OUT Activa - Origins (Artist Album) [Black Hole Recordings]

Artist name(s)
Activa
Release title
Origins
Label name
Black Hole Recordings
Release date
Oct 1, 2021
Release type
Artist album
Link to external store
https://activamusic.bandcamp.com/album/origins

Hoahoa

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That luminosity set was brilliant. Those new tracks also hitting the spot.
 

Freezer

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Not really sure if am I fan of him slowing down, I prefered the more banging stuff. His latest set from Lumi is rather warmup, around 132bpm territory and im not impressed....
 
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s3baman

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I'm also patiently waiting for the extended vinyl release, but I already know that Fade From View is my pick for TOTY. And it's great to get some trancey breaks (instead of progressive breaks) for a change with Journey Home. Both are future classics no doubt.
 

Peenuts

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Ordered my physical copy on Bandcamp! I'm a big fan of mixed trance albums - it allows an artist to showcase a variety of styles in a sequence that makes musical sense. If I end up with a couple of favourites, I'm more than happy to revisit the extended mixes separately anyway.
 
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Vicmarran

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76F3E0FC-110A-45BD-B5C6-64836ECC5616.jpeg
 

Peenuts

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My favourites are For Emily (the ambient opener), Leave A Light On (really nice vocal breakbeat), A Future Memory and Polestar.

I gotta say the album was enjoyable but didn't exactly blow me away either. I was hoping for more on the trance side of things - turns out my favourites are the ones that have been released already.
 
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Daysleeper

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Mmmmmmm...

My few thoughts on this.

On the plus side:

  • Its solid "trancy" tracks, its nothing you would be surprised over
  • the flow is there, the sounds are there, the acid is there, the natural rawness and edge is there
  • theres no pop cheese
on the minus side:
  • Theres nothing to get surprised over
  • theres too many tracks that sounds like more watered down yesteryears big names prime eras (pvd,mirco de govia g&d,airwave,hybrid,early 2000s breaks) without having much of an own identity imo. Influences are one thing but i can not hear any freshness in these tracks.
  • too much use of same sounding kicks, snares, claps and especially those hi-hats on every single track basically.
I mean thats really it for me. It solely depends which mindset you bring when listening to this.

Who wants "saved" trance? Its right here for you :sneaky:
 
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Progrez

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I amazed that it was sold within a couple of days of release. That's impressive!

Reach out reminds me labworks - ibiza sunrise.
 

Gagi

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Inclined to agree with the big D.

It all sounds very nice, the productions are great, the album is mixed very well, the ideas are nice. It's pleasant to listen to, and there is no bad track there. You don't want to interrupt your listening, literally every track is good.

But it also feels very safe. And for the majority of trance listeners out there, this album will be great. Recognizable styles, modern productions, bit of a nod to the olden days... Everything feels like it is where it should be (arrangement-wise), as it should be (sound design-wise). As said, there's also no musical identity. And maybe those are the only criticisms I can give it (apart from the samey drums). I don't need a dubstep or a synthwave track on a trance album to feel like there's some experimentation, but I do want some exploration - that would make it even better. He didn't bring anything new, he brought something that already existed, and made it his own. Still, this is Activa, this is his style, I can't really expect the same things from him as I would from Eco.

That said, I'm still very surprised by how much I'm loving this. I can imagine myself playing this in the future. It works pretty well on the headphones, and I think it should be experienced like that. It's quality stuff no doubt.
 

Freezer

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Album flows well, not a bad track here. Cool exerimental breaks tracks included. On the other hand, there is no standout track here. The climax could be Polestar, Into Pieces, Stranger. To be completely honest, these tracks are good, would imagine them as a nice fillers on a good trance album. But these fillers cannot really play the roles of standout climax tracks here. Strongest track is possibly Fall In, which is not sounding like Activa at all.

With all the respect fot this new direction, but I really prefer the Activa tunes releasaed back in 3-4 years (Generate, Labyrinth, Luminosity)

All in all its okay, maybe needs time to fully appreciate.

7/10
 

Hoahoa

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Awesome album, loved the whole experience from start to finish. I usually prefer albums that are individual tracks as opposed to mixed but this one flows together so nicely. Will take more plays through to form a solid opinion but I expect to have the tracks grow on me, as per usual with Activa releases.

Hope he gets the support he deserves with this and people buy the album
 

s3baman

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I'll be waiting for the vinyl release (which hopefully also has the extended mixes featured) but from all I have listened to so far I know I will love the album. Yes, it's not a forward looking record, but I think not every artist needs to do that all the time. I know what to expect from the Activa sound: great old-fashioned, well produced and somewhat sterilised, as some would say, quality trance. I would say with this album he's gone even slightly deeper into the old school influences, which is exactly what I was hoping for.

Activa is just a PVD-light clone, and for me that's perfectly right up my alley since I'm a sucker for this sort of kick + pluck + acid combo.
 
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s3baman

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Just needed to add that Fade From View is one monster of a track. The version he played at Lumi (mixed in) was around 7 minutes long, so I expect the full mix to be close to 9 minutes of pure dark, gritty, space prog goodness!
 

Hensmon

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Finally got round to some proper listens. It's crisp, clean, beautiful, acidy goodness and really loved listening to the whole thing flow out. Agree with what many said here about nothing really standing out as the forefront as the 'best' track, but they all are very very solid and I have no doubt they will continue to grow on me over time. Few hands in the air moments. Tracks actually have balls which is great.

Not a single bad track on the album. Breaks in modern Trance is something I think is done to heavy handed but I like all the uses here. I almost always hate modern vocals too but these ones I enjoyed, although not in love with them, much prefer the instrumental tracks. The Paul Van Dyk comparison is a good one and I love hearing that vibe. Fade From View, Z21, Polestar and A Future Memory are the ones I'm really liking the most right now.

Contended for best album of the year vs The Digital Blondes N30N