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E-mantra - Arcana


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#1 ritual om

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 01:41 PM

I haven’t done a review for many years. I don’t like neither full-on,nor many of the new-school goa productions
(of course I respect the new beginning and effort done and comprehend that it's a huge and necessary step for something big and substantial to happen again in the goa-psy scene).
well that’s gonna end now. :lol:




Release Date :Nov 13, 2009
Total time :310:42
Style :goa-psychedelic trance
Mastering :Tim Schuldt @ 4CN-Studios
Artwork :Mars, Lucas Van Valckenborch, Madison.Murphy, Olivier Renoncourt, Hubble, And The Universe @ Psynews/Suntrip HQ
Cat no :SUNCD17
Barcode :5 060147 125146
Format :CD
Copies pressed :1000





Posted Image




01. Praying Forest (Short) 09:03
02. Shamanistic Rituals 10:58
03. Last Encounter 08:23
04. War of The Hierophants 09:00
05. Approaching Nibiru 07:31
06. Dansul Ielelor 08:22
07. Ninive Under The Stars 10:18
08. Beyond The Boreas 07:13





GENRE : pure goa psychedelic trance.
SOUND PRODUCTION-QUALITY : crystal clear deep sounds.
COMPOSITION : complex sequences, enhanced with rich and multiple layers of sound (leads,percussion,pads,fx,voices) that create enormous soundscapes.
MUSIC APPROACH : this is not just a dance album.this is a spiritual,trance inducing tool.it tries to connect an individual with the surroundings,with its own spirit,trying ultimately to present the brilliant undivided whole.



I listened to each track and tried to put it into words (that really don’t do justice the whole experience).

Here we go:



1.praying forest

0.00-from the intro you know that something aurally unexpected will happen.
The bass is so sweet. The little floating and swirling melodies are candies for the ears. The scattered hihats are so intriguing. building all the way!
5.52-i fell in love right away.hell,this is sweet!lovely melody!i can see the sun coming up slowly,making darkness fade away!
7.00-pressure.that darkish synth,with those 303 and the lead that comes in giving hope for the ecstatic ritual to continue!



2.shamanistic rituals.

0.00-nice intro.the kick is goaish and the bass so pumping.little fx’s that mess with your mind and a lead in the background that builds slowly.the atmosphere is mystical and obscure.
2:50-dear god.this lead is bending your mind. eastern spiritual galore.aggressive 303 are blending in.
3:55-the melody kicks in.lots of release in there giving a goaish feeling right away.i start to fade away.my senses are intense.
4:50-psychedelia.sophisticated psychedelia.rich layers of space sound.
8:10-accelerating,intensifying.brain messing sounds all the way.



3.last encounter

0.00-bass and kick are ace.layers coming in right away.rich layers morphing huge mystical soundscapes.distorted undertoned melodies blending and twisting with each other.303 that hit soft spots of the mind.
1.49-what a breakdown!amazing voice samples.leads never ending and never staying the same.
2:50-astral projection style all the way.this is massive!this is a dancefloor filler part.
5:00-for god’s sake!this is divine!pure psychedelic goa trance.enormous composition.



4.war of the hierophants

0.00-magic from the start.these flowing melodies set the place for trance.melody buildups come in and those crystal clear 303.
3.45-this is promising.yes,here it comes.the break,the melody,the fx’s.they all blend in in an angelic form.
5.30-power.vast power.lots of different sequences.little transitions.great detail.melodies come and go,changing with grace.



5.approaching nibiru

0.00-ground shaking beat.you can feel the vibration of planet X.
1.25-amazing synth and 303.aliens secretly talking to the listener.patiently waiting for the speech!
1.48-this is psychedelic and substantial!
3.20-what a twist. Really simple and effective buildup!
6.40-amazing melody!
Well,I don’t like much of this track. :(



6.dansul lelelor

0.00-pads traveling you to the endless universe.the bass is empowering the travel.floating melodies.
2.00-beautiful melodies coming in and such a refreshing lead.you can feel the beauty right away!
2.58-colours,odours,sounds melt in one pot. Heading deep into the beauty of nature!
4.30-pads that make you wanna cry and smile,that make you feel human. Ohhhhh!those keys are so touching!
5.28-what a lead and a melody!yeah!everything blends in, making this rare and gorgeous flower blossom!



7.ninive under the stars

0.00-this is gonna be spacey!mystical pads and distorted reverbed voice samples!
0.47-the bass comes in.the sequence and the preset is totally ritualistic!so deeeeeep!
1.10-the kick is awesome.exactly as it should be.the beat fits like a glove.
1.27-the percussion comes in, and everything you want to do is dance.
1.33-a pad and a melody.so touchful!
2.34-here it comes . the mysticism unfolds. Pulsate.just pulsate.
4.32-we are in goa.in the beach dancing,sweating,smiling…
6.24-lovely,sweet,beautiful,picturesque,enchanting,words can’t describe this.
7.24-the journey continues.the dance is pure. Purity. just purity.



8.beyond the boreas.

0.00-another fascinating intro.
0.40-kick and bass are superb. Goa is the place again.
2.45-Anjuna seems to smile after many years!
3.37-touching,sentimental track. Love is written deep into this track. Love for the human,the nature,the universe!



This is the best psy-goa album since 2000 (I guess). (The only track that I don’t like that much is 'approaching nibiru').
Well done e-mantra!you are already in my wantlist and patiently waiting for the next gem!



You just simply renewed my faith in the goa-psy music and its future!
(big thanks also to suntrip records-nothing much would be done if not for them ).



PS.if only it had distinguished massive melodies (I mean the melodies that are a bit separated from the whole composition and stand out like mahadeva,teleport,land of freedom and…and…and...), it could have been in the top 5 goa-psy albums ever!

PS-2.also make some ambient tracks flowing like the outro on most tracks of yours.they would be killer!

#2 Trance2MoveU

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 02:17 AM

I think it's funny that you said this:

0.00-ground shaking beat.you can feel the vibration of planet X.
1.25-amazing synth and 303.aliens secretly talking to the listener.patiently waiting for the speech!
1.48-this is psychedelic and substantial!
3.20-what a twist. Really simple and effective buildup!
6.40-amazing melody!
Well,I don’t like much of this track. :(



Mdk

#3 Klas

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 09:34 AM

Ordered it yesterday.

I have a feeling about this... :) Review will follow.

#4 ritual om

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 08:20 PM

I think it's funny that you said this:

0.00-ground shaking beat.you can feel the vibration of planet X.
1.25-amazing synth and 303.aliens secretly talking to the listener.patiently waiting for the speech!
1.48-this is psychedelic and substantial!
3.20-what a twist. Really simple and effective buildup!
6.40-amazing melody!
Well,I don’t like much of this track. :(



Mdk



since 3.30 till 6.40 nothing spectacular happens for my taste.i don't like the approach of the melodies.

of course it is a decent track but compared to the others it lacks that extra shine... ;)

#5 Trance2MoveU

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 09:45 PM

I was listening to this while I took my infant son for a stroll. The weather was sunny and a nice breeze was blowing. The temperature was about 65F and I go into this music. This music inspires deep thought. It took me to a whole new level. Thank you E-mantra!

Mdk

#6 Aeros

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 08:34 AM

Wow! I am really digging this music, especially the last 2 tracks... there is a future for goa there! Goa sounds so fresh when its slowed down like that...like all the best parts of psychill minus all the borring, slow, and undynamic parts of it.

Ninive Under The Stars.... Dansul Ielelor, utterly cosmic trance music :) I've been listening to tracks off this album every day, and i haven't been listening to music every day lately.

Really love how the use of the snare drum is forgone entirely, with a delayed, echoing open hat instead... such a classic sound that literally hasn't been around since a decade. Truelly trance music :)

#7 amithaba_buddha

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 09:03 PM

Kongrats to Emmanuel.
It's about time MAN! :)

#8 Klas

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 02:37 PM

Think BIG, think E-mantra.

S.H.I.T!!! This is so fucking great. This is what I´ve been waiting for since Talpas "The art of being non"!

Spacey, dark, light, creative, imaginative, daring, emotional, sensitive, fuck it: you got a whole lot of EVERYTHING here!

Just listened through it the first time and all are my favourites, but if I have to name one of them it must be the last one "Beyond the Boreas", mostly because of the warm bassline...

I just CAN`T critizise anything about this.

