not surprisingly, since his last release (blanket of fog in 98), marc verhaeghen has fully embraced dark goa-trance style with this new release on hands. only this time around he works with nickanor on programming, collectively venturing into more streamlined goa-trance movements with less emphasis on samples, and using no vocals. at the same time the unique klinik touch remains - very cool transitional dynamics and catchy rhythmics. admittedly, this is quite a leap for hands stylistically, but at the same time i could not think of a better label for new klinik's sound, considering how much their work has influenced the scene in general and bands on the label in particular. it is a nice contrast to much of the other material that has come out over the past few years, presenting and even further diversification that hands may very well need, attempting to reach out to those who do not know of this label.
each track on sonic surgery works with very seductive and intense layering of goa-trance compositions that capture surreal and spacey atmospheres. every track is easily capable of holding a turbulent ground on the club-floor. the production on this release is stellar (as it is the case with most hands releases) - very clean and rich. tracks such as "yell" build hyper fast-paced goa-loops that pace steadily and break forward into sleek rhythms that produce trails of irresistible melodies and phasing. the formulas are quite consistent, but very effective throughout this entire release, making it one of my personal favorites from klinik.
sonic surgery is not an album for everyone, in fact i have heard quite mixed opinions at this year's maschinenfest regarding their performance. personally, not only have I enjoyed seeing klinik on stage for the very first time, but also I was impressed by their live representation of the new sound. I would highly recommend this album for its intelligent and thought-out approach to hypnotic trance sound.