Etnica "Sharp"

Top level Music reviews

Review by PKS
Etnica is back with a new album on Solstice Music...

Etnica (Max Lanfranconi and Maurizio Begotti) is back with their sixth album. This group was once one of the most respected psytrance/goa groups out there, but they were two more persons in the beginning. They made fantastic melodic trance on their first albums. Then they suddenly took a totally minimal direction, which resulted in loosing a lot of fans. They are originally from Italy, but have moved out to the party island, Ibiza. Now they are trying out melodies in their music again, but it seems like they have got a little bit too much inspiration from the clubby island...

Etnica "Sharp" Solstice Music 2004 (SOLM-CD014)

1. Automatik
2. Inner Space (Live Mix)
3. Eros
4. Machine
5. Planet X
6. B.A.S.
7. Sharp
8. Photonic
9. Fade

The first track we get here is a full on track with a very clubby melody. The melody is quite cheesy, but doesn't go too far. This sounds for sure better than a lot of the tracks on Chrome, but a little bit too much over on the commercial side for my taste. Track 2 starts a bit more minimal, towards the style we got on their Chrome album. But it builds up and becomes pretty good, but I feel that something is missing in this one. Track 3 has a nice start, and the track reminds me a bit of the old Etnica style, but the melodies are not as interesting as before. One of the best tracks on this album, but again, I feel that something is missing in there. Track 4 has a very groovy bass line and goes quite dark. Sounds actually pretty good, but I miss the variation they gave us before. The melodies are more stripped down and the sounds are less interesting, but I like the way it builds up a little.

Track 5 sounds pretty good all the way. An intense, drifting track with nice sounds, quite uplifting, but not cheesy, until the end. Then they throw us over in a terrible, clubby sound scape, which ruins the entire track for me. Too bad, when they had something going in the beginning... Track 6 is the darkest track on this album. Intense beats and dark sounds. After a while, a pretty nice, lighter melody sneaks in too. This one actually reminds me a little bit of their Pleiadians project! My favourite track on this album. Track 7 has the album title. This is a very pumping track. We get some nice psychedelic sounds in there, with some voice samples mixed in between. Not bad, but the melody at the end is a bit too fluffy for my taste. Track 8 is quite surprising. Sort of fluffy track, but not in a bad way. This one has a little bit of mystic vibes, it builds up nice and slowly and we get a lot of variation in there. A bit fluffy at some points, but not bad. At least way much better than all the tracks on their last album Chrome. I also get a little bit of that old school Etnica feeling with this track. The last track we get on this album slows everything down. A relaxing down tempo track, with some tribal influences. Not among the best down tempo tracks they have made. Here we get some pop influences too. Actually pretty boring compared to their previous works.

This Etnica album is definitely better than their Chrome album and probably better than their Nitrox album. Here they go back to melodies again. The melodies are not as advanced as before. Definitely the most easy digestible album they have released so far, but luckily, not all these tracks are too far on the cheesy side.
PK (

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