FILTERIA - DAZE OF OUR LIVES
1. Filtertraces (Abstract Dream Remix) ... 10:18
2. The Big Blue ... 8:21
3. Wormhole ... 8:47
4. Eyeless Observatory ...8:23
5. In the Heaven's Eye ... 13:49
6. Infinite Regression (Feat Ukiro) ... 8:47
7. Earthrise ... 8:39
9. Float Away and Disappear ... 8:00
After three years since his previous main album, Jannis (Filteria) and Suntrip Records release the long awaited "Daze Of Our Lives." In 2004, Jannis released Sky Input, an album that reinvigorated the genre of Psychedelic Goa-Trance. Inspired by the amazing Pleiadians in their prime, Jannis's ultra-intense Sky Input debut album was widely praised. Though not as fluid or as elegant as Pleiadians earlier work that inspired it, Sky Input got by on sheer energy alone and is the most intense album I have ever heard in my life. Two years later, Jannis/Filteria released Heliopolis, a follow up with more of a variety in tracks (less in-your-face intensity back-to-back), including some welcome additions such as key changes, a remix of a classic Pleiadian song, a downtempo remix, and more. The general consensus: Heliopolis was a solid follow up, but not nearly as innovative or as impressive as Sky Input. Years past. Jannis toured the world; counties include: Brazil, Israel, Mexico, Russia, Switzerland, Ukraine, Turkey, Belgium. It was clear that the Pleiadian-influenced Filteria style was in need of some serious innovation. In 2008, such innovation came when Filteria released Birds Lingva Franca on Suntrip's double CD Opus Iridium compilation. The song was refreshing, more colorful, and tasty; the reviews were great. Clearly, the Filteria work had improved dramatically and evolved. Roughly a year past and in 2009, Daze Of Our Lives was announced. The album promises to be more innovative and better produced than previous work. But is it really?
1. Filtertraces (Abstract Dream Remix) sounds surreal. It begins with strange alien sounds. Imagine being on a floating island and approaching a vast, new world where an epic adventure awaits. Like a sunset (or sundown depending on how one perceives), birds fly across the skies as gentle waves crash along the sparkling beach beds. The opening to Filtertraces is mystical. It gradually progresses into an evocative, harmonious world. At 1:40, a boost of energy ignites the senses and the journey begins. Waves harboring sound creatures swim in deeper layers, in an ocean flow never forceful or overloaded with sea life. This song is like an expression of nirvana, paradise. Like a tasty broth, ingredients are gradually added until the taste is marvelous, blending together in an ocean of infectious delights. At 3:59 we are introduced to the first melody lead, a beautiful tune with far reaches like a magical flute summoning a sleeping dragon. Ambient layers shrink into back drops as numerous melodic crystals and soundscapes swim by. This song is filled with life and seemingly organic sounds, an irony considering it's an electronic (Goa) track. A bigger energy fish takes form around 5:40; the tempo takes off; the song doesn't abandon its beauty but evolves it to the rising energy. A floating interlude takes place from 6:49 to 7:46. It's mysterious and engaging, opening the door to a gorgeous missile of beauty. The traveler races across the skies. But not so fast as to miss the transcending scenery, and the emotive lead is wonderful. It's like sailing across the skies on a magical carpet ride. People have described this opening track as "dreamy, wondrous" and "divinely beautiful." Words are just descriptions anyway to express the essence of what we must experience to full understand and be present with. This is one of the most "strong and emotive" opening Goa tracks I have heard since Simon Postford's L.S.D. To say it's better would spark an argument. Filtertraces elegant, romantic, and unlike anything I have heard before. If this is a hint of Filteria's upcoming K.O.B. project, people are going to be very pleased. Beautiful track. A
