Just about a year ago now, I reviewed an album by Bill Streett entitled Lure. It was his debut effort and although it was semi hit-or-miss, there were a lot of good things going on within it and I looked forward to hearing future efforts from him. One of the major things that sort of bugged me about that previous release was that it didn't seem to have any real focus and although I'm all for eclecticism, it never really got going as well as I thought it could have.
Although the press release for this album says that it's trance, I'd like to give it a lot more credit than that since so much of that genre seems tossed off and watered down these days. While their are elements of the trance genre within Counterdance, it also steps outside the boundaries just as much and that's a big part of what makes it exciting. While it's also readily apparent that the release is much more cohesive and flows quite well, another thing that strikes me is how well Streett is branching out and using new sounds. While there are still a few nice synth string layers and other more typical sounds, he's obviously been mining different areas and it helps make the release much more rich texturally.
The first track "Splitting The Quark" starts things off in a hurry with a thumping beat and some drifting keyboards before he starts piling on layer after layer of them into an undulating progression of twinkling keyboards. While it runs out of steam a little bit before the end, it leads in very nicely to the very next track on the disc "On The Edge Of Tomorrow," which blends in some sort of retro keyboard effects for something that feels like it could drift into disco, but doesn't quite want to be caught being that cheesy. While he sort of loses his stride a bit on the clunky beats of "Wheel Of Fortune," "Overmind" is a nice, subtle track that just sort of drifts along and would probably fit into a lot of DJ sets given the chance.
Probably the album standout is the sixth track entitled "Venus Jones." It starts out with a goofy little mariachi type horn sample and the beat thumps along solidly while some weird little scratching type noises and some hazy keyboards give it a space cowboy feel that absolutely rocks. The track is followed up by what is probably the quietest, most atmospheric song on the disc, and it's a nice break after all the dancefloor beats. If you're a fan of a group like Juno Reactor or other techno bands that don't really stick to a formula (but lay down some catchy tracks), you may want to check this release out. I'm betting the next release will be even better.