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Jon Cocco

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  1. Xenomorph - Netherverse (2024)
    Suntrip Records 

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    1.  Sinister Contours
    2. Dying Sun (Sol Aeternus Mix)
    3. War In Heaven
    4. Negative Time (-L Di/-Dt Mix)
    5. No Beginning No End
    6. Nebula Of Souls
    7. Subdimensional Anomaly
    8. Abode Of The Damned
    9. Netherverse

    It's so interesting to read the comments here. I found the the Negative Time EP (2023) fairly monotonous, lacking the visceral, dynamic energy of Mark Petrick's previous albums. A brief recap, Cassandra's Nightmare (1998) was like Goa chapters in a horror film. It took risks and showcased a new approach to Goa. Qlippoth (2003) was more mature and provocative. Demagoguery of the Obscurants (2007) was a concept album reflecting the uncompromising, tragic [old world] vision of the elites (the dark ones via cabal) phases ending with Nuclear Winter. Years later, Xenomorph singles began appearing on Suntrip comps. Petrick's style was more contemporary, less hard edged, technical, more melodic and smooth. It was with Suntrip that I felt something powerful, raw, daring, and organic just did not cross-over that made this artist so brazen, unrestrained, and impressive. Fast forward to Netherworld (2024), the first main album by Xenomorph in 17 years.

    1.  Sinister Contours starts with strong atmosphere and a solid beat. The synths and samples are catchy, dark (not heavy dark) fun and danceable. The gritty synths in the third minute are catchy too, coupled with tight mixing despite the fairly simple sound design. The second act transitions at 4:15. Little soundscapes fly by as we catch our breath. An oriental synth arrives at 5:53, coupled with supporting synths, darker samples, a throbbing bass line. These elements are good! I like the ice cold ambient at 6:05. By this point however, the oriental sound design has grown repetitive as it crossed the sixth minute. The first two acts were substantially more interesting, fun, arresting, dynamically mixed, and punchy. The last act is too repetitive, as if stuck on a tape loop until breaking out at 7:48 that sounds better before falling prey to the same issue. The third act deserved to be exciting, punchy, developed, fun, and memorable, as any third act should compliment the first two, but it comes across as lazy and pales in comparison, as if the artist threw in the towel, and that's disappointing. I was really into this song beforehand and thought it was good/great, darkly sleek, fun, and danceable despite the simple beat, bass line, and more mainstream-friendly (without being commercial thankfully) sound programming. The song inspired me to listen to the opening track, Prognosis on Demagoguery of the Obscurants (2007), confirming that this artist can produce some of the strongest tracks from start to finish when he commits his mind to doing so.  B-

    2.  Dying Sun (Sol Aeternus Mix) is MUCH BETTER than Sinister Contours IMO, and my top, if not one of my top favourites here. I LOVE the ominous opening, the raspy samples (that somehow work with the), atmosphere and synths. I LOVE the space astronaut sound accent effects (end of first minute), and the sound/melody work is excellent. The song gets richer, more tasty and delectable as it progresses. This is a great example of duality, rather than pure dark-evil-- combining darkness with light. Then a key change at 3:30, and the song does possibly the most beautiful, transformational thing I've ever heard from this artist to date, completely elevating the journey into cosmic, transcendental realms of growth and development before sliding back into the dangerous void. Sure the beat and baseline are pretty standard, and I'm okay with that. It's everything on top of it that's riveting and so unexpectedly strong, evocative, and enjoyable! This (more balanced in duality) song is so innovative, catchy, and welcome from what I'm used to hearing from this artist. It's less hard hitting (beat-wise, synths, grit) than his other songs, and I'm okay with that. Even a transition in the fifth minute gifts us more jewels via sound/melody work. Maybe the second half of the last act could have emphasized more edgier synths, but I'm nitpicking. This is such a well done song. It's imaginative and beautifully helmed from start to finish. Excellent track!  A-

    3. War In Heaven is a return to harder hitting, darker content with catchy sound/melody designs. This is closer to what I thought the opening track was going to be like from start to finish. I notice some cross-over sounds that remind me of  Demagoguery Of the Obscurants (2007) which I love. The sound/melody work is crisp and energetic, though somewhat simple in arrangement, complimented by voice samples and plenty to engage my mind. The music improves as the song progresses. I love the blinking little synth effect at 4:03 (I wish that reprised just once more later) and how a voice sample transitions to catchier terrain. This has punchy (danceable) synths, and I love the little dynamic sound/progression at 5:12. I'm a sucker for catchy transitions to new surprises, sound/melody work, mixing. The contemporary meets nostalgic sound compliments. The last act brings everything together like a dark albeit less dark (than previous albums) approach coupled with melodies had A Nightmare on Elm Street had a Goa song. That said, I feel as if the music is just a bit restrained in power, rawness, grit, and delivery, as if the artist is fairly reserved to unleash his greater potential via fiery power. All in all, I enjoyed the smooth, fluid production, sound engineering, and delivery. Great track!  B+

    4. Negative Time (-L Di/-Dt Mix) starts strong. We get a synth lead that breaks through like a tidal wave (beautiful effect) at 0:57 followed by more complexity. The first act is catchy, though repetition starts to sink in just before things shift at 2:40. We reach an interlude at 3:30 via voice sample that sounds like Lance Henriksen in one of his intriguing character roles. I like how the tone grow darker in the fifth minute. The song's synths remind me of the third album to some degree. The third act merges fresh ideas, good mixing and melodies. The end of the sixth into seventh minute features key changes, however they (here) combined with the sound design (arrangement) made the song feel more conventional and formulaic. But that's not make or break despite the song losing its sharp edge in the final moments. Nonetheless, I admire the dualistic rather than being dark-evil approach. I think there could have been more of a finale (edgy climax) towards the end. Otherwise, another great track!  B+

    5.  No Beginning No End starts promising, for about a minute. The dark tone is decent along with the sound at 1:03, though the synth at 1:30 wears thin along with the second and third minute. The synths around 3:33 is catchy via grittier (something this album lacks), but it's quickly discarded for a more conventional approach going forward, and this is where I start to lose interest. The predictable, redundant sound design builds up before climaxing into a conventional, repetitive, and uneventful final act. This song began with so much potential. Even its title sounds dark and intriguing, but the direction is generic (formulaic), redundant, and forgettable. More fire, grit, variety, complexity, kickass stomping energy and complexity, atmosphere, and just a better more contextualized song to the album would have been wonderful. And is it me or does this feel and sound rushed? The more I listen to it, the less I like it, and the more turned off I am. This artist is way too talented to release stuff bordering on selling out.  C

    6. Nebula Of Souls starts great like a dark fantasy. I like the atmosphere, enchanting sounds and synths. The first act builds nicely. Little squiggly sounds mingle with soundscapes in ice-cold moving atmosphere. There's a recurrent synth that works. It grows delectably grittier, rougher, more aggressive, and less restrained as the song progresses. That said, the song follows one set path, direction, and conceptually, is pretty one-dimensional. But it packs some of that rough edged rawness I miss. Again though, the structure and sound design grows repetitive, albeit more powerful and emphasized, and I feel like we needed this... something with more visceral and aggressive. Why not add this intensity to a more dynamic, varied, and elaborate storytelling chapter? Doing so could have produced an album selling super song. In Act 3 the synths fall to the back as slow ambient notes carry this across the finish line, and while I appreciate the change, I feel like this was an opportunity to incorporate something more exciting and revelatory to spruce up the finale which otherwise feels somewhat melancholy and anti-climactic, especially after the welcome, harder edged albeit predictable structure/drection.  B

    7. Subdimensional Anomaly opens with soft ambient, inviting us into the ominous fold. The bass line stands out for once. I like the evocative feel, synths, and key changes, especially the lead synth in the second minute that's accentuated by soundscapes, following a voice sample, stronger energy. Now we're gliding across the dark terrain, though a little more involvement via arrangement (sound programming) would have spiced up the forth minute. The song's second half maintains the catchy synths, combining fresh touches, samples, and punchy synths that remind of Mark's third album that works well here. The ambient notes compliment the last act, reflecting sadness and contemplation. The second half of Act 3 however could have incorporated more spice, intrigue, and development like the song's first two acts. That said, I admire the artist's more pensive direction.   

    8. Abode Of The Damned as with Dying Sun (Sol Aeternus Mix) showcases stronger storytelling throughout. The first act builds intrigue, acknowledging the underworld (the Great Below) conveniently excluded from modern academia, as it does not fit in with established associations, hence fiction-fantasy / folklore / conspiracy / advanced ancient civilizations, technology, Shiva, Krishna, etc. The first act is dynamic, offering a variety of tighter sound engineering. The second act has more grit and energy, a thumping beat. I love like the tone, evocative feels, gritty synths, distinguishing acts, and voice samples. But the second half of Act 3 could have gone deeper to more magnetic degrees. That said, this is easily one of the best songs on the album, and my favorite song since Dying Sun. Great, excellent work.  B+ / A-

    9. Netherverse is an ambient-influenced downtempo number. The first half... we're floating in space, cold atmosphere. No beat. The eerily intriguing opening works well for the first minute. Not longer as not much happens. A synth arrives in the second minute as I start to grow impatient, hoping things will improve. A slow kick drum enters the third minute. It's okay albeit plodding. Again, I wait for this to turn into a powerful, downtempo gem, but the interlude in the forth minute leads to more of the same. There are some nice notes and key changes in the fifth and sixth minute, but to my surprise and dismay, the song ends soon after-- just when it was starting to get interesting and warm up! I would have loved if the artist developed this into a more memorable downtempo gem, condensing the best of the three acts (cold atmospheric-ambient opening, beat, notes, key changes) into the song's first half, before diving deeper into memorable greatness in the song's second half. Act 3 felt like it should have been Act 2 in story so that we can enjoy the feels develop into something more developed narratively, structurally, and more substantial, satisfying, and whole. I like the pleasant feels. Unfortunately, the song feels underwritten, underdeveloped with ideas and execution, and underwhelming. I was left wanting more, and should never feel indifferent or disappointed at the end of a Xenomorph album, especially after 17 years. Furthermore, this is the album's title track. You'd think it would be more memorable and sublime.  C+

    CONCLUSION

    So few dark Goa albums release now days that I want to savor what I like here until something better comes along. Its been 17 years since the last Xenomorph album. Mark's work has grown more contemporary via Suntrip comps. If you like this style coupled with some cross-over elements from his third album, you'll probably like this. I like it more than his work on Suntrip comps and find numerous tracks ( 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 ) enjoyable, good and occasionally great.

    Constructive criticism and feedback: Let's get this out of the way since I like this artist and album enough to end on a positive note. This 4th album by one of my favourite artists did not exceed my expectations like his last two albums. Tracks 5 and 9 feel like write offs. They're underwhelming. There are a some repetitive segments in Sinister Contours among a few other songs that could have been tightened up, as mentioned above. These moments upset an otherwise fun song, though dance floors are generally more forgiving. The overall album is less ambitious, less technical, less dynamic, less hard-hitting, less punctuated, less involved, provocative and unpredictable, less gritty, explosive, powerful, daring, and risk-taking, and less advanced via mixing/sound programming-- his third, more industrial Psytrance album really impressed me outside of the polarizing four songs with vocals. His previous albums felt more organic, unconventional, determined, raw, gritty, rough, chaotic, and unrestrained, and I miss that-- the magnetic, technical wizardry, moments of dark surrealism, build up, climax, awe, inspiration, innovation, evolutionary developments (at times), and complexity. I was listening to his third album this week, noticing how even the second half of its third acts improve, growing edgier, more engrossing in the last two minutes. His sound engineering and how far he took things in the third album was amazing. That's not the case here regarding the second half of the third acts that feel similar (a bit repetitive) to the first half of the third acts. The more mainstream friendly approach often works when it's not conventional or repetitive, but also (at times) feels like more Xeno-lite (not to be misinterpreted with light). I would have loved more complexity, catchy developmental arrangements, advanced mixing, sound designs, atmosphere, variety in baselines, beats, textures, details, accents, and a great closing song that doesn't wait for the second half to grow interesting before ending soon after. 

    The good news is that Netherworld (2024) features a healthy amount of good and great songs. It's smooth, very melodic (at times), danceable, and easy to digest. It combines light and dark well via dualistic sound/melody designs. There is some atmosphere (great when present). Dying Sun (Sol Aeternus Mix) impressed me the most (my wife's favourite song), followed by Abode Of The Damned, Negative Time, and War In Heaven. These songs feature some really catchy synth work, mixing, dynamics via developments, and direction, and that's no knock against tracks 6 and 7 that are entertaining more or less. Even the first song is reasonably solid, though less memorable which leaves only two songs I didn't care for. I like that Mark Petrick's style isn't saturated in bleak, nihilistic dark/evil like his previous albums. Times have changed. We evolve. Well some of us anyway. The praise: "work smarter, not harder" probably makes more sense after 17 years, but how can one not compare the 4th album to the last two considering how top tier-- Qlippoth (2003) and Demagoguery of the Obscurants (2007) represent some of the best dark Psy/Goatrance albums ever released. This artist set the bar so high that not even he can top it. My suggestion is to give this a couple listens and decide for yourself. I like to listen to an album enough to identify the songs by titles, for them to form an identity in my mind like characters in a story, each it's own creative world, but that's me. One way of seeing it... we could have NOT gotten a forth album at all, and now we have something to talk about, which at least brings more energy to the forums! Also, thank you Mark Petrick and Suntrip Records for making a new Xenomorph album happen after all these years. While far from what I consider superb, there IS some superb work here, and plenty solid work in general for me to enjoy. Cheers!

    Favourites - 2, 3, 4, 6, 8

    Least favourites - 5, 9 ... the latter could have been so much more satisfying and engaging with more time in development, and the album is more deserving than having formulaic fillers like track 5.

    B

    Stream the full album on Suntrip's YouTube :)

     

    • Thanks 1
  2. I LOVE that they returned to what we LOVE (their first 3 albums) and updated some of their best songs with contemporary remixes, beautiful sound/melody work, and no singing that distracts and robs the music of its fun, visionary, and imaginative feel, essence and divinity.

    This is one of the biggest, most positive album surprises from IM since.. I don't know. It's been decades. When you do something that turns people off so many times, people lose interest and can overlook or arrive late to something special. In this case, a re-invigoration of old-stool translated to new-skool Goa-Trance greatness! 

    This REMIX ALBUM has numerous songs and moments of pure magic and beauty, fire, heart, and spirit = GOA TRANCE  😍❤️

    As always, some remixes stand out more than others. I'm not placing this above their first three albums and everyone has an opinion. That said...

    Praying this is a sign for something wonderful to come, such as a brand new PURE Goa album with all new musical masterpieces in follow up to their first three albums. REBORN is a huge step in a positive direction either way.

    • Like 2
  3. I found this EP a bit monotonous and lackluster, though I like how the songs begin. The good news--

    The fourth Xenomorph album Netherworld (2024) is better comparatively speaking IMO. The edgier it gets, the catchier it gets. I love the sound/melody work in Dying Sun (Sol Aeternus Mix), the higher energy in War In Heaven and Negative Time, the grittier synths in Nebula of Souls, etc. The album's NOT what I'd describe as evil-dark or as potently dark as his earlier albums, and that's fine with me because that other stuff was extremely dark and I no longer enjoy the potency of hearing such heavy dark music as much anymore. Here, the artist incorporates more duality via light/dark (easier to digest) rather than the EVIL/DARK all-the-time approach associated with earlier albums. There's still plenty of dark elements, synths, intros, samples, atmosphere, etc. Implementing more color or light (hope) in the darkness was somehow achieved while never being cheesy or soft.

    That said, I feel like Netherworld along with this EP's style could have fleshed the songs out more, showcasing greater depth, development and structure like his previous albums, more storytelling details, plot, and changes, more dynamic and powerful moments. The work invested at times feels a little under developed (less involved, rich, textured, and evolving) compared to the impressive heights of his first three albums to some degree. I still enjoy the songs though despite some shortcomings. That said--

    It's great to see this talented artist back with a new album after 17 years! 

    I don't want to distract from this thread talking about Netherworld (deserves a review thread) so I'll stop here. Hoping someone gets inspired to open a review thread on Netherworld now that it's released, at least on Suntrip's Youtube page. :)

  4. Qlippoth is one of the strongest dark Psy/Goa albums of all time.

    On a side note, one day our experience will be more heavenly, and I look forward to that in ways that are positive. Freewill allows us (as souls having so-called human experiences, really in consciousness) to explore expressions a la projections via manifestations of duality, lower dimensions (inspiring Qlippoth for instance) in which there are four according to Buddhism. Love is Oneness. Separation comes from fear > trauma via cause and effect. There are paradigms of consciousness significantly darker than ours (that inspire darkness on our surface As Above, So Below -- and So Below, As Above via hermetics and the occult) that I have remote viewed and at one point turned back as it was painful and could have led to fragmentation (starting with becoming paralyzed with fear/trauma before empowering my consciousness with affirmative words that resonates higher vibration, thus turning fear into empowerment). This experience inspired me to read about soul fragmentation and negative polarization (reason for the Greys among other lower vibrational races such as the deros, etc.) which happened to many souls in the lower realms. These lower vibrational / frequency spaces in consciousness have the potential to negatively polarize one, if one chooses to stay and identify in such spaces for too long [when remote viewing]. The more aware dark ones sense / feel ones presence as ones vibration drops. Numerous people in another instance have gotten trapped playing the Elevator Game, or various other practices associated with the [dark] occult via secret knowledge. So be MINDFUL. I can say with certainty that these spaces exist relative to the projected dualistic manifestations (lower worlds). In the Great Below (there are literal lower vibrational spaces within our Earth along with higher vibrational ones perplexing physicists) seem to last forever, but nothing lasts forever via separation, fear. It is a soul's choice to explore higher/lower realms. Untangle from the illusion through infinite patience, love, acceptance, forgiveness, faith (over fear) regardless if one is spiritual, religious, or neither IMO.  That said, because some of our minds collectively find this fascinating, these places I've remote viewed inspired Silent Hill (though SH was inspired by Hellraiser and Jacob's Ladder, the town of Centrailia close to where I grew up in Pennsylvania, USA, etc.). These inspirational expressions of manifestation including Xenomorph are authentically inspired and in that sense, connected to the lower worlds energetically, that stem from original cause, separation from Oneness, Wholeness, Love/Light. The root of separation / freewill allows for many creative expressions of expanded (and less expansive) consciousness in what appears to be a seemingly infinite amount of dimensions (realities via spaces in consciousness) existing in their respective paradigms (vibrational ranges) simultaneously.

    There exists agape (Unconditional Love/Light), and there exist separation from Unconditional Love/Light via lower dimensional paradigms, frequency ranges associated with dualistic consciousness. These spaces (many people call places) inspire us here and now, as our experiences here and now (generally) inspires our lower versions to overcome the perception of eternal suffering, to forgive, accept our wrongdoings that produce fear and guilt so that we can transcend old ways and behaviors through authentically awakening (expanding/raising our consciousness in ways that are positive and whole). Get off the karmic wheel and into the ascensional spiritual. There is truth to this relative to higher consciousness IMHO, higher truth (or we wouldn't be inspired to talk and write about it in this dimension, we know things go deeper). As with Clive Barker, Stephen King, and many other creative legends of dark content with substance and richness/texture, Mark Petrick (a legend in the world of dark psy/goa and beyond) tapped into something very dark, deep, and awe inspiring. He is a conduit, a channel, more than an artist-- a visionary, creator, probably a pretty cool soul with occult knowledge and awareness (duh!) who sees things more multi-dimensionally than we realized. He nailed the vision of the Elites (dark ones) with his third album, Demagoguery Of The Obscurants (2007). Mark Petrick tunes in, probably with crystals that magnify consciousness. He's aware. He knows. He produces super dark visionary songs and albums with a deeper purpose and meaning. You could argue that Qlippoth is satanic and I'd say, Ya think? We listen to and/or watch dark stuff all the time (inspired by darker spaces that inspire us here) that entertains, inspires, and feeds our minds, bodies, energetic vibration, etc. That doesn't mean someone is inherently or chooses to be evil. I anchor with the music to manifest my expansive/higher version here and now,  but this isn't about me, but the WE. We over me because We are We, one love, one light. We vibe with darkness (in part) because associations trigger deeper (unconscious) associations that we remember as we increase in consciousness and untangle/transcend the lower worlds. Everything is connected. The book, The Disappearance of the Universe by Gary Regard puts this (and so much more) in perspective for those who are spiritually open and stick till the end. Your mind will be blown and you will begin to feel the emergence of your deeper awareness (higher self) coming to the surface over time. But I digress. Just hearing Qlippoth again after so many years inspired this comment.

    The artist's forth album in 17 years (!!!), Netherworld (2024) just hit Suntrip Records.

    Riding this spiritual wave we're on and wishing you all the best!

  5. In the Mouth of Madness is my favourite song on the album. I'm engaged from the opening minute forward. Each act improves on the one before it. There's not an once of fat. Not a moment (like in Track 5 or 7) where I'm taken out of the song due to less-than-stellar choices choices. All in all, a phenomenal song from start to finish. I really like if not  love tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 to this day.

    Not everything is for everyone. That said, the first half of City of Moons (album) impresses me to this as Tandu's Multimood's best 4 songs do if played back-to-back. Also, I love the refreshing, risk-taking approaches with tracks 6 and 8.

    • Like 1
  6. I'm listening to this album for the first time in 2023, and now I see why.

    I skipped it after reading the reviews in 2006. I like the main melody that eventually arrives in Track 1, but the artist is capable of achieving so much more.

    The baselines are generic and repetitive. Hey, all you need is a beat sometimes on the dance floor!

    There's moments (Track 10) where it seems like he's enjoying the creative process (one of the better songs here), but that's few and far between. He places just enough little pay sounds to get away with calling this full on to the pay community, but it's not psychedelic, nor Goa, nor good IMO.

    The best part (for me) was turning this off and listening to one of his OLDER albums full of passion, ingenuity, heart, mind, and soul. 

    • Like 1
  7. Good post!

    I'd love to see the forums flourish too and was surprised to see the shortage of reviews the past 1-3 years. I've been around - busy like many of you.

    It's nice to see the forums are alive! 

    I disappeared in 2022 as energy went to other things-- self-care, surgeries. Editing our last short Indie film I directed. 

    Then it's off to bigger things > https://jamesliakos.com

    And YES, I plan to incorporate GOA in features but I digress.

    I heard the new Morphic Resonance album (better than the second IMO), Filteria (some super tracks though I'm more captivated/impressed with Jannis' third & fourth album comparably speaking), and Khetzal - Examines (2021) I thought was superb, magical, showcasing some of the most beautiful, satisfying (sound/melody work!) Goa songs I've heard in some time. 

    I just came across Chi-A.D.'s lovely 2020's song "Into the Light" and just opened a thread > General Psytrance. Also felt inspired to re-review Virtual Spirit (1997) after returning to CHI-A.D. lately. The artist uploaded virtually every release to her official YouTube page (attached below)

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCk96OhKUo6M0IXAPe7Da4cQ

    Sounds like its been a busy last few years for many of us, with energy going to numerous things as we evolve and grow. At times I feel very tuned in to the flow of the conscious process. 

    It's cool to see many of us are still there. 

    PS: It's okay to post shorter reviews. Do whatever inspires you in ways that are positive!
    Stay safe!
    Cheers :)

    • Like 1
  8. I just discovered this late in May of 2023. It's morning/Sunrise themed Goa, quite trancey. The video's from Chi A.D.'s Official YouTube page. I think it's beautiful. The song has an uplifting, elegant, sexy sunrise morning sound that I love, and the main melody gets stuck in my head. Positive vibes and thankfully not formulaic sounding, yet mainstream friendly in structure that makes it easily accessible to share with friends. I like! 

    Chi-A.D. Official YouTube
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCk96OhKUo6M0IXAPe7Da4cQ

    Jon Cocco aka James' Official Website (TV/FIlm)
    https://jamesliakos.com

    • Like 1
  9. 8 hours ago, technosomy said:

    She seems to be loving playing the old stuff again, check out her latest sets recently in Israel. think we may see some new music in future but more modern style goa 

    Yes!!! Thanks for the head sup! She has an official page on YouTube for us fans called:  Chi-A.D. Music

    YouTube Link:  https://www.youtube.com/@Chi-ADMusic/videos

    One of her new (to me) songs! I love this.. so sexy, chill, elegant. Beautiful sound/melody work. She hasn't lost her touch.

     


  10. o2a4rxz.jpeg.f0728ecc4c83514b6a31c726aa127aac.jpeg

    I was feeling inspired to share more about this debut after listening through Chi-A.D.'s albums lately.

    01. Healing Magic
    02. The Ocean Also Dreams
    03. Astral Warrior
    04. State Of Mind
    05. Serpent's Fire
    06. Inner Energy
    07. Paranormal Activity (Spooky)
    08. Organic Forms
    09. Sacred Vision

    Hats off to this artist for producing some of the most arresting introductions to songs. I just had to get that out of the way. Each song is like a chapter to a bigger, deeper spiritual story and vision about nature, our Earth, us our world collectively, and more. Virtual Spirit was my first Chi-A.D. album. I heard the artist's song Exit Eternity on a compilation and here I am almost 30 years later. IMO Hannah of Chi-A.D. is one of the most talented, imaginative, spiritual, visionary, and ambitious artists working today. I resonated with every album to healthy degrees except for the more full on Eyes of Gaia album that I found thin on magic, mythos, depth, exploratory elements, feels, and the overall free-spirited style and approach (memorable melodies, atmosphere, structures, etc.) we all know and love. Chi-A.D. began, at least for me with--

    01. Healing Magic is one of my favourite Goa songs, and what an interesting (leading us into the mystical) and developed introduction. It does a great job hooking us early on. I love how the artist playfully incorporates edgy snippets of synths early on. Some people mentioned samples being overused at times. I could see that with tracks 2 and the reprisal of the intro voice in Track 3, but I really like the Native American sampling here, as it establishes the earthy, spiritual nature of the album nicely. Moreover, there are numerous segments without them, where the music breaks out and breaths which is great. All three acts are strong, and the variety in energy, transitions, and sound/melody work keeps the chapter interesting and lively. It seems that a lot of work went into this, as it feels meticulously composed and arranged. I love the interludes. I love the dark and light, the tribal and mythical touches, synth work, the Native American sampling (very spiritual), the buildups are fun, the atmosphere, kick drum, baseline, and more. There's so many choices that make up the whole, and I love what the artist achieved. The song is danceable, fun, and has that special old-school something missing from most Goa now days. The atmospheric impact effects catchy too! All these little details add to how attractively entertaining the overall song is. I could have maybe done without a few samples saying "Healing Magic" but I'm nitpicking. This is an excellent song from start to finish.  A

    02. The Ocean Also Dreams used to be my favourite song on the album, and I enjoy it to this day. I first heard it in the 90's when I was getting into New Age music like Enigma and Downtempo / Chill Out. The artist's spirituality and love for the ocean, nature, and aquatic life really shows. The music is more relaxing, floating, and harmonious than the other songs. It's also less pure / Goa heavy and that's okay. The Goa influence grows more noticeably catchier in the second act. I feel that the sample "Whales and dolphins..." repeats a bit more than necessary, and arguably (to me at least) distracts from the beautiful, organic flow of the warm harmony. Nonetheless, the sound/melody work is good, uplifting, full of heart and feels-- a pleasant, unique, and unexpected surprise, strategically placed in-between two more energetic, psychedelic numbers. The slower, emotive approach here may not be everyone's cup of tea, as it deviates in style from Track 1 and is, more or less, the black sheep on the album. I sometimes think the last act could have stood out a little more, but the song is so pleasant. Less is sometimes more. This is a wholesome track breathing with life, love, beauty, balance and harmony.  B

    03. Astral Warrior -- I'll never forget the first time my friend and I put this on, captivated by the song's introduction and sample..."I have seen places that you can only dream of... I have been there..."  The intrigue, allure to this artist's introductions are fantastic. Then the buildup and suddenly BOOM! The song takes off like a race horse, full of energy and excitement, aggressive and danceable! The song could have incorporated more innovative, refreshing development in the second half, as it grows a bit repetitive in ideas and execution by the end. Some positives are the first two acts. In act 2, the interlude coupled with voice sample reignites intrigue before briefly mixing in "I have..." like an accent (cut off- catchy) along with more grit to the synths, new sound/melodies, and substance. The aggressive, dance-friendly approach won me over in the 90's and I enjoy the song to this day, though I feel that the last act runs out of steam and could have used more inventiveness and ingenuity. Still, the song has a energetically cool and badass sound throughout, and I presume the Astral Warrior Remix (superior version according to numerous listeners and myself) was not yet produced since the original inspired it, duh!  B+

    04. State Of Mind continues the storytelling approach with a shorter albeit engaging, warm, and gentle introduction (one of my favourite parts of the song which is often the case with Chi-A.D.). I love how the music begins, the gentle bong-esque sound, kick drum, and Goa sound/melody work. The beat is emphasized with claps. The music grows increasingly danceable, layered, and psychedelic, though the flute or windpipe (whatever type of instrument) softens the energy a bit. The first act is excellent. In act 2 a club-esque synth enters. It's dance-friendly and though a bit typical, works, though it's bit in my face and combined with the flute or wind pipe, I often feel energetically mixed between higher energy and wanting to close my eyes. I feel like the song loses some interest and grows a bit repetitive in ideas and sounds (those opening minutes felt tighter, punchier, tastier to me), past the halfway mark. In that sense, it doesn't stand out to me as Healing Magic and Astral Warrior did, and I'm all for softer, gentler approaches to Goa. In the presence of stillness and stillness of presence is where some of the most wonderful work, clarity, peacefulness, realizations-- consciousness resides, but I digress. There are lots of good ideas throughout this song, and numerous listeners clearly favor, appreciate, and enjoy it more than myself. In my opinion, I feel that it could have been better considering how captivating those first several minutes felt. I just feel that the song's second half is unable to match or elevate how catchy and refreshing the song's first half is. And yet even in the last act, the song continues to showcases tasty/edgy synth work that I love. My challenge has something to do with those two sounds (flutey sound and the club synth) that takes me away from how much I enjoy the rest of it.  B / B+

    05. Serpent's Fire packs more feels, and has an intoxicating (captivating and emotive) opening. It's beautiful, coupled with complimentary sound/melody work. The first act is really special, followed by an interlude that curiously allows opportunity for fresh growth and development (something the artist often takes full advantage of in ways that are positive). The second act maintains the feels, elevating them with higher notes. A second transition showcases edgier synths... buildup, and climax-- the fire part of the song. This part is high energy, psychedelic, stomping, and danceable, though I feel it's overall sound, arrangement, and composition could have complimented the fantasy sounds around it better, as it's execution wise, it's a bit harsh and repetitive in contrast to how gorgeous the sound/melody work is. But I love the idea of incorporating fire and my perspective may be very different if I was on the dancefloor. Still, I love the mystical/fantasy feels, melodies, and warm atmosphere throughout this track.  B+ / A-

    06. Inner Energy is hooks me early on with sci-fi sounds / feels. The mixing is more dynamic in the first act, and the combination of Eastern Indian melodies along with a psychedelically wobbly accent-esque (lower pitched) synch works well early on. For me, the Eastern Indian melodies grow a bit tiresome and redundant as the song progresses. I would have loved more development, possibly in the sci-fi direction. Hearing the more minimal segments showed me what could have led been, leading to more intoxicating terrain. Alas, the artist wasn't inspired to go in that direction. Nonetheless, more complimentary changes and variety would have been nice, as the song's second half sounds fairly similar in ideas to the first. That said, the Eastern Indian melodies are nice and compliment the lower pitched undertones. Moreover, the artist finds ways to improve the music and brings virtually every established sound and melody together into a sweet fusion by the last act. The song simply feels less less memorable, interesting, captivating, and eventful to me, and that's how I felt about State of Mind to some degree.  B

    07. Paranormal Activity (Spooky) has IMO such a great use of an accent-- more naturey in the form (or formless sound) of a tastefully echoed chirpy effect utilized differently throughout the track and while effectively allowing it to take a breather in all the right spots before allowing its freedom more often than not. This works so well. Around it, I find the melody/sound arrangement and composition more memorable. The song's design is full of complimentary ideas and sounds, and pops/stands out because of the accent. Listening to each act feels carefully crafted, choosing when to supply and take a beat (break) from said accents before switching it to the exact variation and timing that feels right. Maybe I just have a sweet spot for catchy/unique accents a la Khetzal, Space Cat, etc., etc. All in all, this is one of the more fun and memorable songs for me. I really like the overall tribally sound, flute, sound/melody work, and chirping bird (whatever that is) that emphasizes the danceable nature of the song that keeps things free, fun, and light.  A-

    08. Organic Forms is the most chill out song here since the second song. It's deeply entrancing and floating in subtle ways and melodic. The mid-tempo ambient and trance with Psy/Goa development deeper in that's excellent, great! You could argue that it's a nice background song and very little happens, and you'd be missing the complimentary state-of-mind and the whole thing. The song is intended I infer, as are all of the chapters here, to fit into the spiritually visionary storytelling whole. Another great track!  B+ / A-

    09. Sacred Vision is a conundrum for me. The first downtempo act is so earthy, beautiful, heartfelt, tribally, conscious aware/wise and mystical. As the song progresses, the second act transitions-- increasing in energy. The buildup is catchy as the song's energy increases, though it increases so much so that we shift into a seemingly less natural uptempo approach with intense and aggressive synth work that seem to underscore and overpower the magical and poignant mastery of the Navajo / Shamanic, downtempo influenced approach. While the second half of Sacred Vision incorporates some others the first half's ingredients, the song's direction becomes so energetically intense, that I feel jarred from the wondrous, uplifting, and spiritual effectiveness of the amazing opening minutes. I would have loved for the song to continue in the downtempo direction. I don't want to speculate on what inspired Sacred Vision to sound less sacred in the second half, for lack of better words. Numerous listeners also seem to have fell in love with the first half, and I think a couple refinements could have brought more joy to the whole. It's challenging for me to rate this because the first chunk of it is no less than a solid A.  B+ A-

    CONCLUSION

    Virtual Spirit is full of passion, beauty, innovation, and imagination from start to finish. There are no bad tracks here. The debut showcases sensitive, emotional, and heartfelt songs and elements, along with numbers carrying fire and intensity. Although I find Anno Domini superior and one of the best sequel albums in Goa Trance, everyone starts somewhere, and for a debut, the pros far outweigh the cons. Every song seems mindfully crafted with love and care. If not for taking risks, we wouldn't have hits like Sacred Healing, Astral Warrior (which naturally inspired the improved remix), the fun dance track Paranormal Activity (Spooky), and more. Naturally, when it comes to songs and albums, we all have our favorites. Not everyone is going to like or love everything.

