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Jon Cocco

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Everything posted by Jon Cocco

  1. @BASS-O-MATIC -- Thanks for telling us about this release. I wasn't aware of it before. I like the visionary, cyber/futuristic approach and yes, let's enjoy it for what it is. The new album is psytrance, not Goa. The first track (New Dimension) has some catchy elements. Same with the second, though the six minute climax could have been more expansive and fulfilling. The third track is okay. Track 4 (Alien Artifact) builds to a catchy part halfway through that put a smile on my face. I just wish the last act topped it. Track 5 (X-Files - Pleiadians RMX) is cool, like a party (psytrance for nightclub) track. Track 7 (Space Crafts) showcases some tight synth work and development, though it could have ended slightly sooner IMO. I'm curious to see the community's response in a review thread. I'm still processing what I think of the album. While I miss the phenomenal work of I.F.O., and wish that the four (now two) meastros would reunite for another super Goa album on THAT level through Suntrip or Cronami, it's nice to see them producing quality tracks all this while later, even if it's nothing groundbreaking. Although I would have loved even more euphoric sound/melody work, they still know how to incorporate a winning synth around psy-scapes, rough textures, and atmosphere. Stream the FULL ALBUM here https://pleiadians.bandcamp.com/album/pyramid?fbclid=IwAR1L5aB01TSIDJaR3VxWkjy3Cw_4fwP06YqzHuUkArcYRI8EO4TR_FGuQxY
  2. Interesting timing.. Today I felt drawn to hearing their disappointing third album again. That's when I saw on YouTube that they released a 4th THIS album not too long ago. Pressing play (past intro), the opening track has such a repetitive beat, baseline, and synth that I was turned off until the promising sound/melody segment halfway through. Then they completely botch it by taking the music in a completely unexpected, disappointingly direction. This is not where I desired the song to go, and it's repetitive! In short, this album is not on the same level of quality as Sun Spot and Cumbustion. It's like Terminator 3+4, etc., at this point. The classic legendary Dark Soho is not what it once was! It's a HELL-U-VA lot better than the shit storm of the last album though. But still does little to engage me like their first two albums.
  3. Great job. Thank you, and to the artists and labels. These threads help awareness on so many good releases!
  4. I liked Xaminist's Initiation. Wow it's been 10 years. I didn't know he released an album ("7") in 2016. Thanks for the notice Manuser and the review! I like Out of Time (currently streaming it here: https://xamanist.bandcamp.com/album/out-of-time A New Day builds to the warm, complex sound delivered throughout the album. It's unique, fairly progressive, and psy-influenced. Act 2 is little more than a brief transition to new, interesting terrain. Simple but effective. I was hooked from 4:40 forward. DNS (OSG Remix) is more energetic and bouncy. Again, unique (catchy) melody work! All three acts compliment each other. I like the tempo change around 2:43 followed by the mini (climax-esque, unconventional) inspired tune. Good transitions. I liked the work in Act 2+3 too. Alien Genetics has a warm, engaging sound via the first two minutes before continuing to improve. The track develops beautifully from 3:45 forward, thanks to the strong ethereal vision, arrangement, and direction. I love the melody in the last act. This is easily my favorite and the catchiest IMO track thus far. Moon Over 604 is interesting. I see the Chi A.D. influence and it's clearly very much its own track. Solid and atmospheric stuff. Chi-A.D.'s melodies are generally more ethereal, memorable, and emotional to me, but I like the direction this goes in. Ancient Forest doesn't grab me until the build up Vhhhhhooo...!!! sound at 2:40.. then it begins to get interesting. The last act's melodies are good! Mysteries of Life has a very good act 2 & 3. It's energetic and fun! I'd love to hear more songs with this exciting energy by this artist. Akashic Intelligence is uplifting, morning-esque, and feels good to listen to. If it was going for a stellar sunrise track, it could have used more elements/sunrise feels, but I never felt that this was going for a pure sunrise track. The ending was really nice, especially as the new sound takes form. Step by Step became more interesting as it incorporated more sounds into the mix int he last act. 5:45 forward (with the key changes) is very nice, and the synth at 6:56. I like the fluid, smooth atmospheric effects he uses. Am I the Universe (Multiverse Remix) could have been more memorable, eventful, interesting, and varied. The atmosphere track has some nice sounds & synths towards the end. I enjoyed the other tracks more. I like the artist's unconventional sound and happy to see he kept the Goa influence. The album sounds new and at times nostalgic, unpredictable, unique, and risk-taking, with good industrial-esque accent effects, sound/melody work, and atmosphere. Now I have to go hear the artist's 2016 album "7" that I somehow missed!
