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Album review: Derek Palmer – “In Motion”


Remember my previous post on The Bermuda Triangle’s “Wonderland”? Remember me mentioning Derek Palmer’s “In Motion”? Well, I’ve finally gotten an access to it (thanks to the man himself – one of the most awesome people around :D) and I’ve listened to it a couple of times. Currently on my third listen, and I’ll type the review as I go on listening, but it won’t be as expansive as the Simmon Manalo review.

Derek Palmer is from Monett, Missouri, and he predominantly makes either uplifting trance, or cinematic / soundtrack scores. Of course, “In Motion” is his uplifting trance album. While it doesn’t really feel like an album, but rather a collection of recent tracks, it still flows just like your usual record – and also there’s a tendency to re-use certain sounds, but that’s not as blatant as “Wonderland” did it. The tracks keep to the same pace, they may be slightly faster or slower, except “Sakura” the ambient opening track. That said, none of the tracks feel like they were produced hastily – they’re all killer, no filler. Though, you might count “Sakura” as one, but that’s up to you.

Having said all this… there are two guest spots courtesy of The Daunting (aka Sophia Kounoupias), “I Will Fight” and “In This Land”. The latter is considerably better, both in terms of vocal performance and production – easily the best track on the album, with “Changing Tides”, “Venice” and “Oceanic”. “I Will Fight” is in half-time, it got a single release with a dozen remixes or so, out of which the Noizz Factor mix easily rivals, and even exceeds the original. That said, Sophia’s performance there isn’t the best.

All that said… well, it’s hard to speak about this album in terms of individual tracks, because they’re similar in sound and style. One of those instances, when people shrug it off and say that the sum of the parts is greater than every single track you could pull off the record – EVERY track here is representative of “In Motion”.

There, I confused myself.

How did I determine the tracks I loved the most then? Melodic content, that’s how. As I’ve already said, “In This Land” boasts an awesome vocal performance from Sophia, and that’s what propels this track forward, in instance of “Changing Tides” it has to be the formant sort of sound towards the breakdown, “Oceanic” has a great progression…

I’m not really sure how to continue. To wit, “In Motion” has to be one of the best-produced albums in 2010, that explores all the directions where uplifting trance can go. As already mentioned, “In This Land” is the best The Daunting moment all year (out of music released commercially), and “Changing Tides” together with “Oceanic” are some of the better-written electronic music tracks of the year. I thoroughly enjoyed it, even though I could’ve shrugged off the relative monotonousness (compared to “Wonderland”, a moot point) but if it’s good, it’s good. I’m anticipating anything that Derek makes this year.

Highlights: “In This Land (feat. Sophia)”, “Changing Tides”, “Oceanic”, “Venice”

Lowlights: none


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