Keep em´coming Emmanuel. This is the future of Goa.

#9 mak

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 10:38 PM

Think BIG, think E-mantra.

S.H.I.T!!! This is so fucking great. This is what I´ve been waiting for since Talpas "The art of being non"!

Spacey, dark, light, creative, imaginative, daring, emotional, sensitive, fuck it: you got a whole lot of EVERYTHING here!

Just listened through it the first time and all are my favourites, but if I have to name one of them it must be the last one "Beyond the Boreas", mostly because of the warm bassline...

I just CAN`T critizise anything about this.

Keep em´coming Emmanuel. This is the future of Goa.


I agree, a true masterpiece, best cd of the year among with Filteria's Daze and one of the best goa cds of the last years!!!

#10 Penzoline

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 04:49 PM

Some of my impressions after listening the first 6 tracks.

E-Mantra - Arcana manages to create awesome extremely spacey soundscapes, and landscapes, and has a ton of little details which make the experience that much more rich and golden, oh, I forgot to mention that the sounds used in this album are unique, some of which I think I have never heard before. It's amazing what kind of sounds E-Mantra has found and incorporated here. The main soundflows (as instead of main melodies, the general direction of sounds and themes) are extremely nice with those unique and beautiful spacey sounds. This is really a voyage to outer space, no doubt about it. You feel like you're flowing through vast, beautiful space. An album which is unlike anything released in a while that manages to create hope that there's still a possibility of getting back the old-school way of experimenting and creating amazing sonic journeys. I do have a complain though, E-mantra's style has a major weak spot and it's the repetition. It's that typical E-Mantra sound that I hear in every track here, I think it's the pace; the tempo and bassline stays the same. While it creates the workspace and ambiance needed for everything else, there is not enough variance, it's the same in every track. I wouldn't mind it as much if he had something to counter it with more often, I.E. more emphasis on the highs to distract, or just something to throw it off(See: Shamanistic Rituals 6:30->, War Of The Hierophants 4:05->). Very good way to show this problem off is just plainly skip the tracks in 1 minute spaces, it's almost frustrating. Now this complain might not be universal, as in a lot of people think the same, but to me it's pretty big and holds this releases quality some-what back, unfortunately.

That being said, it's not a deal breaker, this album is an amazing piece in the new-school-era.. no, in the whole goa-trance-era. A Must have.

My on-board audio made this album sound worse than it is. With the soundcard this recording is BIG.

#11 Banan

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 01:32 AM

end of 2009 and two masterpieces - shpongle and this... what a year.

#12 ritual om

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 06:26 PM

ninive under the stars


one of the best goa-psy tracks EVER!

#13 (OM)Open_Mind

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 01:03 PM

I like this album. No razor edges. It's like ocean of sound with acid waves.... Blurred floating spirals and shadows...
Love artwork too!! Looks similar to Hampy

Posted Image

Good job, Emmanuel!

#14 Padmapani

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 02:30 AM

i got this album today and am listening to it the second time now.

the first time i listened on speakers. my thoughts were: hmm.. nice floating, but quite dark and with a lot of energy. the only tracks that stood out for me were the last three.

then i put on the headphones and: holy shit! this is amazing!
so much detail, subtle but everchanging melodies and effects arranged wonderfully. and the music doesn't really sound dark anymore.
the tracks still sound much alike and are a bit repetitive, but i can totally get lost in these soundscapes.

i don't like 'shamanistic rituals' that much. some of the melodies get on my nerves. but the rest are solid tracks with 'dansul ilelor' being a great uptempo track and the last two tracks (especially 'ninive under the stars') are real masterpieces.

all in all a really good and innovative album with a distinctive style and a whole lot of psychedelia, that's missing so much in most of modern psytrance.

#15 Procyon

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Posted 05 December 2009 - 12:30 AM

Weldone e-mantra! The best release this year, IMO.

One thing is outstanding in this album: the sounds are clear like pure cold air. Rich, absorbing, hypnotic.

Unlike the reviewer, my fav track is Approaching Nibiru. I love it's multi-layers under the heavy beat. G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S!!!
I just dream of listening/dancing to it soon!!!

Congrats to Suntrip and E-Mantra. You're doing to Nova Goa in 2010 what Astral Projection did to Goa back in the 2000s.

