Mind Technologies Vol. 7 -Mindtech Recordings Review
The Belgian madmen behind Mindtech Recordings are back with a new VA LP! While last April’s Peace Of Mind album was a massive gathering of more established artists, their Mind Technologies series aims to showcase the emerging talent in the neurofunk scene, and Volume 7 brings a lot to the table!
This compilation features 20 tracks from the likes of Axi, ChaseR, RedPill, Okuli, Nfunk, Coresyntax, Revaux, Draven, Visius & Gradate, Transforma & Gawn Deep, AnnGree, Nais, Sinecore, Brain Vertex, Crimsonix, Goh, Disept, Invadhertz, Thesys and a collaboration between Ophlot, Flare and Difend. It’s a who’s who of the rising stars of neurofunk in Europe and every song has something different to offer.
The LP features quite a few straight up hard hitting one-note bangers, some of which are quite good, like opening Safe House from Axi, remixed here by Bowsar, which has a high energy drop, a good variation in dynamics and a very ear catching “wop” vocal sound that makes it instantly recognisable.
There is also closing track Turbine by Ophlot, Flare and Difend, which while not limited to one note per se, manages to a lot with little changes in melody thanks to some heavy as fuck basses. It reminds me of older Phace tunes, with an apocalyptic atmosphere and crushing, raw energy.
However, I do feel like there are a bit too many tracks of this style, which can get monotonous after a while. I don’t mean to offend the producers, but guys (and gals) chord progressions and melodies are your friends, and they can make for much more appealing musical experiences than one note played ad nauseam with some arbitrary modulation to the bass sound.
Among the harder tracks I particularly enjoyed Transforma & Gawn Deep’s Particular Velocity (pun intended), which goes for the classic techy sound with a lot of synth stabs atop a really crunchy bass and a Lars-Ulrich loud snare (that does sound good though). It also has a cool chord change halfway through the drop to add some variety and dynamics.
There are some nice deeper tracks, which help balance out the selection of mostly heavier tracks, like ChaseR’s Prolegomenon, which while also basic in the melody department, is catchy and has a nice rolling vibe and some buttery-smooth sound design. The other deeper track on offer here is Click by Invadhertz, towards the end of the LP, which has some nice shuffling breaks beneath the beat playing call and response with the bassline.
One track bridges the gap between the two styles, Stolen VIP by Brain Vertex, which opens a chilling vocal that evokes in me images a Viking village after a brutal pillage… where the first drop is flashback to the actual attack with a pummelling rhythm. In its latter half, the song switched to a deeper sound.
There are also some tracks that really stand out, being quite unique in style or incredibly well executed and produced. Among these is Volcano by Okuli, which has a really nice offset rhythm and quirky pitched up snare that follows the chord progression, and a really cool winding-up sound that reminds me of the first Mefjus track I heard, Contemporary. It also has cool non-linear chord progression in the intro and breakdown, which also remind of Mefjus’s disjointed and tension-filled melodies.
I also really enjoyed Time Abyss by AnnGree – which is a woman, and that is a plus, because we don’t have enough amazing female talents in this sausage party of a genre, it’s especially a plus because it is one of the strongest tracks on this album. It has a very dark and cold industrial feel to it, with a barrage of eerie, alien sounds, and sounds like it could soundtrack a film like Event Horizon!
Another stand out is Night Visions by Crimsonix, which has an epic 80’s tinged intro and an equally epic and uplifting Ultrafunk drop in the style of Xilent. It also has a touch of that cheesy Skrillex sound with some drumstep business in the 2nd drop and those screechy alarm sound synths. The track’s basslines and chopped up bits of instrumentation are incredibly well produced and make it one of the LP’s most energetic moments. Bonus points for the chord progression right before the drop that made me think it was going to go into the Final Fantasy VI battle theme!
It is followed by Goh’s Tiamat, another killer neurofunk number with some mental vocoded basses that twist and turn like there is no tomorrow, and which oscillates effortlessly between the main rhythm and short bursts of halftime beats.
The final standout for me was Crash Landing by Thesys, which falls into the incredibly well produced and executed category. You’ll think you’re listening to Billain when you hear this track, which is a testament to its mad scientist level of production, mixing and sound design! But therein also lies its problem, as it does sound so much like Billain that it sadly lacks in originality as a result. Still a wicked track and a major accomplishment for Thesys, and I hope he finds a sound distinctly his own.
In conclusion, there is a whole heap of emerging talent on this album, and no matter type of neurofunk you like, the future is looking bright with these artists to keep an eye out for! My hats off to you Mindtech Recordings!
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