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 Compilation - 1-Year Dance - PKPWPS 2
  Release Date: 22 November 1993
  Limitation: 500

   SYN (Namlook):
     If Only You Could See...                       8.00
   4Voice (Namlook):
     Eternal Spirit (Northern Mix)                  6.27
   Sequential (Namlook/DJ Criss):
     A Trip to Paradise                             9.24
   4Voice (Namlook/Maurice):
     Music Hypnotizes (Hypnotizing Mix)             5.21
   Hearts of Space (Namlook/F.E.O.S.):
     With a Medium into Trance (Drop Out Mix)       6.14
   The Putney (Namlook/Rehberg):
     Putney Dust                                   10.09
   Gorn (Cox/Vivona):
     Delarge 1 (1 Year - Dance Edit)                7.55
   Limelight (Namlook/DJ Brainwave):
     mens, mentis (les durus mix)                   6.02
   Synthadelic (Namlook/Heart):
     I'm a Secretary                                5.14
   4Voice (Namlook):
     Move                                           5.52

Limelight 2 was the first fax release I heard. I still own it and it is one of the (very) few FAX vinyl releases I have and it is included in this compilation, so this disc is quite emotive for me. What you have basically is the best of the dance releases from that year, 1993, when fax was more about hard-trance and less about the many styles of ambient it was to subsequently spawn.

If you are aware of the FAX hard-trance sound you will know what this is all about. To those who were not present at the time, this disc is likely to sound dated and have little meaning. To those who were there this discs serves as a good reminder of how things were, and just how influential Namlook was in this musical sphere - Eternal Spirit was enormous in its day. Speaking personally, I would comment that Synthadelic - I'm a Secretary is awful, even for 1993 and 4Voice - Move sounds somewhat like Belgian techno a la Dominator and is somewhat tiresome.

Ignoring these two and all things considered, you have a very fine collection of Frankfurt trance when it was cutting edge.

(review by Ian Ainslie)

Trance and hardcore are the offerings on this partner to the "1 Year - Ambient" CD. Namlook really excels at trance tracks; being able to maintain the trance repetitiveness and yet exercising enough control over them to ensure that they never become boring can be tricky, especially as trance requires a similar style in all it's tracks. This CD shows this off to perfection as the first four tracks prove; each a perfect model of lively, building trance. It's no wonder that Rising High snapped up "Eternal Spirit" for a UK release and packed three Namlook trance tracks onto their "Secret Life Of Trance 2" release.

"With A Medium Into Trance" loses points for having a voice sample that sounds like Phil Collins but provides ample satisfaction on the dancefloor with its pounding beat and sudden "trance line" changes (like a repetitive mid-range bass line). The first Fax hardcore track is "Putney Dust", an unusual and inventive excursion into analogue tweakery. "Delargo" is the only non-Namlook track on here, a fast acid belter that doesn't seem to be able to work that easily on the dancefloor. It depends on the DJ of course but the edit supplied is an awkward, fluctuating thing; I'd like to hear the original.

"I'm A Secretary" is one of those hated things; a novelty track. Hold your head in your hands and moan softly to yourself as a woman says, "I'm a secretary/And type all day" to be replaced with the standard hardcore boom-boom track but this time overlaid with key-clicks from a typewriter and the carriage-return bell sound at the end of each fourth bar. After this fairly tacky track that is more annoying than fun, it's straight into booming breakbeat zone with "Move" which uses that Juno-106 "vacuum hoover" sound; you know, like The Prodigy's "Charlie". The track works quite well though, despite this cliched (but effective in this case) sound.

"1 Year - Dance" is a great CD, mainly due to the great trance tracks; the hardcore tracks are less inspiring but this is an area that Namlook is trying to move away from anyway. Having said that, both "Putney Dust" and "Move" are solid tracks that stand up well in this compilation. If you are looking to buy a Fax dance CD, this should be pretty high on your list.

Overall: *****

(review by Simon Walley)


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