    That said, my biggest constructive criticism if I were to provide one, is that there are a couple tracks, or parts of tracks (4, 5, 6, 9) where things start off great, except for (at some point) a certain synth, sound, idea, or change in composition and direction that sounds less synergistic to me, from the rest of the track. This is probably most notable in Sacred Vision, a beautiful piece of work that shines brightest in the song's first half. For me this is also apparent in the type of Fire approach a la Serpent's Fire. I love the idea. I just like the execution, e.g., sound selection and arrangement/approach could have sounded more synergistic, complimentary, and satisfying  to the other sounds. The Ocean Also Dreams on the other hand could have used a few less repeating samples IMO. That said, creative freedom is essential, and without it, Chi-A.D. wouldn't have created so many beloved treasures, so I praise the risk-taking, even if some inspire feedback via constructive criticism.

    For me, Chi-A.D.'s music is more than music. It symbolizes, deeper, more expansive, higher consciousness. I consider Chi-A.D. one of the best electronic artists, right up there with Astral Projection, Hallucinogen, Juno Reactor, Pleiadians, Cosmosis, Transwave, MFG, Khetzal, Filteria-- the best of the best. It's so interesting and inspiring to hear how far this artist has evolved since 1997, like ripples in a galaxy, flowing throughout the Universe. Through every choice-- every moment of being and forgiveness allows us to untangle our consciousness from the split / separation-- from the fear and guilt associated with our collective consciousness-- from our falling out with Infinite Creator / unconditional love, IMO, hence duality, the lower realms-- and inspiration to ascend higher-- to be whole again, beyond space and time in ways that are positive. But I digress! Something tells me that we have yet to fully experience and comprehend how deep this all goes regarding spiritual influences and intentions beyond [that inspires] the music. I'm personally, and believe more of us collectively are becoming more conscious-- whatever that means in respect to where we are headed, a higher octave [vibration] of love. Thank you Hanna for producing so much wonderful from your heart and soul over these decades. 

    Highlights: 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, and the first half of 9.

    B+  if I were to grade it, and I'm caring for ratings less and less as I get older because, spiritually speaking ,it just feels so subjective for me to slap a grade on something as if that's the answer when it's subjective. I love you for appreciating my reviews over the years when I had more time and interest writing them (circa 2000 to 2018-ish). How time flies. Pretty soon we'll be living in the 4th dimension (on the way to the 5th), and remember there's truth to everything that's said, so we'll see each other in the expansion for real at some point :)

    Love and light

     

    PS:  Chi-A.D. Official YouTube
    Check out her song Into the Light... just beautiful ... A

     

    • Like 1
  11. Now in 2023+ I feel like we're all-- at least most of us becoming more conscious that many people born male or female (XY / XX) have been feeling a connection and/or dilemma with feeling like the opposite sex, primarily because we have all been boys and girls spiritually for those open to the belief in reincarnation which I'm convinced there is truth too relative to spiritual growth, development, and evolution, so that we can reach higher levels of wholeness, understanding, consciousness (like Infinite Creator experiencing his / her / they / their / our creation) and the manifestation of so-called realities that are really just that-- spaces in consciousness. So let's focus on the higher, more vibrant and expanded consciousness like a lot of music we love that is NOT limited to third density inspiration IMO. 

    We're all conceived with XX chromosomes before birth relative to our sex organs that are later (for males born with genitals) XY chromosome. But we all start off as XX, so the female energy is really inherent in all of us from an earlier state of energetic being (before embryo development) which I find interesting. We all share female energy to some degree. Dave is no longer Dave. Her name is Hannah. This helps me understand the level of female energy (elegance, heart, emotion, beauty) that I absolutely adore in Chi-A.D.'s music. Naturally, those that identify as males can also express elegance, heart, emotion, beauty. I'm simply saying there is a female energy to Chi-A.D.'s music that seems more put in perspective for me now. 

    At the end of the day, I LOVE Chi. A.D. and this spirit who's produced such magical songs. Overflowing with passion from the heart and soul. Anno Domini is a masterpiece that deserves to be experienced in a deeper state.

    An interesting experience I had listening to Anno Domini a while back:

    I fell into a deep trance where my conscious awareness remained intact (presence in stillness). Eyes shut in a dark room, I allowed my body and mind to relax and sink into the music, being completely open and vulnerable... At some point, I was moving without walking, e.g., floating forward, deep, and I mean DEEP (!!!) underground-- subterranean areas with clear blue and green crystals illuminating the dark. Vibrant, brilliant in color and light. Crystals illuminating the dark. LUMINESCENCE  In retrospect, I feel like I was really observing real spaces deeper within our Earth. Fast forward 1-2 decades later. My understanding is that there are places deeper within our world that are not accessible to third density beings, humans, or eyes. We must reach a higher vibrational level and octave in consciousness and love, respectively, in order to experience deeper truths regarding they / them > the advanced conscious beings of Telos, the inner Earth within our Earth, the City of Lights. I mention this in retrospect because I feel like I was remote viewing caverns fairly close to, and just outside of Telos when listening to Anno Domini. And get this. The answer for entry is in us. Our higher consciousness + hearts & higher mind is the key. Music can help unlock blocks in our minds thanks to the heart (love) and mind (imagination), gratitude (attracts reasons to be thankful), forgiveness (let go, make peace), compassion, empathy, mindfulness, and joy. Good attracts good. Wholeness attracts wholeness! Maybe one day we will reincarnate and/or manifest in the New Earth literally, for real. Or when our 3D planet is no longer habitable due to all of the toxins that are vibrationally lowering, maybe at some point we'll feel inspired to return with protection (of our vibrations) and advanced technology to repair 3D Earth so that Earth's surface vibration rises (As Above, So Below) and we can experience a version of Heaven for real, right here on Earth with magical, heavenly sunrise gatherings and more. I'm thinking 4th density. And with increased consciousness we will experience a greater comprehension of light (UV / X-Ray, etc.) so everything will appear more vibrant, crisp, and beautiful in that sense. I intuit the sun via gamma is related to Earth's rising vibration. There's a process / cycle to the awakening as we continue to raise in vibration. My understanding is that humans are just beginning to awaken to deeper truths of who we are and realizations to our reality, Earth, and beyond (it's not what we think it is), but I digress. 

    I wonder if she has interest producing a new PURE GOA (classic style and obviously more contemporary for our time now) album by Suntrip Records? This music is sooo spiritual, beautiful, aware, inspirational, magnetic, danceable, and engaging!

  12. On 12/22/2021 at 9:41 AM, Trance2MoveU said:

    This is an album that you either believe to be a classic foray into psychedelic goa trance or...

    First the classics...Pyramid is a darkly atmospheric track full of liquid toxicity. It bubbles and seethes like an alien parasite searching for its next unwitting host. As great as this track is, I think even it went on too long. V.T.O.L is another moody, alien masterpiece that contains zero dull moments and a kick a** climax. Elektron Bender has a shimmery quality to it and that fluttering arpeggio that has become instantly recognizable. You can actually feel the track inhaling and exhaling during the break. Delicious.

    The rest are decent tracks, good even,  but hardly the stuff of legend. The psychedelic quality is appreciated, but it lacks any evolution and sounds a little dated. Now, if you replace tracks like Skinflint and Chug with say...The Joker from the Boyd in the Void comp and Tribal Sunrise mix from Rumour Records Goa Trance Volume 2 then perhaps this album would deserve a lot of the acclaim it seems to warrant.

    Outside of that, I would say this album could do with some reworks or even remixes by today's artists, like Morphic Resonance, Trinodia, Celestial Intelligence, Cosmic Dimension, Katedra...Now that is something I would gladly pay for.

    Well said, I agree Trance2MoveU :)

    image.jpeg.906b94871ba90fa3832067746c252a7f.jpeg

    My FULLY Re-Written Review (2022)

    Technossomy: Synthetic Flesh
    1997
    FLYING RHINO RECORDS

    Track list:

    01.  Breathe
    02.  Pyramid
    03.  Kozmotron (1 And 2)
    04.  Synthetic Flesh
    05.  Skinflint
    06.  VTOL
    07.  Pleiadian Landing
    08.  Elektron Bender
    09.  Chug

    Oh man, what a mixed bag this album is (at times) with some great and outstanding work!

    01. Breath takes a minute to get going. The first minute sounds awkward to my ears and could have been shorter, or replaced with a more interesting, beat-free intro before the catchier sound/melody work that arrives at 1:04 and 1:16. Once there, we get some actual music, and although this song doesn't come close to the best tracks here, it's one of the more underrated ones IMO. I like the dreamy synths and feels, atmosphere, and emotive approach. Furthermore, the tempo change (to more urgent and energetic) in Act 3 coupled with sound modifications and Goa scapes is the best part IMO. The song feels homogeneously structured, and to be fair is more suited for home listening / exercising, etc., than dance floors.  B / B+

    02. Pyramid is the harder, more aggressive, and psychedelic. The synths and trippy sound work blend well. This is more danceable than Breath which people are bound to like. That said, I don't find the song as stellar as some others, and not to take anything away from what works. My only real constructive criticism is that the song goes on for too long in the last 1-2 minutes and begins to sound like it's spinning its wheels when it should have ended more solidly.  B+

    03. Kozmotron (1 And 2) -- The staccato melodies in Act 1 more or less work and grew repetitive-- It's as if Goa sounds are present without good arrangement or structure. Act 2 see's improvement. After a brief transition around 3:05, the music re-emerges more bouncy and psychedelic, although the arrangement could be better. Thankfully everything improves at 3:57 thanks to catchier mixing and the inclusion of an Eastern/oriental synth a minute later was pleasantly surprising. We reach an interlude. Slow. Intriguing. Here the tempo downshifts. The music grows darker, still psychedelic. It's refreshing from where the first act and quickly grows edgier, more tense with a rattling accent that's quite catchy! Act 3 further develops with a cool key change, fresh synths, and accents to boot. As with Breath, this song's grown on me and gets better as it progresses.  B

    04. Synthetic Flesh ... Tribal drums.  Squeeky psy-sounds. Unique. Some of the PSY sounds I find a too jarring early on. Some will love this TRIPPY approach. I find the first act unenjoyable, but the song really improves around some less than satisfying elements. Act 2 is catchier, more focused and refined until the LOUD ALIEN SYNTH EFFECT takes me out of the music. But the darker, aggressive tone and development that follows along with the buildup and drum change up is very cool. But then that loud alien synth effect returns and ahhhh--- but the song is so psychedelic and kick ass wild and fuck yes in the last act if you can let loose to this sort of thing. I admire the artist and taking risks and it's weird, sometimes I really enjoy this song straight through while other times-- it's all about the energetic state you're in.  B

    05. Skinflint starts promising, interesting early on. We're treated to various brief moments of synths that come and go, but little stays to actually engage and develop! I was starting to enjoy the synth work from 2:27 to 3:20, but then it exits without further growth and is REPLACED with an annoyingly loud sound-- WTF??? Then that hopeful synth from 2:27 returns only to quickly exit. Talk about tedious! A nice melody arrives via 6:48, but leaves us too soon in the dark again. Again, again, again. Why??? Why is this song produced the way it is?! At around 8:03 there is a pretty cool, somewhat promising in the 11th hour fusion of sounds.... that, oh wait, they're gone before I could finish writing this sentence! Talk about an exercise in frustration!  D

    06.  V.T.O.L is comprised of four extremely well crafted parts as if each part is a marvelous tower connected to a cosmic castle (or something). Each with a different design with different leads, moments, mystery, etc. Any one of these parts could have been a complete albeit one-dimensional Goa track. The artists decided to go all out and the result is, consensus wise, their masterpiece! At the end of the forth tower or section, all appears to combine for a 5th (like a secret) part. It's like a final showdown bursting with energy! It's beautiful and so creative like the rest of the song that gets substantially catchier as it progresses. This is one of the most unique (in a good way), involving, thought out, ambitious, and well constructed Goa songs and my favourite song by Technossomy. I'm right up there with you guys! Sure a re-mastering could and likely would improve this further. It deserves it and is so close to perfect otherwise! What a beautiful, cool, kickass epic work of art!  A

    07.  Pleiadian Landing is a nice return to melodic rhythms but after hearing V.T.O.L., how can I not feel let down? Hearing it separately-- NOT NEXT TO (RIGHT AFTER VTOL) , I'd say it's maybe one of the better songs via melody work. The music cuts out towards the end and the combination attractively returns with a rising melody. I think the previous song spoiled me so much that I don't even know (at times) how to rate this NOW SEEING what this artist is capable of!  C+B-

    08.  Electron Bender is easily the best song since V.T.O.L. Man I love it! Excellent synths, structure, mixing, arrangement, direction throughout. The song's fun, danceable, psychedelic, interesting, CATCHY!!! I could go on and on. The main melody raises this up the bar at 3:08, but by then the artists have built a solid foundation and act with not a flaw in it. Moreover, they incorporate the kickass main theme (sound) at 1:30 which will define and redefine one of the best Goa songs as the artists' vision unfolds. I find this song so engaging, psychedelic, and unconventional while being user-friendly in all the right places. The voice samples and ambient notes compliment; the latter provides feels to the otherwise cosmic gem of an oddity approach. Songs like this and V.T.O.L. to me show a more advanced level of applications and musical theory from these artists. They're so talented, passionate, and creative! Additionally, the song gets catchier as it progresses as a classic Goa song often does, more refined, and addictive sounding.  A-

    09.  Chug starts with interest and a catchy dark synth that works well. This cool moment is unfortunately soon RUINED BY SOUNDS THAT DO NOT COMPLIMENT AND THROWS OFF THE DARKER FEEL, PRODUCING A MISGUIDED SONG FROM WHERE THIS COULD HAVE GONE AND WHAT THE SONG COULD HAVE BEEN! Chug turns into a slugfest because of a LACK OF creative, catchy development and direction. If you cannot make a story interesting or engaging, how can you expect readers (listeners) to stick with your content, so to speak? As with Skinflint... Chug is such an oddity coming from the same artists who produced such badass work. Why not make them all killers or at least good?  DF

    CONCLUSON

    WTF are crappy songs like Skinflint and Chug doing on an album with old school classics like Elektron Bender and especially V.T.O.L. ??? This album is such a conundrum to me (at times) due to certain songs being so stellar while some others are so bland, boring, and dull. The result is an album more known for its classics than being a classic album in and of itself IMO. I don't recall a Goa album with such highs (so high) and such lows (so low) since maybe Universe 13 somehow made its way onto Pleiadian's Family of Light album, a disastrously boring slog some-freeking-how green lit between Head Spin and Modulation. It makes a world of difference and is so appreciated (just like when people behave and are genuinely wholesome to one another) when artists are consistent with high standards! The best songs remain (at least for most of us) just as wildly nostalgic and catchy, classics to this day whereas the few others make me what they were smoking/ingesting or thinking? Classic album? Well that's subjective. Certain tracks YES, others WTF. Classic album? Not to me but that's my opinion and I'm not getting into it. But a few of us can agree to disagree and some of the killer work here-- it's super, yes, classic for sure! 

    V.T.O.L > Vertical Take-Off And Landing is freekin > I LOVE IT. ONE OF MY FAVOURITE GOA SONGS!!!!

    Electron Bender > Not nearly as groundbreaking as VTOL but so different, catchy, groovy, and cool! And that's not all!

    Favorite Songs: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 (!!!!!), 8 (!!!)

    7.5 / 10 = B  (but again, IMO)
     

    PS: For fans of their GOOD shit, I found more kickass work by them.. tracks like Rejuvenation!


     

  13. On 7/9/2012 at 12:14 AM, exotic said:

    If there's one thing I love about MFG, it's that just when you think the track can't get any better, it does. Really kickass music!!! 10/10

    Yes!!!

    I've been replaying MFG's first four album's recently and enjoying them so much. I also really like their 4th album (The Message, 2001) and appreciate the psytrance with Goa influences approach being that it's thankfully NOT like their fifth album (Message From God, 2006) that sounded too formulaic and routine via Full On structure, bass line, beat, and also lacked layers (stems/waves), atmosphere, visionary ambition, detail, and imagination-- though some of the accents and melodies were catchy/good/classic MFG associations, the overall 2006 album paled in comparison to their first four.

    WHY? s still my favourite MFG track 20+ years later. It's amazing how just one word can be so powerful and influential. But their are numerous MFG tracks I enjoy listening to more frequently if that makes sense, songs I find more fun and easily accessible, and yet that song is something special.

    Literally asking God WHY? ... Just-- Why?

    There is so much meaning in this track that can be interpreted and related to differently, personally, by so many people in so many ways. A song with intent and meaning if I ever heard one, WHY? IMO is outstanding, not just on a technical, visceral level, but on an existential, philosophical one as well. 

    Despite some constructive criticisms, e.g., Voices is still the weakest song IMO, and the first half of On Mars and The Creation respectively could have been more eventful and interesting/satisfying, Project Genesis is a cybernetic fan's wet dream and one of the best Goa albums ever produced. 

    This deserves a re-mastering to clear up those muddled stems/waves from old mastering (I presume) which would bring this album to a whole new level greatness.

    PS:  Not sure what happened to Phonokol anymore. I ordered so many albums from them in the 90's and guessing they don't exist anymore, as their web address appears invalid. Oh well. What's meant to be will be. It's a super album regardless.

    • Like 2
  14. This is the definition of a magnificent release in GOA TRANCE. 

    God I WISH Pleiadians were inspired to produce songs, albums-- even a song, an album this amazing anymore.

    You'd think with today's software programs and mastering, people's consciousness raising-- the imagination is unlimited!

    IFO is the crown jewel of Goa Trance if I were to choose one pure Goa Trance album, and this re-mastered with super IFO remixes

    by the artists in addition to their best rarities, SINGLES, and COMPILATION songs is why we have certain emoji's  :wub:

    Etnica - Live In Athens is also superb too! Just that beautiful sound!!! I have less than zero interest comparing them.

  15. Wow, what an entertaining opening review! I laughed. I nearly cried. I don't think I peed which is good because we just got a new area rug for the house.

    I just became aware of this album today (on YouTube) when searching for DAT Records triple IFO classic with remixes album. 

    This wasn't it! Initially I could hear the Goa influence, but MINIMALLY SPEAKING, track after track. The approach is SAFE and RISK-FREE via FULL-ON. 

    You can make dance friendly Goa songs without sticking to a basic formulaic structure, beat, and bass line, but this does exactly that. 

    There are hints, traces of decent to fairly good (relatively catchy) synth work here and there. Trying to be objective, if I didn't know this 

    was Pleiadians and it came on the dace floor, I'd think some of it was pretty cool, alright. But IT'S PLEIADIANS!!! They're so much more talented, creative, 

    imaginative, and innovative than this... Or are they? They could have taken the time to produce something truly wonderful and divine, but I suppose the 

    inspiration for a super album is not there anymore. They're just producing to stay relevant (I imagine) at this point for the fans and name they still have. 

    We live in a time when the magical years are behind us, and YET THE ESSENCE of the Golden Years of GOA is TIMELESS, meaning we are approaching that timelessness

    as we move towards the expanded realities that await our consciousness as the vibration continues to rise. This is not the end or we wouldn't be conscious here and now!

    Acknowledging the SILVER-LINING, OLD-SCHOOL PLEIADIANS is a testament for what's to come (not necessarily from these artists though anything's possible) because of it's magic and timelessness.

    For instance--

    This true timelessness goes BEYOND GOA to what inspired minds to produce gold! So if you catch my meaning, I'm speaking consciously, not about the 2019 album at this point and am simply thankful that we got IFO and whatever else you enjoyed from them, because the best is yet to come, even if it's not in the form of a new Pleiadians in this lifetime here and now.  Just remember, where the mind goes, energy flows. Gratitude for what we love and forgive everything else. This is a way to THE WAY :) 

    PS:  Alien Artifact and a few others are pretty cool via Goa influences in the second act albeit fairly minimal before unfortunately returning to the predictably bland full on baseline in Act 3. The album has its LIGHT Goa inspired moments and aspects if you can forgive what the album is NOT, whether you like any of it or not. I'm beyond hating at this point. Negativity is draining. I hope the artists and their families are well, and if they get inspired to produce something more PASSIONATELY IMAGINATIVE, COMPLEX, and IMPRESSIVE > PURE GOA-ESQUE that isn't so formulaic/Full On at some point, I'd be thrilled, but I'm not holding my breath.

  16. Khetzal - Etamines - Full Review

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    17 years... It's been 17 years since the release of Corolle (2005), one of the best reviewed albums in Goa music. Aspects that always impressed me include Corolle's ability to engage- its living, breathing, atmospheric storytelling structure (sound/melody work), and direction. A song would begin with a compelling intro, such as placing the listener in a forest. You could hear the leaves rustling and nature sounds as if you're really there. These details added to the immersion, bringing the chapter(s) to life. Furthermore, each song was light on the mind, fun, so you're never bogged down. Also great was Corolle's ethnic influence and approach, be it Indian or oriental. World building doubled with story progression, so neither was boring. The Eastern approach was dynamic, whimsical, enchanting, and lively, with tempo changes, intriguing interludes, buildup, climax, cinematically inspired sounds, accents, and more. The debut was anything but ordinary, and showcased aspects we love about old school Goa Trance, yet the artist's delivery felt fresh and inventive, bursting with memorable melodies, surprises, and dance friendliness, as if Krishna was playing alongside or channeling through him.

    17 years and a decent amount of compilation songs later, Matthieu Chamoux returns with his first main album since Corolle. It retains ethnic-influences, is less oriental, more psychedelic, features more old-school Goa concepts reinvigorated for our time now, and whooo man here we go!

    1.  Admonition begins with an alluring, atmospheric intro. Synths dangle across the sky as a powerful storm approaches. They're joined with a mid tempo kick drum and baseline. The overture/main melody arrives at 0:44. It's strong and unwavering, accompanied by ambience (harmony). The result is provocative- great, as if we're being guided to a pyramid or some lost forgotten treasure or artifact. Production wise, the sound/melody work is crisp, fluid, and attractively arranged. The first 3:40 of mid-tempo takes us to an interlude. The windstorm re-emerges. Ambient harmonies intermingle with the atmosphere as sound particles simmer, a fanciful sequence. The beat returns at 5:14- higher in tempo, faster, punchier, with stronger synths. After  second, brief interlude, we're off, gliding across the lands with the addition of palatable soundscapes and synth(s). Compared to Corolle's opening track, I find this more interesting, involved, imaginative, and dynamic (varied). The song's easily digestible, whimsical, and engaging throughout. Best of all, it's fun, with touches of mythos, lure, and fantasy. This is a strong way to open the album. Excellent track.  A-

    2.  Ziggurat is the only track I care less for to the point I sometimes skip it. The first act's sound work and arrangement is not very interesting or engaging compared to the more dynamic, previous song IMO, and the low key synth at 2:13 I go back and forth on. Positives include the tribally synth early on, delectable melody at 2:53, ambient, Egyptian/Arabic feels, and the saucy synths from 3:35 to 4:31. We reach an interlude. It's interesting. The music returns undeniably danceable, though with little developmental improvement in arrangement or composition. What follows from 5:52 to 6:16 left me feeling somewhat perplexed, restless, and unsure, as this would have been a great opportunity to improve things further. Fortunately, the music improves from 6:35 to 7:30, thanks to some lovely harmonious and structuring. Is it just me though, or does Ziggurat feel like it could have been produced around Corolle (2005), but- and if so, didn't make the cut? I don't feel that Ziggurat shares the same level of lively dynamic interest, ingenuity, or refreshing, arresting aspects on Etamines that the other songs do. At worst, I find it a bit lazy and forgettable despite the best of intentions. On other days, I find it pleasant on the ears and mind, quite enjoyable, though it's my least favourite track on the album.  B

    3.  Gray Kitty In the Box is where the album levels up. It opens sublime, with one of the best accents, a briefly sustained bass hum. Additionally, the main synth is fantastic, coupled with rhythmic supporting ones, and the key changes compliment. At one point, the music disengages its layers as the trailing bass hum accents across an atmospheric interlude. I loved this part as suspense mounts, and the few impact sounds are perfectly placed. The music re-emerges more psychedelic, eloquent, and captivating. I love the song's ethnic flavors, and the intergalactic/cosmic approach as if inspired by Filteria. The result is one of the best Khetzal tracks: a visionary, mesmerizing cocktail of a rocket, thanks to strong synths, composition, direction, and arrangement. Even the last minute is engrossing. Grey Kitty In the Box is superb.  A

    4.  Gather Your Herds opens in a meadow or field. Running water. Birds chirping. Soft wind. It's here that we're treated to the overture (main theme/melody). It carries us out of the field and into a colourfully cosmic dimension. Gather Your Herds is an example of great storytelling, defining melodies like characters as they develop and support the main leading one. Two eloquently composed interludes later, and I realize I'm plot jumping here- the story deepens in feels before encountering what I refer to as developmental growth and evolution. What follows is a melody lovers dream come true. A key change three-quarters through unlocks the dimension to Valhalla so to speak, allowing magic to pour through, altering, raising the music's vibration. Gather Your Herds features lush, articulative sound/melody work that puts a smile on my face. The artist's direction and passionate skillset for arrangement and composition is outstanding. This is a beautiful song from start to finish.  A

    5.  Acide Formique is fun, energetic, and stomping in all the best ways. The Eastern influence is sleek and tasteful, complimenting the harder hitting (dance friendly) approach. I love the sound mixing- the psychedelic synth effects, accents, textures, etc. Coupled with boom effects early on, the first act lets go of layers for a kinetic sequence (I love this) before upstaging the rhythm with greater intricately and development. The second act shifts the kick drum to mid-tempo a la subtle pitch bends, a comfortably arresting segment before integrating buildup and boosting via effect the music into adventurously driving climax in the third act. The tempo adjustment in the middle act allowed this final act to stand out that much more! To reiterate, each act feels like an upgrade to the previous one, incorporating fresh synths, innovation, complexity, and excitement. The artist's ability to marry ethnic flavors to the more cosmic/intergalactic adventurous style on Etamines is refreshingly catchy and fun. Stellar track!  A

    6.  Pavane is next up. The first act is gripping, thanks to great synths accentuated by a lower octave one a la undercurrent. The second act showcases strong growth and arrangement. The atmospheric interlude is good, opening the door for the music's return via climax. It's whimsically fun and reminds me of old-school Infected Mushroom and soon exits. The last card up its sleeve begins with another example of what I'd describe as evolutionary development (or developmental evolution) since Act 3 on Gather Your Herds. It's a terrific moment, bursting with higher ascensional feels. I wish more artists took the time to create more developed, catchy arrangements. The result is so enjoyable to hear. It's clear that the artist is accustomed to healthier durations of developmental arrangements, and in relation to tunes that are memorable. Gorgeous track.  A

    7.  A World of Outmoded Ideas follows Pavane up nicely. It's faster in feel and tempo. The lack of intro doesn't bother me here. Pieces are added to the whole via 1:36, 1:48, and 2:26 that coalesce from 2:47 to 2:51 before breaking out with the main melody. The result is warmly euphoric and uplifting. The synths in the forth minute are great, reminding me of old Astral Projection, zippier in energy, adding variance and feels. We reach an interlude with a brief voice sample. More ingenuity could have taken place with the music's return IMO, though the accentuation to the bass line (it seems) works well. Anything else constructive, I'd say the lower octave synth's return at 6:50 felt less complimentary. Thankfully it soon exits for a fun, bouncy segment of psychedelia at 7:16. The music regroups once more from 7:33 to 7:54, and 7:55 onward is wonderful, full of harmonious growth, development, and key changes that have been wonderfully used throughout the album thus far. Another strong track.  A-

    8.  Didge Voices is a bit slower and grounded in direction (more on that in a moment). I love the more organic, worldly tribal and Arabic influence and approach here. The song feels otherworldly filmic, not soundtrack-y thankfully! As with Khetzal's Aramean Dreams on Suntrip's Blacklight Moments comp, both songs reward the listener after featuring an intriguing, contemplative interlude. The returning music here is akin to a family of eagles in some epic story or film (or real life experience that the story's inspired by) taking flight for the Heavens, as the skies part to accommodate their transformative ascent. It's an unconventional, confident, and soaring climax- a refreshingly contemporary high. The sequence is downright (or upright based on your perspective) wonderful and  full of feels, elevating everything that preceded it and lifting my vibration in the process. Initially I didn't think much of this song if you'd believe that, until the final act. Now I find the first two acts symbiotic, excellent, and essential to the superb finale. Beautiful, mystical, and spiritually expressive work.  A

    9.  Ealitas Ex Nihilo just to note: I'm really glad the album didn't end with a slow (downtempo) song, as there is no need or prerequisite for every Goa album to do that, as many did- some still do. If it works great! I say go with what inspires YOU and I'm happy to see the artist did exactly that. The album ends on a higher note in the form of uplifting, morning-inspired that I don't recall the artist creating to this degree before. I like the more energetic, punchy arrangements and composition. I find the song dynamic and fun. The last chapter is full of radiant energy, dance friendliness, and sunshine/LIGHT, along with power [the finale] married with warmth and euphoria a la feels, thanks to great usege of key changes that compliment the music with positive vibes. The song is heartfelt without ever sounding cheesy. It's like a reunion on a beach for spirited, loving souls across lifetimes, all taking part in a dance that has transcended (in this sense literally) the test of time. It's a beautiful closing track with three strong acts, and ends the album on a high note.  A

    CONCLUSION

    Examines is an ambitious, imaginative, and engaging sequel to Corolle. is it better? Time will tell. I felt guilty for not reviewing this sooner. The only song I care less for is Ziggurat, but it's not bad. I jus think the rest of the album is on another level by comparison. Etamines features less oriental melodies than Corolle. It's more contemporary, psychedelic, and layered, with more elaborate mixing and direction. Middle Eastern influences include:  Indian, Egyptian, Arabic, and Turkish. I generally wouldn't describe Khetzal tracks as cosmic or intergalactic, but I associated some of that on a few tracks here and the result IMO feels infectiously upgraded and unique from Corolle. The intrigue, excitement, and rewards never end until the credits roll, and that's a beautiful thing thanks to memorable sound/melody work and nearly 80 minutes of it. There seems to be a unique balance/mix of dualistic (light vs. dark) energy going on, but in a fun, creative way. Thankfully the music's never bogged down with lower vibrations. Moreover, there's much I found inspirational, mystical, adventurous, exploratory, and elevating in frequency (state of consciousness/mind) vibration. I appreciated what I felt was inspiration (at times) for overcoming duality (the practice of non-duality) in Didge Voices, especially in the end. I found these moments profound and powerful, as if was feeling the artist's inspirational intentions of the track. Etamines is a highly danceable and fun album, yet there's room for exploration. The album is rich with storytelling, mythos and lore, context and subtext, narrative beats, feels, world building, and super songs. And if you let it grow on you as I did, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised as song's sound more identifiable past the initial getting-to-know-you part of the relationship. Matthieu Chamoux is somewhat of an enigma, returning 17 years later with a sequel to Corolle this riveting. Highly recommend for listeners of Goa Trance.

    Favourite tracks:  EVERYTHING RED :)
    A
    Sample
    https://suntriprecords.bandcamp.com

    Order / Buy
    https://suntriprecords.com/release/cat/SUNCD66/

  17. On 7/29/2021 at 3:55 PM, GhostOnAcid said:

    What do you mean with club trance? Uplifting trance? Talla 2XLC? :lol:

    Club Trance = Uplifting in the sense of sounding contrived, formulaic, more typical and conventional (not taking risks or allowing for greater innovation as a whole to distinguish itself) trance.

    PS:  Sorry for the late reply GhostOnAcid. I was locked out of my account for some time, felt inspired after a while to create the new password when I had more free time and saw your response. I've been immersed in post-production for a film I'm editing.

    Some of my other thoughts...

    Some of the album is less conventional and shares influences to his previous work. And IMO he went too Full On here at times, though there's some great yet there's some track(s) and moments of tracks mentioned throughout the tread. Regarding going too Full On as some have said, my suggestion is to split the difference.

    Also I'd consider the general consensus- tracks people really like vs don't like or like less, with make adjustments for the next album.

    I love Unidentified and I really like Astral Traveler's second, especially third act, Summer Storm, Solar Wardenand Secret Spaces are good too IMO.

    I just don't want to see this artist turn into another Full On commercial (by the numbers, predictable and typical sounding a la  Talamasca. It's important to be mindful of one's inspiration for growth, expanded growth and development(!), imagination and standards for greatness. I get what sells and we also seem to agree (generally speaking) on what's catchier whereas some tracks have split consensus. He's still producing music that's entertaining, fun,  and engaging thankfully, if not as consistently for as many in the more imaginative Goa realm, and that's fine to some degree if it's good!

  18. This is the last SUPERB album I've heard by Asura to date. A beautiful, engaging, visionary journey full of distinct, highly engrossing tracks (or chapters in an epic, wonderfully told story) from start to finish. 

    Still listening and loving it to this day. Surrender your heart and mind to this spiritual masterpiece and see where it takes you.

    Around a 9.5 from me.

  19. Dark Nebula is very HIT & MISS  for me too. That said-

     

    I LOVE his ROBOTIC TONGUE album thanks to the FOUR tracks listed below. I'm referencing this thread via recommendations on YouTube to catch up and on the search for the Androneda (ambient) album.  Despite numerous weak and forgettable tracks on Robotic Tongue including the WTF opening, the album stands out in dark Psy (with Goa influence at times) to me because of what I like / love about it- what works so well.