Loved your work!

#16 DATmafia

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 08:24 AM

I have had nothing but great things to say about this album!! I've told all my friends to buy this CD! It's the BEST Goa trance album of 2009!! Suntrip has a reputation of releasing some of the best new-school Goa trance and this is one of their best examples since Filteria and Opus Iridium, of which E-Mantra has 2 tracks-but you already knew that.

#17 Ormion

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 01:09 PM

IMO this is the worst release of Suntrip. That doesn't mean is bad though, just that for me is inferior to the other Suntrip albums.

Ok here's why:
First of all this is not twisted Goa. This is 100% floating Goa. There's a kick, a bass, and continuous melodies on top of that, but we never get a leading melody or a climax or a twist.
The tracks keep going without any surpsise. Pretty much what happens in the first minute continues till the end.
There are many-many-many subliminal melodies and the attention to detail is great, but I really miss the signature of the track. The thing that would make me say, ''hey that's the track no5''. All the tracks are multilayered, but none of these layers stands out.
Which led to the second problem: Just like in Afgin and Radical Distortion all the tracks have almost the exact same bass, kick and synths. It's like you listen a nonstop 80 minutes track.
A little diversity would be really nice.
Of course ppl who want a floating, yet energetic Goa album will love it, but like I said many times before I'm kinda fed up with all this floatness.

Best tracks are Praying Forest and War Of Hierophants.

My best wishes to the artist and Suntrip. :)

#18 johnb820

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 11:16 PM

I know what you mean. It took some time to fully integrate myself with the layers, and I still have a hard time defining these songs. The most rewarding part of this release is the atmosphere. It is the perfect combination between earth and outer space in an ancient astronomical type of way, syncing the past and present. Layers float in and out of the mix making it pure floating trance and no, there are no hooks or lead synths that stick with you. It is a nice challenging release and draws closest comparison to Ra's 9th. With that said, I refuse to draw any conclusions about Arcana. I could love this or I could never listen to it again.

#19 Jon Cocco

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 11:55 PM

E-mantra - Arcana
Suntrip Records
2009


E-Mantra%2B-%2BArcana%2B-%2B2009.jpg

01. Praying Forest (Short)
02. Shamanistic Rituals
03. Last Encounter
04. War of The Hierophants
05. Approaching Nibiru
06. Dansul Ielelor
07. Ninive Under The Stars
08. Beyond The Boreas

Arcana is one of the rare, darker Suntrip releases since Ka-Sol's Fairy Tales released in 2006. Darker however in the spacey, thick atmosphere, floating, and sometimes, the actual tone sense. Not the devilish darkness or horror type. Here, the artist seems more interested in creating an atmospheric world rather than individualizing melodic leads amongst layered backdrops. The final result is unlike anything I have ever heard, one that you will really like, or not, or like me- enjoy to a degree. Some of this album fails to engage my attention, and yet some parts I find terrific, novel, interesting, and catchy. Some of the work on this album is superb, words can only describe.

1. Praying Forest (Short Version) starts the album off with heavy, interesting atmospheric. The voice sample around 0:43 sounds like a super villain from a strong horror or Sci-Fi film, creating an evil vibe not present to this extent, anywhere else on the album. A beat appears within the first minute and occasional sounds arrive, repeat. Little seems to stand out in the first several minutes, until a clashing sound enters. It's fairly catchy, and remains in the background as more twisting sounds arrive. Unlike Pleiadian's and most space Goa however, which released strong leads into the swirling, elegant atmosphere, this song lacks a main melody. The reoccurring bass line and beat soon grow tiresome. A transition takes place around the third minute; breaking up the monotonous beat a little. But when it returns around 3:47, not much has changed musically, save for little tweaks, certain sounds rise up like little waves. But unlike artist Ethereal, who is known for creating elegantly flowing (rising up/down) Goa sounds like waves around an oceanic atmosphere, the sounds here are not so capturing, primarily because they seldom develop like melodies. Several minutes go by and at 5:34, the beat fades to accommodate a spacey transition. This area, from 5:40 to 6:10 is pretty good, catchy. The sounds are more alive, animated, more of what the song needs as opposed to relying on heavy atmosphere and textures with an often repetitive beat and bass line. Yet another artist who created a hypnotic vibe around a fairly repetitive beat and bass line is Filteria with the massive Earthrise track from 2009's Daze Of Our Lives album. This song however is too repetitive, uninteresting; it lacks the magic often built on a foundation, though several good ideas arrive later on when the song is almost over. I'm not why the E-mantra released this number as the first impression opening, let alone the album. It's mediocre.  C+

02. Shamanistic Rituals begins with a voice sample in space. It sounds a bit awkward, considering the atmosphere (we're in space). With all of the alien backdrops, I thought we were on another planet or galaxy void of people. Aside from the otherwise cool (minus suspect voice) opening, the beat picks up and is enhanced with numerous details. Again, the atmosphere is great. The song introduces some decent sound fusions within the first several minutes, upping the intensity, but they don't develop much. A howling dog or wolf appears at 3:50 which takes away from the track in my opinion. Again, the general music was producing this other-worldly feel until the sound effect arrived. Directly after the howl is a gripping synth, and another. Unfortunately, the howling dog appears several more times; it's distracting, and just as the song's heating up. The melodic elements, sound work is catchier than the opening. Various, attractive sound fusions build atmospheric Goa islands, thicker sound spaces without the fun of a soaring Psy-rhythm lead often present in Psy/Goa albums. Around 6:25 introduces an aggressively enhancing sound, a transition, and a sweet little build up. From 6:45 to 7:39, I'm hooked in anticipation. Suddenly the beat returns, not a climactic rush, but similarly to before, and here is the problem. The artists had a chance to evolve the track, but they basically continued it, thus producing the buildup as a short lift rather than a fun transition into something more interesting, exciting. That said, the song does improve to some degree; it has some really nice elements, sounds that enhance the more open rhythm and textures, but the last third is basically a rearrangement of the first two. I can only imagine how magical this song could have been if the Goa work was even a third as developed and present as the wonderful atmosphere. Good track.  B

03. Last Encounter has a short introduction, which is fine. The crisp and metallic melodic elements stand out; they're gripping. A voice sample around 1:57 is catchy too, making us feel as if we're in or around a space ship. Suddenly at 2:16, a sweet Goa melody/sound sentence appears. It's great. Two delicious sound/melody sentences take place here, a fast, tasty one, and a core, intensely supporting one. Both are complimented by creatively great drum work, adding strength, variety, and sound diversity to an album in need of it after the first two tracks. The drums leave around 4:25, and we reach a less intense zone in space. At this point, the core beat changes up, and one of the album's greatest strengths arrives, it's mid-tempo work. From around 4:40 to 5:30, the entire track shifts from atmospheric up-tempo, to smart and gripping Psy/Goa mid-tempo. This part is contagious; it's so catchy! I would love to hear more of it, developed. At around 5:40, the beat picks up, returning the music to its up-tempo opening with more energy and refreshment than at least before the solid transition. An elegant melody arrives towards the end. The sound is similar to Goasia's beautiful Sunrise track, but the execution involves less notes and support, so it feels less a leading current than a stand out melodic element. Nonetheless, a strong harmony is produced, elevating the album to higher ground in Goa space, similar in concept to what I've heard from artist Cybernetica on his spacey, tasty Nanospheric album. I wish that the album began on this track because it's great, and a clean slate relief after the first two nearly lifeless numbers. Great work!  B+

04. War of The Hierophants starts out similarly to old school Pleiadians, sound- not melody wise. Not much takes place past the load of sounds, atmosphere in the first several minutes. I don't want to say they're filler, but they're nothing to build a portfolio around. Then something happens, OMG… from 3:58 to 5:00 is one of the catchiest moments that I have ever heard in Goatrance. The song's up-tempo speed is tweaked and shifts to mid-tempo. But it's not just that, but the synth leading choice, and how the artist enhances, echoes, and utilizes it. The result is a psychedelically irresistible treat that outdoes the other tweaked (mid-tempo?) segments on the album to date. I love this part and find so catchy and gripping, which now raises a huge question. Why can't the uptempo (synth leads) work be this catchy? After 5:00, the music returns to its up-tempo formula, but its new elements lack the dynamic progression, arrangement, and capability or catchiness that made Pleiadians, Filteria, and many other Goa artist tracks, for instance, grow even catchier in the final third. The final third of this track is okay; it's filler to me in comparison to the stylish, kinetic mid-tempo part. This is a solid song due to an awesome segment where the song basically goes into innovative metamorphosis in the middle third. That part I'd give an A, but the overall track I find solid, nothing spectacular.  B+

05. Approaching Nibiru increases the intensity. The beat releases right away. Hi-hats enhance alien sounds, backdrop. The song enters a fairly interesting transition around 1:30. The atmosphere is generally eerie, cool, as if wind is moving through a funnel or filter. The effect's good. Some Goa sound enter within the first third too, though they seem to develop more around 3:15. The song improves when an echoed, psychedelic, rising up tune at 3:35 gains status, followed by another around 3:50. Other sounds in the distance are effective, and the rough tune/sound enhances the track for several minutes. Also catchy is distant cheering (without the sound of people per say) around 2:49, earlier on. Tweaked details like these are cool, unlike the obvious, howling dogs in the less stellar second track. I'm more engaged by the work here. The song basks in background textures and atmosphere until 5:44, when an inspirational melody lead (to some degree) enters. Thick atmosphere enriches this driving tune, soon supported by others. The rhythm is quite hypnotic and effective in this number, but it seems to lack something to make it stand out more among all the strong backdrop. This is a pretty good song, but nothing spectacular. B-

06. Dansul Ielelor is one of, if not, the best uptempo track on the album. This is due to strong melody/sound work that develops with numerous supports, and an occasionally revisiting rhythm, like a chorus. Both compliment the atmosphere. The emotive tune early on is gripping, soon coming together by psychedelic and catchy, melodic synth work. The melody that enters around 3:00 is good too, if a bit simple, but quickly altered, arranged with newer sounds, and strengthened by even more melodic supports. The first two thirds of the song are interesting; they build nicely; the last is strong too. Here, the energy picks up, enhancing the song. New sounds enter; they're great and confirm the amount of time and work invested in the song, with more addictive results I might add (the arriving Psy-melody around 5:50 being just one example). I wish that the uptempo tracks on this album had more sound/melody work (energy and excitement) invested around the great atmosphere and backdrops as existent on this song, for instance. This is one of the most enjoyable songs on the album. Great work!  A-

07. Ninive Under The Stars has a continuously hooking, addictive sound, thanks to an impact effect that doubles the beat at times. The number is built on a strong foundation, and includes moving, atmospheric elements. The beat is joined with catchy, a metallic (that impact) sound, and soon supported by a powerful beat. The interlude in the middle is perfectly timed and mixed. For instance, it enhances the song by letting the music return with elements that are more interesting, that support the mid-tempo feel. Thee song goes in one direction, like Radical Distortion's Dying Earth (mid-tempo gem) on 2009's Psychedelic Dreams album. This number may seem uneventful for some, but is well done throughout. The sounds are nicely selected and brought together around drums and atmospheric elements, making the end result pretty powerful, contemplative, and driving. Background melody work around 1:40 sounds inspired by Khetzal class Corolle album; it's ethnic, Indian influenced possibly, and deliciously crafted nonetheless. The atmospheric interlude from around 4:07 to 5:00 is effective too, letting the song chill before returning. This song further develops with determination and fluidity; showcasing another side of the artist that's strong and deserving to produce more songs that are slower. Ninive Under The Stars is darkly rich, determined, powerful and engaging from beginning to end.  A-

08. Beyond The Boreas ends the album with a second mid-tempo number. Personally I enjoyed the previous track more and feel that the album may have sounded even better had this come before Ninive Under The Stars. But some enjoy this more than that. Nonetheless, this is solid and refreshing. Think of the psychedelic work in Filteria's track, Float Away and Disappear, only without the elegant, arguably offbeat opening and closing, and well that song had a catchier center-third IMO. Beyond the Boreas maintains a spacey atmosphere, subtle harmony, contemplation, and visuals via soundscapes. The artist's mid-tempo work is musical and great from what I've heard throughout this album. I simply wish there was more of it, and more development of melodies, arrangement, etc. That said, the melody/sound work is given time to develop to some degree, and is complimented by ambient notes. The song tells a story and is more focused on its musical element than atmosphere. The sounds work is catchy, and enhanced around 5:12. The psychedelic rhythm is coupled with numerous, altered and echoed sound sentences. The ambient notes in the last minute are very well done too. I simply wish more harmony and emotion, to this level, took place. But many listeners seem to enjoy this song just the way it is. This is a smart and enjoyable mid-tempo number. Great work.  B+


In Conclusion, Arcana has some incredible strengths that sneak up when least expected at times. But its weaknesses leave much to be desired. I love atmosphere, the floating textures, and especially the immersive and tweaked (from uptempo) interlude-esque transitions that take place numerous times throughout the album. These are so interesting, more than the overall tracks (at times) themselves to me, in that they stand out and feel less repetitive. I miss that the songs lack memorable synth leads, tunes that brought to success virtually all known Goa artist today. Moreover, Arcana has a general bass line and beat that adds to this uptempo repetitive, especially in the first two, and occasional other tracks. As if intended to emphasize hypnosis, this approach generally works best when the sound/melody keeps my attention. Here the artist develops these massive, psychedelic foundations that are impressive. However I feel that he forgot to add the fun melody synths that compliment them.
 
There is some memorable melody/sound work, but not enough to recommend the album for its melodies, synth leads, etc. Just listen to Tandu's Multimoods album, also dark, but infectious. That said, some will really like the cranked up, atmospherically detailed worlds here. But on the first two tracks, I can't help but feel an emptiness, stronger sound [melody] work, a synth lead to off-set the repetition. Some listeners may be put off for this lack of ingredient, while others may love the atmospheric, innovative approach to soundscape textures over melodies. For this and other reasons, Arcana is possibly the most unconventional release by Suntrip Records since Ka-Sol - Fairy Tales, and in that sense, it is bound to draw mixed reactions. Personally, I find that all of the atmosphere and floating textures in the world cannot replace what the album lacks, and that is strong leads to make the trip more fun than abstract. If catchy, memorable synth leads existed with the atmosphere, developed soundscapes, and mid-tempo segments, Arcana could have been a masterpiece. The up-tempo work (roughly two thirds of the album) could have used more energy too (a few more buildups, climaxes, unpredictable moments, focal melodies). But some of it's quite good. I LOVE the tweaked (mid?) tempo elements. I can't deny that the album is innovative and interesting in some ways, due to its unconventional approach. I like that the artist/label released something different! Furthermore, the album does improve as it progresses. It reaches Dansul Ielelor, a terrific uptempo track with memorable synths among the soundscapes and atmosphere (So I know there's potential for more, ALOT more that's catchier!). The album ends with two solid, mid-tempo gems. To sum up the album, melody (synth) leads take a backseat to strong atmosphere, floating textures (soundscapes, whatever you want to call them), and great mid-tempo work.

Suntrip Records released a handful of Goa-Trance albums in 2009, and I would listen to (and have enjoyed) Filteria's DoOL over E-mantra's Arcana. But to be fair, atmospheric and abstract lovers of Goa-Trance will find something to explore and sink their teeth in here. It would be cool if next time, the artist produced more synth leads drenched in psychedelia in addition to the floating textures, atmosphere and mid-tempo elements which are impressive. Think Pleiadian's I.F.O. meets Tandu - Multimoods in concept, but through the innovative sound, atmosphere and labyrinthine vision of E-Mantra (Update: I realized that after hearing Pathdinder that I was asking for too much, or the artist didn't seem to succeed in my wishes or care). As I put "out there" in 2009… a sequel that keeps the wonderful atmosphere, floating textures, soundscapes, and adds some infectious synth leads here and there. Not always, but at times to really enhance the album, as worked great on Pleiadian's IFO, Tandu's Multimoods, etc.

Favorite tracks - 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

B+
 
Samples / Order
 
http://www.suntripre...se/cat/SUNCD17/
http://www.suntripre...s.com/releases/
http://www.psyshop.c.../sut1cd017.html



#20 Agneton

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 04:47 PM

Very weird to say cause I'm not a fan of floating goa, but I like this release a lot better than most other Newschool Goa albums nowadays! Personally I enjoyed it more than e.g. Merr0w - Born Underwater or Radical Distortion - Psychedelic Dreams. Great to listen to during sunset-early night moments :)!




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