2. The Big Blue is a stomper compared to the previous number. Emphazing twists, turns, and various sound emphasis as it progresses. It never seems to be squeezing its sounds or trying. The song is fluid, flowing, and fast -- not intense. It's more aggressive and danceable than the opening. The first several minutes could be described as a re-imagining of Jannis's famous Birds Lingva Franca but with bigger soundscapes, dynamics. The Big Blue breaks out from its wonderful lead after its third minute. An echoing transition takes place from around 3:05 to 3:32 and meets a short interlude, one that will front key changes and fun exploration as the story-telling track progresses. Even the main melody evolves with a new, second paragraph from that in the first act. Strengths include the song's less sound heavy breathing moments. One takes place around 5:25 where main melodies are removed for a tranquil transition of opening space. Such aware executions are wonderful; they open a dimension in appreciation to the creative life often masked to some degree by melody leads. The only part that appears less dynamic, or at least one that stays a bit longer than previous sections is during the last two minutes. It is this two-minutes roughly that may come across as repetitious albeit driving for some after hearing all else prior that sounds remarkably crafted. The Big Blue as a whole is engaging, even if its ending wasn't intended to blow listeners away. Excellent track. A-
3. Wormhole is one of those songs -- I had to hear numerous times to grasp. It is just so varied with ideas, development, and evolution. The song is filled with crazy psychedelia, sound effects, pitches, rumbling, impressive melody/sounds, rhythm change ups, awesome moments of growing storm-approaching ambient, skipping/chopped up acid butterflies, psychedelic caterpillars on colorful energy rockets, and more. The track barrels through cork screws as if a space dragon is playing roller coaster with its own tail before diving deep into a wormhole filled with challenges, clusters of sound/melody paragraphs. Filteria's mixing style has improved dramatically since 2006's Heliopolis album. There are moments when the main melodies are removed to showcase an open road, and it is these pathfinding (like racing down an open road in the desert) moments that provide a great sense of clarity and steal some of the show. As with the previous two tracks, Wormhole features a wide variety in sounds that far outdue the sound varity on previous Filteria work. Moreover, there is a section around 7:00 to 8:00 that is hard to forget. It's intricately delicious and brings back memories of the tasty mixing attitude I miss so much now days, perfectly expressed on Hallucinogen - Twisted and to some degree, Talpa - The Art of Being Non. What's wonderful is how the artist updates certain ideas without copying; he creates his own vision, approaches to ideas. Wormhole is imaginative, ambitious, over-the-top, dynamic to the point of exhaustion at times track that's captivating from beginning to end. Its melody work is simply less memorable than the two previous tracks. But the sound/mixing work coupled with the story/imagination is giant. Awesome work. A-
4. Eyeless Observatory appears to have no limits when it comes to adrenaline. The thing takes off close to the beginning. Key changes compliment a sound reminiscent from Pleiadian's (self-titled) Family Of Light track. The song is an uncompromising form of turbulance set in several fluid transitional stages that are poised to get the heart racing and probably give a few people heart attacks on the dance floor too, that is if they're on drugs that speed up the heart-rate. This track is a crazed run-away train on rocket boosters. It races by, thus to leave the listener in a blur. The first adrenaline injection is around 2:40. The body is moving at dangerous, but not yet disastrous speeds. As the song currently matches previous high octane killers such as Mono Lisa Overdrive, and various other high octane Filteria work such as Rotate To Vibrate. Lights fly by, colors leave trails, and any sense of scenery is not comprehendible. Around 5:00 is the next adrenaline injection which is more like a pint of nitro to the cerebral cortex. Yet somewhere among the quickening velocity is a deliciously skipping, altering, and constantly evolving structure that is the climax. Has the idea of a high octane song been done before? Yes, probably hundreds. But this is the most intense and uncompromising in sensation track I have heard since Sky Input released back in 2004. It may be one dimensional. But for what it is -- Eyeless Observatory is one of the strongest high octane song's ever produced. It becomes more delectable as it progresses as well, and the overall sound/melody work is excellent. Stunning track! A
