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Jon Cocco

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  1. Antic, thanks for the review and everyone else who contributed to this thread. I'm just discovering it now due to the reply count. The album, as it progresses, keeps doing things to keep us engaged. It has an edgy (tense in a catchy/good way) vibe while being fun and unpredictable, and dance friendly. Each song has character. I like that cool, unexpected things tend to happen at just the right time (as Antic said) to accentuate, shift, evolve the music in attractive ways. These choices are creative (took more time obviously) and makes for a more enjoyable package. The sound/melody work is strong too! You can tell that this artist is a fan of Goa music. My only constructive criticism regards the artist's name. Hypnoxock? How do I pronounce or...? Forget it. The artist's name could be catchier, but that doesn't make or break anything since the title's easy to remember and the music [this album is] great! Full album steam for ya'll
  2. Looking forward to the upcoming release schedule. Old skool MFG we never heard?! Sounds almost too good to be true, especially if some of those versions and unreleased tracks are from the time of New Kind of World and Project Genesis!!!!!! Median Project's Constellation album btw is such a high energy cosmic release. It's very dance friendly. Finally an ascensional, climactic release. Suntrip is expanding their types of Goa Trance, nice to see. The artist's Life Line song was my personal favorite next to Sykespico's if I had to pick two from The 50th Parallel compilation. Beyond that, a new Filteria album sounds fun and I'm curious about the others. It's hard to imagine Jannis/Filteria's last release was almost 7 years already in 2013 In the past I said time fly's but we inevitably transcend this construct of time IMO and ascend, expand (shift, awaken) into a higher octave of consciousness and love, a higher vibrational frequency reality of cosmic consciousness where inspiration, creation, and connectivity exists more expansively, synchronistically. Sorry but I digress. Just had a thought and felt inspired to share it. Speaking of the Four Carry Nuts singles album, Tim Schuldt's artist group is so underrated. But the little kid inside me can't wait to hear unreleased MFG from their prime!!!! On a side note, Total Eclipse's Live In Tokyo is excellent!
  3. I think some Goa/E-Mantra fans missed this album. It has punchier synth work than some of his other albums IMO and showcases some of the more gripping songs I've heard from the artist in a while. The album's more varied in sounds than Nemesis which used higher pitched synths (at times) that reduced that album's replay value for me. Stapanii Timpului (wish it was easier to pronounce) has a smoother, more electric/Goa style and feel. The songs are closer to 7-9 minutes too and I like that. They know when to end. 1. Rusalka has grown on me. The first few times, I thought it sounded emotionally empty and too synthetic. I see now why others like it. It's interesting how songs sound different at times when coming back to them. 2. Ghosts in the Mist gets more aggressively catchy as it progresses. It has more focus is on the direction rather than the swirling/echoey patterns-- once a more common characteristic of E-Mantra that rarely engaged me. This is edgier. Synths hit their mark without getting floaty. Cool track! 3. Ravenmocker -- Typcial first two minutes. The song gets more interesting around 2:55.. more so at 3:09, and by 3:44, it's clear we're not in for a typical floaty/echoey (contrived) E-Mantra track. Act 2+3 are focused, melodic and catchy. Transitions keep things interesting but here the Acts build on each other. They're distinguishable, more cohesive, and congruent sounding rather than submerging listeners in a wall of sounds. It's more linear in direction, sure, but I like that. The melody focused direction works here and will sound great on dance floors. Sometimes it's just nice to have fun. Ravenmocker knows what it is and opts to give us something more fun and lively, different than what we'd expect from E-Mantra! It's not always necessary for every song to sound so sophisticated and I like that the artist was open to loosening up with this song and give us something easier to digest, and I'd argue in some ways, more fun. The track has some great programming, it's no commercial cookie-cutter track by any means. 4. At the Foothills of Kogaion showcases the electronic-influenced Goa I wasn't expecting/prefer on to his album. The song is fairly simple in some ways and very catchy! Whenever this song comes on-- those accent-esque voices with the supporting synth, I get addicted. It's such an unexpected, atypical song by the artist, and it's so satisfying IMO and memorable. This is a fun song for dance floors and home listening. 5. Typhon's Wrath is hardcore dark and menacing, atmospheric too! The song's full of dark and relentless (climactic) energy like an intergalactic war breaking out in space. Not your typical E-Mantra track! 6. Rise Of The Dacians sounds like typical E-Mantra to me. It has some catchy transitional moments, and some really pretty sound/melody work towards the end. I find the song draggy at times, as if it's more content staying in swimming sounds rather than having a tighter direction like some of the other tracks.. 7. Terp Muronivid Aivlsa is punchy, distinct, determined, and exciting-- words I'd generally not associate with E-Mantra. This is one of my favourite.E-Mantra songs to date. Not every song has to be deep (exploratory wise) to be enjoyable and that's one thing I like about this along with At the Foothills of Kogaion and Rusalka. The worst thing about the song is that it's hard to pronounce! 8. Amorok Rising From Black Sea -- Despite sounding fairly underwhelming emotionally (that's NOT what it's going for!), this is one of the catchier, [dark] mid/down-tempo Goa songs out there. The song hits me at nighttime when I'm in the mindset to hear something moody, more introspective, and cerebral (feelings/thoughts that emerge) while enjoying the dark, atmospheric ride. Getting a dark mid/down-tempo Goa track is pretty rare these, so I found this unexpectedly appreciative and very cool. I occasionally find E-Mantra tracks boring on various compilations with few exceptions. Here I'm more interested in the darker, more electric and cohesive (in direction) approaches. I don't feel like I'm stuck unsure where the song's going, swimming in swirling repeating echoing patterns (can get a little overwhelming) which is how I'd describe some E-Mantra tracks. These songs pick up more. The more cohesive and articulative in development. I like that the artist changed up his style. Would we have gotten a song like Ravenmocker, At the Foothills of Kogaion, or Terp Muronivid Aivlsa some years ago? Probably not. And Amorok Rising From Black Sea sounds like a real follow up to the stronger mid/downtempo songs that capped off Arcana. This album isn't the second coming, but it deserves more attention than its gotten IMO, and I imagine some people haven't commented due to the convenience of taking the poll. I guarantee others will really like some of the songs while others will have mixed feelings on what they most like/don't like (or like less) as well. Speaking personally, I can listen to and enjoy this album straight through without it grating on me as Nemesis did (at times). It's as if the artist developed perspective from what makes Filteria more successful, e.g., tighter synths, more cohesive development, arrangement, and direction while retaining the essence of E-Mantra. YES there could be more surprises and YES more memorable tunes are desired. I like that some of the songs have a vibrating sound to them (more noticeable on earbuds or headphones), as if they're being accented by a subtle, trance-inducing synth. The songs progress/develop more than the typical E-Mantra song and aren't too long (a recurrent issue I had in the past). I find it interesting that some people are on opposite ends of the spectrum. An artist can pour his heart and mind into something and still, you can't impress everyone. Not all conscious "marbles" (aspects of consciousness) from one person/creator (E-Mantra for instance) resonates with everyone else. But taking risks is how we expand new terrain from the mind/imagination, and since thoughts create reality, is everything not just a projection from the [dualistic] mind relative to the vibrational frequency we inhabit? I don't mean to have a philosophical conversation in a review thread (not here), just thinking out loud. At the end of the day, I'd rather an artist create when inspired rather than pumping out a rehash. In that sense, I enjoy ALL E-Mantra albums and currently find Stapanii TimpuluiI more accessible considering this is such an unconventional artist, even by Goa standards. Tracks like Typhon's Wrath and Terp Muronivid Aivlsa break out, giving us something more fun, exciting, and adrenaline-inducing, and in that sense, I find some of the tracks easier to digest on the album because I can articulate what the song is going for. Track from the album. I like that the artist tried some different things and took risks. This is one of the darker E-Mantra songs out there. It's also pretty climactic and exciting IMO. Best listened to on a good pair of earbuds or headphones.