    3. Fire Offering - B+  /  A-

    4. Toxic Reality - B+ 

    5. Structural Failure ... A

    6. Sajuuk Khar  A- /   ...  I'm biased. I LIKE THIS TRACK SO MUCH. That BENDY ACCENT SOUND on and off throughout is soooo hypnotically good. Just what my mind likes. Hearing this track in 2021, I find it catchier than ever.

  20. FIERY DAWN - LOST ASTRAUNAT
    GLOBAL SECT RECORDS
    2020

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    Tracklist:-
    1.   Interplanetary Station
    2.  Lost Astronaut
    3.  Phase (With Astronobios & Atlantis)
    4.  Inside The Lunar Crater (With Merrow)
    5.  Prana (With Atlantis)
    6.  Screaming Through The Universe (With Alienapa)
    7.  Oxgen Red (With Centavra Project)
    8.  Proxeeus - Walking Between The Worlds (Fiery Dawn Remix)
    9.  Dimension X
    10.  Enceladus (First Contact)

    WOW!!! What a fantastic, imaginative, visionary album cover AND --> Even better is when the album is MORE THAN AND COMPLIMENTS the cover... 

    1.  Interplanetary Station is a gradual, spacey opening that's far from Wow. It has some atmosphere and pleasant Goa ingredients, nice sound/melody work. ACT 1 could have had a little more development and creativity, and there are sneak peaks of something that's about to get far catchier to come.  B

    2.  Lost Astronaut incorporates more energy, the synths sound sharper, more soundscapes and atmosphere compliments the spacey atmosphere. The music grows more rhythmic and defined midway forward, with a nice accentuated moment forward across the sixth minute. The song is fairly dark and cosmic, but fairly low key and lacks being eventful. The arrangement and overall structure could have been had more variety, and as with the opening, shows an album that has potential to develop into something great. On to the next one.  B

    3.  Phase (With Astronobios & Atlantis) is instantly juicier, catchier, more lively and engaging! Finally a song with arrangement, synths, and an edgy (intensely fun) vibe that goes deeper into getting my attention. Full of synth choices and changes that accentuate soundscape-ladden trek into the unknown, this is a big step in the right direction. Complimented by bouncy (erratically sweet) Goa-oriented melodies, the song develops into something stronger halfway forward before a brief transition lifts the complexity and greatness-- climax and all -- to the highest point on the album thus far. The last act is terrific and the echoed, chilling (haunting) effect compliments. I love the "moment" in the seventh minute. You'll know when you hear it. Great track!  A- / A

    4.  Inside The Lunar Crater (With Merrow) is the first track I showcased for my wife Mary. This song is a FUCKING BEAST!!! OMG... way to go FIrey Dawn and Merr0w. You know the last time I was really impressed with a Merr0w track, it was Citrus Circus on Suntrip's Temple of Chaos over a decade ago, and while that was a tsunami of escalating and releasing power (incredible to this day), this has more variety, intelligence, development, evolution-- and quite honestly it's SUPERB. A terrific song of ANY genre IMHO has three great acts (unless you break the rule and have more acts that are all great). This song-- from the creative sound sound selections, to the overall direction, structure, arrangement-- the overall vision from start to finish encompasses THREE STRONG ACTS that a go from great > excellent > superb. It allows us to breath with an INTERESTING (GRIPPING) INTERLUDE before releasing the finale brigade-- a cosmic force of rich musical beautify (sound/melody > synth) work that elevates the ENTIRE SONG with an even PURER Goa sound AND incorporates a wonderful climax that never lets go of its edgy grip through the last minute. Well done!  A 

    5.  Prana (With Atlantis) continues off the greatness high of the previous track. This has less variety, standout structure, peeks and valleys, and that's okay. After the previous more complex beast, I love that the artist put a powerful, addictive sounding PURE GOA number that just lets us dance in every which way. This follows one exceptionally building and releasing set direction of articulation, power, and energy. It's smart, electric, less eventful than the previous track, and continuously improves across all three acts. While I was more impressed with the previous track, this is like a smart, cosmic tiger let off the chain of bondage across the 4th dimension, moving from Point A to B with pure intent and awareness, visceral speed and agility. It's great and a welcome offering after the previous, more technically elaborate vehicle.  A-

    6.  Screaming Through The Universe (With Alienapa) follows up Prana (With Atlantic) nicely with a spacey, aggressive, and well structured Goa track. There are a few more moments to breath around the driving storms. This directional approach feels more flexible in that sense. All three acts are strong, with neither previous one feeling stronger than the following (makes sense!). Each act stands out with fresh ideas, synths (though a tasty crunchy one takes prescience on and off throughout) that adds a zippier/edgier, more powerful momentum feel that I love. Additionally, it's supported by a healthy dose of atmosphere, mixing, and a nice balance (aggressive vs less/not aggressive sound/melody work. This keeps the music engaging, improving as it progresses rather than sounding too similar/samey. Excellent work!  A- 

    7.  Oxgen Red (With Centavra Project) incorporates an effect (comes and goes) like an astronaut or alien's raspy throat inside the head case of a space suite struggling to breathe. It's a strange, breathing effect-- unique. I suppose it adds a touch of darkness, though I feel lighter once it exits as it often takes attention from the work around it. The song is dark, less driving than the previous bunch while still maintaining a solid determined feel and beat. I enjoy the sound/melody work by this artist in general, even with a less momentous offering such as this one. For whatever reason, the artist does little in ACT 3 to really push the music further to greater plateaus like the previous songs. In that senes, more development and surprises in the second have would have been welcome, enticing the mind/body with greater energy and food for thought, and visceral dance floor (and home-listening) appeal.  B+

    8.  Proxeeus - Walking Between The Worlds (Fiery Dawn Remix) is a return to excellence. No more strange breathing sounds like we're stuck in an astronaut's helmet. This dragon of a track is tight, punchy, fiery and infectious-- incorporating bouncy, energized Goa synths like fast energy waves full of candy coated stardust bouncing off the window of the cockpit. ACT 1 is excellent, from the synth choices, structure, direction, and mixing. ACT 2 takes the smart, less wild cosmic approach so we can catch our breath as a fresh wave of synths emerge. The interlude is smart and catchy (that little bouncing Goa synth is super delectable!!!), complimented with supporting sounds before the music breaks out via ACT 3 into a resurgence of musical, cosmic bliss. I love it! I think ACT 2 could have been slightly shorter (the first part before it grew tastier), thus allowing the last act to push the envelope further (without getting too crowded), but as it stands, I'm thankful this vehicle was strong from start to finish!  A- / A

    9.  Dimension X continues the infectiously bouncing Goa accent concept albeit differently, as this PURE Goa idea worked so well in the previous number. The first third is great, coming the cosmic elegant with the aggressive to new perfection. The growing sense (sound) of escalating tension in ACT 2 stood out-- very nice! ACT 2 develops into something more dynamic, thanks to a variety of ideas and the bouncy/stronger synth in the third minute is terrific, giving us the boost that this driving force needed. I could have dealt without the STRANGE RUMBLING EFFECT FROM 3:52 to 4:11 that I could have done without. The music rebounds right after, bringing back the fun tension sound with soundscapes fluttering by the dark wormhole we're being purpled through. Strong work-- suddenly a deeper-sounding synth jumps in via ACT 3. An unexpected surprise. I love it. I think it could have been raised just 1-2 Db (a small nitpick), and this is followed by a sweet, whimsical mini-climax of sorts to wonderful effect into the final moments. This tasty track goes down so well!  A- / A

    10.  Enceladus (First Contact) is one of my favorite tracks. It would have been so much better if it didn't do the fewest things which I'll get to. The first act grinds by as it offers edgy (zippy) synths to punctuate the provocative and atmospheric, moody darkness. Complimentary development is a big plus going into Act 2. This artist is so focused and disciplined on making the songs consistently strong- content that gets better as it progresses. I really like the electronic robotic voice (sample) in Act 2 along with the PURE-GOA synth work.  We hit Act 3--at roughly 5:00 in and suddenly the song becomes MUDDLED with TOO MANY FREEKIN IDEAS THAT DON'T FLUIDLY COMPLIMENT. Just listen to this song from 5:00 to 5:30's. It's like the artist threw every thought in the mix without a conscious aware presence until he caught his over-zealous ego at 5:57 where excellence is restored- Well, almost. There is a HARSH, DIsTRACTING SYNTH SOUND (like a record being smudged) at 6:13 and again in the 6:20's. These less delectable ingredients really take away from an otherwise terrific work that is so intelligent, sleek, and attractively intermingled that it's hard to believe the same choices with these rare issues eminated from the same expert level artist. Act 3 needed some refining and polishing if the artist can try to see that objectively-- as there's so much on display that's great when it's not cluttered with less complimentary sounds.  A-

     

    I DO WANT TO AND LOOK FORWARD TO REVIEWING CD 2 WHEN I GET A CHANCE AND MAY ADD THAT AS A NEW POST WHEN I DO...

     

    CONCLUSION

    This COSMIC / SPACE DOUBLE GOA album is terrific. It's actually one of the strongest Goa albums I've heard in years along with Khetzal's Etamines (that I still have to comment on / review) and VERY few others. Unlike 2021's Artifact303 - From the Stars which is how I became aware of this artist/album on Bandcamp-- and while From the Stars showcased some greatness... Fiery Dawn's Lost Astronaut (album) is NOT afraid to take risks and get more expansive, imaginative, wild, edgy, and into PURE Goa-Trance-- and even attempt to push the boundaries. This artist has improved substantially since his earlier work. The is his defining album, chock full of wonderful collaborations with strong Goa artists, some of whom haven't delivered (for me, to this degree) in many years. One of my ONLY constructive criticisms is that the second album (featuring down/mid-tempo Goa tracks) has some songs that could have been more developed, improved, satisfying. A few seem to run out of ideas early (could have used more work), where as others feel more consistent, strong and complete, as reflected on CD1. Speaking of CD1, while the first two songs are good and simply (understandingly) less energetic and exciting compared to what follows, I would have loved them to be a little more intriguing and engaging considering how strong the album is. They are good songs nonetheless, and for those who roll through the first two solid tracks ride, you're in for a much bigger treat. When writing reviews, many of you know me for expressing any and every genuine thought and reaction that comes to mind. All in all, what a strong, underrated COSMIC / INTERGALACTIC and DARKLY EXCITiNG, EDGY, and ATMOSPHERIC PURE GOA album, and what a surprise for Goa listeners. While not perfect and what is, this develops into one of the strongest Goa albums of the 21st century > how I feel after hearing this album over and over again (day and night, exercise and chilling out) for the past 1-2 weeks. It's so well done. Albums this strong rarely happen anymore. To the artist: Thank you for your amazing, passionate, imaginative, and visionary contrition and risk-taking! Despite a few nitpicks and some constructive feedback, at some point after the first two tracks (and after letting it grow on me), I really love this album, ESPECIALLY the crazy explosively cosmic and richly/darkly melodic, atmospheric, and FUN (!!!) CD 1. Fuck YES!!!

    HIGHLIGHTS

    CD1 -- 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11  (Almost all of them!)