  5. Wow this thread caught fire since I left. I respect that some of you like it more than others and vice-versa, and speaking candidly.. I thought Antidote, despite a beautiful intro and nice melody work at 3:42 grew forgettable in the third minute. Some catchy melodies and changes in the 5th+sixth minute (mentioned above), but overall I found this too safe, generic, and conventional. Mission Adept is a step in the direction I wanted. It's more Filteria-esque, mad energy. The synths don't stay stuck in your head but they're catchy! I go back and forth with the phone-esque effect (mentioned above). Even Mary was like, I like everything but the phone sound. Again, a high energy, electric number. I won't repeat my review other than more development (evolution) in the last act would've been great. Take more risks! It Is Not Possible is darker, edgier. I love the synths and atmosphere. Melodies ooze-- nighttime sleekness. Definitely Filteria inspired but not emulated. Again the last act (by 5:30 / 5:40) grows fairly similar but maintains its electric feel. Infinite Space is the MELODY track on the album for me, e.g., the second and third minute-- so good! The segment from 3:30 to 4:00 needed more change IMO (it overstays its welcome). Things sounded a bit going-through-the-motions a bit after till 6:01-- then the music's fast, punchy, and fun again! This is what I want but without the small dips! Again, the last act could have showcased more refreshing, complimentary variety. Great track though! On The Edge - Man I love the synths and intensity in the first 4 minutes. WOW!!! This is so AP-heavy (tense) without sounding formulaic. Great build to 5:18. Would it be possible to have more breath-taking, suspenseful, catchy interludes like this? Cool surprises like this exciting transition adds variety. I feel like the climax (continuing sound) could have been complimented with another synth and/or accent, but it's great and wow what a track! The song could have ended a minute earlier though! Pandora's Box -- Like I said above, great first half. The second half loses its dynamic, punchy mixing/editing and settles for a bland (going through the motions) Goa sound. This adds to my criticisms. The song's structure is too similar and deserves more range, tempo changes, surprises. Sure the dance floors will be more forgiving. And imagine how amazing the second half could have been if it was cut as tightly as the first. The second half is not bad per say, just very similar sounding after a while, almost too traveling(?) for its own good. It lacks variety, development, something to spice it up and make it more interesting. Sand Of Time -- Strong track, but the fairly formulaic, more conventional last act prevented me from giving this a higher score. It's too risk-free IMO. Goa can have more brains too. That's why many of us like Filteria. Still this will erupt dance floors and I would have loved a more inventive finale. Good song overall. Sunrise -- The first act was less engaging than where it goes but WHERE IT GOES!!!! The last lead tops off the track, avoiding sounding too similar, draggy. It's closer to the tightness of On the Edge. What a beautiful climax! Just marvelous! I feel so excited and elevated (full of joy) when hearing it. So full of anything and everything is possible. The Constellation Of Aries's first act reminded me of Man With No Name vs. Astral Projection. Solid synth work! The first climax is very good! The song's direction isn't that elaborate, but the AP-inspired design is cool. I liked the breathing space (good vibes) in the middle and the last climax was great, especially when the star complimentary Goa lead topped it off. So beautiful!!! Gave me a high! Full of positivity and NOT cheesy, like an eagle soaring through the sky climax!!! The song new when to end too (thankfully) unlike the last 1:20 of On the Edge and never felt draggy via second half of Pandora's box. Updated thoughts All in all, great album and more variety, surprises, and evolutionary/developmental aspects to the songs please? I agree with some of your constructive criticisms, but I love this album in numerous ways. It brought back happy moments and made me feel more alive at times! That said, a few songs were a bit bland, a few segments not memorable, and a few acts (mainly thirds) could have done more for their previous acts (as several act 2's did to 1's). But that is criticism to one of the year's best Goa-Trance albums. The artist has room to improve, but if Constellation is any indication, it shows that the artist has a promising future. Now if only he reflects on our feedback mindfully, the next album will be amazing.
