Xain "Born in the Stars"
The album cover and the name Xain gives the album a quite anonymous impression, but don't let the cover mislead you. If the cover would have been made by a real artist and if the name of the musician would have been Lizardking, or Gustaf Grefberg, then I'm sure that the album would have given a more interesting impression. People that have followed Gustaf Grefberg's contribution to Hypersound's Synthesizer Dance serie knows what we could expect from this album.
The tracklist on this album shows that this is an album that consists mostly of new versions of already released songs. The new versions of the songs are not just some remixes of the originals, instead they have been totally rebuilt which was a positive surprise. This album is extremely good produced and it is definitely Hypersound's best produced album. Probably it is the best produced album in the whole genre so far.
Gustaf is a musician in this genre who has moved far away from the traditional Laserdance style while he invented his Dosk Pop style. The songs don't include the space theme like most songs in this genre do, instead they sound more like mystic fairy-tales. This is probably the only thing on the album that I wished could have been made different. Just imagine how good space influenced songs in the Laserdance or the Proxyon style that this musician could have done. Anyway, this is just my personal opinion.
The songs include lots of energy and have a punchy and powerful style, so I don't recommend that you listen to the album just before you go to sleep. The powerful drums in combination with the punchy bassline gives a nice energy kick which must be experienced with high volume on the stereo. The variation of sounds are good and it is obvious that there are lots and lots of hours spent to make this album.
To summarize this album, I think this is a very impressive production and it is definitly the best produced album that I have in my spacesynth collection. The album include a lot of good melodies and details that are played on a good variation of sounds. The only thing that I can comment on this album is that most of the songs have already been released before, which removed some of the surprise effect for me. I would also have wished for some space influenced songs with the flying-in-space feeling a'la Laserdance, but on the same way I think that it is strong that Gustaf has chosen to go his own way and not become a Laserdance copycat as many others in this genre.