    CD2 --

    A- --->   9/10

    Bandcamp:  https://globalsect.bandcamp.com/album/fiery-dawn-lost-astronaut

     

    • Like 1
  21. jdqcve9c47z61.jpeg.86477bb3b73fb31e8ac1fd295ac72249.jpeg

    Well I don't mean to crash the party but I'm less impressed with this album, and I'm not going to hesitate to point out what I think is great (and not great) about it. I agree there's some great (excellent / superb) work, and I'd never call this a bad or average album. Almost any track will work on dance floors, though some are much stronger than others and I say keep to your winning horses. Let go of the routine and capitalize on your greatest marbles! That's what establishes super albums and I often intend my reviews to double as feedback, though like you all I'm sharing my honest, open thoughts. That said--

    1.  Apex begins with a digitized synth, and a plesent albeit simplistic in structure and arrangement Goa sound that is easily topped, thanks to a superior synth at 1:48 >>> my favourite part. So far, so good... that is until 2:55 where the track gets repetitive. An interlude soon arrives, igniting the second albeit repetitive synthetic part, and it's here that the music grows conventional, inspired. The music improves at 5:00 but just for a moment until the artist transitions the music one final time.. It's not the change I was hoping. I'd describe the next 3-4 minutes as a Full On Club Trance. Ahhhh!!!!! It's so TYPICAL sounding and completely takes me out of the song. Actually it's not until the FINAL MINUTE that a healthier balance of Goa and Trance return to the cool feel earlier in the fifth minute. This track could have been great, but it chooses to take an extremely LAXY, FORMULAIC approach. Apex starts promising before devolving into formulaic, typical-sounding Club Trance where it completely loses my interest.  C

    2.  Astral Traveler is a big improvement from before. This track has a heart and soul that I didn't see at first, and is my wife's favourite song on the album due to the terrific ending! The first third is a bit similar sounding (predictable/routine arrangement >>> could have been better). The development into ACT 2 is very nice thanks to ambient notes, Goa elements, catchier synths, and more. Also, ACT 3 is incredibly euphoric, warm, and uplifting in a positive way! Improved sound/melody work, FEELS (!!!), multiple key changes providing storytelling and substance is just part of it. Although it took an ACT to warm up where we were going (ACT 1 could have been stronger in that regard), the song beautiful, well done! I find this so much more enjoyable and engaging than Apex, and sadly, the one track that follows.  B+ / A-

    3.  Dreamland is typical and formulaic, routine sounding CLUB TRANCE (the fuck??!) with a touch of Goa so slight in the middle that I hardly cared for fear the last act would undue ACT 2 via Apex. The overall sound and direction here is so predictable, with a very been-there / done-that feel throughout. The song offers nothing new, as if the label requested a more commercial, by-the-numbers dance number. Just why??! This artist is so much more creative, intelligent, and talented than this! I can't help but feel the desperation to appeal to a wider audience, preferably not in a redundant way. People like fun, danceable tracks that don't sound like stereo typical Club Trance! I acknowledge the very catchy, little echoed beeping melody accent in the last minute. Where was that the whole time? Aside from that, Dreamland is generic, Full on Club Trance and the most commercial sounding track I've ever heard from Artifact303.  C-

    4.  Solar Warden has some very catchy sound/melody (Goa-Trance) work in ACT 2. Unfortunately, the overall structure and arrangement of ACT 3 reverts back to a less pure Goa sound a la Trance-friendly motions. I wish the artist committed and further developed the purer, melody-licious tunes of ACT 2 into ACT 3.  B-

    5. Unidentified stands out as a favorite to me. It has a smart, catchy tune that gets stuck in my head (so simple, works wonders!) and is wildly danceable. ACT 2 could have been stronger, more fun and memorable. It's not bad by any means, and I realize you don't want the lead to grow tiresome, but at least make ACT 2 more interesting and engaging (is my constructive feedback). The in-my-face main synth in the 4th into 5th minute felt routine, repetitive, and formulaic compared to everything else. Fortunately, the artist brings back the best part back with added growth and development in ACT 3, and I'm hooked all over again. Honestly ACT 2 could have been shorter (tighter in that sense) and ACT 3 with its wonderful growth and signature synth star return could have been meatier, a little longer, but what are you going to do? This is a strong Trancey dance number despite a weaker ACT 2. It's shows that-- however simple, one can make a fantastic track with the right sounds, mixing, and arrangement (ingredients). Well done!  A- A

    6. Summer Storm begins fresh, zippy and quite Goa-esque! It reminds me of one of Artifact303's best tracks-- Leviathan Dance after the second minute. That nighttime sound is so sleek and sexy. Then at around 3:30 the music sounds juvenile with its sound effects and beat. Get that out of there and replace it with something powerful! The part that soon follows is far catchier and the Goa rhythm develops into something more intense, rhythmic, and psychedelic. Cue climactic lead and this is doing things right despite the somewhat simplistic arrangement. I like the edgy Goa sound in ACT 3, as it incorporates some of the sleek, sexy feel from ACT 1.  At this point I'm confused because this album can't seem to make up its mind with whether it wants to sound contrived, repetitive, and afraid to take risks, or create and develop greatness onto of greatness.  B+

    7. Open Your Eyes is sleek. It covers less ground, with fewer ideas, ACT 1 grows too similar sounding to me despite it being fairly catchy in sound. A new technologic synth improves ACT 2 followed by more variety, though a more elegant/tasty synth could have complimented the more aggressive, rough synths, approach. The song climaxes towards the end with an energetic, strong synths, though again, I find the arrangement, sound selection and overall direction repetitive and lacking to what we've come to go-- WOW, that's catchy and different! This gets predictable towards the end (arrangement, complimentary elements-wise), but it'll certainly be effective on dance floors.  B

    8. Secret Space starts great. Early on is exciting and the ambient notes convey feels, helping to flesh out a story. Although the excitement / ACT 1 seems to run out of steam, the song is pushed up by a healthy ACT 2 that develops the music. I can't predict where the music is going unlike numerous prior tracks and I love that, even if the artist repeats some elements with greater rhythm and complimentary ingredients, e.g., a Pleiadian synth that skips and is soon accentuated by clear, piano-esque notes, playing a distinct melody that enhances the complexity of the whole. For the album's emphasis on Trance-friendly style, this is a strong track!  B+ / A-

    9. The Devine Plan is a fairly progressive, gentle, uplifting morning Trance number. The song is peaceful and the conscious aware samples attract me. Having said that, it's a bit formulaic, contrived sounding via sounds, arrangement, and overall direction. Still it's not bad but not as memorable as it could have been. ACT 3 is very nice, providing a warmer (euphoric) climax. The song's grown on me despite being fairly structurally/sound-wise predictable and risk-free like much of the album. I do appreciate the non-banger approach though after the previous four digits  B- / B

    10. Wisdom Bringers is pleasant, harmless. It has a nice sound, beat, a touch of ethnic/world influence. The artist could have closed things with a stronger downtempo track, or one more akin to the Goa style more prevalent in BACK TO SPACE, but he took a risk here to include this, as it is unexpected and different-- and hey, at least he didn't put it in the middle of the album a la debut! The song isn't bad. It's not that memorable either and sounds like it would maybe be better suited on a downtempo compilation. Decent, fairly good overall. I believe he can make stronger, more imaginative, fun/entertaining down (and mid) tempo ones too that better compliment the stylistic vision of the album. That said, it's nice (I enjoy it more without the voices to be honest) and appreciate the slight Psy/Goa touches in the second half.  B-

    COONCLUSION

    An arguably solid album that is too formulaic (and/or Club Trancey-ish in sound, structure and arrangement at times while maintaining some strong Trance (and Goa influenced Trance) songs and elements, as well as a few super dance-floor bangers to boot. Though friendly for dance floors and almost entirely RISK-FREE, I miss the purer, punchier, less linear Goa approach that BACK TO SPACE had. I really loved the debut album despite some shortcomings-- its few weaker first half (Tracks 2, 3, 4). Similar to the debut, TO THE STARS improves in the second half, though its style, sound, and the way numerous songs are structured and composited (the overall direction) is definitely more mainstream friendly (and predictable sounding at times) for dance floors. There are things-- elements, melodies, moments- almost entire songs I really like/love here (praised above). There are Goa elements/Goa songs(!), and I simply wish the artist didn't limit his mind to more contrived structures, arrangements, and synths at times, as that reduces how expansive, imaginative, and well-- ground-breakingly CATCHY the album could have been while also being fun, danceable, and mainstream friendly! What we have is something good- sometimes great, and occasionally too rudimentary and routine (going through the motions) to my ears and mind. But there's greatness nonetheless including some of the best dance songs I've heard all yar. In the end, it's a bit of a mixed bag. I love strong songs and when I don't land on one, I get bored quick. But oh.. oh.. those moments and tracks I cannot deny. Give it a listen and decide for yourself.

    HIGHLIGHTS:  2, 56, 8

    B / B+

     

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  22. 1. The Hunted Becomes The Hunter
    2. The Flow Remix
    3. Wake Up!
    4. Drops Of Madness (Talamasca Remix) - Elixir
    5. Strangers
    6. Telepathic Atmosphere
    7. Are You the Machines
    8. Halloween
    9. Beyond The Mask

    Powerful, dark, atmospheric dark Psy/Goa album that takes risks (!) and incorporates strong accents, synths, programming/mixing, accents, samples, and more.  

    Beyond the Mask is my favorite Talamasca album. One of my only criticisms is the last track could have been better (more memorable) but it's not bad.

    Highly recommended for fans of dark psy/goa trance. Love the Goa influences on this release!

    Favourite tracks:  1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8

    9/10

  23. 01. 08’14” It Is Done

    02. 07’29” Detonator

    03. 07’25” Inverter

    04. 08’50” Pigletango

    05. 08’20” Past Holidays

    06. 08’23” September

    07. 08’38” Eater Of Worlds

    08. 07’31” For The First Time

    09. 07’51” Flash Forward

    Crazy. I'm hearing this album for the first time in 2021... :o

    I read some criticisms higher up well over a decade ago that turned me off, so I never gave this a chance. I didn't want to experience a disappointment after enjoying Pentafiles so much. My thoughts?

    This is a very good album! All tracks are in high quality on YouTube for those who missed it, check it out.

    The sound/melody work and atmosphere is just as good as ever. I love the dark, edgy rhythm that the artist accentuates with sweet soundscapes, the tunes, and the downright edgy (intense, advantageous) dark/spooky elements.

    One criticism I will agree with:  Some of the samples-- NOT all but a handful-- are iffy to put it mildly. For instance, in Detonator.. "We have to use the detonator" ... the way this is said could have been cool. It's not. To me it sounds cheesy and doesn't enhance the song in any way. In Inverter, a less frequent sample I could have done without. Thankfully it's short and uncommonly used. Good thing is the music around them is ALWAYS superior -- probably more so had something like "Next on Syfy" for instance been on the album. Some will find these (some of the samples) effective/deranged. I realize the concepts may work well on dance floors. For me though, the artist could have had more kickass samples. That said, the Homer shit is awesome, and the return of music there is sweeeeet > classic fun/wild dark old-school Talamasca!

    Funraiser is a mostly solid, inventive, dark, and fun sequel to Pentafiles. The album's chock full of sleek synths and rhythms, industrial elements accents, effects, atmosphere, and more. I'm surprised I didn't give this a full listen-through back in the day, as I let a few reviewers (honest they may be to their experience) influence my choice to give the album a listen-through to decide what I think for myself. They just don't make dark psytrance albums like this any more-- so hearing this in 2021 sounds catchy/fun. To sum it up, the pros far outweigh the cons, and those industrial accents (e.g., September and a handful of others) captivate. The last two tracks especially end the album on a high albeit dark (the samples work fine) note. If you're a fan of Pentafiles or dark psytrance in general, give this one a listen. Despite a few samples that were obviously meant to be entertaining, it's the music we show up for. The samples aren't make or break and in that sense the album delivers. Although Pentafiles may be a shade darker, Funraiser is DARK and more fun than the debut.

    Favourite tracks -- 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9.

    4/5

  24. @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

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