  6. TMedian project: Constellation Suntrip Records / Goa-trance 1. Antidote 2. Mission Adept 3. It Is Not Possible 4. Infinite Space 5. On The Edge 6. Pandora's Box 7. Sand Of Time 8. Sunrise 9. The Constellation Of Aries Median Project is Sergey Petrenko, a fairly new artist in Goa-trance. I enjoyed his previous album, In the Depth of Space (2017). So when I saw MP had a track called Life Line on Suntrip's compilation, The 50th Parallel (2018), my curiosity peeked. I thought the song was one of the best tracks on the compilation. Constellation (2019) is very melodic and psychedelic, coupled with strong synths, kicks, acid, and atmosphere. It's a very dance-friendly Goa album and some have even referred to it as Astral Projection meets Mindsphere. I'd like to add Artifact303 to that comparison chart 1. Antidote is a morning Goa song. The psy-ambient intro is beautiful. We're treated to some AP-esque melodies (without emulating AP thankfully), colourful and uplifting. I liked the adjustments at 3:45 and 5:15, and the melodies at 5:28 and 6:42. The latter incorporated key changes nicely. The song did little to keep my interest or engage me though. To me it sounded too safe and typical, formulaic. That said, it's a nice track. I'm all for positive vibes! I just find it more conventional than memorable. That said, I imagine the intent was to start the album off with an easier piece before moving into the more elaborate, complex, and cosmic story arc / Goa ones. 3.5 / 5 2. Mission Adept is more interesting! The song is zippy, kinetic, intense, and exciting-- like a new Filteria track. The ambient notes are good! Initially I found the occasional ringing effect (like a land-line phone at 2:32 and 2:39) a bit odd, but it grows to be altered as the music progresses, more alien and foreign in nature. Still I would have preferred to not have a telephone association in those few moments, as it distracted from the cosmic (imaginative) feel in my mind. The song has a visceral sense of urgency that I liked, and the atmosphere's great! The third act sounded like a healthy continuance of Act 2, but was solid! This is a fun, fast-paced track! 4.0 / 5 3. It Is Not Possible expands on the more electric approach that began with Mission Adept. The song is sharper, more fluid, intense, and powerful. I loved the synths in the opening act, and the forth minute took the music to new highs. The last act is homogenous-- less inventive when comparing the second to the first. That said. this is a thrilling, intergalactic song with strong synths, atmosphere, and climax! Couldn't the song have been called "It Is Possible" though since anything and everything is possible? This song is going to lift dance-floors, and it's great for working out, or immersing the mind into energetically, for home-listening. Super track! 4.75 / 5 4. Infinite Space maintains the more intergalactic approach. Great intro. The synths from 2:27 to 4:15 were ultra-melodic, juicy, and reminded me of Lemurians in their prime-- exceptional. The music quickly transitioned thankfully to vary things up, and the scenery shifted from 4:42 to 6:00. Here the main lead hugged the spotlight. I honestly thought it went on for a bit longer than necessary. Fortunately the melodic growth at 6:01 was satisfying. But the cool down part went on for a bit longer than needed. I suppose its a friendly approach for DJ's to mix but it grew a little draggy to me. This is a sweet track with one of the best melodies (2:27) I've heard all year! 4.5 / 5 5. On The Edge reminds me of what a new AP album could sound like. The song takes off like a rocket, remaining fully-charged and gripping. Excellent climax in the third minute. The transition at 4:00 maintained the catchy feels. There is a transitional segment where the tempo changes up with supporting elements. This part was so suspenseful, fun, catchy, and unexpected before what happened next! Man I wish there were more transitions this catchy to pulsate us to more magnetic terrain (thinking out loud). The song becomes more varied and delectable (for the most part) as it progresses. 5 / 5 6. Pandora's Box starts off great. The AP-esque synths and voice effects in the first several minutes (the song's first half) is strong. The artist keeps things interesting, moving, creative, and fun! Is it me though or does Act 1 seem to not know when to end? The song runs out of ideas at some point around 4:35 forward and grows repetitive and bland, lazy compared to the first half. The forth minute could have transitioned to healthier, more varied (wonderful) terrain. 