If Stan Kolev's "Don't Be", released last year on Ready Mix Records, was a sign of things to come then he was well on target. Riding the fine lines between house, tribal, progressive and trance, "Emotion Content", is a breath of fresh air so far as electronic artist albums go in recent years. Making dance floor tunes is one thing but producing a quality album which can be listened through and appreciated as one work is another. "Emotional Content" has done just that.
Leading in Kolev lays down his style pretty quickly. An laid-back ethnic and progressive mash-up of styles paves the way with "Routts" and "Suspended Memories" before the tempo picks up with "Inner Sense", a sultry 90s-style New York house number - subtle and groovy. "Deep This" follows on and you can see where Kolev is going - adding in synth riffs and more edgy elements.
Last year's album teaser "Don't Be" is included in an album edited version before the next peak-time numbers fall in the form of "F-substance" and "Flashback", one of those x-factor tunes which defies genre: future-garage-tech-prog to make a wild attempt. "Even Flow" and "Hollow" kick ass in a more energetic synthy way and will bode well with fans of more euphoric (I didn't say 'trance' but goddamit this makes me like the notion for a change) sounds.
It isn't often an album makes the top grade for me but "Emotional Content" gets an easy 5 out of 5. There doesn't need to be any genre sticker attached to this release except: forward-thinking dance music.
- "Emotional Content" is available now on Ready Mix Records at Beatport. The single release of "Flashback", including a remix by Eelke Kleijn, will be released in March. Other remixes due in 2008 from Bart Van Wissen, Add2Basket and more.