Speedy J

Live

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A bit of a specialty release found in various forms of track-specific vinyl or continuous CD. This set, recorded at Holland's Pinkpop festival in 1995, reportedly received boos and flying projectiles from the rock-heavy audience. But that doesn't change the fact that as live performances from that era go, it is unmatched in quality and nuance. Drawing from the bulk of Paap's IDM phase, an elongated ambient intro teasingly plays with elements of the seven other tracks before launching into the propulsive dance beats. Popular home-listening tracks like "The Oil Zone" and "Scare Tactic" are bumped up in tempo to match with Paap's earlier dancefloor hit, "Pepper." Nothing matches the acid bang of his first releases as Public Energy, nor Paap's hard techno releases to come out post-Millennium, but at a solid 130BPM, there is nothing dull about the tech-trance push found here. Most exciting is the myriad of sounds and textures Paap layers over the rarely fluctuating beats. Hi-hats and snares echo off into infinity while sweeping, melodic synth lines and hissing machines breathe life into an endless flow of melodies that enrapture the listener throughout. The ideal techno journey comes to full fruition with the closer, "G-Spot," a shining breakbeat and arpeggio riff that lowers the voyager into the waiting cradle of synwaves back down on the ground. This is a techno set deserving of all the ethereal hyperbole usually reserved for preposterous trance anthems. This disc marks one of the last moments when techno's intricacies and trance's melodies still met in forward-thinking electronic music.