3.5 / 5 7. Sand Of Time begins like a new AP track that's strong, gripping, and dark. The artist balances intense with harmonious synths (add atmosphere) beautifully. Act 1 [0:00 to 3:30] is excellent! Oddly, the segment from 3:31 to 4:23 was a bit empty and bland, like a typical way to transition via remove layers until something else arrives. I get that its purpose is to allow us to breathe, but give us something interesting to sink our minds into! The Ambient/Goa-influenced interlude that follows [4:24 to 5:15] is wonderful, coupled with warm atmosphere, voice effects, and more. It's an eventful, stand-out moment on the album. Now I have TWO THOUGHTS on what comes next. ONE: The hymns (stepping up and down in arrangement) sound typical and take away from the fantasy vibe, and climax via 5:17 forward is too formulaic and bland, as if the artist was trying to cater to the more general crowd. I've heard mainstream Trance climaxes like these hundreds of times (It's not why I listen to Goa music). TWO: Act 2 set the uplifting climax up nicely despite it sounding a bit similar (bland?) and safe, but it works for the general crowd. The hymn key changes aren't bad. They add an ethereal touch to the dance-friendly finale despite the more mainstream friendly (conventional) approach sounding less impressive, ambitious, and imaginative than I would have liked. This is a tough one to score. I loved everything up until the segment starting at 5:17 where the song's structure and direction took the easy way out. Nice atmosphere! 4 / 5 8. Sunrise is a beautiful morning sunrise track. Not only that-- it's full of life, hope, electricity (passion/drive), and inspiration. I love the sound/melody work in the first act, combining beauty with momentum, determination. The band of melodies at 2:00 is strong, accentuated with atmosphere, ambient, etc., and a bouncy, delectable Goa tune. There's a cool effect at 3:17. The band of melodies exit for new growth and the music climbs. Nicely balancing high with low sounds, the vehicle reaches an island (interlude) around the fifth minute, allowing us to catch our breath before a quick climb to-- an amazing, kinetic, adrenaline-searing climax across the fifth and sixth minute. Wow! To top it off, the song is accentuated with complimentary leads across the last act. The song puts a smile on my face. I love it!!! Thank you (to artist) for pushing the energy envelope, feels, and creativity, and for not settling for something conventional and formulaic sounding! This is an outstanding morning/Goa sunrise track! 5 / 5 9. The Constellation Of Aries a strong, gripping and electric first few minutes that pad this thing as the [level design] crescendo of sounds begins to form, doubling and tripling like a tidal wave collecting energy until exploding into a monster climax! The ocean calms down for act 2, keeping the moving atmosphere in tact as new synths take shape. This is a great part, alleviating (swishing up) the big arc and allowing us to return to the groovy, acid, sexy even melodies that kicked things off. We arrive at a brief transition in the fifth minute before this fiery ball of ethereal energy begins to rebuild-- this time acquiring angelic energy packets, melodies along the way until this enormous rainbow climaxes again-- this climax is complimented with sustained leads. It's beautiful!!! This is going to be another huge track on dance floors. It's loaded with energy, positive vibes, heart, and spirit. 4.75 / 5 CONCLUSON Constellation is a high energy, high quality cosmic [neo] Goa album that is clearly inspired by [but does not emulate] AP's Dancing Galaxy and Another World-- but different and for our time now. It's very dance friendly, climactic, and ascensional sounding at times. Suntrip is expanding their types of Goa Trance which is nice to see! The album showcases attractive sound/melody work, atmosphere, and some of the best climaxes I've heard in quite some time, e.g., On the Edge, Sunrise, The Constellation of Aries. The opening track doesn't do justice to how good the album is, but I suppose the intent was to start off the album with a friendlier (for wider, more general audiences) track before the more cosmic journey that awaits. That said, there were a few times where I felt more variety, development, and evolution would have been amazing. Pandora's Box for instance runs out of steam halfway through and never recovers. Furthermore, Sands of Time, though infectiously AP-inspired, settles for a conventional climax approach in the last act that arguably took away from an otherwise great (less conventional) chapter. Lastly, sometimes the key changes enrich the music while a few other times, I felt that they made the music feel a little more conventional. These issues might not be everyone's and the pros outweigh the cons for me. Constellation is Suntrip's most accessible, mainstream-friendly Goa album to date IMO. I get that not every album has to sound so daringly out-of-the-box-- Hallucinogen, Pleiadians, Cosmosis, etc., to be satisfying. That said, the few bland/formulaic segments (at times) took away from an otherwise super [neo] Full On (non-stop like AP dance friendly) Goa album. The artist proves that In the Depth of Space was no fluke, just as he did with Life Line on Suntrip's The 50th Parallel. The album is a treat for fans of melodic Goa-trance. This is a visionary, cosmic ride full of great work, and is one of Suntrip's best releases. The cover and overall art is very pretty too! HIGHLIGHTS MISSION ADEPT (!), IT IS NOT POSSIBLE (!!!), INFINITE SPACE (!!), ON THE EDGE (!!!), SANDS OF TIME (!!), SUNRISE (!!!), THE CONSTELLATION OF ARIES (!!) 