Laserdance - Hypermagic

Laserdance - Hypermagic

Label: ZXY 20239-2
Year: 1993
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1. Enemy On Earth (Vocoder Mix) - 5.14
2. Land Of Nowhere - 4.48
3. Fire on Ice - 5.19
4. Hypermagic - 5.29
5. Through The Dark - 5.14
6. Macnetic Clouds - 5.52
7. Traget On Position - 5.58
8. Mysterious - 5.03
9. One From  A Hostile Gang - 5.14
10. Speedmaniac - 5.13
11. Enemy On Earth (Space Mix) - 5.21

All tracks composed and arranged by Erik van Vliet.
Produced by Erik van Vliet and Michiel van der Kuy.
Executive produced by Erik van Vliet.



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The everlasting problem of synthdance: should producers/composers search for new musical ideas and use the sounds and possibilities that today's electronic instruments offer OR should they stick to the classic 80s sound  that Laserdance was mostly known for.
Hypermagic is the first  Laserdance album where Erik van Vliet and Michiel v.d Kuy tried to change the sound. There's still a bucketload of oldskool sound but the melodies are quite different. Good effort but also a disappointment.
'Enemy on Earth' is a typical Laserdance track: catchy chord stabs, scifi speeches and simple brassy melodies. A very good track but no real innovations there.
'Land of Nowhere', 'Speedmaniac' and 'One from a Hostile Gang' introduce some sounds that haven't been heard in a Laserdance track before.
'Magnetic Clouds' and  'Mysterious" are bouncing tracks packed with cheesy melodies.
The  difference to the old sound is the use of long melodylines instead of simpler italo-disco'ish melodies.
Melodies are catchy but they sound like being  played with thin sounding synthesizers. Also lots of atmoshpheric drones, filtered arpeggios and bright bell sounds are used and that's the problem of the  whole album. Laserdance starts to sound elevator music and becomes dead boring.
Almost every track on Hypermagic has a great intro but when the drums  kick in, track suddenly doesn't bring anything to rave about.
My favorite track on the album is 'Through the Dark' - it has a great intro but this time the rhythm is also interesting and there's even some rocky melodies that can be taken more seriously. Especially the part which starts near the 2  minute mark is very nice.
Hypermagic is a good effort. Personally I  would've not wanted another Technological Mind. Hypermagic is trying to be many different things at the same time but nothing really stands out. The tracks themselves aren't that interesting and I can't help myself feeling that
something is missing.

Rating: 6/10
Lauri Turjansalo

• • •

Hypermagic is my favourite Laserdance album. In one year, Van Vliet has gone from the mediocrity of Technological Mind to creating some really spectacular sounds. All these tracks have real feeling in them, and thankfully Van Vliet has let go of his inexplicable need to repeat the song's title over and over throughout the tune in a synthetically-deepened vocoder voice. Each track stands on its own without vocals of any kind, with the exception of a short sample about UFOs at the beginning of "Enemy On Earth". A real standout is "Through The Dark", whose main sound is, of all things, an oboe (synthesized of course). Another track to watch for is "One From A Hostile Gang", which features a very loud, shrill, in-your-face sound -- traits you would expect to find in "one from a hostile gang" I suppose. What struck me the most about this album is how well the persistent, pounding basslines play through a subwoofer. The sound is consistent from beginning to end. I love to listen to this album in my car.