  4. Question, On this Re-Remastering of the Lazarus Rising (2019) album, Track 7 is Genesis. But on the original Lazarus Rising album released in 2016, Track 7 is Thee Audssey [Continues] [The Faithealers Remix]. What happened to the original Track 7 ? Did it not fit with the epic vision they had in mind, or did something not correlate? Any ideas? I'm excited to hear Ad Vitam Aeternam since Lazarus Rising was/is amazing!
  5. Artist: Total Eclipse Title: Tokyo Live 1998 Label: Suntrip Records Date: April 1st, 2019 Track list: 1. Electro Gismo (Live) 2. Defrost (Live) 3. Kikamboot (Live) 4. Partycles (Live) 5. Sunrise (Live) 6. Collapsar (Live) 7. Miyukette (Live) 8. Chaotic Circus (Live) 9. Free Lemonade (Live) 10. Space Clinic (Live) 11. Are You Abducted (Live) 12. Psychedelic Terrorist (Live) Total Eclipse is one of the most influential Goa groups from the golden age. Tokyo Live 1998 is a re-mastered album filled with unreleased tracks and different versions from a set that was played in Tokyo in 1998. Being a fan of the group and someone who also has their classics, Violent Relaxation and Delta Aquarids, I was pleasantly surprised (to put it mildly) when I discovered the existence of this album-- nostalgic yet timeless. This would have been a classic from the golden age had it released in 1998. 1. Electro Gismo (Live) -- I never heard any version of this track before. The song's equipped with a catchy, organic-esque effect, like marbles or Chinese balls being shaken around the beat, but more integrated (like a melody). It's very nice and organic sounding. There's an intense climax early on. The synth is a bit harsh a la Crop Circles, but adds rough excitement to the danceable whole. Act 2 is great, returning to the groovy, more exploratory opening feel with greater depth and complexity. I like that the last act grew darker, more brooding and dramatic while remaining bouncy and fun. A- 2. Defrost (Live) -- This track develops tension and buildup before exploding into multiple, elaborate climaxes. The sound/melody work is fluid and infectious, resulting in a stomping sound frenzy with no shortage of growth and development. Moreover, there is a dark undercurrent synth (like Juno Reactor but refreshingly different) at its core. The song is wild, dynamic and fun, and bound to get blood pumping. It grows increasingly tasty and sinister, and the narrative/arc is excellent. Super track. A 3. Kikamboot (Live) -- Begins a little indecisive, but its direction becomes clearer, more psychedelic, and congruent in the second minute. A catchy, twangy synth compliments the music at 2:00, and the synth work grows increasingly catchy from 3:27 forward. The song's less climactic approach is a nice change after the previous sandstorm, allowing for more experimental sound/melody work. I was expecting more from the last act considering the previous two tracks seemed to develop more ear candy/development in Act 3. Besides a few short comings, the pure Goa sound is nice. This is a good track! B+ 4. Partycles (Live) -- Starts with the classic wind up the [insert inanimate object] bedtime melody (you'll know when you hear it) that got my attention. The first two minutes were a little slow, but led to a delectable accent at 2:30 that worked wonders until more substance arrived at 3:12. Here I jelled to the music. The song gradually transforms into a dark, edgy, and rhythmically contagious gem thanks to a strong second and third act. Somehow the song manages to infect in its last minute, whereas most songs are in cool-down. I simply wish the first act was a little more congruent, but I'm nitpicking since ideal Goa songs generally get better as they progress. Though I like the previous track, I'm more hooked by the feel and tone in this one. The song develops into a more comprehensive vision in the second half and rewards the listener. A- 5. Sunrise (Live) -- Is atmospheric and unpredictable. The track makes great use of its main melody and is complimented with a trance-inducing (quickly dribbling/repeating) synth. It's so catchy! I love the key changes that support the story (narrative), and the feels! The artists follow their vision to fruition, and at one point accelerate us through some darkly unexpected terrain thanks to an upgrade (of sorts) at 4:45. The interlude that follows allows for a reiteration in development and an adrenalized climax, and I won't reveal the unexpected ending. Sunrise (Live) is a tight story-driven gem that knows when to captivate us with sleek as b@lls (!) sequences, and when to chill out and just be. A- 6. Collapsar (Live) -- Follows off the ending of the previous track. We're floating in a neon sky that grows darker almost seemingly on point. Here the alien-influenced night-life emerges. Little firefly soundscapes echo around a growing sense of TENSION. We get some elegant piano-esque notes halfway through, though the song's general sound is moody, mature, dark, and engaging. The middle act develops into an attractive, musical sub-vision from the main arc, totally unexpected. Yet underneath it all is that darkly rich and engrossing (core) bass line and synth. The last act is good too, full of insectoid pops and clicks that sparkle the atmosphere with greater detail and luminescence. The song is further proof that the artists are great at combining light and dark (duality). A 7. The Antidote - Miyukette (Live) -- Gives us 20 seconds until the latch breaks and the music flies out the gate like a dragon full of fury. The melodies really pop in this track. The artists combine soft/euphoric sounds with grittier textures and some juicier, more colourful tunes with expanded development in arrangement (!). The result is an infectious, musical Goa song that's great for both home listening and dance floors/festivals. The middle act is excellent, increasing the storytelling drive with a greater sense of purpose. The artists take risks thanks to a desire and passion to experiment and always push further. I'm not a fan of the briefly repeating effect at 2:50, but it's through experimenting that we're exposed to so much ingenuity on both the song and overall album, and the last act is homogeneously solid. A- 8. Chaotic Circus (Live) -- Begins as if it's part-way into an uplifting, uptempo song believe it or not. Somehow the artists manage to make it work (I don't even want to know how). We're treated to a sonic fusion of melodies, like a famous Goa anthem. The arrangement is reworked at 2:00, maintaining its energetic feel before returning to the main melody and arrangement that inspired the opening act. Chaotic Circus is simpler than the other tracks, but very good/great nonetheless. I see this as a fun transitional piece-- though it's a main song obviously, between the more elaborate, ambitious ones. B+ 9. Free Lemonade (Live) -- "In the future, be more careful from whom you accept free lemonade." -- Ahhh... the classic track from back in the day (Delta Aquarids album). Think Close Encounters of the Third Kind if that film had a Goa theme. The song is accented with the sample before escalating into a cyclonic twister (around its signature theme sound) in the second minute. Free Lemonade is a darkly melodic track. Nonetheless, it doesn't feel as superior after hearing the slew of great songs on this album. The song builds towards two very cyclonic waves, reflecting its characteristic title that merely reflects the sample, otherwise the song could have been called something else. Great track! A- 10. Space Clinic (Live) -- Begins with one of the harshest, edgiest synths. My girlfriend feels that the first 1:45 is too rough. I think it's great. The track maintains its focus until 2:30 when the sounds drop out. This part lingers a bit, enhanced by a beeping (like one of those old telephone centers) effects that regains interest until a terrific climax at 3:35. The climactic segment develops well and although it's the last stand-out event on the track, the song feels complete (and completely solid) through its final moments. A- 11. Are You Abducted (Live) -- "What the hell are you doing man!!!" is the sample that sets the tone early on. This track feels unrestrained (in a good way). Some of the sound/melody work, e.g., 2:46-- is superb. When I hear songs like this, I shake my head at how this album never got a proper release until now. The ride reaches a second climax before diving into an infectiously acidic pool. A perk that's grown on me is the fading out of the track before the emergence of the beat. This helps to front new-- crunchier, darker, catchier, more psychedelic development, accented with an electric guitar. Super song! A 12. Psychedelic Terrorist (Live) -- Well this is different. We get some surreal sounds coupled with fast breaks early on. The first few minutes are catchy, e.g., a bouncy synth in the first act. Having heard so much by this group, I was expecting the song to grow increasingly infectious. Maybe it's just me, but