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The Gate <Beautiful>
Artist: Cloud2Ground
Label: N*Soul Records
Time: 12 tracks / 54:21minutes

Armageddon Skyscraper

Dance fans rejoice! Throw up your arms and, er, dance!

Jeremy Dawson, the driving force behind Cloud2Ground, once again releases an engaging dance CD. Styles here vary from trance to trip hop to ambient to drum and bass--all over the dance music map. Amazingly enough, it all comes together in a coherent whole, with all styles performed and mixed skillfully.

If you want to listen before buying, try out track 4, "Boomerang Feat. Tracy" It's long (11:18), but it's quite representative of the different styles found here. It starts out as vocal progressive trance, switches to drum and bass, and returns to progressive again. The biggest variation from the rest of the disc is found in "No Tolerance Feat. DJ Diverse and the One Emcee," which is heavily influenced by rap and hip hop.

Most tracks are upbeat and easily danceable, with exceptions in "Have to Erase" and the very short (1:26) "Emaj-n Green Lies." The latter is not only slow but downright desolate, with thunder in the background and mournful, then hopeful, lyrics:

Father, take this pain away
Father, take this pain away
Father, take this pain away
It's OK, I'll be OK
The lyrics on the rest of the CD, where there are lyrics (most tracks are instrumental), lean toward Christian themes but don't belabor the point. "Boomerang Feat. Tracy" has lyrics, but they're quite simple vocal loops, repeated throughout:
Fly, fly far away
Come back to me, forever
One could assume that this is a variation on the "if you love something, set it free" theme, but there's really no telling, since those are the only lyrics to be found. On some other tracks ("Auora More," for example) vocal sounds and loops are used, but in some cases they're unintelligible.

Overall, this is an easily accessible CD for anyone wanting to get a taste of dance but not familiar enough with all the sub-genres to know what to buy; it's a good starting point. The only downside to the CD is that the slower songs, particularly "Emaj-n Green Lies," tend to interrupt the flow of the rest of the CD. Aside from that minor point, though, the rest of the CD is near perfect, and it's definitely worth a listen.

Lisa Reid 3/26/2000


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