Chris Fortier Trance America
by Shannon Petrick
The infamous Chris Fortier was influenced by the greats: Kimball Collins and Dave Cannalte. When a DJ admires and emulates such God-like musicians such as Collins and Cannalte, it is a sure bet that DJ will become God-like himself. And so Fortier has joined the ranks of the top DJs in the world, playing alongside Sasha, John Digweed and Dave Seaman.
It's taken him ten years to rise to the position that he is in now. He began playing in a club in Florida called the METRO. Sensing that Chris had the talent and the drive to make it to the top, DJs such as Icey, Cannalte and Collins began to take notice. Soon, he was playing at clubs that he only dreamed of years before: Beacham Theatre for AAHZ night, "Club Subzero," and a weekly residency at "The Village."
Chris' acute sense of music led him and his newfound partner, Neil Kolo, to create their own record company, named Fade Records. The year was 1995 and Fade Records quickly became the prototype for Orlando's music scene. The Fade Records sound was fresh and creative, leading to the explosion of Chris' career and the respect of DJs around the world. Still anxious to expand his music credibility even more, Chris Fortier and Jimmy Van Malleghem began an exclusive record pool for the United States: Balance Promote Group.
Chris Fortier's career continues to grow and flourish. Fade Records has released numerous remixes by artists such as Icey, BT, Noel Sanger and Steve Porter. Chris still manages to make time to make mixed CDs such as Alpha, Atmospherics, a Fade compilation called Sanctuaries and finally, Trance America.
Fortier's choice for the first song was excellent. Kolo's "Pattern of Sound" embodies everything a beginning song should have. The track was groovy with a suspenseful aspect, letting the listener know that the rest of the CD should follow suite. The breakdown was intelligent, the bassline sounding remotely like a heartbeat. The mix into the next track, Devol's "Rude Spaces," darkened the mood of the music...a very well thought-out combination of records, it seems.
Mixing into "Out There" (Steve Porter Spacedrum Mix) by Hyper X toned down the industrial-sounding "Rude Spaces" a bit with its ambient intro. The ambient sounds leave prominent traces throughout the song.
All of a sudden, with craftiness of course, Chris throws you into the next track, Steve Porter's "Innerpulse." It propels you so forcefully from the previous song, that you almost don't realize that he's mixing. That's the idea!
A very simple mix leads you from the intensity of "Innerpulse" into the extraordinary, enigmatic minds of Cass and Slide in their remix of Sugarglider's "Let Me In." Very beautiful track, perfectly placed by Fortier in his set. However, the flow into song six was a little strange, as it completely cut off the vocals and jumped into the next song.
The next track is the mindblowing one. It's one of those songs that grabs you by the throat and won't let you go until its very last note. This track isn't too hard but very intense...one of those mind-scrambling, mesmerising, don't-let-me-ever-come-down tracks. "Crazy People" by 3 Monkeys (Anthony Pappa and Barry Gilbey from Mara) is still a mystery to me. It is immensely intruiguing, with its sample from [I'm guessing] the film 12 Monkeys. Of course, the Mara-influenced "Crazy People" flows flawlessly into the following Mara track, "Fall From Grace." As expected, Sara Whittaker's angelic voice provides the perfect accompaniment to this beautifully composed piece.
After the climax of tracks 5, 6 and 7, Fortier tones the music down with Tranceiver's "RPV" and then picks up the pace a bit with the hard beats of Max Graham's "Yaletown." However, the track "Yaletown" continually drops the hard beats and brings them back in, keeping the music interesting. The mix into "Desire" (dub) by Memnon is done well, the sounds playing nicely off each other. "Desire" leads into Memnon's "Orchis," which is an amazing track. The vocals are beautiful and ethereal. You can easily close your eyes and allow this song to take you wherever you want to be...a perfect close to an almost flawless CD.
Chris Fortier has done it once again. He's pulled off a set that's creative and interesting to listen to in a world of uninspiring, bland DJ-mixed CDs.
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