the second act (part) to this track via 2:27 does little to hook me. It sounds a little too noisy and muddled for my taste, and I'm not a big fan of the arrangement. I do like the interlude at 3:07 to 3:42, and the zippy feel of the song. It's energetic and danceable. I like the returning energy/climax at 3:43 too. But I'm on the fence with the returning synth combinations in the last act, but that's me! Obviously the song was made for fun, to be thought-free (kick back and move). In that sense, I can see this being a fun party/dance track with the right crowd. I just prefer the group's more elaborate, ambitious work that's also fun and so broadly showcased above. B+ Conclusion 12 tracks and a handful of A songs is just part of the reason to get this album. Suntrip took one of the best unreleased Goa albums from the golden age and gave it a beautiful re-mastering and re-issue. Total Eclipse was never one (or three via trio of artists) to skimp on being elaborate, ambitious, imaginative, and visionary, and this is no exception. The music is punchy, tight, elaborate, and dark. It takes risks, had an expansive, flexible sound, and is fun! Thanks to the stellar mastering, we can hear every sound and detail. Everything is so crisp! It helps that the track list is healthy, full of top tracks. This is such a respectfully well done and appreciative release, kind of a gift/blessing for fans of Goa music. I own Violent Relaxation and Delta Aquarids, both great albums, classics in the genre. Tokyo Live (1998) is a stellar release that showcases some of the best songs in the genre that were never released until now. I just don't get it. This album is a huge surprise. Some of the tracks are INSANE!!! The sound/melody (synth) work is so catchy!!! Songs have character. They're dynamic, unpredictable, and visionary. Furthermore they have strong narratives. When was the last time you even read that about a Goa album? Pleiadians, RA, Cosmosis, D5, Filteria, and Khetzal (among most of our favourite Goa artist/groups) have strong narratives. They understand storytelling and how to structure a song to keep us engaged in the plot (narrative) throughout. This often involves a string of events along the way, but sometimes Total Eclipse packs so much plot into their songs that it's quite frankly amazing when they go all out. Granted there was a moment or two (here and there) that I found less stellar, but the overall track-visions, sound/melody work, and direction is terrific! While some songs have stronger narrative arcs than others, having good storytelling (direction) is huge. I love the sound/melody work on this album! The group also develops their arrangements, one of my biggest gripes with the otherwise great Morphic Resonance album, Perplexity (at times). Give me something with more developed arrangements. This album does that, and it was made in 1998! Moreover, it takes risks! The songs not only develop, they evolve. I've heard so much Goa that doesn't develop or evolve the music to THIS Degree, where THIS much change takes place at times. All in all, I'm not one to put every Suntrip album on a pedestal. I never cared for Denshi Danshi or the Prānā remix album, seemed lazy and uninteresting to me, not even worth buying. But this album, despite not every track being an A (from me) is fantastic! If you're a Goa purist, this is a must own release. Tokyo Live (1998) is more than a live set from 1998. It's a re-mastering of unreleased tracks and different versions, and some of the best songs Total Eclipse has ever made. It's been a while since I enjoyed a newly released Goa album this much. Prayers that this attracts everyone who loves Goa music. Although nothing is perfect, not even Pleiadian's IF.O. in my opinion, this is a super album!!! 4.5 / 5 HIGHLIGHTS: Defrost (!!), Partycles (!), Sunrise (!!), Collapsar (!!!), The Antidote - Miyukette (!!), Free Lemonade (!!), Space Clinic (!!), Are You Abducted (!!!) Reference links -- Samples / Buy https://suntriprecords.com/release/cat/SUNCD55/ https://suntriprecords.bandcamp.com/album/tokyo-live-1998
  6. Jon Cocco

    Etnica - In Dub

    Track list please, otherwise nice work! Vimana In Dub Deep East (66 Dub&Rola Remix) Triptonite Dub That Kind of Love Back to Vegas Burning Sands Gilly's Voyage (Dub Mix) Astral Way (Dub Mix) Screaming Butterfly (Dub Mix) Desert Journey For me the album doesn't cut it, HOWEVER -- Back to Vega is really worth hearing, buying, downloading, etc. I wish more of the album was on par with that track and beyond. Deep East (66 Dub&Rola Remix) is fairly average sounding IMO. Triptonite Dub is more interesting in the second half. Okay. That Kind Of Love is a downtempo piece with lyrical female singing. Better for me via five minutes after the voice left to enjoy the music's nuances, tone, etc. The female singing was bland though. Back to Vega -- Finally a track that stands out! This song is catchy, unique, and has just the right mixture of electronic and worldly influence, female voice, etc. Great melody and atmosphere, accents, etc. It starts a little slow but shifts around the 3:50 mark for something very eye / ear opening and pleasing. I wish the second half (or last third) was a little more refreshing, but overall great track! Burning Sands seems to one of the songs that everyone likes. Ahh.. I'm not that impressed. I hear a nice female hymns around a mid-tempo beat. Some flute. I lost interest to the samey sound throughout. Gilly's Voyage (Dub Mix) is slow, dull, and boring. This isn't my style or cup of tea. Astral Way (Dub Mix) Screaming Butterfly (Dub Mix) has a very nice tribal drum, beat, and melody (s). Here's a mix that sounds vastly different from the original. More work appears to have been invested to vary and distinguish this thing from the original. It's relaxing, catchy, and enjoyable. Desert Journey is gentle, atmospheric, a bit moody, Psy-influenced, and has some subtle sound/accent work to boot. Not much in terms of changing scenery happens. The song could have been more eventful, but the general sound throughout is good. I like it, especially a repeating "accent" ask sound that takes place throughout. I thought the whole album was going to be dubby. Thankfully it's not entirely. I return to it sometimes enjoying parts of it more than others. That said, Back to Vega is by far the song that resonates with my marbles (consciousness aspects since like attracts like) the most on this album. I just wish the surrounding songs were on par to this tribally gift and beyond. There are some other pretty good songs though around the more typical (forgettable) sounding dub ones.
  7. Great album. This is a reminder of how talented Tim Schuldt is for those familiar with his name on the back of Suntrip's albums via mastering @ 4CN Studios. Outside of this and a few other singles, some of Tim Schuldt's best work is also on his main album by Four Carry Nuts called Mechanical Age (2004). 01. Cascara is a gentle, uplifting morning trance number. The song is fairly simple, but pleasant and positive. It's ironic because this is a warm world of sunlight just before a very dark, hard-hitting STORM that the album quickly turns into. 02. Orange Acid seems to be a FAVOURITE for almost everyone who digs the album. What do I like about it? I like the darker approach coupled with the WONDERFUL (Goa influenced) sound/melody work not throughout. The artist incorporates key notes, smart transitions to expanded storytelling terrain and development, buildup, climax, and more. In some ways, it's an ideal Tim Schultd track because it covers so many bases all at once. Awesome track! 03. Red Hair Hospital is another edgy dark Trance/Electronic number with some great melodic sounds and choices. 04. Animatronic is less intense, a different shade of grey with some nice sound/melody work. 05. Ohm Shiva combines industrial influence to psytrance, resulting in a hard-hitting track. The last act gets a little repetitive, but this is a stand out track. 06. Pretty Poison is rough, at times haunting and melodic, even somber yet emotive. The alterations to organic sounds and instruments are catchy. I liked it. 07. Evil Playground becomes more dark and twists as it progresses, utilizing distorted/dark samples, percussion, guitar.?, etc. It's heavy, industrialized Psy with hints of Goa, and a last act that showcases more musical progression and development than I was expecting. 08. Absurd combines an occasional 80's-esque synth tune with darkpsy, psytrance, goth/industrial, guitar, and opera via samples. It's very experimental, hard, and electronic, different from the previous tracks. It's an odd handful of elements. The hard approach doesn't always gel for me with the more sustained tunes and the opera FX remind things the New Age group Enigma has done. Overall a less favorite track (for me), but not bad. Listen to the full album here. Do NOT judge based on the gentle (arguably dismissible) opening morning track.
  8. I'm not even a fan of darkpsy and I like this! It's a great album! Very unique, catchy, and underrated!
  9. I love how smooth, sleek, melodic, and fluid the overall sound/melody work (album) is. It's digestible and enjoyable! The songs are full of energy and the atmospheric and other (visionary) elements compliment. Sounds blend well in every song for the entirety of the album, and that leads me to... My constructive criticism, as with the opening track that's catchy, is that the songs lacks more memorable storytelling sound/melody work, creativity, and structuring. It's a fine balance between catchy and memorable. As someone pointed out, the songs rarely buildup to anything to reward the listener, e.g., climax, evolution, etc. It's enjoyable, and as someone said, we're sometimes left hungry for more. Kometa showcases some really good (more memorable) storytelling, sound/melody work that takes a moment to hit us with deeper feels and ingenuity. The songs develop, but it's after track 3 or 4 maybe that more aggression, substance, variety, and vision becomes apparent. Artifact303 - Life Support System (Median Project Remix) has a more structured, storytelling vibe for instance. Music isn't about just being catchy, but saying something meaningful, having substance, leaving listeners satisfied and happy to share with friends. We can go through rotations with catchy sounds, or we can compose stronger arrangements and world-building tracks that leaves us enamored, excited, and satisfied. Over the Horizon is another track that incorporates memorable ingredients, more substantiated development, and key changes. Kometa stood out more too, specifically the last third--- it's beautiful and very memorable. I wish more of the album was as satisfying and enjoyable as the last third of Kometa, for instance. But I do enjoy the zippy, kinetic sound and style of the songs in general. The last track just has a segment towards the end that's so euphoric and free-feeling, and that's something I love. Not just catchy but MEMORABLE (I love it) sound/melody work. There is a fantasy vibe running through the journey that's uplifting, inspirational, exciting, and fun, even futuristic and cosmic. I'd just work on substantiating songs more in the future, so that people can better distinguish some of the tracks, especially as the album progresses.I love the energetic, melodic (with touches of euphoria) style, the increasing or decreasing atmosphere, and more. The album does so many things well. The music becomes a little more dramatic and substantial as the album progresses, and I keep coming back because of how good it all sounds. But some of the songs also sound a bit similar throughout, despite the infectious nature of the sound/melody work that almost always attracts me, even when it's repetition immersed in conscious, clean sounds. This is a great album IMO, and one of the most underrated, best sounding releases of 2018. Lastly, Median Project released a track on 2018's (end of the year) Suntrip's V/A - The 50th Parallel (CD1). The song is full of storytelling. It's more memorable in that sense and is one of the best songs on that double CD compilation! In the meantime, stream the full album, In The Depths of Space here
  10. 1.1 KhetzaL - Garden of Nyagrodha Trees 1.2 Cosmic Dimension - Deviant Behaviour 1.3 Triquetra - Electronomic 1.4 Sykespico - Visit Earth 1.5 Hada - Emaginary 1.6 Crossing Mind - Over Time Frame 1.7 Clementz - Trilafon 1.8 Median Project - Life Line 2.1 Battle Of the Future Buddhas - Faster Than Light 2.2 Cosmic Serpent - Fractal Colors 2.3 Everything Turns - Darkness Falls 2.4 Proxeeus - ...But the Joke's On Mankind 2.5 Triquetra - Torturing The Machine 2.6 Morphic Resonance - Wonderland 2.7 Ka-Sol - Hysterical Mass 2.8 Hada - Magic Of Nature NOTE: Each track review is being updated as I hear this more over winter break. The 50th Parallel is a 2 CD compilation that celebrates Suntrip's 15th year as a Goa-Trance label. The first CD is dedicated to the sun, and is more melodic. The second CD is dedicated to the moon, and features darker Goa-Trance. CD 1 1.1 KhetzaL - Garden of Nyagrodha Trees has such a clean, organic sound. The song includes almost everything you'd expect from one of Suntrip's most beloved artists, e.g., crisp melodies, sounds, and harmonies in healthy, warm atmosphere. The song is very homogenous, developing gradually. A part of me feels that the first half could have been punchier and more memorable despite the elegant Eastern-Indian influence and attention to detail. There is a beautiful interlude in the forth minute. The energy increases at 5:48 and is accented at 6:18, and this is where I felt most immersed, thanks to the exciting, psychedelic development. At 6:44, the artist alters the arrangement, adds fresh sounds, and key notes. It's beautiful. Before the journey's end, the listener is rewarded with a beautiful, climactic finale that's almost too good for words. All in all, the first two acts were solid; they could have stood out more. Thankfully, the world grew into something more enchanting and enjoyable as we progressed. Great track. B+ / A- 1.2 Cosmic Dimension - Deviant Behaviour begins with a beautiful, ambient-influenced opening. It sounds like it should be in a Castlevania film and deserves its own [non Goa] song. Act 1 is more psytrance oriented (to some degree) until an attractive synth enters at 2:47. It's very nice! After a beat-free transition, Act 2 begins. It starts out similar to Act 1. Actually, 3:42 to 4:35 could have developed more; it got fairly repetitive, but the second part of Act 2 (forth minute) is curious, more exploratory. Here the acidic synths fade for a more traveling, unexpected, and atmospheric offering, and although my girlfriend felt that the middle act was less memorable, I liked the non-acidic shift in sound. Variety is good, and this middle act, though lacking in a star sound or element to punch it up more, made the song more interesting to me. The last act is solid too. I enjoyed the climactic, dance-friendly synth at 7:17 that elevates the energy in its final minutes. Good track! B+ 1.3 Triquetra - Electronomic -- I just reviewed Triquetra's Ecstatic Planet (2018) album that included some of my favourite songs of the year. The first two minutes alone are great. An intense synth arrives at 2:31. It's too in-my-face loud, but ignites the music. The supporting synths is creative. The music is varied, and the 2:31 lead thankfully disappears at 3:38. A brief transition takes us to Act 2, a trippy segment with an edgy synth at 3:57. It's smart and punchy. The brief accents and nuances are delectable, strengthening the second act. After a brief drumroll via 5:25, I feel like the artists' missed an opportunity to elevate the final act. It's catchy, but the last few minutes (I feel) did little to improve the whole, as if the artists' ran out of ideas or ingredients early. Musically I like the complex, punchy sound/melody work and mixing. This is a tight track that ends with a tight continuation in development rather than a bang. That said, the song takes risks, sounds distinct. It's engaging and stands out. Strong track! B+ 1.4 Sykespico - Visit Earth has one of the best dramatic opening tunes (like a symphony) I've ever heard in a Goa song. It's so simple and captivating. It adds FEELS (!!!). As the beat kicks in, so does the empowering tune that grounds the music emotionally. The first act is excellent, simply in that it merges the dramatic (epic/backdrop) tune with strong sound/melody work and atmosphere. After the 3:11 transition, I would have loved if the middle act maintained the feels, taking us to new, dramatic highs. The artist(s) remove the emotive theme however, opting for a punchier, higher octane approach and it works! The Hallucinogen-esque synths at 3:37 are excellent, maintaining an infectious sound across the forth minute that knows when to end via 4:30. The second part of Act 2 (4:51) involves new synths and sounds. It's catchy, though it feels like it could have been in a different song. The Eastern-Indian melody from 5:58 to 6:25 I could have done without. Some of these elements are underwhelming to the wonderful, dramatic opening that seemed so storytelling perfect. Fortunately, the signature tune returns for Act 3 at 6:25, anchoring us with the hook and feels before the terrific synth at 7:19. The song took longer to fade out than necessary, but that's a nitpick. Although the middle act (at times) could have been a little more congruent and complimentary to the opening/closing acts, this is one of my favorite tracks on the compilation. Well done. A- 1.5 Hada - Emaginary reminds me of Ka-Sol. No intro. Hard beat and accompanied sound. The first 2-3 