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You win a few, you lose a few...
on 19 September 2011
Unlike one or two of the other reviews here, I'm at sixes and sevens with this set. I've followed Steve and Miquette since their Gong days and felt really uplifted by their last outing - Phoenix, which offered plenty of variety and, in my opinion, affectionate nods to their long and illustrious career.
A few tracks on here are superb (the first, fifth and seventh have lasting appeal for me) and a good few intro's and outro's hold great interest had they been developed further, but sadly, I'm way past the age where admittedly hypnotic but boringly monotonous, metronomic bangin' beats in every track are enough and, in my opinion, too many tracks rely on the beat alone, with minimal stuff going on over the top to balance the mix up - gives some of us headaches Steve :-) Whereas on "Phoenix," different tracks caught and held me with repeated playings, I'm finding this one an effort to play all through, a great track introduction soon descending into the same old same old banging thump thump thump and too often repeated samples over the top... Come on Steve and Miquette, you're capable of SO much more than this one, narrow and I reckon exhausted genre - and I hate to remind you, but you're both three times the age of what I reckon to be the average Techno-Trance fan. You've done this genre to death now and maybe a collaboration with fellow guitar and keyboard hero Manuel Gottsching (Ashra) is long overdue (oh, the thoughts of skillful guitar riffs interleaving together over a glissando background with some wonderful sequences and tonalities over the top - the fifth track "At Last" and seventh track "Dolphin Smack" are ideal template I think...)
So, apologies for being rather negative on a System 7 album when some others obviously love it, but I think fans need more variety without most of every track being so monotonously up-tempo and ultimately (for me at least) boring - there're enough "bedroom DJ's doing this already I think...