Seb Fontaine

Prototype, Vol. 2

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For Seb Fontaine's second Prototype album, he takes the listener on a much more varied trip through several different styles of music before concluding with the fiery progressive trance anthem as expected. It is precisely this sense of variety that keeps this mix CD from being just another generic progressive house into trance mix. Beginning with Cevin Fisher's "Music Saved My Life," Fontaine instantly alerts the listener that he isn't shy about dropping the occasional anthem, and in this case, the choice seems at first questionable and perhaps a bit too commercial, but he quickly places it into a proper context as he slowly eases into progressively darker and less blatantly uplifting tracks during his first set. It isn't long before the gay tones of "Music Saved My Life" have been long eclipsed by the bleak power of stomping progressive house rhythms and eventually a dark-tinted trance conclusion. Fontaine drops two rather odd tracks -- Warriors of Love's "Somebody Scream" and Mauro Picotto's "Iguana" -- that actually bring the energy level down a bit with their lulling moments, resulting in a ten-minute session of foreplay that thankfully climaxes with the final track of the first set, Durango-95's "Drum Decay." Pretty much an updated version of Hardfloor's proto-trance classic, "Acperience," this song slithers up and down with its tribal drum kick rhythms and its acid lines before finally delivering with the long-awaited bombastic conclusion. The second set abandons the first set's dark rhythmic descent into percussive murk in favor of sugary sweet melodies. Not more than eight minutes into the set, the candy melody of Miro's "By Your Side" appears, and Fontaine doesn't stop there, jam packing this second set with more catchy melodies than you can hum along to, with the peak coming during the middle of the set with Paul van Dyk's "Avenue" going into Planisphere's majestic "Deep Blue Dream." As one would expect, the mandatory concluding anthem here, Atlantis' "Fiji," serves as a fitting conclusion to the overly melodic set, which seems the near polar opposite of the dim first set. Of course, with Fontaine covering such ground and mood, not everyone is going to enjoy every track thrown down, but for the most part, one cannot complain about this being an uneventful album.

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