a-wave AAWCD 007 (2001)
Programming by System 7. Guitars by Steve Hillage. Synthesizers by Miquette Giraudy. Sample on track one by Neu! Every new System 7 album reveals their vibe of upwardly spiraling energy and quality has progressed many revolutions higher. I look forward to their 'on-beam' uplifting releases like no other, they are definitely part of my universe. For me little in the dance field comes close to them.
'Seventh Wave' is a driving, focused laser beam of beats heading straight out there, that eventually mellows onto a plateau of atmospheric tranquility and invention resting a-top a bed of gentle, cushioning rhythms. Oh yeah and there are great guitar fragments, lines and grooves all over the place.
The optimistic force of Manik Shamanik carries all before it and evoked smiles of pleasure as the urge to 'shake that thang' could not be resisted - parts reminded me of 'The Blue Room', the Orb/System 7 collaboration of a few years ago. 'High Plains Drifter' is a wonderful relentless track, and long time listeners may recognize the 'Fish Rising' sample which sets the tone and pluse of '7 O' Clock'. In fact the first three tracks will get you there all by themselves, but there's more.
'Soft Rain' is the track with the strongest gliss feel on the album mixed in with funkier rhythms and tracks 5, 7 and 8 are much more mellow than the irresistible beats of the earlier tracks - breathing space or perhaps the whole point of the trip? Who knows, who cares, it all sounds good to me - a hugely enjoyable journey.
- Manik Shamanik [9'46] - 'Kicks things off with its atmospheric synth lines, electronic wobbly sounds and ethereal guitar riffs.' (Steve Hillage, Miquette Giraudy and Bruno Catala) -
- High Plains Drifter [8'50] - 'First single off Seventh Wave. Throbbing beats and bassline with a deep and moody tribal feel to it, High Plains Drifter has Bedrock and Danny Tenaglia written all over it.' (Steve Hillage and Miquette Giraudy). -
- 7 O'Clock [10'25] - 'Starts off atmospheric and ambient and it slowly builds up into a hypnotic percussive groove with a strong Eastern Ethnic influence to it.' (Steve Hillage, Miquette Giraudy) -
- Soft Rain [8'53] - 'A collaboration with The Orb's Alex Patterson. On a downbeat breakbeat style Soft Rain is a gem of a tune full of electronic emotion.' (Steve Hillage, Miquette Giraudy and Alex Patterson) -
- Sal Del Mar 9'00 - 'Balearic bliss with subtle percussion and piano chords.' (Steve Hillage and Miquette Giraudy)
- Varkala 8'11 - 'Lifts things right up with what can be described as acid techno with progressive and trancy elements.' (Steve Hillage and Miquette Giraudy)
- Abyss 7'39 - 'Sublime downbeat journey of lush atmospheric strings and piano melodies.' (Steve Hillage, Miquette Giraudy and Bruno Catala)
- Chiringuito 8'19 - 'Another amazing laidback balearic groove to finish off a great album.' (Steve Hillage and Miquette Giraudy)