times I heard this song, I didn't like it. I can't deny that the core sound though is pretty hypnotic, psychedelic. Around it, creepy FX echo across the soundscapes. There are some catchy synths in the first act, but the music gets repetitive and less interesting by (somewhere in) the third minute. A much needed and improved change takes place at 4:32 where the music feels more confident, congruent, and satisfying. We soon return to less memorable sound/melody work (by comparison), but the creepy atmosphere is very nice! The seventh minute on grew increasingly more interesting and warped. Weirder doesn't always mean better, and by the eighth minute, the song becomes a little too dependent and repetitive on the distorted effect, before switching gears to something more solid that avoids repetition from being shorter. I'm back and forth with how good I think this song is. It has some very good/great elements, but it's one of the less interesting and engaging songs on the album for me. That said, this is a pumping dark number for the less conventional crowd. B- 1.6 Crossing Mind - Over Time Frame begins with an enchanting opening. It's like something out of a romantic sci-fi film or fantasy fable. Is it possible for the artist to develop a track with the more enchanting sound developing throughout (I wonder)? I'm thinking Chi.A-D. for inspiration but taking it further. Occasionally I hear an intro by Crossing Mind, and it's so sublime that I wish the song was mid or down-tempo to increase its chances of retaining the warm sound throughout. I've been following CM ever since the release of their album, The Inner Shift in 2012. hoping that one day they'd return to the futuristic and super funky candy land of sounds that made their Inner Shift album so memorable and endearing. The first act was decent. It could have been more interesting and varied with ideas, as it became fairly monotonous until a tune arrives at 3:00. The transition at 3:25 led to more gripping development at 3:40, and the song hooked me from there. I enjoyed the synths at 4:38, the trippy transition, and how the psychedelic infected the last act. That said, the last act seemed so short-lived. It could have done more and in that sense, felt underwhelming to me. The final cloud-walking segment was nice. B+ 1.7 Clementz - Trilafon begins with a wave of dark and atmospheric ambient. It's interesting. The first act builds a psychedelic rhythm with distinct sounds. It's pretty good, but grows repetitive. The artist(s) disengage a floating hymn, but we need something to vary up the sound, to keep us hooked. At 4:26 we get our answer. This next part is radically different, lower in tone, deeper in sound, and incorporates some experimental (?), almost funky electronic work to the mix. I like that the music broke free and opted to do something different and catchy. The last act via 6:11 incorporates fresh energy, development, and synths. The music here felt more flexible and realized. The artist even reprises a synth and accent from Act 2 that enhances the music, bringing the best elements together. The song is less memorable, elaborate, and felt a little minor compared to some of the other tracks IMO, but I liked it. B 1.8 Median Project - Life Line a refreshingly sleek and dualistic journey track. The song has feels (!), determination, and optimism. Act 1 is interesting and engaging, thanks to strong sound/melody work and atmosphere. The melodies are tight, psychedelic, and tastefully layered without sounding too acidy. My only complaint with the first act is that it could have used a little more variety, nuance, and development as it progressed. Act 2 lets its bouncy (very nice) tunes breathe, introducing harmony to the storytelling development. The end of the 5th minute involving a band of melodies moving together is elegant, gripping, and beautiful. Act 3 adds fresh ingredients and ingenuity, maintaining the inspirational sound I often miss in Goa. The track is traveling and easy to digest. It develops and evolves, and is easily one of my favorite songs on both CD's. Great work!!!! A- NOTE: I googled Median Project to learn that his main album released in 2018. It's in the Psynews review thread, In the Depth of Space (and it's good). CD 2 2.1 Battle Of the Future Buddhas - Faster Than Light begins with an interesting sample and synth. The synth at 1:14 is good, though the minor tune (segment) at 1:44 was less engaging. A brief transition takes us into the more psychedelic second act thanks to stronger synths from 2:45 to 3:29. The synths exit without something catchier from 3:30 to 4:16, and I feel that something more interesting could have replaced it. Another solid part is at 5:13 where the song rebounds. But I really liked when the 1:14 synth returned at 6:14 mixing in with the remaining music. This synth is so simple and catchy. Why not build on that catchy sound rather than have it infrequently come and go? Why not build stronger segments around it? I suppose I'm nit picking since the song does have a pretty catchy sound to it. The last two minutes were good. I just expected more as a whole coming from the legendary BotFB. B 2.2 Cosmic Serpent - Fractal Colors is very psychedelic and atmospheric. We get an icy synth at 1:38 and at 2:11, it sounds like a pianist playing an ice cube piano (catchy)! Once that leaves, the music felt less focused. The psychedelic backdrop remained, and the icy (ascending/descending) effect at 2:32 was good. Unfortunately, without more emphasis on sound/melody work, the song becomes almost too abstract for its own good. An attractive synth enters at 4:14, though minimal in development, short-lived. Could this part not have led to something more exciting and fun? The last act builds on the artistry. But I feel that the sound/melody work is triumphed by the imaginative world of textures and atmosphere. Missing for me are tunes, melodies, leads, buildup, climax, feels! Have fun with it, but being mindful of your crowd. Hallucinogen's Twisted and The Lone Deranger albums for instance were both fun while being wildly inventive. I admire the ambition. This is trippy track with some great elements, plenty of experimentation, and some clever sound usage, mixing, and editing. Just make it more fun the next time around! B 2.3 Everything Turns - Darkness Falls has a solid introduction that develops nicely. The atmosphere is good. The synths are lively, characteristic, and fun. The song continuously sculptures (improves on) itself. It flows well. There's no big event or climax, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. I'd like to hear a main album by this artist showcasing the variety of greatness (in dark Goa) that he can do. Each act is focused, punchy, and beautifully mixed, with soundscapes, accents-- enough to keep me hooked. A nitpick is the sound at 4:02. It's not bad, but it stands out so much that the song feels a little less creative, and more repetitive from 4:01 to 5:22. The sound continues, altered like a supporting synth, and I don't feel like it enhanced the song in any way, although it's not bad (there's plenty of great sound mixing around it). That said, Act 2 met rather than exceeded my expectations. Darkness Falls is a strong track, and the first one I'm calling a favourite on CD 2. A- 2.4 Proxeeus - ...But the Joke's On Mankind begins dark and mysterious. The main melody enters at 1:21-- a bouncy, ebullient synth. It's good and the supporting sounds add to the dance friendly number. Around unique accents, e.g., 2:25, the artist continuously switches out ingredients, no matter how subtle, to support the main melody. The latter could have grown repetitive, bland, but it doesn't, and I think I'd enjoy this song most on the dance floor. We get our first break from the main melody at 4:48. The segment adds variety and the few drum accents are nice, though a bit brief. The last act seemed more refined, with new variation, note changes, and minor details. I liked the atmospheric interlude because of the chilling sound, like the stirring of a Tibetan bowl at 7:50, and that it continued beyond the interlude, into the main music's return. Little things like that are unexpected, creative, and catchy, a duding to the fun. Although the song has a similar sound from the lead, I feel that the approach works, especially for dancing. This is a trancey fun song! B+ 2.5 Triquetra - Torturing The Machine continues the unconventional approach. The first several minutes are a fairly experimental and feature little more than buildup to the best parts. I wasn't hooked until 2:27 thanks to the synths. But the song's first half has issues. It seems indecisive in development. The interlude from 3:20 to 4:26 was too long considering its purpose (basically) was to get us to 4:24 where things take off. Everything past 4:24 was so much more enjoyable thanks to the beautiful sound/melody development. Also, the mechanized atmospheric effect (whatever sounds excellent. It's frustrating that the first or second act by these artists is often so underwhelming compared to the rest of the song. Compared to Electronomic, I'll take a superior second half over a less memorable third act almost any day of the week. I hope this positively influences the artists because they're very talented and have endless potential. I love that this song kept improving throughout the second half. In short, the music started at 4:24 for me. Everything else was forgettable. Once the song grew confident, decisive, and a set of balls halfway through, it was [still is] a pleasure to listen to. B+ 2.6 Morphic Resonance - Wonderland is like JAWS on a bad trip. The song has a few short-lived murky spots before rebounding to stronger waters. The core sound (baseline and synth) is solid, stands out. The first few minutes are electric, fully charged and captivating. The synths grow to be magnetic at 1:38, again at 1:50, and crossing into the third minute. I love the supporting synths and atmosphere around the leads. The first act is exciting, punchy, and intense. The arrangement (being so short) in the third minute grew slightly repetitive, but i'm nitpicking. The middle (4th minute) act started out great, but from 4:22 to 4:49 the music sounded too muddled (over-stuffed with layers), producing an unpleasant (less punchy, focused) on the ears. This took away from an otherwise stellar song (thus far). Having something less maximal and refreshing in place of 4:22 to 4:49 would have better better, and I hope this feedback helps to improve things. The music rebounded soon after, but something about the sixth minute was less punchy (dynamic?) and did little to hook me. The energy of the music is strong, sure, but it's missing something that made the song's first half so tight. Fortunately, the seventh minute onward grew increasingly magnetic, and the finale is fantastic! That's what I'm talking about! My issue here is the same recurrent one I had on the artist's 2018 album, Perplexity. Around its few less captivating moments, this is a great track that showcases some amazing work by one of Suntrip's best artists since Filteria! A- 2.7 Ka-Sol - Hysterical Mass remind's me of Hada's Emaginary to some degree. No intro (well okay, a brief one), and a hard beat and sound at 0:24. The distorted effect to the music is unique, hypnotic. It's also repetitive and went on for too long. Act 2's soundscapes were nice, adding something different. But the synths sound more like effects then actual sound/melody development. I imagine that was the intention. I find this song so hard (literally, the beat), repetitive, and chaotic though, due in part to the relentless core 0:24 sound that I lose interest. It's too much. I'm looking for a focus, a lead to hook onto, something to enjoy. Act 2 breaks the beat in place of a trippy segment, followed by a catchy bopping accent. Both are nice, and some synths (initially) seemed catchy. But the music ultimately grew too muddled and repetitive for me, despite the end even having some pleasant (less jarring) work. This song is a relentless dark stomper that's sure to appeal to some. Give the song a listen and decide. Different perspectives is what adds to the whole anyway, but I digress. I'm sure some will connect with the music and enjoy this more than I did. Hysterical Mass is just not my cup of tea. C+ 2.8 Hada - Magic Of Nature is a bit of a mixed bag. Parts are rich and engaging, while other parts are repetitive and bland. The first act starts okay before devolving into monotony from 1:32 to 2:35. Repeating the same short arrangement, primarily when it's not very good, over and over again is one way to lose your audience. After a quick fade out, the music returns at 3:31 with more creativity and development. Act 2 is a huge improvement that's topped with a strong lead at 3:54 that adds variety. Why couldn't the first act have been better considering this is the same artist who did the second act? Unfortunately, the synths (general sound) from 4:23 to 5:41 grew repetitive. The music soon rebounded, thanks to an infectious, bouncy synth at 5:47. This is a terrific part, but after a short while it became less satisfying as the music crossed the sixth minute, offering little to further develop, enhance, or reboot the climax after the lead's disappearance. This resulted in a less memorable last 1-2 minutes. The last act could have been great, but it's good intermittently. Magic Of Nature is boring one minute, and exciting the next, and that's the issue. You have to ride your winning horses, stick to (and develop) your best work. I feel like this song along with Ka-Sol's would have been better on a different compilation. It makes sense that Suntrip wanted to offer different styles of dark Goa-Trance. They succeeded. I'm simply less a fan of these last two songs. B- Conclusion For a double CD, The 50th Parallel showcases music that is sometimes marvelous, often times great, and few times disappointing. Both albums are very good, but far from perfect. I heard impressive work by many artists including: Median Project, Sykespico, Everything Turns, Triquetra, Morphic Resonance, Proxeeus, Khetzal, and Crossing Mind, and was surprised by the unconventional approaches that some of the artists took. It's fun to see artist's taking risks (at times), and Goa music continue to expand, to some degree. I feel like Suntrip was mindful to avoid generic Goa. But a few of the songs I didn't like. Maybe the inclusion of BotFB, two Hada songs along, and KaSol's was to attract fans who may be less inclined to buy Suntrip albums unless they see a familiar artist. I don't know and am merely speculating. I wish the few weaker songs were replaced with stronger ones obviously, but at least most of the songs were good. A nitpick is that there are a couple songs on CD 1 that sounded dark to me, and I thought CD 1 was supposed to showcase the light? I'm not sure where I'd rank The 50th Parallel compared to Suntrip's previous compilations. Time will tell. It's very good overall and worth checking out, especially for those who are fans of quality light (more melodic) and dark styles of Goa-Trance. Very nice artwork and cover btw! Favorite Tracks: CD 1 ... 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 CD 2 ... 3, 4, 5, 6 B+ Sample / Order https://www.suntriprecords.com/releases/ https://www.suntriprecords.com/release/cat/SUNCD50/ https://suntriprecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-50th-parallel
  11. Ouija is fantastic! I shared it with my girlfriend for the first time tonight and (because we're alike), she goes, "Holy Shit! I'd give that an A" That said, I enjoyed City of Moons over Perplexity (as a whole) with exception to MIndwarp on City of Moons that did not need to exist despite not being terrible; it was the weakest link, so (at the time) why not replace it with something amazing? I love The Creature and Ouija... and a handful of songs in-between (Vektogram, Hallucinatory Acid) are inventive, very catchy. But the repetitive or muddled arrangements on the album (at times, in general) take away from the whole. Despite some impressive moments, I was not impressed with Return of the Bad Dreamer and Outer Limits (Limitless Mix). To me those could have been made pre City of Moons. The first and last track are so punchy, edgy, and DYNAMIC. I'm not bored for a second. I want to see more work on that level, similar to the 1 2 3 4 punch that is City of Moons with its first 4 tracks... had the previous album remained as stellar throughout (though the second half to be fair, is great too), I would have given it an A. I think at this point, with all of the constructive feedback and mostly positive reviews, this artist CAN create an A album. He is wildly talented and creating some of the best dark Goa I've heard in 15-20 years! The only person that has to get out of his way is himself. Don't ever second guess yourself if something is not impressive in your mind. I realize some people are okay with the songs I don't like, and I think even more will be impressed with an album comprised of 8 super songs that the majority of us consider super (and I don't mean to have an ego there but there it is). It's time to expand more, to get more wildly creative with atmospheres, technical wizardry with sound/melody work and mixing. No more going-through-motions moments (as discussed above in my review). This is one of the best Goa artists in decades and despite my criticisms, both City of Moons and Perplexity are great.
  12. 1. Gate to Happiness 08:45 2. Stormbringer 08:31 3. No Unexpected Errors 07:50 4. Homonculus 08:57 5. Gargantuan Tribes (Live) 08:24 6. Starbirth 08:26 7. Psychic Dissonance 08:30 8. Chosen By The Gods 08:36 9. Helios 09:01 I know very little about Triquetra other than these guys are two brothers who make Goa released by Suntrip. I enjoyed No Unexpected Errors, Gargantuan Tribes, Psychic Dissonance, and Helios right away. It took time for the other songs to grow on me (or settle) so here we go! 1. Gate to Happiness has a beautiful, atmospheric, Ambient-influenced (with feels!) introduction that developes until the beat drops at 1:48 (very cool). The distinct sound of Triquetra arrives-- a whirlwind of melodies. Harmonious ones fly above as deeper ones swims below among a key tune. The uplifting vibe is pleasant. The middle act though could have had more ingenuity, character, something to make it stand out and be more enjoyable. Act 2 is fairly bland and in that regard, the song could have benefited from being shorter. Fortunately, the last act is dynamic, exciting, and showcases beautiful sound/melody work. Here the song comes alive. Talk about a rebound! The last act is excellent. Good track! B+ 2. Stormbringer dives into its psychedelic rhythm early on, though the music sounds a bit too acidy, for me. Cool intro! The female voice accent is catchy. The first act is pretty good! It keeps building, keeping my attention and features a really nice melody at 2:00, and a tougher synth lead at 2:40. It's good. But at some point early into the third minute, the repetitive ACIDIC sound begins to grate on me. It's too acidic and makes the music feel more repetitive than it is. A healthier variety in sounds and direction would have been helpful. Act 2 allows us to breath (the song works best when it's less maximal IMO). Some nice new melodies enter. I enjoyed the forth minute, and the traveling melody in the fifth. These are good parts! Even 5:49 has an edgy Goa synth that works well, but at 6:04, things get too acidic (grating) and 'samey' for me. At 6:37 I can breathe again. It's not great but a relief. But that's not what sells the high energy song. The last act-- aside from a few tweaks and not being too in-my-face, lacked fresh ideas and inventiveness to make it stand out. To me, the song feels like one long extensive act, despite likely working better on dance floors considering it's full of energy and rhythm, but the artists are more intelligent and talented than this. They know how to make smart, visionary songs that are great for home-listening and dancing. The acidic emphasis and samey (in that regard) sound here just exhausted me out by the end. But damn, it has some really good elements and I'm sure some people will like this more than I did, but I'm not going to sugar coat how I felt. B- 3. No Unexpected Errors is so much more dynamic, interesting, and enjoyable compared to the previous track. This showcases tight and punchy synth work and direction. The flurry of nuances kept me hooked; I love accents. Take the one via 2:50, a brief one-note. It's so simply and catchy, and never overstays its welcome. There is a gripping lead. I mean leads! None are too in-my-face. Sure there are borderline moments, but they keep changing up, avoiding repetition. Moreover, a lot of sound/mixing work happens that supports the leads while preventing the song from feeling too acidic or repetitive. Act 2 allows us to catch our breath by reducing layers while maintaining the momentum. Engaging things keep popping up around every corner. The voice sample sounds cinematic, very Sci-Fi in origin. It shifts us to he most exciting part yet via the last act. I'd love to hear more elements that excite and surprise us (I don't mean this track but in general, thinking of the previous song). The mixing work is evident and impressive. Towards the end, I feel like the music could have incorporated a wider range of complimentary sounds via climax. The song's development is great, and I feel like it could have evolved a little more if that makes sense. That said, this is one of the best songs on the album and my first favorite track on Ecstatic Planet! No Unexpected Errors is smart, relentless, creative, and exciting from start to finish. Excellent track! A- / A 4. Homonculus seems to be the love/hate song on the album. I like it but have some criticism because I feel like some of it is very good, and some of it could have been so much better! The first few minutes are not interesting IMO despite some nice melody work. The music breaks for a transition at 2:27 and returns with (peeking our curiosity) touches of drum. The music falls to the background at 3:50 for an extended transition that would have been more welcome, had the first act been stronger. It doesn't help that the transition isn't very interesting. A sudden BOOM impact hits at 4:16 (I can't believe the song is half over already!). Fortunately this part is a lot catchier, followed by a more interesting, tighter transition with an intriguing Black Crystal sample. At 4:54 we get a strong, PURER FORM [bouncy Goa] melody arrives that's so good! What happened back there? Why did the song not its footing sooner? I feel like you could completely redo Act 1 (save the intro), tweak the finale, shave off 1-2 minutes, and the song would have benefitted. Act 3 remains animated, but lacks variety from Act 2. A memorable tune would have been nice. Act 3 is solid, but with so many layers via the acidic emphasis, it made me miss the fluid, cool groovy bounciness of Act 2. All in all, this is a pretty good song with a great second act, and a third act that's bound to keep the momentum going on the dancefloor. B- 5. Gargantuan Tribes (Live) integrates the use of an organic instrument. The result is something so creative and refreshingly organic sounding, that it's a wonder this approach hasn't been done before. I agree with everyone here. What a great way of using a didgeridoo! Man that's catchy! The track has a subtle hypnotic sound throughout. The organic sound is supported with good sound/melody work despite [the overall song] being fairly simple. It could have evolved more, as it got a little repetitive by the end. But the overall song and what the artists accomplished here is great! These guys have to do more creative stuff with incorporating organic instruments in Goa. It makes the music feel more alive! Well done. A- 6. Starbirth is a blast of danceable GOA bliss, though Act 1+2 could have showcased more sparkling gems, each act builds nicely on the former one. A request is to more catchy (interesting) opening acts since the tracks are quite gripping by the second half (the last track obviously grabbed me sooner). The growing energy and feels via ascension (like we're raising, uplifting) is terrific. Act 3 completely evolves into something wild and beautiful! I simply wish Act 1 was more interesting because the payoff is worth it! Starbirth has one of the best, most infectious climaxes I've heard all year! A- 7. Psychic Dissonance has a more arresting (decisive sounding) opening. The unique, morning (maybe influenced), but more psychedelic sound/melody work in Act 1 is unique! Something with the beat, baseline, and/or overall song makes the music feel more refreshing. Sometimes less is more! The energy (arrangement, notes) in Act 2 continues to develop like a story playing out. There's light and dark, beauty and danger. The electrical accent FX are catchy, like water droplets hitting a hot stove top (synthesized) as they skip across the beat. A transition smoothly evolves us into bouncy (infectiously danceable!) Goa terrain. It's excellent and so catchy! We reach another transition. The music falls to the back, save a few industrial FX, an interesting interlude of sorts. The tunes evolve and overall direction is so varied and engaging. What plays out can be described as ascensional-- like a magic elevator taking us to the higher dimensions. Gorgeous sound/melody work and direction! Like T2 or the FIRST Matrix film, the artist(s) seemed to go ALL OUT with the vision and finale. A- 8. Chosen By The Gods has a catchy female sample early on. The tingly melodies in the first act are really nice as soundscapes emerge. In the second or third minute though, I began to wonder where the song was going. It felt a bit indecisive and grew a little repetitive, idea wise. I like the clicking effect that doubles as an accent to the beat and/or note, and more development into more interesting terrain would have been nice. Though a bit more acidy than I prefer, Act 2 is much better. There is an elevating (for lack of better words) hypnotic effect in the second half that's interesting! I just wish there was more memorable aspects to hook us. The female voice re-appearing is catchy, and the last act is good, showcasing some elegant sound/melody work that feels different from anything we heard in the song beforehand. This is a solid song that could have been more memorable compared to the last three tracks, but it's growing on me. B 9. Helios has a nice, though it could have been more intriguing before the beat drop at 1:32. Gradually, the fantasy setting takes form. The atmospheric element is good. The storytelling arrangement work well, with each act complimenting and improving on the one before it. The shift into Act 2 via 4:25 grabbed my attention thanks fo juicier melodies, development, and key notes that compliment the storytelling aspect. The sound/melodies work continues to improve as if one if journeying deeper into a rich fantasy novel. We reach a transition (not too long) that develops and evolves us into something even more arresting. I love the gentle echoed melodies and nuances in the second half. Suddenly and at just the right time (in the last act), the artists push the envelope further, incorporating a completely unexpected, infectiously bouncy Goa lead that compliments the whole! It's such a fun, catchy OH WOW (satisfying) moment to top off an already harmoniously magical finale, adds sparkles to the icing on the already delicious organic cake. Wow... The song is full of feeling and emotion. It keeps getting better as it progresses, and then doesn't stop there. Other than it could have had a stronger (more visionary but complimentary) intro and first few minutes, I'd love to hear more magical tracks on the next album and future compilation tracks. Magic can be dark or light and I love the positive (light rather than dark) ascensional song here. Despite a bit of a slow start, Helios develops into a beautiful and memorable closing track. It's both my and my girlfriend's favourite song on the album, and brings FEELS !!! Actually at some point in the second half, I feel like we entered a fantasy (higher frequency) dimension. Excellent closing track! A- / A CONCLUSION Nitpicks aside, there is a ton of creativity on this album! The first two tracks simply do not do justice to how well done, complex, catchy, and distinct the sound/melody and overall mixing/production work is on this album. There are instruments that sound completely organic, excellent! Also a plus on having intros, be they decent or good. They lead listeners into the world of the music. The artists have their own distinct style and sound. Although I'm a fan of the variety of songs in the first half, the album showcases some of the artist's most beautiful work in the second half, e.g., Starbirth, Psychic Dissonance, Helios. To be constructive, a few songs could have had stronger first acts or first halves (1, 4, 9). A few tracks lacked variety and were a bit repetitive at times (2, 5), and in one or two cases, the last act could have been more refreshing (3, 4, 5). That said, I enjoy almost every song on the album. At least 3-4 are some of the best songs I've heard all year. I also felt that way about a couple songs on E-Mantra's 2018 album, Stapanii Timpului, as well as Morphic Resonance's 2018 album, Perplexity. Ecstatic Planet is a smart, articulative (no muddled sounds), psychedelic, and eclectic album, and it's one of the best [Goa Trance] albums of 2018. Favorite tracks: 3, 5, 6, 7, 9 ... and the last act in Track 1. 4/5 Order / Buy > https://www.suntriprecords.com/release/cat/SUNCD48/ Stream a full track
  13. 1. Fly 2. Compressor 3. Renania 4. Meteor 5. Rock Da House 6. The Tribal Session 7. Magnetic Field 8. The Space Dimension 9. Lovescience 10. Journey Into Outer Space Blue Planet is my favorite Electric Universe album. I love some of the risks Boris took. Some of the sound/melody work here is FANTASTIC, so satisfying and topical, while other tracks do something inventive, often with catchy results, save two songs IMO. The album is less psychedelic than Stardiver, which is a purer aka more concentrated Goa. Blue Planet is more varied and expansive in sounds and track variety. This is one of the most unconventional (in some ways), interesting, solid, and distinct (character, personality, vision) albums released by Boris/Electric Universe and in the genre. 1. Fly is an example of when repetition effectively works in Goa, thanks to certain sounds and change ups in layers. The song has a very simple but catchy ('signature" I call it, like a vibrating ring, two notes) echoed synth that comes and goes at just the right times. It exits by 3:00, but soon appears to linger in the background as BOUNCY, TASTY GOA, dance-friendly melodies are introduced. ACT 2 is very catchy! There is a slight transition and the last act develops the beast with psychedelic details!!! The last act's combination of sounds and melodies is excellent. The direction is fairly simple but gripping, and the vibrating ring synth tops it off. Great work. Well done! A- / A 2. Compressor opts to be more synthetic, minimal, and PSY sounding. It's here that the album takes its first dip for me. The music is more experimental, but not in the best way considering this isn't Goa Trance or Goa influenced, nor is it very good. I'm generally a fan of the artist's sound/melody work, but this does not showcase that either. Best thing I can say is the last act has a relatively catchy rhythm, but it's NOT great. There is no engaging synth for me to hook onto, something to warrant DESIRED repeat listens or a recommendation. Nothing sells this song like the nighttime 'signature' synth in the previous track. I don't enjoy this song. It's not bad, but not what I consider good, fun or satisfying. It also doesn't sound like it should be on this album IMO. C+ 3. Renania is more in tune with the sleek GOA sound and feel that the album introduced to us with FLY. Though simple and similar sounding throughout, the MELODIC synth work is good! The song is surprisingly short, at 5:31. it doesn't overstay its welcome, but a little more evolution would have been nice. Fly was better IMO, with more development. Am I supposed to pretend that the previous song didn't exist? This is so much more engaging by comparison. B+ / A- 4. Meteor is so musical, rock-influenced, and varied-- and thankfully more helmed in the more expansively creative realm of Goa. This has SO MANY ELEMENTS that I like. Warm, emotive, catchy, and distinct. There's no track like this. It's very experimental, but unlike Track 2, the experiment here is CATCHY. It's also determined and motivating (inspirational) sounding and I love that! So enjoyable! B+ / A- 5. Rock Da House is a straight up nostalgic, rock n' roll electronic song, with GOA influence in the second half. Since Meteor, the risks seem to be paying off. I'm sure not everyone will love (or expect?) this. The music is punchy and creative, coupled with rock and BREAKS, very ATYPICAL for Electric Universe in a good way IMO. I'm not suggesting Boris makes an album full of breaks but that element works well here. Though short at 5:16, the song wastes no time sounding good. This is a solid, catchy, and experimental number with some very nice, complementary synth work in the second half. B+ 6. The Tribal Session starts out so nice, with ambient and psy scapes. I generally like tribal influenced Goa, and the first 1-2 minutes are good. The song simply grows REPETITIVE and a bit too naked (lacking in supporting sounds and melodies) for me. After a promising start, the music feels under-developed and off-topic even for this album to me. It's not fun when (intro aside) several minutes into the song, you feel like you're hearing the SAME SONG and then it ends. I don't care for this track and find it pretty average. C 7. Magnetic Field is softer, more traveling Goa on the cosmic side. It has a nice storytelling element and very good (warm, pleasant) sound/melody work. Talk about old-school sounding! A little more character and *oomph* (energy) could have complemented, and the song does get a little repetitive (at times), but there are some really good elements, e.g., synths here. The song is longer too (though this could have been a minute or two shorter) and adds another distinct and thankfully good (after the previous track) addition to the album! B+ 8. The Space Dimension is more complex, unique, and cutting edge. The robotic (futuristic) synths are great. The ambient adds emotion. The Goa (sound/melody) synths compliment. This is IMO the best experimental track since 4 and 5 that Goa-wise tops both. This is my FAVOURITE uptempo song on the album. The electronic approach is distinct, engaging, and memorable. Three great acts and the whole song sounds refreshingly different than ANYTHING I've ever heard. The sound/melody work is so good, topped with a TWANGY Goa melody halfway through. I love it. I just want to dance to thins thing, both the melody and the overall song, and the length is perfect. A- / A 9. Lovescience is a very good mid-tempo number. The artist makes such good mid/down tempo tracks. I find that the song grows a little repetitive roughly two thirds through as it maintains its core, developmental sound slightly longer than I found necessary. Fortunately, a complimentary synth with subtle nuances stepped in to enhance the last act. Very nice work! B+ / A- 10. Journey Into Outer Space is a notably stronger mid-tempo gem. I find the elements here more engaging. This is an excellent way to end the album. The song is interesting, chill, cosmic, and arresting! Just go here this thing already. A Blue Planet is a distinct, unique, and underrated gem in electronic music. There is plenty of variety and experimenting which leads to some of the artist's best work, though not every track is a hit. A few songs (2.6) share examples where the experiment DOES NOT go great, and I question their existence on this album considering the artist obviously knows what's catchy (standards?) so why are they here? They sound as if made by a different artist, for a different album, likely forgotten if it was full of songs like that. Fortunately numerous songs exceeded my expectations (1, 4, 5, 8, 10). Naturally everyone has their favorites. I noticed a song or two I really enjoyed that someone else called SHIT!!! The last two songs are mid-tempo, and the final one is more cosmic. It's REALLY good!!! The Goa album's influences include: Psy, Rock, Breaks, and Electro. Talk about TAKING RISKS. There is enough ingenuity here that works for me and many others. The artist's previous album, Stardiver (1999) is more consistent (purer) when it comes to GOA. Stardiver is harder-edged and more energetic, but also more repetitive at times. This is Boris's first if not second best album IMO. I mean his debut ONE LOVE was topped by Stardiver. But in terms of general electronic combined GOA music (album wise), I find this to be the most satisfying when it works more often than it doesn't. Find the songs that agree most with your senses and enjoy! Nitpkcks and few weak tracks aside, the songs have character and (more or less) personality! Yes!!! Blue Planet is a cult classic in electronic/Goa Trance! Highlights: 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10 8/10 / B+ STREAM THE FULL ALBUM HERE ON GOOD EAR BUDS OR SPEAKERS !!!!
  14. Sundial Aeon's SYMBOSIS album is beautiful!!!!! I always miss some of the best DOWNTEMPO albums until the "Best of" thread appears!
  15. Jon Cocco

    MFG - The Prophecy

    ILLUMINATION!!!!!!!
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