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CD Review: Dolphin Trance 2 by Dylan Tauber

Award-winning electronic musician, artist, and authorDylan Tauber is back with the release, in September 2016, of Dolphin Trance 2, the DJ’s tenth album to date.  Tauber’s career is quite impressive, beginning, in 1996, with Double Mirrors, a project that included a book, video slide shows, a soundtrack, and a companion website.  His extensive travels—he currently lives in Israel after stints in New York City, Jerusalem and Miami—have developed in Tauber a wide palette of sounds and broad range of ideas.

On the one hand, this newest release does come off a lot like its predecessor, 2015’s Dolphin Trance.  On the other hand, Tauber is not exploring the same territory, but rather delves into new sonic places with such gusto and ease that one cannot help but wonder:is there a third volume that could come out in 2017?

Overall, the album can be filed under electronica; there are, however, a lot of dance, ambient, chill, house, and trance influences throughout.  The pace is perfect, grabbing listeners just before their attention wanes by an expertly applied uptick or downturn, with guest vocalist Enlia adding further smoothness and depth.  There are so many uses to this album—the soundtrack to a summer party, an auditory backsplash to a fun get-together, or the backdrop of a quiet, introspective afternoon at home.

Opening number “Dolphin Swim Remix”starts by lulling listeners into a state of relaxation before startling them with a sudden burst of dynamic energy.  It brings back a lot of the sounds that defined dance and techno music in the 1990s.  Listening to Dolphin Trance’s “Dolphin Swim Trance Remix” and this track back to back makes for an exercise into Tauber’s mind.  Similarly, “Son of Waves 2.0 Remix”makes for an ever more interesting listen if taken up after Dolphin Trance’s “Son of Waves 2.0 Trance Remix”.  This new version is throbbing and relentless, loud and attention-grabbing.  Enlia’s vocals sometimes don’t seem to pierce through the almost cacophonous music; the entire experience feels like being caught amongst massive, crashing, tumbling waves.

“Trance of the Whale” is yet again built in two parts, an almost delicate opening followed by a throbbing, relentless rhythm.  Then there are “Trance of the Whale 2.1 vox”, “Trance of the Whale 3 vox”, and “Trance of the Whale Vox”, all three intense takes on a similar theme.  Four versions of one track might seem like overkill, but Tauber manages to created enough changes to keep listeners’ attention.

Tauber delves into deeper, calmer waters in the rest of the album, perhaps ironically enough with a track titled “Slowly”, which features calming sounds inspired by the ocean.   It is quite a soothing number, followed by more of the same: the ambient and almost meditative at times “Sea Stars and Colors”, “Sun Rays”, “Deep Cold Sea” and “Rainstorm”.  “Sun Rays” seems quite simple at first listen—much like the rays of the sun can seem.  But a closer listen, just like a closer look to rays, will reveal some intriguing subtleties that capture the attention and the imagination.

Dolphin Trance 2 offers two sets of contrasting tracks—intense, uptempo dance and calming, relaxing music—both of which Tauber handles with finesse.  Tracks are available for streaming on SoundCloud.  More information is available on the artist’s website and Facebook page.

by Sahar

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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