Peak Records - Utopeak Review

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Article posted by TweeKUniT on 17/01/2006 1:50PM

Peak Records - Utopeak Review

Are Switzerland’s Peak Records are one of the new wave of darker labels to emerge from Europe in recent years. Their sound is at the cutting-edge of the now-popular dark style, with a mixture of established and new artists guaranteeing their compilations are some of the best around. I must admit, despite being a prog-lover I have a soft spot for dark music and Peak’s last cd was one of my favourites. Was stoked when this one arrived- I don’t get that much good full on, and it’s nice to have something I can actually listen to.

“Utopeak” is a slightly different sound from the last one- definitely got a bit more of a morning influence (but I wouldn’t by no means call this cheese!)… just a bit more minimal and driving- if names like YabYum, Hyper Frequencies, Naked N3xus, Phobium, Drumatik and Electrypnoise make you excited- definitely get your hands on this one. I think the release as a whole is a tidy unit- definitely has a nice, consistent sound and represents a nice step for Peak.

CD opens with an intro by “The Peaking Goddess Collective”- Arcadia. Peaking Goddess collective is collaboration between some of the more influential members of the Peak crew. Yab-Yum starts the real proceedings, with their amusingly titled “Tits on a Bwwwarhog”. Lovely scatty psychedelics, tidy clean driving bass and nice lead work -with interesting minimal twists and turns. Liked most of the stuff these guys have revealed so far. Shotu vs Suddha is next- I couldn’t find much out about this artist so I'm assuming they are newer (correct me if I’m wrong!). ! A big bumpy bass is the feature of this one- love it. I’ve seen this one on the dancefloor, and it definitely works. Gallop, gallop, gallop. Not much more to say.

Classic act Hyper Frequencies is the next up- showing the Peak is not just new faces. Driving, with lots of midrange frequency- definitely one of the nicer tracks I’ve heard from these guys. Love how things keep disappearing and reappearing- keeps me guessing from start to finish. Naked N3xus is collaboration between N3xus and Naked Tourist- definitely one of the faster, more full on tracks on the album! Keeps that driving, more minimal style night-time bass though, which is cool. Really fucking cool percussion in this one- definitely one of my favourites on the cd.

“Electrypnose” also do well with their offering Defasoul. Amazing work with the effects on this- glitchy, really psychedelic and twisted- but not in the skwiggly way I don’t like so much. Intelligent psychedelia with a twist- bit more on the bottom end side too- the bass just hasn’t relented this whole cd… keeps driving and driving me! Phonic Request vs Akhoa carries it on- a bit more up there this one. One for the peak of the night-time, lots of crazy synths and leads- one of the more “intense” numbers on here. Maybe a bit less concentration on the bassline in this one- more onto those high end synths. I’ve listened a fair bit and I’m still undecided!

Drumatik’s Vampire Empire is one of the scariest on the cd for sure- It’s definitely a bit mental for me. Nice percussions in some sections, but damn, it just makes me want to run when I hear this track- it’s damn scary! Probably the most skwiggly on the cd- and its not that bad, defiantly manageable… It seems as the cd progresses, the sounds are getting a little more intense- lots more high end sound when I get to the Digitalist track – Jackpot. Must say I was enjoying the direction of this cd, a little more minimal and driving- but tracks like this kind of upset the flow a bit for me. Way too much high end, can’t really get into it- confused kind of sound? Maybe it works when played- but as a listener I can’t really get into it. Sample is funny though… Phobium return us a bit too the original direction- the most unique bass on the cd- this one really does snap. Maybe a bit more morning in vibe too- could definitely see this one going when the sun is shining! Definitely a highlight there!

Yabyumski continues in the same fashion- I’m definitely a fan now of these guys now. Their music is very quirky and percussion based- deadly. Gaspard’s own production project really does fit into the Peak Vibe well- these guys have a definite sound that’s for sure. The last real track on the album, before master margarita’s outro- a great way to finish another fantastic Peak release.

Tidy work from Peak Records once again- definitely have become one of my favourite darker labels. Tidy production, a few surprises and all-in-all a great purchase. Loved the cover art too- its great concept that has carried through their releases… Nice one Gaspard and crew- I look forward to 2006 with music like this.

7.5/10

Favourites 5. 6. 10. 11

Review by Jesse Kuch