Various - Twist Dreams
Uh... a new-school goa compilation again? Worth checking out, I suppose. Just for the rarity factor among all this neofullon and EvilPsy flying around...
First a track-by track review..... and then some closing words.
1. Cosmic Silence - Psy Spirit
Disturbingly awful bassline somewhat ruins this track that could otherwise be a listenable goa cheese track. Track progression also lacks complexion and leads to a rather boring outcome. The melodies carry a slightly melancholic epic/anthem/cheese characteristic and are pretty well thought out, but not so well executed - the layers are not fit together well and the track leaves quite an amateurish impression. Also - the fx/percussion part simply lacks.
To put it short - the cheesy melodies are nice, but otherwise this track, while not bad, still lacks almost in every aspect.
2. Aerosis - Contorison
A more complex and 'maximal' track. Lot's of layers flying around and they are well produced. The oldschool bassline really puts me in the right goa mood. The melodies don't shine, but certainly fit the track's atmosphere. The somewhat club-trancey part around 5.20 is really nice and helps to distinguish the track. While not offering anything new, it's a solid goa track, and yes, it's truly goa.
I speculate it would work wonders on the dancefloor. Killa.
3. Red Gravity - Momentary 29
Highly melodic stuff right from the beginning. Lot's of layers etc... More structured than Filterias usual output (to compare with something) and I like that. Some quite interesting (although already old) sounds are used and track progression flows quite nicely... Still... it's the third track already and thus fur all tracks have left me wondering why 'nu-school' goa artists experiment so little. It seems that they just want the old times back so much that they completely forget to try and be original/innovative (well, maybe the clubby element in track 2 excluded).
I appreciate the harmonical aspects of the melodies, but for such a harshly melody-driven track I would like the melodies to be a little more memorable.
They just isn't as catchy as they could be.
4. Talpa - Till We Meet Again
It is clear from the beginning that I am not to face another old-school immitation and this time the artist has some innovativeness... The bassline sounds really awkward when it kicks in, but it's modulation plays out quite well. Some funky riffs and samples are flying about and soon a few background layers are introduced to add some atmosphere. Then the bassline morphs into a hybrid between oldschool and fullon bass. And then.... some acidic melody madness. I would say the best thus far on this compilation. A bit awkward, slightly nitzonothish (?) and even with some hints to folk music (? again). I really like how Talpa has built the atmospheric background on this track.. The electronic piano sounds weird, but fitting. Maybe I just like Talpa's style so much (his debut was my 2004 favourite), but to me it towers above the first 3 tracks in terms of quality. The end climax is quite eppickx. I'll start drooling for Talpa's next album now.
5. Merr0w - Utopian Society
This one shows a more aggressive side of the album. But still melodic and goaish.. you get the point. It's the theme of the album anyway.
Tons of effects flying around, but they are not executed very harmonically. And that's bad. While the powerful leads are catchy and driving, the overall background of the track is too overdone/chaotic/lacks harmony. Call them production issues, if you will. I find it disturbing... I'd like the effects to have an organized rythmic input, I'd like the percussion to be more complex (the drums in this track really show 0 innovation. And the kick drum seems weak (maybe it's my soundsystem's fault)).
Potential is there (mainly in the leads), but it's not realized.
6. Khetzal - TranceFuzion
I'll say it right out - I didn't like Khetzals album half as much as most people here.
That said... do I even dare to comment on the track?
Well... I must say I thought, I'd enjoy it slightly more than his debut album, for it started quite well. While the sampled vocals seem unnecessary and the first melodies a bit lacking, I find the overall soundscape quite pleasant. The sweepy effects really add a nice amount of psychedelia to the track. What ruins the track for me is the lead introduced in the 3rd minute. It's cheesy, it's stupid, it just doesn't carry the right mood. The melodic work in the middle section of the track is better, but seems 'empty' and isn't really catchy. In the end of the 5th minute there is a really well executed dropdown with mutilated vocals. Thumbs up for that - there aren't many good dropdowns on this comp. But the 'climax' in the end of the track really doesn't deliver as much as one could expect from a melodic goa track. It's a step for the right direction for Khetzal if he wants to please my ears, but he must work on the melodies. (Egocentric irony intended.)
7. - K.O.B. - Weight of Oblivion
It's Filteria, lol!
A new alias for a new sideproject, so I expect a different sound.
The intro is a bit simple and empty, I'm not too fond of the bassline that kicks in either. The whole beginning of the track leaves a rushed impression.
What does K.O.B. mean by the way?
Anyway - back to the track - the processed vocals should have been left ungated or differently gated IMHO. It doesn't deliver it's rythmic potential to me..
The track keeps the empty and rushed feeling throughout. The vocals have potential, the whole atmosphere has potential, but it just isn't well executed.
More power, please. More screaming leads and psychedelia. Or if the track would take a different path (let's say more minimalistic and dark) - better rythmic work, percussion and effects. It's definately a step into an interesting direction for Filteria, but he should invest more time into this.
Again - empty and rushed are the two keywords I find all over this track.
7/10 (for it still has a lot more balls than some other tracks on this comp. And I like the idea of the track. It just needs more work.)
8. Afgin - Dimensional
Starts out with a cheesy melody. Not anything special, but good melancholic cheese we all enjoy from time to time. With the 2nd minute a harder, harsher lead is introduced and the track gains in power... But again... The 0-innovation factor comes to disturb my experience. Yes, it's nice. Yes, it's goa. Yes, it's better than many nu-goa attempts, but it's still blunt and ambitionless. Try to surprise us more, people. Not bad. But boring. However, the melodic work is really promising. The guy just needs to add some solid elegant rythmic structurrrresz and then we're set.
9. Ra - Gates of Tiphareth
Old school ambient psy. At least we have up-to date production and the percussion is better than it used to be in downtempo goa tracks. The snare sucks tho....
Melodic work is the best on this disc and the sounds, while old and 10000 times heard, are well chosen and build the correct mystical atmosphere. Solid track. Nothing mindblowing. Nothing innovative. Nothing that will make it in any music history. But pleasant.
7.5/10 (from all the wannabe-oldschool tracks this is the only one that really makes me smile)
Total - 6.5/10
So.. In conclusion - A compilation of goa tracks that has very little interesting moments. Very little innovation. It's a phantom limb of a dead genre (I should give the credits to the comparison to Pavel, although he used it in a slightly different context) and it mostly repeats what's already been done in a worse quality.
The Ra track lives up to the 'real' oldschool, Talpa shows real innovation and get's the credits for the best track on this disc, Filteria shows a new side, but should work on it for some more and Aerosis presents the best example of strict, blunt old school immitation. Which is really danceable.
So that's the way I see thsis album.
PS. Sorry for E-ngrish. I'm a bit tired.