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 Houdini - PS 08/38
  Release Date: 7 March 1994
  Limitation: 500

   Braincloud                           8.55
   Iris                                12.19
   What in the World is Going On?       5.45
   Aurora                               5.43
   Neural Deception                     6.38
   Red Dwarf                            5.54
   Too Late                             6.50
   Don't Know Really                    5.23
   Beyond Recognition                   5.37
   Strange?                             5.07
   My House                             4.46

  all tracks written by Simon Ellis
    except 5, 9, 10 by Simon Ellis & Christian Linder

the album starts off with some melodic trancey synths and even a female in a few tracks. dancefloor material, and not the typical fax sounding trance. this is more accessible trance, but seems to hold its own ground. the sounds and samples are unique, yet still maintaing some boundries.

for those who describe this as EYE-Q sounding, would be accurate. there is a sense of sounding a bit dated in that realm, but still keeping it 'fresh' sounding. i would imagine a little too reptitive for some, however the looped samples can avert the sense of overstaying a track.

track four is funky and hypnotic, adding a house piano from hell. this is a seemingly endless track. one of the highlights to the disc.

a surprisingly good cd.

(review by jackthetab)

One of the early sublabel releases, this falls squarely into the category of trance. If that scares you, stop reading now, but if it doesn't you may be about to discover a gem.

While it may be easy to categorise, or even pigeon-hole, Simon Ellis and collaborator Christian Linder have created a disc which retains a distinct feel all its own, and is wonderfully easy to dip in and out of, while still working as an album.

Highlights for me include the Bjork-sampling opener, the closing "My House" as well as "Iris" and "Neural Deception", two of the more muscially strong pieces, but of course although it's an eminently listenable disc, it's definitely conducive to a good old-fashioned boogie...well, maybe not a jitterbug, but you know what I mean!

Verdict - 8/10. Highly recommended.

(review by Martin Jones)

For those who may have written off some of the early Fax trance albums as an outdated curiosity and nothing more, this album may come as a pleasant surprise. It does actually stand up to repeated listening even today (2002). As Jonathan Takagi states in his review it is reminiscent of some of the stuff coming from the Eye-Q label in 93/94. The best tracks are in my opinion "Braincloud", which samples Bjork to quite good effect, "Neural Deception" and "Iris". The rest are still quite interesting examples of the genre and are all very melodic gradually developing their themes intelligently and to fairly danceable effect.

(review by Richard Hughes)

This one's really different than the usual FAX dance stuff, which usually ends up being very repetitive and boring. This should appeal more to people who like the stuff coming from Eye-Q, as its a lot more melodic and accessible and I like it a lot better. "Braincloud", "Iris" and "Aurora" are perfect examples where they have building melodies around a decent beat. A couple tracks are a little too fast, and his stab at house ("My House") is pretty sad. "Strange?" is not really all that strange, and the one or two ambient tracks are okay. But this CD represents a big change in the dance department at FAX, and I find it a lot better. Who is this Simon Ellis guy anyways?

(review by jonathan takagi)


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