see around is either metal constructions or desolate desserts.

Ghost Rider (T4) brings us an image riding through this desolate dessert the tribal beats that are present here remind us of the past glory of this race. Near the end of the track we can hear the rider leaving this small mudball and going into space. In space we encounter Shockwave (T5) and with it the remains of human civilisation fighting a desperate war in space. Space cruisers flying left and right of us, huge destroyers with fleets of smaller ships surrounding them hover in the middle of space. We can hear a grate battle going on. The speed is up again (148 bpm) and the sounds are thick and hard.

The CD goes on with the same sort of story but from this track and the next one (Nostradamus T6) and on itís coming down as if the sandman is taking us to the end of out dream.

Recomendation:  This CD is not really dance trance but a very complex electronic story, it could serve as a great soundtrack for Blade Runner or for Johny Mnemonic. And still in my opinion this CD is a mile stone in trance history as trance stops being party-dance music only and moves into the realm of listening as well.

Review by : Kinetic Honda

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