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Jon Cocco

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  1. Cybernetika: The Scythe Of Orion Ektoplazm Records 2010 1. Lost Technology 2. Impossible Mirage 3. Tyrannis 4. Transmitter 5. Cryostasis 6. Molecular Probe 7. Calling Mercurio The Scythe Of Orion is quite possibly the best Psytrance album of 2010 by a main artist. It's also one of the best Psytrance (with Goa touches) albums I have ever heard. The album is atmospheric, powerful, provocative, moody, innovative, homogenous and captivating from beginning to end. It also showcases some terrific, infectious synth lead melodies and it's dark! This is the album I wanted E-Mantra's debut to be. It has the Goa-influence synth leads in addition with the strong soundscape textures and atmosphere. The album has a sci-fi voyager edge. There are mystical elements to add to the mythos. Chapters flow like an exciting, mature and visual story. The whole album is like one giant magical, dark (and light!), space trip through the cosmos. Did I mention immersive and visionary? This is my most favourite album by Cybernetika to date! It is awesome. I could do a track-per-track review. This thing certainly deserves it. Cybernetika’s album combines dark and energetic Psychedelic Trance with Goa, Industrial, and what appears to be breaks and more. Each track is wildly characteristic, distinct and great if not excellent, superb. Then there's the arrangement, the attention to detail. Rarely is all of this possible with an album! I wouldn't change a thing on the album. It's imaginative, ambitious and engaging throughout. Thank you so much for this creative work of art. It's a masterful Psy/Goa Space album with edge, atmosphere, powerful nass lines, sci-fi influence, and fantastic synth melodies and sound work. Is a sequel possible? Please? Complaints? I had to reduce the score from a close 10 to a 9 because I didn't want people to pass out from it being too awesome. I'd rather you hear the album first. I have no complaints. Download for FREE here... Thank you Ektoplazm and Cybernetika! http://www.ektoplazm.com/2010/cybernetika-the-scythe-of-orion
  2. Last album I heard from by was Nanospheric, an underrated, atmospheric gem in Psytrance. Update: I heard the full album today. How has a review thread not been opened for this? The Scythe Of Orion easily makes my top 5 best Psytrance albums of 2010. It's excellent. Thank you for this passionately crafted and imaginative release. The brooding atmosphere, soundscapes, background textures, and melody/sound work flow together and produce a rich, mythical (and otherworldly) edge. The Scythe Of Orion is one of the best albums of 2010, bar none.
  3. Are we doing an official best of 2010 thread like the last several years? This is the closest thread I could find to it. Uptempo Top 2010 Albums 1. Cybernetika - The Scythe Of Orion 2. V/A - Temple of Chaos Downtempo/Chill Albums 1. Asura - 360 2. Electrypnose - Sweet Sadness 3. Psyfactor - Futurized 4. V/A - Ether 5. V/A - Earth My favorite TRACKS of 2010 include: Asura: 360 - Regenesis - Longing For Silence - Getsemani - Le Dernier Voyage Electrypnose: Sweet Sadness - Out There - Triste Gaîté Cybernetika - The Scythe Of Orion - Impossible Mirage - Tyrannis V/A - Temple of Chaos - Merr0w: Citrus Circus - Nebula Meltdown: Encrypted Illusion - Daimon (Antares): Codex - K.O.B: Lost Belly (of Civilization) Psyfactor: Futurized (album) - Space - Cassiopeya - Discovering Andromeda
  4. Jon Cocco

