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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Element 4 T.N.T. (2007)

Updated: Sep 28, 2023

It's a powerful album that is mainly aimed at an audience fond of pure techno 'n trance

1 T.N.T. Intro 2:41

2 Floorflower 8:14

3 Silky Pieces 7:56

4 Syncrider 7:00

5 T.N.T. 7:14

6 In the Wrong Club 7:41

7 Fullmoon 6:33

8 Elastic Beats 10:08

9 Driven 8:01

10 Fullmoon (J.B Remix) 5:44

11 T.N.T. (Jean Baptiste Remix) 7:41

(CD 78:59) (V.F.)

(EDM, Techno & Trance)

Explosive? Absolutely! You like it when it's heavy? When it's loud and the hairs in your ears vibrate in your eardrums? Here's something that will mix them up! T.N.T. is not just a random title to put some smoke in your eyes. No! It's gunpowder for the ears. T.N.T. for dynamite, but also for techno 'n trance. It's an album full of furious rhythms that gallop on the tssitt-tssitt, and the traditional boom-boom skilfully nuanced by an Uwe Saher in full shape who also likes to keep his melodious vision to soften his wild rhythms. T.N.T. is also almost 80 minutes of ME to make your neighbors run away with 2 remixes of DJ Jean Baptiste. Beyond the Moonbooter, Wellenfeld and other EM artists who make tempered techno like Kraftwerk, Element 4 hits with strength, a bit like Juno Reactor and Future Sound of London.

True that the intro is rather of the floating type! An intro closer to the ecliptic atmospheres of Brainwork and/or Tangerine Dream. But it's undoubtedly in order to better prepare our heartbeats to a deluge of furious rhythms that take off from the first pulsations of Floorflower. Heavy beats pound a raging intro and are paired with a wavering bass line with corrosive reverberations. Hesitating between syncopated rhythm or floating ambiences, the track matures its technoïd direction on ambivalent strata with waltzing harmonies. But a metallic coil slides over this hesitation, initiating an explosive music on jerky sequences where tssitt-tssitt and cymbals of the same kind are grafted to synths dripping with melodious vapors. A passage initiating a heavy techno filled with short morphic snippets that float in a universe of torrid dance floors, Silky Pieces continues in the same vein, while Syncrider and Driven are the kind of hypno-zombie techno that would make Juno Reactor pale. With its curt hammerings with Kraftwerk's swirls (Trans Europe Express) T.N.T. parades with the nervous minimalistic chords from the synth. The rhythmic pulsations stick to others with suction cup sounds on a wriggling line that encircles a robotic techno's structure with obsessive lunatic pulsations. It's a less unbridled track, just like the melodious In the Wrong Club, which offers a still furious rhythm but on a more nuanced structure. It's a track where harmonies and oscillating sequences go hand in hand along heavy pulsations and a synth with stroboscopic impulses. All of it in a psychedelic vision. These pulses speed up the beat on hypnotic tssitt-tssitt and Fullmoon undulates on a bass and a structure without a precise rhythm. Robotic percussions and sound effects magnetize this driving structure with its highly elastic bass. Its remix is as insistent and groovy as ever over a bass with reverbs croaking like a heavy toad. More wriggling and heavy, Elastic Beats also offers a rhythmic all in nuance with a syncopated line surrounding a structure that hesitates between pure techno and vaporous dance music. It's another good track where the indecisive rhythm is full of harmonious synths with catchy choruses.

With its 11 tracks running heavy on melodic instincts, T.N.T. is a powerful Element 4 album that is mainly aimed at an audience fond of pure techno and trance, but it can also appeal to a wider audience that likes a fast sequencer-based EM. In the end, it's a rather melodious album where trance cohabits with synths' enveloping and harmonious strata, no matter how powerful the percussions and the syncopated lines of the sequencer are.

Sylvain Lupari (19/05/08) *****

Available at Brainwork Music

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