Don't Look Now Import
As dance music has evolved, so too have Way Out West. What originally began life as a producer-based outfit has grown over the years. After two years of almost constant production work, writing and recording, the band are set to release their third, and self-proclaimed, "best album to date" Dont Look Now.
Originally a duo, Bristol, UK-based producers Nick Warren and Jody Wisternoff top class international DJs in their own right; the pair have added a secret weapon. Enter Omi. A featured vocalist on tracks for Starecase, Timo Maas, an all girl drum n bass outfit, Eden and the one and only Peter Gabriel, Omi brings an emotional authenticity to Dont Look Now that is sorely lacking on so many other electronica artist albums. Fans of Way Out Wests past releases wont be disappointed, but neither will fans of Sarah McLachlan or Dido. Its just that sort of album.
Dont Look Now glides from the staccato kick-drum and yearning vocals of upcoming single, Anything But You, to the epic space age poignancy of Everyday. Luscious soundscapes shift gracefully from the textured balearia of Chasing Rainbows to the main room dirty odyssey of Killa through to rollicking bongo twists and mangled basslines on Fear.
The album also includes a second CD bonus mix by DJs Nick Warren & Jody Wisternoff featuring tracks from Gray Area, Martin Buttrich, Hiratzka & Kazell, and Way Out West.
楽曲に関しては前作よりも明らかに音の幅が広がり、彼らのサウンドの要でもあるブレイクビートをベースとしながらより緻密に、より肉体的に、よりメランコリックに進化した、と言えるだろう。個々の楽曲に焦点を当てると、「The Gift」の再解釈ともとれる曲「Melt」や、攻撃的で肉体的なビートが印象的な「Fear」、アコースティックギターの導入で新たなWOWのイメージを構築するかのような一曲目「Anything But You」などだけでなく、正直全曲すべてがシングルカットされてもおかしくないくらいの高水準だ。
またこのアルバムは二枚組となっており、一枚目がオリジナルアルバム、二枚目がミックスCDという少し変わった内容になっている。二枚目の方は、WOWとしてのミックスとなっていて、Nick WarrenがGlobal Underground #024で見せた繊細な表情だけでなく、Jody Wisternoffが放つダイナミックな表情とが合わさり、まさにWOWとしてのミックスCDとなっている。この二枚のCDを聴く事で、WOWがDJユニットとしての実力、アーティストとしての実力双方を兼ね備えた類い稀なる存在であると認識できるはずだ。
While half the tracks on this album are vocal, I don't think it detracts at all from Way out West's reputation for producing quality progressive breaks music. With a good interjection of groovable non-vocal tunes like Killa, Northern Lights, Apollo, and Chasing Rainbows it definitely helps to offset the flavorful Don't Forget Me, Just Like a Man, and Melt.
If you loved Intensify, there's no question you'll love Don't Look Now. It's a more mature effort and it really sets the bar high for WOW's as an artist that will be difficult to beat. In some ways, yes, it is different from Intensify in that it strays away from a more standard 4/4 rhythm and sees Way out West experiment with different sounds and baselines. Vocalist Omi replaces Kirsty and Tricia-- I love Omi's voice. She is just at home on the pounding single "Anything But You" as she would be in a blues club.
The 2nd (bonus) CD is mixed by Way out West and has a more underground flavor. You might recognize a handful of the artists, but after listening to this set, you'll be tempted to research each and everyone's work. The vocal tracks are far and few, and while many might be tempted to term it a "throw-in," it really is a nice gem they've put together.
I'm a huge, huge electronic music lover and have listened to just about all the major electronic artists. I grew tired of a lot that was coming out into the scene. But WOW has always been producing inventive tracks and music, and I'm definitely looking forward to their next effort.
edit: Thought I'd look back at this album after the release of We Love Machine. This album is my favorite WOW effort. Some of the vocal tracks in the middle of the album such as Fear and Just Like a Man start to smash together, as somewhat incompatible. But "Killa" and "Apollo" are just wicked tracks. "Killa" represents to me at least, WOW's best single.
As a side note, I think both cds would make a great balanced playlist - One definitly balances out the other.
Beginning with the tight kicks of the vocal-led "Anything But You", and moving into the slow and emotional "Don't Forget Me" (which although one of the weaker tracks on the album, has a tremendous set of remixes that are well worth checking out), WoW move into more familiar prog territory, with three consecutive instrumental tracks. "Everyday" features a house kick with a great piano melody, "Apollo" is a space-age breaks laden track with enough energy and melody to please any Way Out West fan, and "Chasing Rainbows" is a slower instrumental track with a great build. The next track, "Fear" kicks off with a fierce drum intro which builds and builds, and makes you wish for Omi's vocals to return. Well, in fact, they do. At the end of the build comes a huge breakdown where Omi sings, "Looked into my soul, and found no limits" - you have to listen to this album to believe how good it feels when that break hits you. "Apollo" and "Fear" are my two favourite tracks, although this album is nothing if not going to appreciated as much unless listened to from start to finish.
The two next tracks "Coming Home" and "Just Like A Man" are slow and vocal-led, but not to be categorised under 'filler', before leading into "Killa", a prog house track with an enormously (but not overly) long intro, before kicking into tribal chanting and bongo madness.
"Northern Lights", the collaboration with Ulrich Schnauss (he of "Far Away Trains..." fame) is a chilly melodic breaks track, at a pace slow enough to let you recover from the madness of the last track, before more tight breaks with a vocal, "Melt" put you into a dream state which will continue onto "Absinthe Dreams", which while melodic and dreamy, also has a nightmarish quality - those who know the source of the main sample (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) will agree, which is the perfect end to a glorious album.
But wait! There are two discs!!!
Yes, and although I'm not about to review disc two, I will say that this is one of the best prog mix CD's I have listened to in a very long time - not as good as disc 1, but still worth the admission price alone.
So WoW show they have aged and matured into an act capable of taking on the road, and released a great album. But I just want to know when their next one is coming out!!!