So, do you like the sound of Trafik? No, I don’t mean the sounds of horns or sirens blowing along an intersection, I’m speaking of the producers – djs – singers – artists that comprise one Andrew Archer and one John Elliot. In-house producers, who do everything, but the laundry for the label takes helm on compiling and mixing two silver disc that looks to continue a new tradition for the afterhours escapes. Already breaking free from any pigeon-holing with “Bullet,” Trafik’s eclectic taste in music would be the foundation that makes up ‘Afterhours 2’.
Overseeing the new project, Trafik was given the task to mold and shape the second volume of Global Underground’s alternative experience. For a moment, forget about the clubs or even the women and concentrate on a musical journey that will become the soundtrack to your life for the next wee hours. As Trafik are sonically displaying their definition of what the afterhours mean to them and when this is through – so will it be yours. A fusion of Tim Burton-like dreams washing over the starry nights of Van Gogh masterpieces, you get a sense of entering a different world where darkness is just as intense and serene like sunlight.
Opening with the ambient waves of Olvis’ “The Sea,” you would have never noticed that by the time it drifts away and those broken beats crash in, four other songs have gone by. Trafik’s rearrangements are superb as you can never tell when a track finishes and the next one enters in. Trip-hop beats influencing the tempo, you find that the groove is wickedly sinister; something cool, but not necessary groovy in the usual way. By the time Boards of Canada enters the fold, you become indulged in some of electronic music most blissful sounds; quiet and siren, this is ambient music made for the afterhours in mind.
The highlight of the first disc would have to be right at the end with its throbbing vibes courtesy of Tricky and Martina Topley-Bird. Switching in after is The Forth’s “Into The Outside” that will introduce Trafik’s very own “Surrender.” One of the highlights of “Bullet,” the “Green Ice Mix” incarnation is haunting and beautiful while the closing piece for disc one, “Over the Pond” by The Album Leaf ends this on a sad note that somehow fits perfectly in the afterhours.
While the first disc took on the sadcore nature that can be found in the afterhours, disc two sees the more upbeat and twisted side. Taking on a more experimental route, you become reminded a bit of Charlie May’s “Technodubfest” with the bouncy hip-hop inspired rhythms and metallic melodies. What does feel awkward is right at the height of the second disc, it becomes a very dancey album. Not that it’s a bad thing, but that it only stays this way for roughly three tracks and then returns to its experimental selections. It would have been nice if it were extended with some more tracks that remind the listener of the 80’s love-of-synthfest because it gets very, very funky during Visage’s “Fade To Grey” to Telefon Tel Aviv’s “My Week Beats Your Year.” Not a bad disc, but the first is where you’re money will go to.
It’s a strange feeling, but it’s right. You have to give it to them; though these sounds have been explored by others like Warp before them, the presentation captures the feelings and moods that define the afterhours; somewhere calm, but not chill, dark and twisted with a majestic black rose cementing its alluring nature.
You must wonder, what must go inside the mind of someone who creates sounds like this. This music isn’t made for the mainstream and for most people they may never hear music quite like this. And with the compilers, Trafik pulling no stops to search for gems that seemed to be impossible to find; music that sleeps in the cracks of the world. If people like Trafik and labels like GU didn’t take a chance to explore new terrain, all that would be left are commercial records done “chilled style” for purposes of “now that’s what I call chillout music vol. 100” or use every other downtempo track that’s been used a hundred times prior and repackage it under a different umbrella.
To Trafik and GU, the afterhours more or less is neither a place nor time. It is wherever you want to be at whatever moment you feel. It’s an attitude and an understanding that sometimes you just want to let go. I agree. The afterhours, you really need to experience it for yourself
01. Olvis - The Sea
02. Penumbra – Deep Listening
03. Stef, Pako & Frederick - Magic Shop (Trafik Aftercuts Edit)
04. Slam - Kill The Pain
05. 7 Hurtz - 3 Sisters
06. Sissy - I See You (Dub Mix)
07. Boxsaga - Steppin'
08. Spanna – Phere
09. 7 Hurtz – Pump
10. Psycorps – Collusion
11. Boards Of Canada - Amo Bishop Roden
12. The Aloof ft. Ricardo Nicolia - On A Mission
13. Burnt Friedman - I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm
14. K-roxx – Grand
15. Roxy Music - In Every Dream Home A Heartache
16. Tricky – Hollow
17. The Forth – Into The Outside
18. Trafik - Surrender (Green Ice Mix)
19. The Album Leaf - Over The Pond
01. Unkle - I Need Something Stronger
02. Colder- One Night In Tokyo
03. Cotton Belly – Tempest Dub
04. Primal Scream – Jailbird (Weatherall Dub Chapter 3 Mix)
05. Dub Chemist – Wobbly
06. Rockers Hi Fi - Push Push (Re-rub) (Trafik Aftercuts Edit)
07. Nush - Nush (Trafik Aftercuts Edit)
08. Leonine - Wrong Intentions
09. Murcof - Memoria (Sutekh Trisagiorion Mix)
10. Dominik Eulberg - Der Zug Der Kraniche:Boten Der Veränderung
11. Visage - Fade To Grey (Trafik Aftercuts Edit)
12. Psychonauts - Empty Love
13. Telfon Tel Aviv - My Week Beats Your Year
14. Murcof – Memoria
15. Trafik - Echoes (Petter Slow Dub)
16. Jon Hopkins – Circle
17. Closer Musik - One, Two, Three (Ewan Pearson Mix)
18. sinner dc – Alice
19. Subside - Home To An Empty House
20. Beanfield - Tides ft. Bajka (Accapella)