A modern-day club symphony
Earlier this year Antwerp-based band, Psy’Aviah released their mini-album, “Future Past” and the single, “Our Common Future”. Now the band have released the album “The Xenogamous Endeavour” featuring guest vocals by Kyoko Baertsoen (Lunascape, ex-Hooverphonic and Buscemi + Conjure One live singer), poet Suzi Q. Smith, Miss FD, Mari Kattman and more. There are also Remixes delivered by M.I.K.E. PUSH (Universal Nation), Jan Vervloet (Scoop, Fiocco, Bonzai Channel One), Dizkodude, Tim Iron and others.
Psy’Aviah who released their first single in 2007, was initially founded in 2003 by producer and composer Yves Schelpe, later joined by vocalist Emélie Nicolaï and guitarist Kristof De Clerck. Since 2011 the band consists of Yves, Emélie and Ben Van de Cruys.
Much like the sound, “The Xenogamous Endeavour”( Deluxe Edition) is a big album. Big, in that it has 24 songs and endures all of over 2 hours; a perfect double album. While any intelligent person will admit that sometimes they just don’t like a genre of music, when a non-fan of electronic music is asked for a reason, the most common response runs along the lines of “it’s too long, boring and repetitive”. At the other end of the spectrum, you occasionally hear complaints that it’s too loud and harsh.
On “The Xenogamous Endeavour”, Psy’Aviah takes a rather interesting approach. Avoiding the extremes of both sides, they attempt to combine the hypnotic qualities of Ambient and Trance with the more aggressive qualities of Bigroom and House. And they fully succeed. The effect is accomplished through combining thumping hooks with airy keyboards and excellent vocals.
As someone coming from the less electronic, funkier mixes of dance music, I was a little hesitant about 24 tracks of electronic tracks in a row. I’m a little skeptical of the unoriginal synth compositions you normally get in big city clubs, but Psy’Aviah delivers something totally different from that. Yes you can dance to “The Xenogamous Endeavour”, as it’s got some intoxicating grooves, but it’s also real music and not just the same sequences played over and over again for 10 minutes. It’s electronic with soul!
In fact Yves Schelpe wrote all the songs on piano first and then only later transposed them into PSY’AVIAH’s characteristic electronic world before searching for the right voice to fit the song and its atmosphere.
These artists are pretty talented and their studio skills are apparent throughout this album, as it was on their previous works. Every track has a new idea that pulls you in with tight sounds and rhythms, and leaves you wanting more. Good EDM like this can be hard to find, and is often over or underdone. Psy’Aviah has found the perfect balance, with songs ranging from 3 to 7 minutes, from straight synth-pop and futuristic electro sounding tracks, to more complex and progressive beats that you can really get into.
It’s hard to pick the best out of 24, but some of my favorite tracks include “Our Common End, “Deliverance”, “Before I Die”, “The Parts You Can’t See”, “Last Of Us” and consequently I also love the song Remixes on the 2nd album.
The combination of the originals on the first album and the remixes on the second album is pure energy, and a modern-day club symphony that comes at you hard and unyielding every beat of the way. Psy’Aviah once again proves that they can work the hell out of various forms of electronic music; making it a unique, awe-inspiring and mind blowing journey into infinite possibilities.