4.5 / 5 Samples / Buy https://www.suntriprecords.com/release/cat/SUNCD56/ https://suntriprecords.bandcamp.com/album/median-project-constellation
  7. Wow what an album! Yes! And YES!!!! It's even better than when I heard it last several months ago (posted above). How the shit?! Finally someone new grasps what we love about Goa and totally reimagined some of the best elements. A LOT of them! This album is sooooooo good. I've rarely felt this way since writing reviews as a teenager. It's the ANSWER to what's been missing from a lot of Goa now days: HEART, FIRE, & SPIRIT. People put a ton of MIND into art, but not always spirit. Spirit is more expansive; you're in the zone, channeling fluidly, ever connected and yet free to intuit/engage at a mere desire or thought. You've expanded beyond this frequency of consciousness and in tune with something greater-- more expansive and in relation to your experience, more consciously aware. Your desire is your experience with other energy that desires to experience that too - 4th dimensional, 5th dimensional, etc (like attracts like faster with higher/lighter density so raising our vibration by evolving to the positive/Stay Whole, mindfulness, empathy, LOVE). I'm not saying the album is 5D, ha!, rather it tapped into something deeper and more expansive, probably 4th density is all I'm saying (which is inspired by the 5th ) God bless this album with awesomeness forever! It sounds like a wildly inventive Goa classic with new production values. I don't just love it. I'm in awe. Every track-- EVERY TRACK IS DOPE AS F$#K. How the?!.. Even Filteria often has ONE track I don't care for. Here I'm high on Goa fever. Just track 2... that dark, magnetic vibe in the first minute. Then that's matched and/or topped a hundred-plus times on the album. Listen to this on a good pair of ear buds or sound system. Every track isn't just strong IMO-- It has an infectious YES!!!!! PURE Goa sound. It's magnetic, mystical, magical. The album is beautifully designed. Rarely am I so hooked with every track back-to-back as I am here. At least I feel that way upon returning and listening to the album as one full story. Every track compliments the one before and after it. The artist understands visionary, imaginative concepts, development AND evolution. Not only that, he understands and respects the "art" of Goa Trance-- the storytelling, the spiritual/transdimensional (magical, higher vibrational) aspects. He clearly shares marbles (conscious aspects) with us and Goa similar to Peter Jackson's ability to intuit/guide-- become the cinematic vision for Lord of the Rings (trilogy). I'm impressed with the ambitious, elaborate, and beautiful work consistently throughout. The album delivers with intuitive sound/melody work, mixing, HEART+FIRE+SPIRIT imagination and direction. I hope the artist is [as] inspired to make a sequel. Go with whether you're inspired (heart+mind). This album is like kid-excitement all over again. It's fun and playful, yet edgy, traveling, and OUTSTANDING from start to finish. Eurythmia is one of the most definitive sounding Goa albums to date to define [PURE] New Old School Goa Trance. Seraph! Lemmiwinks! Mars! Joske! Where are the old-schoolers on these forums??! They have to hear this!!! DeathPosture?!! Antic604-- Thanks again for bringing people's awareness to this album along with the record label and artist for releasing/creating it. It's like a bucket of gold at the end of the rainbow. 5/5 ... 10/10 ... 100/100... tooooo infinity................. and beyond!!! A = A future classic
  8. Antic-- Thank you so much for the review and everyone else who contributed to this thread. I'm just discovering it now due to the reply count. The album is just something else! If YOU feel that you haven't heard a Goa album that made you feel like a kid again in decades (at least eliciting old if not new memories), press play and roll with it. This MUST be heard on good ear buds, head phones, or sound system. Increase setting's quality to 720p. Full album steam
  9. 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!
