Ultrabeat - Beyond the Stars
20-year old Swedish dance genius Erik Augustsson is Mr Ultrabeat, and his last album seemed to be constantly on the Cross Rhythms playlist, with its slick dance grooves, anthemic songs and hi-techno production. Thankfully, this is more of the same! Euro-disco might not be everybody's cup of tea but pump up that volume and let the beats begin! Ultrabeat are all about poppy, club floor-filling dance music and though this isn't the most groundbreaking music in the world, it is excellently produced, well conceived and executed with an eye to those who want techno, happy hardcore and straight ahead dance pop. 'Beyond The Stars' has a sci-fi theology, lyrically, using space age metaphors on some songs. Fave tracks for me are the "Starfield", which manages to bring a bit of atmosphere into the mix, and "Divine Flow" which for some reason made me think of Kraftwerk's "Autobahn"! Elsewhere there are plenty of four-minute pumping dance tracks that will get to you - the quality is great! "Jesusrave", the poppier "Like A Star" and "More Than I Can Say" all do the business. "Deeper Than Oceans" slows the pace a fraction in the first section of the album, and I love its vibe, but it's only when we get to the second section, subtitled "Dreamplanet" that a few ambient atmospheres are really thrown into the proceedings. Here the pace is less relentless and Ultrabeat put together some clever touches. Solid European dance music of the highest order and well worth investigating.