Progressive Trance music was a big thing in the 1990s, particularly in Europe. Trance Music itself had come out of a tradition and mixture of House and Techno, with some more dramatic sounds and a Progressive nature. BT, or Brian Transeau, has had a dramatic and interesting EDM based career. This is his first album, and he was helped along the way by fellow EDM contemporary Sasha and is often retrospectively seen as one of his best efforts. Let’s take an exploration through this album, and hear if it is as amazing as it should be.
We begin with Noctural Transmission which starts off with some soothing Electronic textures, combined with some soulful background sounds. From the beginning, we are in for an audio treat. There are some subtle sounds and a reoccurring 4/4 beat that sounds really suspenseful and exciting. The multitracked and stereo panned sounds here are really quite amazing. After a little bit, some hi-hats and great bird sounds, along with a whole load of ethereal textures enter. This is amazing music. Before you know it, a quick drum roll enters and this minimalist haven of sonic audio gets going. It is reminiscent of Leftfield’s efforts in a way but is totally original, exciting and nicely structured. Plenty of beeps and other original sounds are here for your listening pleasure. About halfway through this piece, some electrifying sounds are thrown into the mix and this whole thing sounds impressive. This is amazing and clever music, if you dig Electronic music, you are in for a real treat here. The second half has a semi-breakdown with some relaxing sounds and melodies before a repeated Electronic riff sound comes along. Before long, this piece returns to the danceability of it all with repeated 4/4 beats and plenty of other sonic goodies to sink your teeth into. The whole thing is quite dramatic and amazing. This piece builds up with some sonic sounds towards the end which sound incredibly good. It gets more minimal towards the end but continues the melodic and rhythmic flow. Some organ sounds are here before this piece ends with beats and a subsonic bassline. Brilliant.
Next along is Quark which begins with some dreamlike sounds that are very ethereal. This continues on for some time, becoming more intense sounding, eventually launching into some beats. It sounds futuristic and fantastic, and this is no doubt going to grab your attention. A hard Acid riff then enters, and we have a genuine good groove to listen to. It just sounds fantastic, and very much unlike anything out there, even in the world of EDM. It is a brilliant mixture of Acid sounds, Techno and EDM sensibility. It sounds amazingly futuristic, especially for the mid-1990s as many EDM trends have come and gone since then. A very groovy bassline then enters, and this piece is quite a fun listening experience. It has some 808 snare rolls to indicate the Progressive nature of this soulful track. A really cool, clever and fun listen, this was no doubt popular at the time, especially in the UK. In the second half are some additional textures thrown in the mix that sound really excellent. Towards the end, a semi-wall of sound builds up and then releases, before concluding. Great effort, it ends with soulful vocal harmonies that are wordless. Excellent.
Tripping The Light Fantastic begins with some eerie apocalyptic styled sounds, which are different. This is another lengthy piece at over six minutes long. Before long, some cut-up sounds and Progressive beats begin to enter. This is really cool and exciting and quickly launches into a 4/4 Acid-based groove. Some cut up vocals then enter, and this piece of music gets pounding. It is a brilliant and energetic listening experience that is consistent musically and very exciting. It is just as suitable to hear on the dancefloor of a rave or nightclub as it is at home. It certainly does sound wonderful and is a really decent piece of music. Lively, electric and exciting, the melodies in the second half are really amazing. A gorgeous and wonderful piece of music, this sounds exciting and has some great and inventive layers of sound. This is the real deal here, and it is an essential listen from this album. Towards the end are some very druggy sounding textures and melodies, with clanging piano in the background. BT does impress and delivers a great tune.
Embracing the Future begins with some calm sounds of nature before a simple melody enters. It is a beautiful listen with digital beeps throughout. It sounds majestic and exciting, with some expertly placed percussion. Soon enough, some Roland style beats enter and this piece sounds marvellous. A really excellent listen from the start, it sounds interesting and lively. It is inspired by a lot of the EDM of the time, however, not overly so. In the middle, it changes somewhat to become a more melodic and danceable piece that sounds brilliant. If BT could look into the future of music, he would find that Electronic sounds were the future, which is very much the case today. Towards the end, some clanging piano and basic beats enter to make this piece more driven. A very classy listen, this does sound amazing. The end of this track finishes with some brilliant melodies and animal calls. Nice track.
Next along is the seven-minute track Deeper Sunshine which begins with more nature-inspired sounds and some brilliant Electronic textures to boot. It is a very exciting and interesting listen to hear and sounds somewhat retro flavoured. It is a dynamic and colourful listening experience that sounds very interesting. Punchy beats join on in, along with more piano. It certainly does sound very great and is an awesome track. After some time, there are some loose breakbeats and other textures that enter the scene to grab your attention. These build up gradually and sound awesome. It goes very minimal in the second half, with some more 1980s styled ethereal sounds. This continues for some time, sounding artistic and interesting. Some tom-tom drums enter in the second half, which sounds really cool. Chanting enters as well, this sounding somewhat influenced by African tribal music. BT was obviously way ahead in terms of musicality than many of his peers. This track goes on for some time, before becoming very minimal at the end. Good job.
Following is Loving You More – BT’s Garden of Ima Dub. It has a catchy melody, quiet rhythms and some other interesting watery textures. It certainly sounds really cool and is one of the standout tracks from this album. A really great listen, there is a careful level of intricacy about the music on this track, and record as well. Vincent Covello provides some cut-up vocal samples to listen to, and this is a piece you should definitely blast in your car if you want to. In any case, this is a really great listen and shows how intensely committed BT is to his music. Towards the middle, some flanger based Psychedelic sounds take the centre stage. Some further interesting and original sounds enter, with more cut-up vocals that are great and soulful. This is a wonderful effort of colour, light and shade musically that needs to be heard. A really cool and amazing piece of music, this is very nicely delivered. Some metallic sounds then follow, and this track progresses well all the way through. It becomes more intense in the second half, before entering into an organ melody that sounds really cool. A very lively and great listening experience, it is a lot more minimal towards the end. Cut up vocal samples and interesting tweaks to finish this track off are here before the track segues into the next piece. Effortlessly fabulous.
Loving You More – BT’s Final Spiritual Journey is a short continuation of the previous track, which has a lot of prominent piano playing and Vincent Covello as guest vocalist once again. It certainly does sound wonderful and artistic, which is entirely the intention of this track. It sounds upbeat and interesting, with some very House music styled lyrics to listen to. This is a good piece of music that sounds very upbeat and energetic, with a real passionate vocal performance by our guest. It ends nicely.
Poseidon begins with some pulsating Techno/Acid sounds that are blood pumping and brilliant. It sounds surreal, interesting and energetic. Before long, it builds up with some 4/4 beats and some additional sounds and textures to listen to. It is a really exciting and interesting listening experience that no doubt many will enjoy upon hearing. A really cool and calm listen, this is minimal music for those who dig EDM. Very awesome, you can clearly hear the energy and effort placed into this track. This is very awesome and demands shades on whilst listening. Some minimal percussion sounds enter in the second half of the track, and this builds up nicely with some subtle Acid sounds. Very decent and highly recommended, this sounds super stellar. It gets somewhat more minimal towards the end, yet unleashes some Acid Techno styled sounds and more groovy percussion. These Acid sounds build up in intensity and energy, before releasing right towards the end. A wonderful and simple piece of music, this is excellent listening.
Next along is Embracing The Sunshine which is nearly 11 minutes long. It begins with some combination of eerie sounds, textures, waves and whooshing, along with some subsonic sounds. It certainly sounds interesting and different, with many spacey sounds to change your perception of how you may hear music. This instrumental is awesome and reminds one of Oxygene somewhat. There are some synthesised vocal style sound effects, some beeps and bleeps and a great deal of suspense on this track. It is a really different and unique sounding piece of music. It then enters with a piano, some awesome melodies and different sounds that are gloriously good. A really cool and different listen, eventually beats enter and we are underway with the danceable side of the music here. A really cool listening experience, this progresses along nicely and sounds cool and different. Some further excellent melodies are in around the middle here, which are retro 1980s sorts of sounds. A really excellent and fun listening experience, this does sound really cool. This is obviously a bit of a throwback to earlier EDM music, but retaining energy and freshness all the same. A very nice tune to listen to, this sounds very good. It gets spacey towards the end in the second half of the track. The bass end of things goes quiet for a bit, allowing extra melodies to surface. A very wonderful listen, this sounds really good. Eventually, things wrap up gradually at the end, before concluding excellently.