  10. 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.
  11. 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!
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. I'm not even a fan of darkpsy and I like this! It's a great album! Very unique, catchy, and underrated!
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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.
  19. 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
  20. 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 !!!!
  21. Sundial Aeon's SYMBOSIS album is beautiful!!!!! I always miss some of the best DOWNTEMPO albums until the "Best of" thread appears!
  22. Jon Cocco

    MFG - The Prophecy

    ILLUMINATION!!!!!!!
  23. I'm hearing this full album TODAY for the first time and to my surprise, it's actually not terrible. There is a singing track late in the album that made me almost jump through the window, and before that I was tempted to slash my wrists once or twice. Past that however, there may be hope. This is the most old-school sounding IM style album I've heard by them since maybe B.P. Empire... (!!!) Of course it's no B.P., Classical, or Gathering. The GOA isn't there anymore. But COMPARED to the ASHIT we've gotten from them for the last 1-2 decades AND in relation to being a stand-alone PSY-influenced electronic album, it's pretty good! Hmmm.. I guess that's what happens when you mix cocaine with LSD and some sativa weed. There were shrooms in there too, somewhere, I think. I just---- Fuck me. What year is it?
  24. It's been five years since Nemesis (2014) and after reading some talk of a potential retirement from Goatrance, some of us wondered if Emmanuel Carpus would ever release a Goa album again. E-Mantra's debut album, Arcana (2009) emphasized strong atmosphere, soundscapes, and moving textures. The other worldly tracks were praised by many, while others felt that the album lacked leads. The artist's second Goa album, Pathfinder (2011) was more mainstream friendly in that it incorporated a greater emphasis on leads, melodies, buildups, and climax. It was a solid release but lost some appeal due to sounding more conventional in some ways while lacking super songs. E-Mantra's third album, Nemesis (2014) combined strong atmosphere and moving texture/soundscapes with synth leads. The album was more imaginative, ambitious, and intricately layered than Pathfinder, though not as alluring or atmospheric as Arcana. Certain songs sounded a bit too cluttered with higher pitched synths while others, e.g., Ayahuasca, Orphic Hymn, Shae Nab (vs Suufi Astrolab) were refreshingly great! Which brings us to Stapanii Timpului (2018)-- 1. Rusalka -- With a running time of 7:20, the song never overstays its welcome. Unlike some of the artist's work in the past, this doesn't linger in a wall of soundscapes. Combining Psytrance with Goa-- the song cuts through various segments of terrain, engaging our interest. The build up at 2:50 progresses the storytelling aspect of the track, thanks to an Eastern-Indian synth that is enhanced by a strengthened baseline synth. Wave after wave, the song remains interesting and dynamic to some degree. For a stand alone track however, Rusalka sounds fairly minor to me. Fortunately, its approach is surprisingly punchy, energetic, and varied enough to keep my interest throughout, and to be fair, this is just the opening on an album by an artist who seldom reveals his best tracks right away. A- 2. Ghosts in the Mist opens with evocative ambience, as if something paramount is about to begin. The song is more immersive and Goa influenced than Rusalka. The synths in the first act are sleek, albeit simple along with the overall sound design. They're accentuated with echoes, like vehicle lights blurring by at night. A sense of purpose begins as we progress into the second act. A sustained hum arrives in the fifth minute, adding character. It's here that the song evolves into something more delectable and arresting. There's a sweet little buildup effect at 6:30, increasing the energy of the music and opening the door to the finale. Like a futuristic city, we enter a technologic band of sound. The last act is intelligently rhythmic, meticulous, fluid, and driving. The artist continuously evolves the music with supporting synths, soundscapes, alterations, and a subtle layer of moving atmosphere. The first few times I heard this song, I didn't know what to think of it due to all of the elements. The song never feels overstuffed IMO, nor is it dependent on one star synth that at times reduces the sense of feeling immersed in the world created. Rather than building up to a sensationalized climax, the artist rewards listeners with what I'd describe as a climax with brains. Although I enjoyed the opening track and consider it a part of the whole (album story), I consider this the first chapter in the more visionary Goa storytelling aspect arc of the album. A- 3. Ravenmocker -- The first act is fairly atmospheric, producing a fantasy vibe at 0:13. That