Almost four years after the release of ‘Free Cloud’, an album that clearly demonstrated his unique sound and captivated the audience’s imagination, Perfect Stranger returns with ‘Leap of Faith’. Released last Monday on Iboga Records, this is a three disc sonic adventure: CD 1 contains all new original material, CD2 showcases unreleased live versions, remixes and collaborations and CD3 is a live set recorded at Israel’s Indigo Festival.
Whilst Free Cloud was a very minimal, personal and airy creation, Leap of Faith’s first CD sees Perfect Stranger deliver a hypnotic, pounding, yet versatile experience. The journey is set up by the vocal recording in the intro of Monolith which leads neatly into the four to the floor. The bass is surrounded by metallic and mechanical sounds as the track builds. Fittingly, this is a massive track, suggestive of what is to be discovered in the rest of the album. Moving on, Leap Of Faith, the album’s namesake, is a groovy take on psy trance. With its driving beat and invitation to “take a leap of faith”, it is an uplifting track that is perfectly crafted. Alongside his solo tracks, Perfect Stranger also includes three collaborations on CD1 with Eat Static, Liquid Soul and LOUD. Perfect Static, his collaboration with Eat Static, is an energetic, whirling and winding dancefloor destroyer, guaranteed to thrill crowds. CD1 concludes with Carnalisimo, a calypso-infused techno track; it is a melodic, funky and exhilarating finale. The eight tracks on the first disc are all very different but are held together by Perfect Stranger’s unique sound and flow perfectly one after another. A very striking aspect of the album is the quality of production: it is just impeccable and really does add another dimension to the listening experience.
The second CD offers some exquisite live edits and remixes of known Perfect Stranger tunes, as well as remixes of artists including Liquid Soul, Tristan and Felguk. Perfect Stranger’s 2012 live edit of his collaboration with Liquid Soul, Wild Cave, has an infectious melody and beat which intertwine with several elements, all remaining perfectly in balance. Although beginning with an understated intro, the 2012 live edit of A Mosquito Bit My Leg quickly builds, becoming louder and louder, with the melody buzzing around, in and out. It is a lively and interesting track. The icing on the cake of the second CD surely has to be two unreleased gems: a collaboration with Sun Control Species and a remix of Roy RosenfelD’s My Bubble. A Planet Notion favourite from last year, Perfect Stranger takes the melodic My Bubble and adds a driving beat and interesting percussive elements, making it less introspective but maintaining the hypnotising quality of the original. We need to hear this on the dance floor. You can hear these tracks as well as those from CD1 played live in the intense and exciting performance on disc 3.
Leap of Faith is a carefully constructed musical story of refined dance floor material by Israeli progressive trance legend, Perfect Stranger. The first two discs contain tracks that are detailed and well constructed, which cross and merge genres. The third disc shows these tracks in action. This is a complete and very generous offering from Perfect Stranger and Iboga Records.
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Perfect Stranger, ‘Leap Of Faith’, is available now.
- Ann Bartholomew