Review: This EP is a collaboration of work by some of Europe's finest intelligent liquid producers. A strange sub-genre term it might be, but Intelligent Manners' Intelligent Recordings has searched far and wide over the past couple of years to find music that fits the niche. Celsius have done much the same here, showcasing some of the finest intelligent drum & bass around that still holds the soul and emotive qualities of liquid. Featuring the likes of Intelligent Manners, Command Strange and Mage, it's a breezy look at what the future holds for one of the longest standing sub-genres in dance music. If you like Calibre, DJ Marky, S.P.Y or Bukem, you'll want to check this out pronto.
Review: Mage seems to be putting out an endless stream of quality tunes. Not to disturb his track record, but this release was met with some pretty high expectations. There was no need to fear though, as both tracks are sparkling variation on his winning theme - crispy, rolling D&B with flickering mirages of melodic atmospherics. Taking a more experimental slant in "Dreaming", there's a hint of Alex Perez about those faint washes of synth noise before smooth, soulful guitar licks and a grooving bassline kick in with lush snatches of vocal. One for the lovers.
Review: Did you know that Mage has a dark side? If you didn't know, get to know, because this EP is a collection of some of the darkest material ever to have surfaced on Celsius Recordings. "The Cave" acts like its namesake to produce some pitch black cavernous sounds from deep within the cold recesses of this producer's mind. "Run Through The Light" offers some cinematic sound experimentation as dynamics shift without warning. More uplifting thanks to an addictive jazz hook, the bassline on this is not to be missed. Two very different but equally necessary tracks.
Review: Bringing his beautiful blend of fantasy world synths and darkly deep subs to us all, Mage presents "Colors of Gray", a two-tracker full of surprises. "Toymaker" kicks off proceedings with dream sequence pads and tweaked amens, adding an addictive synth loop and big heavy bass enough to satisfy any dancefloor cravings. Following up there's "Mint Flavour", and like its name this tune comes fresh and clean, taking its overwhelming atmosphere from crisp production and strings that melt away into the ether. Stepping out with playful kicks and snares and with plenty of live horns, it's a beauty of a release. Deeply chilled.
Review: Here's an interesting proposition: Russian D&B producer Mage offering junglist covers/remixes of well-known hits. First up is "Black Is The Colour of D&B, a drum and bass revision of a traditional American folk song made famous by the Corrs. Surprisingly, Mage's revision works rather well, with a folksy vocal and flute touches riding a snappy rhythm and pulsating bassline. Mage cuts up the vocal impressively as the track progresses, giving his version a dreamy quality. We have to admit not knowing the source material for "Move On D&B", but it's similarly dreamy, with darting, trance style keys, EDM electronics and Mage's usual starburst breakbeats. Like the A-side, it feels like a hands-in-the-air anthem in the making.
Review: Russian producer Mage has cut his sound from myriad influences, from venerated stars like LTJ Bukem and DJ Marky to London Elektricity, S.P.Y and Makoto, his is a stylish breed of liquid. These remixes show his sheer enthusiasm for the genre knows no bounds, offering totally fresh looks on two of his best loved tunes. "Lonely Girl" plays host to a bouncing, end-of-night anthemic bassline, while "Air DnB" plays light and fresh as you'd expect over euphoric vocals and piano. Inspired just as much by '90s trance as it was by D&B, it's an uplifting experience fit for any high-energy set. Music for smiling crowds and beautiful days.
Review: Russian newcomer Mage might not be the most outspoken member of the online liquid funk Twitterati, but he makes up for his quiet reserve with a steady onslaught of liquid drum and bass rich with real musicality and on-point production. First track "The Most Beautiful Place In The World" covers serious ground, rolling and crashing over lush strings and guitar samples, while "Journey" uses smooth sax to build atmosphere in a minor key, pushing the bass end out for maximum dancefloor appeal. Finally, "Day After Day" adds an emotive piano loop to a contemporary D&B groove, finishing off an accomplished new liquid EP with finesse.
Review: If slick, melodic and well-crafted dance music is your thing, you probably come to the right place. A Russian producer originally making trance, Mage stated making D&B influenced music in 2004. This new EP is incredibly well produced; "Let Me Go" is huge, melodic, Euro-stadium dance music with a catchy female vocal, lighters-in-the-air pianos and an urgent breakbeat. "Believe" conjures up the ghost of Robert Miles and "Sun On The Beach" unsurprisingly is glossy and sun-kissed. However, if darker stuff is more what you're looking for, the moody and evocative "All The Time" should float your boat!
Review: Mage provides us with a lovely journey into the "Music For The Mind" and it's all lush, liquid flavours for the duration here with plenty of gliding instrumentals, strumming guitars, rolling breaks and ticking hi-hats. Get dreamy with cuts like "Deep Stories" with its charming lilt, and blown away by melancholy dancefloor rhythms like "Lost In Time". Other highlights include the delightful, strumming "Somewhere In A Major Key" with its uplifting builds and the chilled out, contemplative "Savanna", as we near the end of the album.
Review: Mage has enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with Celsius which stretches back to the early part of this decade - and fans of the label's soulful strain of drum'n'bass will find much to love here. "Signals" resounds to powerful filters and gushing chords unfolding over a tight backing. There's even some hints at an easy listening influence as jazzy hooks make their way up through the arrangement. On the title track, the Russian producer travels farther in this direction; ambient washes and Rhodes keys provide a wonderfully mellow intro to an uplifting arrangement that is led by an elastic bass and summery vocals.