in a galaxy far, far away, a long, long time ago i had utah saints first release and enjoyed it for several years after, remembering the unique style they presented way back in 1991, when i was listening to the shamen, early simple minds, the cure, traci lords (juno reactor side-work), lords of acid, and the klf. it was probably my first experience to trance-oriented styles along with traci lord's "1000 fires" and the first loa release. since then i have never seeked out what dj tim and jez willis where doing since then and thought they pretty much disappeared. well, just over a month ago, my girlfriend purchased "two", and now i must say i am glad they came back.
after several personal directions of exploration from tech-house to indie-pop, from hip-hop to industrial funk, these two artists merged their very well thought out plans to release and merge their idealism into one new full-length release that i would recommend to any fans of underworld, spacefrog, and rising newcomers dubok.
it basically works like this for me - half of the tracks are very addictive and stellar in engineering, while the other half is annihilated by poor rap schemes and typical overdone compositional styles. the examples of killer tracks lie within "sun", "massive", "lost vagueness", "punk club", "morning sun", and "love song." "sun" opens with a playful uplifting reflecting loop with guest vocal samples from micheal stipe of r.e.m. it reminds me so much of "little fluffy clouds" from the orb. "massive" engages with beautiful piano descending harmonies, bold cello-like pads, and funk-driven rhythms that paced nicely with african throat vocals by shu-de. this track is a perfect setting to those long introspective highway drives.
"lost vagueness (olivier lieb mix)" works in brilliant aggressive trance-rhythms that slowly climb with powerful charm as solid basslines assimilate and mold forward with lovely affected vocal samples from chrissie hines of the pretenders. a perfectly composed trance track that shines on this release. the original mix is quite alluring as well, but is much more sentimental using no trance elements and works with more violin chords and twisted sample devices. "punk club" uses more micheal stipe vocal samples in a very funny and interesting way; splicing and cutting making the track fun as the trance-rhythms paced forward with clap percussions and a tweaked frequency that signify their earlier sound.
"morning sun" works with very attractive electro-trance stylings uses bass-guitar accents that jump around hyper-snare trance rhythms and tweaked analog pads. a great track again, like "lost vagueness" for the club floors of course. "love song" is the last track that shines with hypnotic house-esq trance rhythms that revolve around cool breaks and vocal re-manipulations from the average white band.
in conclusion for those tracks alone mentioned above, i would highly consider checking into this pleasant comeback from these almost forgotten musicians that once where part of my regular listening collection way back.