After that is Blue Skies which features singer Tori Amos. It is much shorter at five minutes long and comes across as a much more mainstream EDM piece. It sounds a bit odd and retro, although Tori Amos herself sings very well here. She sings in a wonderful and loveable voice which is clear and well delivered. It’s a good song, but doesn’t fit well on this record and sadly, falls flat, dragging the rest of the album down. It’s a sell-out sort of piece, which unfortunately damages the record and the artistic intention of it. A nice try, but this is not the best of BT. There is some interesting suspense and good singing from our guest, but otherwise, probably avoid this song. It’s just not good enough. The outro is also fairly repetitive, too.
Blue Skies – BT’s Delphinium Days Mix is a much longer version of the original song. Does it sound better? Yes and no. It is different, but why on earth would you polish something that wasn’t that good in the first place? This remix seems to come across like that, although it seems more Psychedelic and interesting. It has bongos and other different percussion and sound effects which are good and interesting but is somewhat a failure in some areas. It is an improvement on the original track and sounds a bit like Underworld in terms of its structure. The midsection gets interesting, with Classical style piano and interesting textures to match. Still, this album wears out its welcome after some time particularly with length, and this is a clear example of why so. Understandably, BT needed to make a strong and solid debut album, but this is not the way to do it. The album becomes more tiresome towards the end to listen to, and this remix is a very clear example of why. The cut-up vocals in the middle of the song are really good though and lead into an interesting midsection that is pretty cool. Still, a dead horse is being flogged, presumedly for dollars rather than a decent listening experience. It’s okay, but clearly is an attempt by BT to rectify a bad song. Unless you like the original song being remixed, once again, avoid it. It is pointless listening otherwise. Enough said on the track, it’s just not that good. The loops towards the end are pretty cool, mind you. It ends with acoustic guitar sounds and looped vocals before rushing waves and cicadas make noise with some organ riffs. Rather ordinary, to be fair.
Sasha’s Voyage Of Ima goes for 45 minutes, so a brief summary will be provided here rather than something written upon listening as it would be extremely lengthy. This is a mix provided by BT’s best friend in music. To be honest, this mix is probably better than the rest of the album alone. It flows beautifully and nicely and has a lot of colour and interesting sounds to make you enjoy it to the full. Notably, this pointed ahead to future collaborations with BT and Sasha, and deservedly so. It would have been better for this album to have been a joint project, but nonetheless, this is a good mix to hear.
The last track on this album is Divinity. It begins with nature sounds, some melancholy piano and some strange sound effects. It has a bunch of additional sounds and textures to listen away to, for your enjoyment. After about a minute, this track builds up with a Classical music sensibility and a nice plucked string instrument to hear. Pounding 4/4 beats then enter the scene. This could have been an attempt by BT to make his own Pacific State. Still, it retains the better side of his music here, especially considering it is nearly 11 minutes long. Many of the tracks on this album are overly long in length, but this can be forgiven at times. After some time, a breakdown occurs and there are some Electronic rattles and hums, before launching back into the action. This is actually quite an exciting listening experience, and it takes you to another headspace. It progresses with Acid-based sounds, which are pretty cool. The piece progresses well enough to maintain one’s interest. A very excellent and lively sounding track, although the album itself can be wearisome listening at times, it does finish it off nicely, however. In the second half are more piano parts that are nicely played. It builds up with other sounds before reaching a decent conclusion with some excellent sonics, textures and repeated sounds. It ends with some basic drum machine sounds and a repeated cut-up vocal sample. A good finish to a mixed bag of an album with the 808 State styled vibe. Nice work.
This album has some good tunes, some ordinary tunes and some very disappointing tunes. If you were to spend a total of well over two hours hearing this and expecting to be flattered, you will not find it here, sadly. The best was yet to come for BT and his collaborator friend Sasha. It is BT’s debut, and he has done better since this release. Good, but not great.
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