First State Time Frame

First State Time Frame
It seems Tiësto has become synonymous with discovering and signing European up-and-comers delving in house, trance and "dance till you drop” electro. Case in point: First State. Initially a solo operation, Ralph Barendse (aka Ralphie B) was noticed by Tiësto in 2001, was subsequently signed and later joined by friend Sander van der Waal. After success with singles and compilations (and the fact that the duo were played exclusively by Tiësto for a while sure wasn’t a hindrance), they tried their hand at a full-length, producing Time Frame. The album starts off light, even a little airy, before punching up the beat with some basic house. The sound that made First State famous — fat beats intertwined with their blend of trance — is eased into and instantly recognisable as it drifts in early on the album. The only oddity on the disc, considering its genre, is the lack of transitioning between tracks. Instead of playing into one another, essentially creating a seemingly endless track, each song sees an end. Though a solid, continuous set would have served the album a little better, the breaks by no means disturb the overall character of the disc. Tiësto may have given them a leg up, but First State can definitely stand on their own. (Black Hole)