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Parallel Universe [Import]

4Hero Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Audio CD (14 Mar 1995)
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Selector
  • ASIN: B000003SAY
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,032,014 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Universal Love (4 Hero Mix)
2. No Imitation
3. Parallel Universe
4. Talk Around Town
5. Follow Your Heart (Part One)
6. Wrinkles In Time
7. Terraforming
8. People Always Criticize Us
9. Follow Your Heart (Part Two)
10. Shadow Run
11. Sunspots
12. Sounds From The Black Hole
13. Power To Move The Stars
14. Solar Emissions

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spacecapadesinsound 15 July 2009
Format:Audio CD
Space music for the next millenium, this album will be very hard to top as the seminal album in new music, an album marking a point in musical history, much like a symphonic piece of old. Enjoyed in the quiet solitude of an empty void, Parallel Universe is beyond conception, a work of art.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Parallel Universe 31 Aug 2006
By Mike Newmark - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Parallel Universe is generally considered to be the second-best drum 'n bass album ever recorded (the top spot goes to Goldie's Timeless LP, also released in 1995), most likely for two reasons. The first is due to its out-of-print status for most of its existence, having first been released on the late Reinforced Records and then reissued on the similarly ill-fated Crammed Discs label. Its absence during jungle's peak years (1994-1997) simply didn't allow enough people to hear it and gave ample opportunity for Goldie and Roni Size to blitz dancefloors worldwide.

The second reason has to do with the album's fey science-fiction theme, which is more Sylvia Browne than Orson Scott Card. Timeless had its sights set on the cosmos, but beneath the otherworldly atmosphere was the soul of hardcore jungle--a direction that Goldie would later fully embrace. Parallel Universe, by contrast, makes no bones about its mystic sci-fi inclinations or those inclinations' inability to jive with mainstream audiences. Where Goldie came off as a mad junglist trying his hand at prettiness, 4hero (the duo of Marc Clair and Dego MacFarlane) sound like kids raised on astrology and mysticism who one day stumbled upon jungle.

So it's no small wonder how natural their craft seems to come to them. Placed sonically between their early hardcore 7" singles ("Mr. Kirk's Nightmare") and their later overcooked fusion bombs (Creating Patterns, their latest LP), Parallel Universe seamlessly blends toughness and loveliness for an equally head-nodding and soul-searching musical trip. The intricacy of 4hero's breakbeats has thus far been unmatched by anyone in the field, period. The beats aren't especially fast, but what's speed anyway? You don't see Designs & Mistakes on any Top 10 lists, do you? Like Q-Tip and Phife Dawg's rhyming, the stress of the beats is on fluidity and interplay.

With the exception of the beautifully nocturnal "Universal Love," most of the tracks on Parallel Universe tend to be similar in structure. Usually five minutes in length, they begin with a soft, simple keyboard line or an oblique vocal sample before launching into dynamic, stuttering breakbeats. Then, about three minutes in, a beautiful pad synthesizer swoons and joins the breaks for a profoundly spiritual minute-and-a-half before disappearing and letting the drums take the song to the finish line. It's a formula, but oh, what a formula it is, and hearing the formula played out in different contexts gives one the sense of it's utter perfection--a bit like the human circulatory system. This makes Parallel Universe more focused and precise than Timeless, without the feeling that Dego and Marc are overexerting themselves.

Finally, 4hero understood what Jan Jelinek understood when he recorded Loop-Finding-Jazz-Records: subtlety is everything. With its syncopated chimes and slanted synth swabs, Parallel Universe winks at jazz without ever stating it explicitly. It's a modus operandi that 4hero apparently forgot when they recorded the slick, bloated Two Pages three years later and Creating Patterns after another three. On those albums, their new age inclinations became more burdensome than endearing, with a mess of stringed, brass and electronic instruments forming "jazz" in quotations that always threatened to implode in on itself. In a way, Parallel Universe serves to remind us of a purer time for drum 'n bass, before the jazz-fusion monster even became a valid issue. In a perfect world--nay, universe--where the stars are aligned and the nights are always crisp and sweet, Parallel Universe would be the single best drum 'n bass album ever to see the light of day.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Milestone 27 Feb 2000
By Nikolaus Kratzat - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
After 5 years of listening to this amzing piece of work I still have to say that it is one of the finest works of dnb (Along with a guy called geralds "black secret technology") that was ever produced. It influenced dnb in a way that no album ever after did. Its just timeless.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Homage to that which truly deserves it! 2 Nov 2005
By CLRH2O - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
It has to be said that 4-Hero's "Parallel Universe" album from 1995 is a work of such extreme excellence that it boggles the mind. It can change the direction of ANY mood, convince even the most jaded music listener that there is musical life beyond what we normally hear and ultimately solidifies it's self on all who do hear it as a thing of pure perfection.

Tracks which I personally believe you must pay special attention to are:

2. No Imitation

4. Talk Around Town

7. Terraforming

9. Follow Your Heart (Part Two)

10. Shadow Run

12. Sounds From The Black Hole

14. Solar Emissions

Mark Mac and Dego must have sold their souls for this one.

If you don't have it - F%@KING GET IT!

I can't stress this enough.

Reinforced Records R.I.P. (recent closure in 2005)

The "R" will always be in my heart.

(CLRH2O // Force Recordings, Pattern Recognition, Separate Entity, Hallucination, Stateside Collective)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars recent convert 7 Jan 2006
By Gillian Was - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
not being a heavy drum and bass listener myself, always leaning more towards downtempo and house beats, i was surprised by the listenability of this album. it's melodic but not too grandiose, approachable and hard hitting (as d&b should be.) a good well rounded drum and bass album, that i would highly recommend for avid fans of the genre and newcomers alike. track 6 is a personal fav.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Complex, relentless, highly recommended. 7 Dec 1999
By Tom Moody - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
With its Kenny G-ish saxophone and straightforward diva vocals, the first track, Universal Love, sounds like a bid for Top 40 airplay (I have to admit it's pretty catchy, though). After that, it's pure breakbeat science: imaginative, layered, time-stretched pulses that go in and out, backwards and forwards in elaborate, relentless sonic landscapes. The latter tracks, as a unit, could be a kind of sci-fi concept album, with titles, spoken word samples, and sounds devoted to Martian colonization, solar radiation, "wrinkles in time," and other extraterrestrial concepts. More on the listening than the dancing end of the drum-and-bass spectrum, this CD is amazing technically, but has enough melody and feeling to make the science seem wildly romantic, rather than geeky.
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