| Freaky Chakra:Blacklight Fantasy|
(Astralwerks - 1998)
Coming from the Astralwerks label, one expects plenty of beaty electronica, and with an artist named Freaky Chakra, one might expect a bit of weirdness. Blacklight Fantasy delivers on both counts!
The beat never stops... literally! It may change form, stylistically morphing between tracks which segue directly into each other, making for a 74-minute frenzy. The effect is of one continual strand of beats with each individual track serving as an intricately faceted musical bauble along its length. The effects are doled out liberally, some might even say gaudily; but I can respect well-crafted gaudiness, which Freaky's Fantasy is.
Cool spy-movie-style horn blares punctuate the opener, Downspace, the first link in a chain of frantically drumming beats. Aggressive cries and wildly erratic shifts are blended into the dense, hyperactive mix which soon picks up traces of things to come. Unpredictably oscillating chords lead into Automatic which swelters in a high-energy haze where tones are stretched like rubber. After an instantaneous switch, the rapid beat alters form, becoming What?, the tiniest trinket dangling on Freaky's beatstring weighing in at 4:17. Whispy sonic mutations flitter around the undulating percussion, until it begins to thicken and evolve into Thing, which though still beat-driven, is more subdued; while the rhythm section steadily pounds on, the backdrop consists of gauzey sheets of shifting electronics (and a few more rollicking little drum patterns) until it phases into...
Fascist Funk which adds bleeps and a heavily distorted voice. (The phrase "Fascist Funk", when heavily distorted sounds like it might be a dirty word, incidentally). Okay... the beatstring temporarily breaks upon entering Vector Head, but picks up again soon enough, this time at an amiably playful pace. Burbly bass notes, static-y hisses and electro-claps decorate the track, which begins adding additional layers of electronics atop the existing sequences, increasing its load, but not actually overburdening it.
A repetitious "I don't think so" sample spans into Living in the Future, where the beat transmogrifies again into a different entity; Freaky pulls out several dozen effects from his fully-loaded aresenal, including more samples, cascading drum riffs and that scritchy-scratchy turntable thing. Another becoming; a womanchild's blurred voice and streaming waves of synth run through the incessant electrobeats of Dreams. This one's notably spookier than others, with long sheets of sound sounding like a plane going down and heavy doses from an ominous string section, as well as increasingly discordant electron storms erupting. Things eventually start leaning toward a dancier sound, shifting into the Year 2000 where the bass just wants to have fun and the synths swirl and xylophonics waft in the air. Everything's groovy here...
...and then it goes all spacey, still riding on that practically never-ending beat. Reverberating celestial organ chords, more samples, sliding bass and steadily pounding beats hurl us headlong into Hyperspace where cosmic forces beyond all comprehension (or so the sampled voices say) will subject themselves upon you for almost 8 minutes... until they metamorphose into yet another form. The hand-claps and trilling keyboards signify that we're on another Platform. The electronics momentarily chill, revealing that everpresent drumbeat, then they soar and drift beautifully, rising, growing in power, sailing on their own self-created stratosphere. Eventually a pneumatically oscillating synth pattern cuts through that track, seguing into the final zone, our destination... the Blacklight Fantasy. That synth sequence drills through several layers of electronics, syncopating with them, eventually giving way to a pretty, floatier passage and the distant, mutated cry of "It's a Blacklight Fantasy..." which fades into nothingness, then fades back briefly, unfettered and free, having broken from of that long chain of percussion.
|I gotta give Blacklight Fantasy One Thumb Up even though, frankly, it wears me out (which I blame on my own aging process, not on Mr. Chakra's heavy-handed, though fun, compositions). If you're up for some fairly relentless beats and loads of interestingly applied effects, turn on with this blacklight.|