said, the first two minutes sound like typical E-Mantra to me, with minimal arrangement and development. The song could have been contrived, repetitive, and forgettable, but it aims to improve. The music fades and at 2:45, a transition takes us to deeper into more interesting waters. Act 2 begins at 3:09. It's catchy, more focused in direction, and at 3:44, I'm more into the music and less concerned with the song's direction as I was in Act 1. A nice buildup to 4:47 encourages more cohesive and fresh growth and sound/melody work rather than keeping the song floaty/boring. Moreover, Act 2+3 are great, both complimented and improving over each with smart transitions, topped with the one at 7:00 that takes us into deeper into the sea of sounds. No longer does each act sound like one big swimming pool of swirling sounds to the degree I have trouble distinguishing if the song is getting better. Although a bit more linear than some of the others, I like the more cohesive melodic direction here. Here's a track that would be fun on dance floors while not sounding commercial cookie cutter in any way! The overall song is great and showcases character (characteristics) both colorful and fun! B+ / A- 4. E-Mantra - At The Foothills Of Kogaion is another characteristic track. It begins with a robot-esque sound that somehow works, and gives us something to hook on to. I'm happy to see the artist experimenting with fresh sounds that add character and enhance the songs with something different. The energetic melodies that join the robot accent are strong. The first half is fairly simple (too simple? Just right? I go back and forth) but catchy, and the tornado surging effect at 3:42 is awesome. In the past, I felt that parts of E-Mantra songs (not all but many) sat with melodies swimming and swirling around for too long. It slowed down the excitement of the songs at times, making them feel arguably aimless or less clarified and sure of itself. But not here. Once we break out of the first act, this thing moves! The music is charged, tight, and carefully constructed to avoid shortcomings. The repetitive -- in a good way, robot synth compliments the world created around it. It disappears in the last act (smart, not overused). We reach a transition that moves us forward. What follows, the finale is fluid, engaging, and full of life. The sparkling synth selected is superb, lifting the song higher. I love it! Our little robot friend returns, jumping in the mix and it works. This is another memorable, fluid, and engaging number. A- 5. Typhon's Wrath continues the characteristic/accent approach with a big, angry-- Death Star WAR of an approach. Wow this is dark! The music begins with a literal Darth Vader-esque accent. At first I didn't like it but its grown on me and is thankfully not overused. The deep, dark breathing conveys a sense of hostility and tension in an intergalactic fight for survival. Some have labeled this apocalyptic and I wouldn't argue that. The synth work is sleek, intense, and captivating. We move through each of its three chapter acts like a Sci-Fi film. The BLACK HOLE of a track showcases gripping synths, leads, and complimentary supporting sounds-- all while developing and the tension almost rarely ever lets up! A brief but sweet little beeping melody [accent] at 5:35 provides a boost of adrenaline to the high octane vibe, ride, descent into intellectualized chaos. I love the energetic "synth" boosts that add to the adrenaline feel. It may not be everyone's cup of tea (this thing is dark as b@lls!) but the artist IMHO nailed it! Well done! A- / A 6. E-Mantra - Rise Of The Dacians starts like something out of Bladerunner 2049. The 1:52 synth is a nice touch (signature sounding) and the crunchy accent at 2:33 compliments. A floaty harmony emerges at 4:15, and this is where the music feels more alive. The first few minutes were darker, and having a more harmonious track after the previous dark megalodon makes sense. A part of me feels that the floaty melodies and arrangement from 4:38 to 5:30 sound basic and uninteresting. That said, they take us to a nice combination at 5:10 which leads us to tight synths at 5:38. The last act grows tastier and surprisingly climactic! My favourite part is from when the 6:50 synth arrives forward. This track really came together by the end! Great track! B+ / A 7. Terp Muronivid Aivlsa returns the album to its edgier, more electric story. This fireball moves through the cosmos with such fluidity and drive. The overall structure, sound design, sound/melody work, arrangement, and direction is fantastic! Synths cut through soundscapes like a cosmic samurai sword slicing stars. I'm not master of hyperbole and don't want to overstate, but this track is crisp, sharp, adventurous, exciting. There's a arcing synth throughout; it's visionary, adding a relentless, almost overture aspect to the song like Juno Reactor, but through the distinct vision of E-Mantra. Thankfully there's no floaty, echoey sounds to take us away from the gripping ride. I