5. In the Heaven's Eye is a delectable space odyssey, running at nearly 14-minutes long. The introduction is four-minutes long, developing a wide open atmosphere and delicatessen of soundscapes in accordance to its non-linear design. This openness instigates a heavenly ride across the Universe and the beat begins at 3:42. Coupled with unique skipping effects, pulsating vibrations, and various other enhancements, the song is an evolution from Filteria's non-intense and strong Tiny Little Universe on V/A - Apsara. Around 6:21 gains more strengths; hi hats meet the layers of beauty swimming at traveling speeds. The pill becomes even more delicious as it crosses the seven-minute mark. Gentle pull back in melodies; things are getting more psychedelic. A strong melody lead appears, moving through celestial bubbles and particles at around 8:30, and while all of these elements sound great, it isn't until 9:13 that ride breaks out into juicy paradise a la Dimension 5. Jannis has created a vivid, immersive world. During the creative four-minute foundation, I felt like I was watching the interesting space creatures. I didn't feel a part of their journey, but the song continues to clear a celestial path as it continues, like hidden steps to the stars. This elements of surprise here are wonderful, pulling the listener into the cosmos. A moment of aggression in the final act strengthens the lasting journey; it's excellent. The track may initially came across as ambiguous for some. There's a lot to comprehend and the direction isn't really clear at first. But the traveling approach and sound/melody work presents a moving work of art that deserves repeat listens and letting go of life to get lost in. This is the most imaginative, beautiful, and traveling (key word here) Goa-Trance song that Filteria has made to date. It becomes more engaging as progresses, never falling into general formula; it remains novel and gripping. Imaginative, strong, and epic work. A
6. Infinite Regression (Feat Ukiro) is a return to futuristic/racing through the city Goa-Trance. But there's a catch, that has to do with Eastern-influenced melody work that appears later on. But we'll get to that in a second. The song has a buzzing, alien intro and introduces the kick within its first 0:15 seconds. Around :026 begins the first gritty texture as various, unique effects (like creatures) enter the atmosphere. These parts are great. The kick is emphasized with sound effects as a crisp Goa melody emerges. An interlude takes place from around 1:30 to 1:38, opening the door to machine-gun skipping sound effects that enhance the melody-driven core. The melodies disappear to compensate for a chilling deep voice sample regarding time. The fast Eastern melody work is great and compliments the relatively fast speed of the track. Around 3:50, the Eastern melody work switches up. Unfortunately this is the weakest part of the song, and the album. No longer is the song kinetic like before. The new melody lead not only sounds as if it could have been in a completely different song, it's overall tune and movements are unimpressive, disappointing. Fortunately, the bullet paced grip picks back up around 4:32. A catchy melody lead rejuvenates the track with energy around 5:15. Things are finally back on course, that is until the same, previous melody work returns around 6:22. This specific form of Eastern-influenced melody greatly subtracts from the song's zippy/fun energy and flow. Even skipping effects can't mask its lackluster presence, and at this point I no longer enjoy the song. While some people may enjoy this more simplistic Eastern melody, I don't. I know that the artist is capable of far more arresting work. Naturally, a good chunk of the song is well done. I just know that the song could have been enhanced with the smallest, obvious changes. It sounds as if it has an identity crisis in this regard. Someone dropped a dirty shoe lace in my tasty bowl of soup. While much of the song is solid, the end result feels rushed and/or uncertain of itself. Yet around these elements exists work so playful and smooth, it's a shame more work wasn't invested in sharpening the few, dull corners. Overall this is a good track with greatness (or vice-versa) that could have been excellent had the artist replaced (with something more catchy) the melody from 3:53 to 4:32 and from 6:22 to closing (or just end the song before 6:22 thus not to repeat the weakest part) because these parts take away from the fast, fun, zippy appeal. B+ ?
