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Reviews » Audio Reviews » Studio Voodoo
Studio Voodoo
DTS // DVD Audio
List Price: Unknown [Buy now and save at Dvdempire]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted May 28, 2001 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

Studio Voodoo is a group that really defies being labeled as one genre. A mix of jungle beats, voices, sounds, techno and other elements, this effort often lead me to think about it more as a performance art piece than music, although that's certainly not a negative remark. Some of the simple talking ("Trance Dance") that's layered over the music becomes a bit too much, taking away from the otherwise interesting beats that fill the track - the same thing starts "Integratron", which opens with a conversation.

Sometimes the music is a bit too experimental, looping in all different directions without much focus, but when it actually settles down into one or two genres for a song (the flamenco and techno mix of "Imagenes de Espana" or the techno-backed chants of "Lamentatio"), it becomes a fascinating mix of cultures and sounds. On the terrific DTS mix that's presented here, the listener is almost deposited into a universe of beats and sounds.

Tracks:
The Beat Is Voodoo
Fire
Lamentatio
Straight From The Heart
Trancedance
Intergratron
Imagenes De Espana
Rain
Epilogue: Song of gnos


The DVD

SOUND: "Studio Voodoo" is presented in DTS-ES 6.1 audio, which is fully compatible with DTS 5.1 systems. I've listened to a number of surround-sound music CDs lately, and this is easily the most agressive mix that I've heard, right up with the Blue Man Group's "Audio". Although the multiple layers of sounds, music and other effects would lead one to believe there would be a great deal of activity, it doesn't prepare the listener for the final product, which is a swirl of sounds.

Surrounds are used heavily and very creatively to envelop the viewer into the middle of the universe of beats and moods that the music creates. Sounds, tunes and vocals are offered by the surrounds and although there's so much going on, I never felt distracted or drawn too heavily towards what was going on in the surrounds.

The disc is not only extremely impressive in the way that it uses the surrounds, but the audio quality is outstanding. Clarity, detail, dynamic range are all nothing short of terrific. The sound quality is extremely warm, rich and comfortable to listen to. The speakers all come together to really form an amazing, seamless mixture that brings you into this wild mixture of various genres of music. Definitely a demo disc for surround sound music.

Update: A DVD-Audio 5.1 24-bit/48 kHz MLP presentation is also included on the DVD. This version did offer some improvements over the already quite good DTS edition, although the differences overall were rather slight. The already dynamic audio seemed even richer and fuller, and the level of clarity and detail was improved. There's so much going on with the songs that it was particularly enjoyable to hear even the more subtle elements of the mixture that goes into each song more distinctly. Both the DVD-A and DTS tracks sounded terrific, but I was impressed to hear after listening to the excellent DTS track the noticable (although not major) improvements in the DVD-A track.

Features: There is an interesting interview with the two artists who make up Studio Voodoo and a photo gallery.

Final Thoughts: "Studio Voodoo" is a fascinating experimental work that only occasionally gets a little too experimental. Presented with a very impressive audio mix, those who are into a mixture of techno and world beats will likely find this a very enjoyable addition to their DTS CD collection and those who have DVD-Audio capabilities will be thrilled by how wonderful this album sounds in that format. Either way, "Studio Voodoo" is worth picking up.
Order "Studio Voodoo" now!
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