consistently feel like we're going somewhere. This track and the overall album has broken free from something holding the artist back (from achieving zippier work) to some degree in the past. This is another favourite for me on the album, and what I consider an album seller. Strong track! A 8. E-Mantra with XOA - Amorok Rising From Black Sea is a dark, crisp, down/mid-tempo influenced Goa number. The beat and mechanical accents are great. I really like this track, and I'm happy to see the artist continuing to experiment, innovate, and release songs reflective of his high standards. Not since Arcana do I recall enjoying a DARK downtempo Goa track by this artist so much, though to be fair he's released some great work on his down/mid-tempo (psy/goa) albums over the years. It took me a few listens to really enjoy this song, as it's very distinct and almost fairly simple in nature. Giving time to revisit tracks (preferably at night with E-Mantra) allows our minds to perceive more so that we better understand and enjoy the music on repeat listens. I imagine others will really like this track too. It's consistently dark and visionary, and most important of all, the song is CATCHY and GRIPPING. This is a wonderful return to form and makes me want to revisit the downtempo tracks on Arcana! A Conclusion Stapanii Timpului not only met but exceeded my expectations. The album does many things that a good sequel should do, and that is build and expand on the world that preceded it, just as Nemesis did with Pathfinder. Often times in the past, I felt that the artist's work was too floaty and echoey, with melodies arriving (already developed); the music to me (at times, back then I felt) lacked drive and direction. That's not an issue this time around. As the album progresses, the songs grow sleeker, more visionary and infectious to varying degrees. Stapanii Timpului continues to break away from the swirling, echoey tracks. It focuses more on the intriguing synth-driven terrain coupled with moving soundscapes and atmosphere. It's no Arcana, but then again nothing will ever be, and quite frankly I find the overall synth (sound/melody) work in this release to be the most varied of all the E-Mantra albums, making for an engaging, imaginative, and fun ride. Stapanii Timpului builds on E-Mantra's more determined and exciting sound. The production design sounds clearer, more crisp than ever, and the melodies (when they arrive) sound more flavorful. I enjoy listening to the album from start to finish over Nemesis, in part due to a similar synth in many of the tracks. Something about the music on Stapanii Timpului feels more a little more flexible, fluid at times and dynamic. The songs are better paced. The song's are never overcrowded, though the first acts in a couple could have been a little more interesting, e.g., Track 2.. I love the edgier, more determined synth work that [to an upgraded degree IMO] began on Nemesis (2014), the infectious bands, the increase in flavorful melodies (hitting when least expected), and the overall structuring, mixing, sound selection, accents, pacing, and direction, despite some taking time to grow on me and warming up to Track 7 right away. Constructive Criticisms + Closing Words There could have been a few more surprises. Also Track 6 in context of storytelling, could have dropped the floaty, echoey melodies, e.g., 5:11 for catchier, punchier ones reflecting the less dark aspects. I don't want to come across as a dictator with what sounds the artist uses, as this is his vision. I'm just trying to discourage anything that's less captivating considering all of the progress he has made as one of the top, most underrated and talented producers in electronic music. Last but not least, I feel that the melodies at times could have been more memorable in arrangement and song, tune. I was critical of Morphic Resonance album, Perplexity for the same thing. I'm referring to melodies via tunes as are on some of our favourite Goa songs that have been more memorable, stuck in our heads, so to speak. As far as the length goes, almost 70 minutes without any fillers to me is great. We've gotten used to Goa albums pushing 80 minutes but it's really unnecessary here IMO, as I'll take quality over quantity almost any day of the week. Oh, and what a cool little cover. Nice artwork! All in all, this is one of the best Goa albums (personally it's my favourite to date) in 2018. Some of the artist's best work is on his main albums and this is no exception, as it showcases some fantastic work, no fillers (well duh! it's E-Mantra). The artist continues to upgrade, refine, and improve in various ways since Nemesis (2014), resulting in another high quality release in the genre of Goa Trance. Highly Recommend!! Favorite tracks: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8 Score: 4.5 / 5 Samples / Order https://suntriprecords.com/release/cat/SUNCD51/ https://suntriprecords.bandcamp.com/album/stapanii-timpului
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