7. Earthrise may be what our current conscious awareness vibration experiences during a planetary shift in consciousness. Or when a giant shock wave is produced after an asteroid's impact, lifting our land from zero degrees to the vast clouds above. I had wondered what a Filteria track would sound like had Jannis incorporated Hallucinogen-influences. Now I know, and this approach opens the door to an entire new realm of magic and possibilities. Earthrise delivers the story-telling with enormous buildups, a continuously uplifting and gradually climactic drive, and an ending that I couldn't be happier with. After the previous track, which wasn't bad but I wasn't impressed either, any concern that Filteria might place his weaker tracks in the end was crushed. You'd hope not, right? Earthrise is one of Filteria's strongest tracks. It is a SONIC BOOM (!) way to end the uptempo work on the album. In short, this is an album-seller. Excellent track with a superb ending! A
8. Float Away and Disappear ends the album in Goa influenced down-tempo chill out. Coupled with altered, chopped up voices at the beginning and end, the song's only weakness may lie in its seemingly separate intro and outro relative to the midtempo beat that makes up its core, best part of the ride. It sounds as if this could have been two separate songs. As if the direction present during the first several minutes would have been unclear had it continued; therefore a driving element was created to compensate this elegant deficiency. Regardless of the intent or history to its making however, this a very solid (along with Filteria's Back To Earth on V/A - Sundrops compilation) track. The first several minutes are evocative and chill, leading into a slight interlude around 3:05 to 3:17, where things heat up. A slow beat emerges in combination with tempting tapping. The buildup part is great, jumping the down into mid-tempo where the song sounds pleasingly familiar to various, classic, old school Goa closing tracks. But with today's stronger production values. The middle third of the song are great, excellent. Unfortunately, the best part of the song only lasts from 3:53 to 6:00; it would have been nicer if the beat continued a little longer with some potential, further melody/sound enhancement. The last two minutes gently bring the listener back down to the peaceful stream from the beginning. But the downtempo segments do not don't flow so well into the mid-tempo and vice-versa. I'm not quite sure what I think of the chopped up, incoherent voice work either (in the beginning and end), an effect that has become popular in various genre' over the years. But overall the song is strong, though not better than Back To Earth, not to me. Float Away and Disappear is interesting, and a smart, nostalgic, and modern way to end a spectacular album. A-
In conclusion, Daze Of Our Lives oozes with fluid energy, innovation, and infection. This is Filteria's most mature, overall best album to date. Those who thought Filteria has lost edge will think again after hearing Eyeless Observatory. But that's just one track where the artist takes sensation further than almost every high-octane song I have heard. The opening track is gorgeous. The final chill out track echoes nostalgia, and virtually every track is excellent, superb. The only song I consider less strong overall is Infinite Regression due to certain Eastern melody work in the second and third act that could have been replaced by catchier, more congruent synth leads to enhance the zestier (futuristic) elements; otherwise it's great. Furthermore, the album is loaded with characteristic super songs, and an energy at times that awakens the sleeping dragon with stunning results. Filteria's transitions are more fluid; his tracks are more fluid, elegant, and satisfying; they finally have room to breath. DoOL is a wonderful and invigorating journey from beginning to end. Replay value is high too due to the super song and characteristic track variety. For those who enjoyed Filteria's Birds Lingva Franca in 2008, Daze Of Our Lives surpasses such colorful works thanks to a wider variety of sounds, twists, turns, innovation, experimentation, and more. Suntrip's artist RA may tell a story better, and have more experience when it comes to down/mid-tempo work in general, as shown in RA's 9th (2008) album. Jannis/Filteria knows how to craft a super song in virtually (just about) every slot. DoOL is the best new school Goa album, generally followed IMO by Khetzal's Corolle, Chi-A.D. Earth Crossing, RA's 9th, and VERY few others. DoOL is a serious contender for best Psy/Goa-Trance album of the year, and of the last several years. Highly recommended!
Total Running Time: 74:59
Favorite tracks: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7
A ............................ Update: I don't remember the last time I gave an album an A in any genre of music.
There's Pleiadian's IFO and Halluciongen's Twisted... This is the first new school one... Huh, never realized how critical I was.
Samples / Order here: