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Magus Knight

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Magus Knight last won the day on November 25

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  1. Currenly in a gothic/dark fantasy mode: Crimson Peak Bram Stoker’s Dracula Corpse Bride Sleepy Hollow Coraline Excalibur (Not gothic, but fits my mood). And doing some sampling of audio fx/dialog from those as well.
  2. Enough with the OT. Back to the album in question. Impressions anyone? I’m currently listening through it, and I’m a bit torn as to who the target audience for the is. Maybe it’s for the Psynews crowd?
  3. 1 BLiSS on Mushrooms 9:31 Progressive Psytrance ft BLiSS Miyavi 2 Guitarmass 6:38 Full-On Psytrance 3 Head of NASA 7:45 Full-On Psytrance 4 Chenchen Barvaz 7:42 Full-On Psytrance 5 Walking on the Moon 5:36 Progressive Psytrance 6 Here We Go Go Go 5:55 Electro Trance 7 Lost in Space 4:55 New Beat | Breaks / RapT ft Tuna, A-Wath Review in progess, I'm going through their entire discography and noticed none of their albums between 2015 and today are reviewed. I will finish this review after the Return To The Sauce one. The album artwork has a kinda chill vibe going, in true IM tradition the theme is humoristic. And Duvdev explained the backstory behind the album theme name in an interview. It was bit non-sensical, and I don't remember all the details. But the core revolved around some made up weird parodical conspiracy theory/internal joke they had witht their tour crew. Which involves NASA and some Amish guys, and this internal joke eventually evolved into a fully fledged sci-fi story, and became the theme of the album and the title track. The style of the cover art is very futuristic, with a cityscape made up of mushroom-looking buildings, and two people which I assume are to represent Erez and Duvdev as the two amish boys from the album title. They are looking out over this spectacularly futuristic Mushroom City vista. In the background there is a huge moon. And it seems like they are fishing. And I gotta say that their album covers are always effective at capturing the attention. I wasn’t initially very keen on reviewing this album, but the more I read about it in interviews while doing research for reviews, the more curious I became. And the imaginative album artworks of their albums certainly help in that regard, since there’s always some weirdly unique world-building taking place. So in that sense the album artworks successfully fills the function of beeing a hook that draws you in. The album containts three collabs with artists which I'm not yet familiar with, BLiSS, Tuna and A-Wath. The last two feature on the ending track which according to an interview is a Hip hop infuenced track in three languages (Arabic, Hebrew and English). Which continues the multi-lingual aspect found on some previous tracks in their catalog. Such as Becoming Insane, which featured spanish and english lyrics. So with that out of the way, let’s find out if this albums sounds as good as the artwork looks.
  4. The Uptempo CD-1 is good if you enjoyed the uptempo numbers on B.P. Empire, which I didn't quite do. It's rather less melodic psy than I would like. With more focus on noises/FX Sculpting, it's damn well done though hence why if you're into that type of Psy you'll be more than pleased. The Downtempo CD-2 is where the good stuff is for me no doubt. Such an imaginative journey from start to end. The variation on offer is so good, some of it is Synth-Pop on shrooms, ala Röyksopp or something. Other stuff is harder to categorize, uniquely Infected. I'm pleasantly surprised by how good this album has aged, while revisiting this album due to reviewing it's followup 2015 album Converting Vegetarians 2. Both contain stellar downtempo/experimental music in their own right. And shouldn't be missed by anyone into downtempo psychedelia, these are milestones for me in the genre. Alongside Shpongle and a few others. Actually probably just them and Simon's other experimental downtempo projects, such as Younger Brother.
  5. Tracklist: 1.More Of Just The Same 7:08 Hi-Tech Psytrance ft WHITENO1SE 2.Only Solutions 5:20 Progressive Psytrance 3.Ani Mevushal 8:51 Hi-Tech Psytrance 4.Symphonatic 8:26 Night Full-On Psytrance Infected Mushroom & Astrix 5.No Line in MIDI 6:59 Psy-Tech Trance | Suomisaundi 6.Splicon 6:23 Progressive Psytrance 7.Freedom Bill 6:12 Psy-Tech Trance Freedom Fighters & Mr. Bill 8.Infected Megamix 7:49 Psy-Tech Trance Review in progress The tracklist is from monstercats own wiki. And according to it Infected Mushroom are doing some Suomisaundi, in the track: No Line in MIDI. Which comes as quite a suprise. I’m not too familiar with the Suomisaundi genre to know how faithfully they might’ve captured some of that genres traits. But I do know that it’s a genre which puts an emphasis on humor. And that’s certainly something that IM do at times. I Like the artwork which has references to some of their previous albums. It reminds me of their track Institute of Science, with their lab coats. And the vinyl features even more references. I wonder why the alien/mushroom guy made by Tzahi Keshet from the Classical Mushroom album wasn’t included? This album marks in part a return to the Israeli Full-On styles of early 2000's, and it has some interesting qualities as well some in my opinion lesser ones. This album to me sounds more like it's geared for the dancefloor/EDM crowd/arenas, than it is for home listening. Since there is for example a track with a veeery long build-up. Around a minute long, and that is clearly intended for the dancefloor crowd. Which in EDM these days wants those crazy long and complex build-ups. That is something which interupts the flow for me personally. The good quailities this album has is in its production qualities which are very high, as well as some very slick acidic aspects that reminds me of tracks like Acid Killer. In those brief moments, you'll be instantly reminded of the greatness of such previous styles of IM. This album is a bit unusual compared to the other main albums of Infected Mushroom, since it contains 6 collabs and one remix by another artist (Astrix) of one of their classical track Symphonatic. This aspect gives this album a bit of variation of course, on the other hand it can feel a bit disjointed since the vision doesn't feel as coherent as previous albums. Maybe that's the point, because looking at the albums track style descriptions on the Monstercat wiki, the album seems to have revolved around various different psy subgenres stylistically. Now let’s break this album down and see if I can recognize the various stylistic elements apparently combined on this album. The album begins with the track: More Of Just The Same.
  6. Tracklist Tracklist: 1 - Flamingo 2 - Manipulator 3 - Return to the Sauce 4 - Groove Attack 5 - Gravity Waves (Infected Mushroom 2017 Remix) 6 - Demons of Pain (Remix) 7 - Milosh 8 - Nutmeg 9 - Liquid Smoke Review in progress This album has a couple of cool tracks which I like it's in some parts a return to form in the uptempo psy domain (and one mid/downtempo track Flamingo), the album title suggests a play on words and perhaps a return where it all began (the source) Or is it just IM having fun with words? Looking at some promo material for the album on release seems to indicate booth: "And now, as they are returning to the source, staying true to themselves and their way, with a sarcastic punch in the new album name “Return to the sauce”- they are showing us the 21st century interpretation for psytrance, similar to Infected Mushroom of 18 years ago- but with the newest modern sound." I would like to know exactly which album/or era they had in mind while working on this album. Is it the Gathering? Classical Mushrolm or B.P. Empire era? The track: Gravity Waves (Infected Mushroom 2017 Remix) seems to indicate 1999/The Gathering since it's a remix of Xerox–Gravity Waves (Infected RMX) from that year. The artwork by Sergey Svistunov aka fear-sAs is one of the most pretty and imaginative artworks I have ever seen. It has a Hollywood level of quality to it. In composition it reminds me a bit of the Classical Mushroom album artwork, on which an alien mushroom entity was standing next to a piano mushroom in a forest. On this cover the setting is somekind of high-fantasy/sci-fi wizard domain. And they are cooking up some weird stuff, it looks like an eye thing suspended in the air above some weird molten-metal-kinda filled pot? Indicating perhaps that they’ve just created this device in the pot. The wizards themselves look very creepy and otherwordly, their eyes look demonic or perhaps alien. So maybe they are in another dimension/world. This eye-resembling object they handle reminds me of the all-seeing eye device in The Lord of The Rings movie, the so called Palantir. The wizards themselves have a third eye on their foreheads. And they have what looks like fluoro patterns/tattoos? On their faces. and their hands are glowing from perhaps creating or handling this weird illuminaughty eye thingy lol. There are plenty of small details, with some smaller glowing mushroom adorning the rim of the pot. As well as growing close to it. So the fluoro/glowing seems to be part of the theme here. And it works really well, it's a fantasy theme injected with some psy rave deco aesthetics. The promo for the release parties of this album also put an emphasis on the eyes and glowing theme as well: The album starts with the track Flamingo, which is a little odd, because it's the type of experimental lower/mid-tempo range tempo track, that they usually finish the albums with. Of course it can work whis way around too, and it's quite common to start with a lower tempo track as intro to an album anyways.
  7. Tracklist: She Zoremet 5:14 Yamakas In Space 7:33 Sense Of Direction 3:25 Animatronica 6:15 Feelings 4:10 Pink Froid 7:40 Demons Of Pain 2:58 Zoan Zound 4:31 Blue Swan 58:58 Fields Of Grey 4:18 Leopold 4:14 On The Road Again 3:59 Stuck In A Loop 4:23 Mexicali 3:45 The Surgeon 6:21 Converting Vegetarians II is a sequel to the band's 2003 album Converting Vegetarians. That was considered a very groundbreaking album, at the time. And also quite divisive, which has become a bit of a hallmark of their music and its relationship with the Psytrance crowd. In retrospect if I had to pin-point one thing about the music of IM that sums it up with one word. it would be the WTF-factor. And this factor has been a huge part of their success I believe, because it creates an impression. It will not leave the listener un-affected in some way. You'll probably love it or hate it, and that I think is an important trait with any good music, it has to touch a nerve. Be it some catchy melody which you'll be hearing in your head for years after, despite thinking the melody is silly. Or be it some type of weird sound effects which you'll never heard before. Some kind of defining quality with a lasting appeal. These type of qualities are more common in the popular music domain. I still think they apply to some of the more memorable Psy and Goa as well. Now with IM, since they're are pretty much in the popular music and EDM domains lately, there will of course be a much stronger emphasis on such things. The first Converting Vegetarians album introduced the now staple ingredient of a singing Duvdev. It wasn’t entirely his debut as a singer in Infected Mushrooms music though. Since he did some chanting on the Classical Mushroom album. And also on the track Into The Matrix which was featured on IsrAliens 2: Bizarro in the year 2000. It wasn’t released as an Infected Mushroom track per se, instead they opted to call that project: I.Zen Feat. Duvdev. For reasons unknown to me. He also did this type of chanting/humming on the track Symphonatic released back in 2000 as well. And if we rewind back the CD to 1999, and their debut album The Gathering. There was what I belive is Duvdev’s voice heavily mangled on the track Return of The Shadows. The singing on the first Converting Vegetarians album however, was the first time Duvdev sang some actual lyrics based music in the Infected Mushroom project. Not with that introduction out of the way. Let’s start with the creepy artwork, which is amazingly detailed and well executed. It oozes of high-strangeness, and sets the listener up for the high degree of WTF that awaits them. It reminds me of the Metroid videogame series, which had the iconic mother brain as a final boss. This brain on the album cover somehow got hooked up on a meat hook. And it’s growing what looks like some Psilocybe Mexicana, or another variety of psilocybin mushrooms on it. Right so it harkens back to the artwork of the first Converting Vegetarians album. What the backstory for the artwork is I don’t know, but I would assume that it has something to do with converting/infecting the listener into the hallucinogenic mushroom music on offer. Great start I think, set’s the mood for some twisted trippy musical adventure. This album was a hightlight and pleasant surprise for me back in 2015. Since it marked a slight return to the earlier experimental sound of IM. While still sounding like something new and fresh, it also marked a departure from the sound of IM around the time. Which was had taken some detours into EDM-Land, as well as having been a rock band constellation. However luckely for me, they seem to get bored quickly. So after these attempts at beeing Swedish House Maffia or Tool. They opted to back to some more familiar territory. It has some cheese as well for sure, She Zoremet in particular. Sense of Direction on the other hand I think is a really catchy Electro-Pop/Psy cross-over. It reminds me a bit of the I Wish track. It feels less non-sensical in comparison to She Zoremet. Yamakas In Space is a rather cool track, it reminds me a bit of Dancing With Kadaffi. It's a pleasant return to the downtempo experimental melodical psychedelia of their B.P. Empire and Converting Vegetarians era. In fact this album might considered a collection of tracks in the Dancing With Kadaffi style. If one takes the only the better of the instrumental tracks. Since Animatronica also continues in that legacy, it feels a lot like the Kadaffi track stylewise. And also reminds me of the tracks Institute of Science and Into The Matrix. Animatronica is a great track as well, very nostalgic and catchy. This album at times reminds me of the artist Koan, or maybe it's the other way around? Either way IM has expressed their appreciation for Koan in interviews. So the inspiration seems to be there in some capacity. The Surgeon is an epic track, which is similar to their track older track Heavyweight. It has some heavy metal influences mixed, with something that at times sound like elevator music with a twist.(I don't mean this in a bad way). It's as if they would have taken some rather dull elevator music and made it awesome. Some of the tracks on this album have a slight fantasy vibe too them, not as much as the Dark Fantasy vibes found on the Classical Mushroom album, but still noticeable. And at times some of the tracks on this album sound a bit like, how radio music can sound when on acid or shrooms. It's that weird mix of genres, which are then sprinkled with some psychedelia. A cool blend on the good tracks on the album where it works. Most of the tracks on this album have a guitar in there somewere, similar to the style of the track Drop Out from CV-1. Which to me sounded like a Björk or perhaps a bit Röyksopp inspired track, whom IM hopefully do a collab with some day. Infected Röyksopp, make it happen. I think the guitar component on this album is inspired in part by Dream Theater, and also to a large degree by the psychedelic pioneers of yesteryear. Such as The Doors and and Pink Floyd, which is hinted at in the track name Pink Froyd. The collaboration that IM did with The Doors, must've made a definitive impact on IM. And some tracks here indeed remind me of that collaboration. Which was a very good collab, People Are Strange and Riders On The Storm captured something very unique by combining genres of different eras. The future colliding with the past, which would be an apt description of how this album sounds at times. Fields of Grey, featuring porn actress Sacha Grey is the track which sounds the most like I Wish from the first Converting Vegetarians album, besides Sense of Direction which is also in the same ballpark minus the glitchiness. Fields of Grey has the same signature IM vocal glitch effect which they introduced on I Wish. Rather nice track but probably on the cheesier side for most people, I like it anyways. It's very good production-wise as the mixing on this track shines and the sound design is interesting. It's probably one of the more scaled back tracks on the album, a characteric which it shares with it's older sibling track I Wish. Synth-Pop with a shroomy flavor I guess would sum up what it is. This track has some touch points as well, with the collab track IM did with Michelle Adamson on the track Blink on CV-1. Since it's a duet between Duvdev and Sacha Grey, and this makes me think about what a potential duet between Duvdev and Lady Gaga would've sounded like. Since this is the type of track that would've been interesting hearing in a collab between Infected Mushroom and Lady Gaga. I think her piano playing and singing combined with the vocal manipulation wizardry of IM, could result in something much more intriguiging, than the rather bland track Aura they did together. Leopold is a great track, it reminds me of Elation Station from Converting Vegetarians 1. It has an 80's feel to it which is accentuated by the use of some classic electronic 80's drum sounds for fills. On The Road Again sounds like something of a mix between the euphoric ending of Dancing With Kadaffi, combined with the weirdness of the track Shakawkaw from CV-1. Not a bad track, maybe on the shorter side. To me this album feels extremely inspired, as if they had missed doing something like this. It has that same type of playfulness which often characterize music-making of younger people, at musical schools who have just discovered different genres, and experiment by combining them. I hope they make more albums in this experimental downtempo style, and I wonder how this type of psychedelic music could sound/work if adapted for movie soundtracks. This music to me is perfect for creativity while playing around in Photoshop, or drawing something. It's very relaxing, but still manages to never bore you. It's colorful music, with lot's of interesting sound effect details intervoween with plenty of memorable melodies. All presented in an eclectic mix of instruments and styles. I remember reading an interview with Erez, in which he said that he liked Shpongle and Celtic Cross a lot at the time, around 1999/2000. And that influence can definitely be heard here as well.
  8. So cute! https://www.roland.com/global/products/jd-08/ https://www.roland.com/global/products/jx-08/ I hope they do a Roland JP-80x0 Boutique as well.
  9. This album truly is a trip down memory lane. It’s remarkable how on point the style and concept was with their debut Infected Mushroom album. The artwork alone is just perfect. It captures the essence of what they set out to do over their very long and illustrous career. And I’m amazed at how refined the visual aspect is in retrospect, the backside of the album artwork in particular is so cool. With a bunch of humanoid shrooms, dancing away at some weird and maybe alien warehouse. Complete with a shroomy alien-looking DJ. I still remember vividly how the first tracks I heard by Infected Mushroom were Where is the S, and the Montoya Remix. On some Destination Goa compilation. The style on those tracks stood out a lot at the time, compared to the rest of the tracks on those compilations. It felt very refreshing at the time, the combination of a darker atmosphere with a really mushroom inspired soundscape. Which is also imbued with some electric guitars and melodies which even on the first album at times had hints of the classical influence, which they would go on to explore in-depth on the second album. In retrospect not all tracks on this album have aged as gracefully as those on the second album. The storytelling aspect is indeed stronger on the second album. But there is still a lot of interesting sounds and moods on offer here, sometimes they hit homerun like in Return of The Shadows. Which is a really scaled back track in terms of layers and use of delays/reverbs. Which makes it sound really good even today, it’s a clean and very clear sound. And I actually think this track might’ve been quite formative for the Dark Psy genre, since a lot of its traits can be found on in that genre. I really like the keychanges as well in the bassline, those are not as common in todays Psytrance as they used to be. (For reasons which I will not delve into here, but which I don't agree with). Not all tracks on here are perfect, but I will always appreciate this album for what it is,and what it did for the genre. And this album needs to be evaluated, against the backdrop of the era during which it was created. The 90’s was a very different time indeed, on so many levels. Some bonus trivia that Duvdev told in a recent interview about this album. Is that this album initially was rejected by a lot of labels. Until finally one label understood the vision. I would love to know which labels it was that turned this album down. Surely a bad decision in hindsight, which they must be reminded of everytime IM releases a new album.
  10. I will take a listen, the artworks looks cool. (If it belongs to the release in question I don't know?). Regarding Goa Trance and its evolution, it's a double-edged sword. In the sense that since it was a genre that pretty much died out. And it later on was resuscitated, it has since been re-modeled/re-interpreted based on the "archaic formulas". Much like in architecture, so what happens is that if these new producers of the genre stray away too much from those older ideals, it will undoubtedly branch of into newer sub-genres. And people will not recognize the styles perhaps. Which is what happened in the first place, hence why we got all these different styles/sub-genres today. (Darkpsy, Psytrance, Full-On etc), each with their own diverging branches. So that's why we now have these very distinctly shaped prototypical Goa styles, because they feel familiar. And follow some basic rules of what the style is it at a core level. The stylistic traits or hallmarks. I think there's no shortage of good music to be found, in all Psy-Trance related genres. What I like to do is to dive right into one specific genre/subgenre, or label output/artist catalog. And just explore everything, until I'm completely fed up. Like now I'm quite bored with the oriental Goa, and I'm looking for darker Goa/Psy. It very much depends for me on the mood of the year, now it's rather dark and autumn in my country. For summer, the more uplifting qualities of Goa (new and old) fits better. IMO. Anyways, variety is the key I think. Too much old school stuff can get boring, certainly if one has listened to the same set of artists/albums for over 20 years. I think it's interesting to follow where the genre is moving, I don't agree with all of it, but I rather it stays alive and prosper somehow.
  11. https://cosmicconspiracyrecords.bandcamp.com/track/medieval-times
  12. This compilation from the same label also has a mad cool artwork/theme: https://cosmicconspiracyrecords.bandcamp.com/album/cryptozoology
  13. Oh yes that's the one! A compilation even Thanks a lot! What a pretty artwork.
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