Psy'Aviah - Eclectric (DCD Alfa-Matrix)Posted on 22/04/10
The debut-album of Psy'Aviah took us by surprise. This young Belgian duo showed a fine and original approach in electronic music, which seems to have convinced Alfa-Matrix to release a 2nd full length with a limited edition as well. "Electric" left me rather breathless. Psy'Aviah already impressed me by several great remixes they've made, but a remix is always different than composing your own songs. Releasing an album like "Eclectric" isn't an easy thing! Yves Schelpe and Emélie Nicolaï (plus guitarist Kristof De Clerck) have composed another original piece of electronics with multiple influences. The sound is definitely electronic, but sometimes moving on the edge of electro-wave reinforced with technoid elements. The diversity of influences is definitely one of the main strengths of "Eclectric" while the originality of the sound makes Psy'Aviah quite unique in their genre. The songs are remarkably crafted showing a real talent in the writing. The female vocals are much more diversified than what we've heard on the "Entertainment Industries", but E. Nicolaï also seriously improved her vocal skills. This girl who sometimes looks so shiny on stage here makes a quite reassured impression. Better for her because two famous guest vocalists have been invited to sing each one song on the regular edition of "Eclectric". First there's the "Ophélie"-song featuring Front 242's frontman Jean-Luc Demeyer. The lovers of Arthur Rimbaud will immediately recognize this title taken from a poem of the French writer. The song brings some extra diversity, but can't be considered as a real highlight. The other guest vocalist is Jennifer Parkin (Ayria) singing on "Into The Game". This song is quite alluring although not the best from the album. One of the absolute tasters is "Paranoid". This is an achieved composition mixing different influences and revealing all the writing skills of the band where they've accentuated the guitar part while the electronic layers are just sublime! The song is danceable as well so you don't hear me ask for more! Similar impressions appear on songs like "No Excuse", which is a cool opener and "Keep Hope Alive" bringing some ultra dynamic pop vibes alive. The robotic vocoder on the male vocals running through "AllAboutYou" reveals all the production wisdom of this young band. About the vocal production I also want to point your attention for the "Anger Management"-song with some heavy effect on Emélie's vocals, which are here remind me of Unter Null. It's the kind of trick I didn't exactly expect from Psy'Aviah, but it's once more a great idea. In a totally different style the vocals on "Blackhole" now comes closer to the cold and sterile style of Anne Clark. The diversity in vocals and music is unbelievable, but it all comes together in a quite compact and harmonious result. A few more songs I want to recommend are "Attract/Re Ject" driven by an irresistible humming bass sound, "Twisted Mind" for its filtered bleeps and the "Practice"-part of "Fear" constructed with a devastating progression.
After such a brilliant album, I was a bit afraid to discover the bonus disc from the limited edition featuring 13 songs. This limited edition entitled "Eclectricism" went far beyond my expectations. Most of the remixes are pretty good. IC 434's "Re-Take" of "Anger Management" is a transcendent piece of music. Geert de Wilde (who by the way also did the mastering of the album) reworked the original version into a refined, dark danceable IC 434-version. Sebastian Komor remixed "Anger Management" in a more experimental approach, which isn't bad, but not my favourite one. I was more impressed by 'newer' and 'younger' names like Essence Of Mind remixing "Anger Management" with some breakbeats on top and EX.ES doing a good job on "Anger Management" (once more) with an empowered, dark injection. Studio-X (new signing on Alfa-Matrix) has already made a couple of good remixes and here again this project brings the more into technoid-sounding "No Excuse" to a good end. Last, but not least this bonus-disc also brings a few exclusive songs, which are a bit more into pop, but with the Psy'Aviah stamp on top. "Bad Gods Pray" featuring a female guest singer is a song to watch out for. The vocals add a cold accent to the song. "Kings & Queens" opening this disc also features (another) female guest vocalist. This singer as a different timbre of voice, which fits well to this more into pop-driven song.
Psy'Aviah is on the way to became a recognized and soon established name in the Belgian electronic gallery! "Eclectric" (& "Eclecticism") belongs to the best Alfa-Matrix releases from the last months, which simply confirms the potential of this album!
(Tor Cleenics:8/9)Tor Cleenics.
Band: www.psyaviah.de / www.myspace.com/psyaviah
Label: www.alfa-matrix.com / www.myspace.com/alfamatrix
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