On this week’s Unsung Heroes, we take the plunge into the murky recesses of one of Trance’s most interesting subgenres, Psy-Trance. Often obscure beneath its liquified basslines, Psy-Trance has been making a re-emergence in the faster styles of Trance today. A handful of artists today are capitalizing on its unique sound, such as Simon Patterson, Bryan Kearney, Sebastian Brandt, Eddie Bitar and Indecent Noise. Many of these DJ’s incorporate these unusual tunes to completely flip a set on its head, (with incredible results). It even made its debut in Den Bosh during the ASOT 600 Expedition World Tour, which was the first time in ASOT‘s history that Psy-Trance has ever been played.. Today, many Tech Trance artists feel as though it is a natural expansion of their creative choices in building sets and semi-obscure names like Astrix and Coming Soon!!! are now making way towards a larger audience who crave for a new sound. We now turn our attention towards Cape Town, near the Southern-most part of South Africa for an astounding artist who has been turning out to be one of the most promising artists in Psy-Trance.
South Africa is not known for their plethora of producers, but it seems as though one producer has pulled through with massive potential. Brett Kirsten, or otherwise known by his alias of Static Flow, has silently been honing his craft for over six years, gaining knowledge and inspiration from his vast collection of Psy-Trance vinyl. Surprisingly enough, fellow friend and Progressive Trance artist Protoculture has assisted him on his production journey; which is a little odd to say the least. However, his hard work finally payed off in the immensely crafted work, Reality Flex. Featured on DJ Natron‘s highly anticipated Solar Atmospheres II compilation, it brings something entirely different to the table. Rather than rely on heavy repeated basslines and a Jackson Pollock sense of sound randomization, Static Flow procures raw creativity through his highly experimental leads, and incredible detail to subtlety. It is this deadly combination that almost gives this track a sense of Futurism; the kind where innovation thrives and nothing is the norm.
Reality Flex starts with sweeping white noise, dripping subtleties and a lone vocal singer, bringing forth an incredible ambiance that makes it seem like a Cinematic piece than a Psy-Trance track. As the first drop is brought in with temple drums, a low, rhythmic synth is accompanied by a dark, brooding Psy bassline; creating the feeling of space and expansiveness throughout the listeners head. Some nice touches are added here, such as mechanical noises, fluttering flute lines and one of the crispest sounding Percussion I have ever heard. It is evident that Static Flow is a mastering of layering, as each new phrase brings along a whole new aural surprise. As the furious drive is established, a new, unique line is introduced into the main melody. A groovy, futuristic sound is placed in perfect harmony with the bassline, with the timbre being a combination of a liquified robotic voice and mind entrancing sound statements. It is almost astounding at how unusual this line is. It not only gives the piece mechanical drive and unfaltering power; it also gives a certain sense of funkiness and bounciness to the piece. As the breakdown occurs, a new, stronger melodic line is implemented; one that is cool and confident, yet backs it up with edginess and relentless force. Throughout the entire piece, it moves through many acts, acting as an opera of sorts. While there are many Psy-Trance tracks to choose from these days, none of them even come close to the sound that Static Flow has created.
Static Flow‘s Reality Flex is now available on Solar Tech Records on Beatport, so head over there and pick up this Psy masterpiece today.
Keep the music alive. -Q
Unsung Heroes is a weekly segment where we take a look back at an amazing production and bring it back into the light for older and newer fans alike. These tracks were often overlooked, overshadowed by a huge release or are just not that well known to the public here in America. Here, you can find all the hidden gems in many genres and find a new favorite track (or another tool/weapon for aspiring DJ’s).