Hallucinogen - "Twisted"
(Twisted Records 1999, TWSCD 5)
From Aural Innovations #7 (July 1999)
Hallucinogen is a one man electronic project consisting of Britain's Simon Posford. Twisted is a re-release of his first album from 1995. I'd not heard of this but grabbed it when I saw the title and psychedelic cover in the record store. The only information I've dug up is from the internet but it seems that Posford is a sizable figure on the electro dance trance scene. This is hard driving music that one stays up all night and dances to at raves. It does get tiresome, but a lot of AI readers may want to check this out as much of the music reminded me of a dance version of Ozric Tentacles.
To his credit, Posford has created something beyond mere electro dance, but only a few tracks really stood out for me. "LSD" starts out with a conspiracy monologue about LSD and then launches into a strong Ozric synth pattern but against a powerful dance beat. Voices are scattered throughout the tune giving it an eerie psych-trance quality. There's a good focus on developing the music rather than it being only for dance purposes. I'm not well tuned into the rave scene but this is clearly a step beyond the standard incessant beat-driven electro dance stuff.
"Shamanix" gets a bit more into cosmic spacerock territory. There's a Middle Eastern sounding melody line, and more of those wild voicings, one screaming "I'm on fucking FIRE!" And the varied synth is a bit more creative and not just noodling on this track. "Feuoro Neuro Sponge" is another track that sounds like a heavy dance Ozrics tune. Hell, Feuoro Neuro Sponge even sounds like an Ozrics song title. Perhaps they were an influence on Posford?
The rest of the disc is a little blander. Posford is attentive to his synth embellishment but it's mostly noodling. The closing track, "Solstice", has about ten minutes of silence at the end and then there's a few minutes of ambient psychedelic electronics and chanting. An interesting end.
The web site discography for Hallucinogen lists a fairly extensive discography, but while there are parts of this album I liked I'm skeptical as to whether there would be much of anything different on the other releases. Still, I'd be tempted to attend my first rave to check this stuff out live.
For more information visit the Twisted Records web site.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz