13 February 2008

Hallucinogen - 1996 - The Lone Deranger

Quality: 4 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4.5 out of 5

Hallucinogen is the project of Shpongle's Simon Posford. Where as Shpongle often focuses on electronic music with a world beat bent, Hallucinogen is more of a straight ahead psy-trance sound. As far as that particular genre of electronic music goes, I would say that this is the gold standard.

Although this was Hallucinogen's first release in the U.S., is in fact the second album. With insanity (or 'unsane' as the opening track would suggest) seemingly the binding concept here, The Lone Deranger is somewhat of a dark sounding album. Posford is a master of odd electronic noise. Many acts of this nature suffer because their digital sequencing and sound effects end up sounding thin and tinny. Here though, plenty of analog electronic sounds seem to mingle with the more digital portions and give the music a very full blooded sound. As a psy-trance act, Hallucinogen is also extremely danceable and contains plenty of inventive four-on-the-floor house style beats.

Albums like this aren't particularly song oriented and you just have to flow along with the rolling sounds. It's often necessary to check your player to tell when you've reached the next track. However, there are still a few tracks that stick out for me. The opening "Demention" is pretty awesome evershifting fractal of electronics, with the opening voice sample being particularly amusing. "Trancespotting" plows along at the speed of an out-of-control shinkansen (bullet train for those of you not living in Japan) with some totally groovy dirty sounding acid sequences lighting the way. "Gamma Goblins Part 2" (don't know where part 1 is) tends to get referenced often as the centerpiece of the album, which is due in no small part to the truly terrifying sounding synth tones that Posford rips out of his machines.

Fort those of you open to the types of sounds created after the psychedelic 60's and 70's, and have a soft spot for electronic dance music, Hallucinogen will be like manna from heaven. At any rate, you'll get the opportunity to hear psy-trance at the absolute peak of its form.


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Play Now: Sprinter - Vurdalak (PsyTrance)