Various Artists – Mindfield (Psychonavigation)


Psychonavigation label head Keith Downey has been described in such terms as ‘Godfather of Irish techno’, certainly his label Psychnavigation has been busy in releasing intelligent electronic music with an eye for the dance floor and less energetic listening environs. This latest compilation, Mindfield is predominately an example of floor based orientation. It brings together an impressive group of artists ranging from Buckminster Fuzeboard, Scanner, David Morley, Robert Leiner, The Black Dog, Boxcutter, The Future Sound Of London and Melbourne based Sense (Adam Raisbeck). As a compilation album it’s aesthetic tends to represent a period of music production that can loosely be described as ambient to hard psychedelic techno from the early to mid nineties without the looser edges of the genres tendencies included. It is all tight well produced fare, slightly out of place in present climes, but never the less worthy of a listen.

It starts of with a ambient intro style piece from Buckminster Fuzeboard, then an ultra ambient live mix of ‘Beryllium Sphere’ by San Francisco’s Spacetime Continuum (Jonah Sharp) which is an ambient dub plodder with interesting effects and beat forms. David Morley, noted for excellent production on R&S as well as for Andrea Parker, contributes ‘Equator‘ a mid paced complex beat, wire brush effects and slightly moody atmosphere taken from his recent album ‘Ghosts’. The album moves to a peak with the additions of Robert Leiner’s ‘Tung Gung’ a relatively Goa Trance style track and The Black Dog’s remix of Anodyne’s ‘Corrosion’ which is an almost ten minute thumper with the sophistication of a sharp kick in the groin. Zombie Computer’s ‘Your Rules’ (Toby Kaar’s long distance mix) is a long syncopated structure that forces obtuse rhythms and beats together with the looped chorus of ‘do what you want’s being the only creative law. Then off into interesting frequency manipulation fields with Boxcutter whose beats seem to be the loose structure by which he can get away with very loose frequency experiments and sonic sculpture. The contribution of Future Sound of London is fairly uninspiring and seems to be akin to an outtake from ‘The Isness’, their Osho mysticism meltdown under the Amorphous Androgynous moniker. Eric Coniglio and Arve Henricksen’s ‘The girl from Murania’ is the surprise and best track on the album, it’s whistful and melancholy trumpet, drums and strings combination is well orchestrated and evokes both an emotional and intricate intelligent scape. It is completely destroyed by the glibness of Cuttooth’s ‘Bothieus’ with it’s dope smokers version of Philosophy. Scanner’s ‘Persephone’ sees Robin Rimbaud deep into orchestral scoring mode for an almost classical track that could easily sit within a film environment. It ends with three long ambient psychedelic tracks by Sense, Karol Gwozdz and Robert Doyle.



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