Artist: Trafik
Title: Bullet
Label: GU Music
By: Simon Jones | 27 September 2004
  1. Midas
  2. Echoes
  3. Revolution
  4. Kaliedoscope
  5. Escape From
  6. Disco Trafiko
  7. Our Time In The Future
  8. Relax
  9. Into The Wind
  10. Perfume Suite
  11. You Me
  12. Your Light
  13. Surrender

Trafik "Bullet"Trafik "Bullet"

Out Now on GU Music

Brought together by chance, the duo of Andrew Archer and John Elliott have had a long and storied path that leads them to where they are today as Trafik. Andrew was part of The Forth alongside Scott Dawson and James Todd, whom throughout the mid and late 90s remixed some of the best artists such as BT, amongst others on some of the most well know labels of the time. At this time, John was a member of the indie band Solavox, but as both paths came to cross in their hometown of Newcastle, a friendship was forged, from which a mutual creativity emerged shifting focus onto an uncharted highway of experimentation. Trafik was born, and now several years later, after remixing the likes of Dave Seaman, Lo-Step and most recently Unkle, in addition to several well received singles, they emerge with their debut album 'Bullet'

The smooth ambient soundscapes of opener 'Midas' are merely the calm before the storm, a subtle cinematic opener that sets the mood for what is to come, drifting into the electronic indie and rock hybrid that is the recent single 'Echoes'. Featured here in it's original form, John Elliott provides the lead vocal, backed by live drums and instrumentation that that really adds something extra to the overall production of not only this track, but the album in general, the fusion of live and electronic elements really making a difference, providing both a sense of clarity and depth. With 'Revolution' taking the album in a more upbeat direction, Trafik's dancefloor leanings start to emerge, the basslines getting bigger, the beats harder and dirtier and each of the next few tracks having it's own killer hook. In the case of 'Revolution' it's a dramatic and free roaming piano line, whilst 'Kaleidoscope' could be the nastiest soundtrack to a computer game you've ever heard, hard hitting snares and big synthetic melodies coming together in a tough and gritty mesh of sound, with 'Escape From' continuing this idea, replacing the snares and melodies with the vocal and guitar skills of Jonny Longrigg from post rock outfit Peace Burial At Sea, the first of two guests on this album. With Trafik's diverse influences already floating through to the surface, 'Disco Trafiko' takes us right into the heart of the dancefloor. A frantic club track that makes its presence felt at breakneck speed, taking you down the dark highway of rippling synth lines and rumbling bass until the destination is reached and we embark into the second half of the album.

'Our Time In The Future' sees the mood change, hazy breakbeats and synth arrangements lowering the tempo to the bare minimum, with 'Relax' soothing your frazzled mind with it's stirring messages and epic string sections. It's one of the many standout moments on the album, but if you're talking standout the next track 'Into The Wind' deserves more than a passing mention. A soulful excursion into lounge territory, with the stellar vocal provided by the relative unknown Rachel Lamb adding a nice smokey ambience upon a backing canvas of broken beats, again concealing it's own messages and meanings and adding a thought inducing moment to an already wide and varied album, that is further enhanced by the tracks that remain. From the downtempo epic that is 'Perfume Suite', through to the ethereal chants and rolling grooves of 'You Me', each track only serves to add yet one tangent after another to, with the duo's debut single 'Your Light' providing an upbeat moment, it's big bassline and massive vocal injecting one last euphoric high into this long player before the shimmering and quite frankly stunning 'Surrender' brings the album to a close, with another inspirational vocal performance by Rachel Lamb.

In fact, that's the word you could use to sum up this album as a whole, as John Elliott and Andrew Archer have managed to bring together many different elements and sounds and present them as one. Their many influences and versatile musical backgrounds have been used to create a unique, forward thinking and indeed inspiring album that is undoubtedly one of the best to emerge this year, and one that as time passes will find itself up there with some of the great debut albums from such artists as Fluke and Orbital, as well as being one of the finest electronic albums to come along in some time.

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