Galaxion (Antti Hakala) has had an eventful year musically with the successful cooperation with his singing sister Martta, and now recently the release of his debut spacesynth album on Alpha Centauri records.
To call Galaxion a debutant would be way off target though, since his cracking "Through the space" has been available here since the dawn of Spacesynth.net. He’s rather one of the cornerstones of modern spacesynth, and I’m now to discover whether -Aftershock- confirms just that.
Aftershock opens in a light and carefree way. What contributes to the lightness is the clarity of all the sounds used. It’s powerful. It makes me amazed by the sounds themselves. Add engaging melodies, effects and beat with lots of variety, and you have a most promising start with the title track.
Then the three next songs takes us into a vintage trance world, sounding much the same as pioneering 90s psy-trance. I’m a definite fan of that genre as well, but as I progress through these songs I find myself completely over in that other world. Who knows if that was the intention of the title “Another World” that follows next. A pure ambient delight, dominated by "Syntech-ic" mighty synths.
Anyhow, it seems that we slightly steer course back towards more traditional spacesynth with “New Hope”, which title in all honesty also makes sense figuratively speaking. I was getting anxious there for a minute if we were straying too far off course. Back are the playful melodies and the “arpeggious” beat. However, here are also house elements making it a song that probably could work in modern clubs. Much the same can be said about Nekomimi’s Song reviewed earlier on Spacesynth Revolutions Ep. 1, it still hits me like a mach truck, in the good sense.
Then we travel the “Trek to Iguanas”. Yey how I love this one, with its roaring deep synths lurking. A powerful real feel-good gem. Galaxion’s melodic creativity yet again shines through brightly, although it might not seem so at first glance. A definite highlight! Here in spacesynthland, out by the borders, “Leaving Outside” greets us next. This song builds up perfectly to a melodic crescendo, maybe the strongest song melody-wise on the album.
All of a sudden we’re back clubbing with “Don’t forget”. However, the base “Galaxion-sound” is starting to unravel itself clearly to me. I’d say it’s flexible. Whether he is in spacesynth- or tranceland, I realize I could recognize his songs anytime anywhere. Now, what is it? I think we’re talking crisp polar soundscapes and a spacy atmosphere grounded already in “Through the space”. That song is such a tour de force, but shouldn’t the debut album present a heir? Well it’s too early to conclude, songs like “Sleeping beauty” are yet to consider. Truly an enjoyable and relaxing song, and I come to think of Trilithon especially taking the distinct powerful bassline into account. Melodywise it’s pretty close to Huib Schippers too, which should mean another feather in the hat for Galaxion.
Well, Galaxion has the courtesy of saying “Goodbye” before taking his hat and leaving (nice one heh?). Not only that, he leaves us a prominent heir, maybe The Heir, while leaving. “Goodbye” has it all; a fresh and powerful staccato beat and wonderful melodies. In conclusion I land on giving Galaxion credit for his trance-strays, a kind successfully experimented with by Anders Lundqvist as well (examples are "Desolation" and "Magic Miles"). Whether the vocal version of Another World really was needed at the end of this otherwise instrumental album I’m unsure. I see that Martta Hakala’s famous name has made that song the absolutely most played among the 13 tracks on Spotify. That may be one good reason, and the other might be to show that Galaxion is more than capable of producing vocal songs as well. And by “as well” I mean that he belongs and stays in the elite of spacesynth artists with “Aftershock”.