Review: The Crystal Method – Keep Hope Alive (Breakbeat)

This review covers the breakbeat track The Crystal Method – Keep Hope Alive.

This track was released in 1997 on the album Vegas.

The track starts off with a synth pad. This pad is backed by a synth string. A bass string then comes in as an additional layer. Some automation then hits the synth pad before a 303-like synth comes in. That’s when the breakbeat drum kit comes in.

Some effects come in. After a bit, the track drops out a bit, leaving largely pads. The track then quickly builds back up as the drum kit returns. This is layered with the pads from the beginning of the track. The track drops back a bit as voice sample then comes in.

The drum kit then makes a return as the 303 synth continues the track. The voice sample continues. Some synth effects also join the track.

From there, a large number of synths drop back. The track breaks down further, leaving mostly just the drum kit. The earlier synths return again. A secondary synth also joins the track from the lower frequencies. After that, the drum kit drops out, leaving only synths as the voice sample return.

The 303 synth builds the track back up along with the voice sample. Some synth effects rejoin the track. After that, the drum kit takes over with other elements dropping out. A synth joins in after a slow short snare roll.

That synth string returns again. Additional synths join the track. The 303 synth makes a return after the drum kit drops out again. A snare roll comes in, but the track drops out further.

From there, the drum kit returns once again as the synths drop out. There are a few effects, but the track then ends with some additional effects.

If you are looking for the more mid to late 90s experimental sound, this track does fit that build. It has that mix and match progression found in some of the earlier house tracks.

A positive here is that the synths use do sound pretty good. In addition, they all mix and match very well.

The pitfall with this track is that there is not much direction going for this track. You get the same sounds you heard in the beginning repeating in the middle and end. Very little is added that makes this track have any sort of arc going. As such, even if you do get into this track, you do have a bit of that sameness going on here.

Overall, this is an alright track. It can easily appeal to some listeners with very specific taste in sound. The synths used in this track actually sound quite good and it mixes and matches together nicely throughout the track. Really, the only thing holding this track back is an overall lack of any real progression. After you get about a minute or two in, there really isn’t much the rest of the track offers that hasn’t already played out. So, a decent one all around.


Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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