Terry Francis' Advanced School of House Architecture gets another wing with this, the newest disc: 'Volume 2'. At first audition, 'Architecture' V2 feels less raucous (acidic) and even more subtle than its predecessor. But be advised: there's no sibling comparision of 'better' or 'worse' when you're in the hands of a master mixer like Francis, any more than there's judging between mountains or sea...only more vistas of progressive tech-house trance to explore at a tireless pace.
Pure Science--responsible for the last disc's headlong, echo-y manifesto "Flight Against Oppression"--opens Volume 2 with a straightforward rhythm track that gathers energy as it goes, adding a ghostly chorus chanting all the way from Botswana. This begins a dreamy groove mini-series that roams over the next several 'tracks'. As on Volume 1, primary tunes blur and float atop an insistent house foundation, woven skillfully together with layers of subtracks that rise and gradually fade back into the mix, like highway signs diminishing in a rear-view mirror.
After a segue across Gideon's trancey, aptly-named "Mellifluous" and through a wonderful vocal throwdown by Presence (who ended V1 with the burning "Better Day"), we enter into a dubby, darker techno period. Urban Response's "Mission Complete" could be a sci-fi soundtrack with its staccato drive and piano accents; U.S.O.S. converts the beat into clattery percussion drama cushioned by rolling bass, which gets passed down the line through further groove transformations. Eventually, we emerge to meet the chilly house thump of Swayzak's "Bluefarm", with a minimalist snowfall of synths drifting onto wordless vocalizations wrapped in ambient colors. Digital Boogie--another veteran of jam from the first volume--wraps this set up with a glossy, piano-laden loop of disco dreamscape called "Afterglow", which gains speed as it takes us the long way out.
Though one might be tempted to label Volume 2 as relatively more chill-out when stacked against the frantic energy of its predecessor, they're really two facets of the same thing. Both are disc-long epics sharing the same careful assembly and seamless mixing: with relentless beats of teased bpm-stretching, across which events and colors glide like cloudbanks. One again the godfather of Tech-House Flow shows the chil'ren how its *really* done...a Masters of Architecture who returns with another dream mix, which legions of DJs could stand to study. Five stars.