High Priestess Productions' 2002 sampler contains an interesting blend of new age/trance/dance/electronica from four different bands on the small indie label including Regan, Obit, Purple Forest, and Peeler. The disc contains 12 tracks, five of which are single edits, for over 70 minutes of consistently good, well produced trance, electronica, and down-tempo triphop material.
Regan, leaning towards mystical trance and tribal electronica with beautiful eastern-influenced female vocals and moody synths, provides the most interesting cuts here with the excellent mysterious trance of "Opium" and the tribal "I Am Your Garden" which slowly builds to a more intense electronic number with pounding drums. However, it's the epic "Airetaina", combining Dead Can Dance-esque ethereal layered vocals with moody synths and triphop drums, that proves to be the album's overall standout. Obit stylistically follows suit with a more straightforward brand of moody goth trance and down-tempo electronica, sounding like a more streamlined version of Enigma or Delerium on "Majik" while pumping out some great pulsing, melodic Apoptygma Berzerk-esque trance on "Overflow" and a cool down-tempo/ethereal blend on "In the Groove". Purple Forest, on the other hand, drops the mystical elements altogether and lets loose with a more standard brand of repetitive trance and electronica with a higher emphasis on electronic loops. "Hyzalika" is good straightforward trance offering, while "303joi" stands out with its cool blend of pounding electronic drums and synth arpeggios. "2hippy Smack!", unfortunately, was an okay but fairly unexceptional electronica offering with percussion that seemed fairly random and bizarre, old videogame-ish analog synths. Peeler strayed from the group for their own unique down-tempo electronica and upbeat electropop, embracing slow pulsing, almost industrial/ebm-ish grooves and vocal samples on "Another Kind of Violence" while incorporating funky guitars, a church choir, and vocal samples into the upbeat "King of Beats". On "Within", they go even further, creating a somewhat unsettling triphop-ish collage of odd moody electronic loops and tribal percussion anchored by a groovy bassline.
Overall, while Regan and Obit are the obvious stars here, the entire compilation is a strong collection of electronic music. If this is any indication of the rest of the label's output, High Priestess Productions is well worth checking out.
High Priestess Productions websitewww.high-priestess-productions.com
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