    V/A - Ether

    V/A - Ether Altar Records 2010 1. Astropilot Feat. Chronos - EXPECTATIONS (8:30) 2. Flooting Grooves - TOWARD THE LIGHT (9:24) 3. Mr Peculiar feat. Athena Etana - ANCIENT TRIBES (8:00) 4. Astropilot - ANSWERS (7:21) 5. Tentura - FREE YOUR MIND (7:16) 6. Distant System - ASTRAL MAP ERROR (8:00) 7. E-Mantra - EMPTINESS (8:11) 8. Shakri - LOVE AND DEVOTION (5:52) 9. Lab's Cloud - WINDS FAIRY (6:29) 10. Asura - EVERLASTING (9:18) Ether is the new (and final) compilation in the elemental (downtempo/chill, downbeat/Psy) series, and features new and exclusive tracks by Distant System, E-Mantra, Asura, and more. What a surprise to end the year on. 1. Astropilot Feat. Chronos - Expectations is a gentle opening, coupled with flute, piano, an ambient backdrop, and more. The track has an Indian/ethnic edge, and a warm feel throughout. The piano and (what appears to be organic) guitar/strings really stand out, and add depth and feeling to the flowing stream. Good track. B 2. Flooting Grooves - Toward the Light begins very harmonious in nature, with an effective flute that appears throughout. The introduction is pleasant, relaxing. So far, this compilation has a tribal/ethnic-influenced vibe. A beat eventually arrives, and a variety of psy sounds. There's a transition roughly two-thirds of the way through that changes up the tribal/psy feel. The musical elements, with exception to the flute however entice me less, possibly in part due to the beat and bass line that grows somewhat monotones as the song progresses. The flute sounds good though. This isn't a bad song, but I find it the least interesting track on the album. Lets see what the next one offers. Decent track. C+ 3. Mr Peculiar feat. Athena Etana - Ancient Tribes starts off really well. I love the bouncing, psychedelic buzzing coupled with chopped up female hymns to the moody ambient score, ethnic-influence, and beat. The song's energy picks up around 2:26, and a delectable rhythm takes form. The rhythm and melody/sound work is psychedelic, tasty; it's excellent from 4:35 to 5:47, enhanced by numerous soundscapes, and a haunting female voice. Soon after that, the voice alterations seem more produced to me than necessary, but the overall track is really well done. B+ 4. Astropilot - Answers is even more beautiful than previous numbers. It begins with a warm, harmonious introduction, and a stand out ethnic-influence that appears to have influenced the album so far. The song has a pleasant, upbeat, winter Holiday sound to it, as if the bells and chimes are paving the way for spiritual gifts. The song is beautiful and flowing. Astropilot just released a main album called Here and Now too that also showcases some really beautiful work for those who are into quality psy/chill (mid/downtempo) music. The song is gripping throughout. The sound from 5:28 to 5:35 is effective, and that's not even going into the dreamy transition and the song's final third. Another strong track. B+ 5. Tentura - Free Your Mind has more pick up and energy early on, thanks to a strong (but not too upfront) beat), some really good psy work, and a solid development that takes off from its foundation around 2:04. This track provides the compilation with boost, subtle intensity (while exercising beauty), and momentum than I've so far experienced here. Look for the part where thanks to a creative, integrated work, the song sounds as if it's slowly taking (or getting ready to blast) off. Also effective is the interlude that keeps things interesting before the last solid segment. I really have nit picks with this or the previous track. Both are great. B+ 6. Distant System - Astral Map Error has a cutting edge opening; like something out of a futuristic film. I feel as if we're in an evolved time capsule or spaceship. This is enhanced by a cool voice sample; the track gives the album an entirely different dimension of quality too. Aside from the intriguing introduction, the growing, vibrating beat is hypnotic. I feel as if I'm being more pulled in to the song's addiction and vibe as it progresses. After a sweet, psy-esque whirl wind, the beat enters and the vehicle shifts gears or lifts off. Around the bass line and beat is a delectably layering rhythm, coupled with healthy sounds, melodies, and more. This space ambient-influenced song caught me completely off guard. I really enjoyed the artists Spiral Empire album, and to here him design a new, great track here is very cool. His work is terrific. The track doesn't seem ethnic-influenced as the previous ones, more or less, but that's good too. With all of its energy, the song somehow manages to integrate well with the rest of the album and provide it with some super direction. Excellent track! A- 7. E-Mantra - Emptiness comes across like a world of colorful images and sights, thanks to many layers including ambient notes, soundscapes, background textures, melodic elements, and numerous, segmental melody leads. Such leads appear echoed with the intent to stand out a little less (then they could have) but they swim with the other sounds nicely. The ambient-influenced part in the middle is well done too. In the first half, I'm caught by the melodic elements and the atmosphere. A second synth/melody lead from 5:12 to 6:00 also works well. This song appears to give E-Mantra more opportunity to produce melodies. The song seems to be telling a story here which is cool too. Even in its final 0:35 seconds, the song sounds so beautiful, this could have enhanced the track a little more earlier I feel. I think the opening could have been more seamless, but the overall structure and how the song develops and is sculptured is very well done. This is solid track throughout, and becomes more psychedelic albeit chilled, and gripping as it progresses. Great work! A- 8. Shakri - Love and Devotion is another healthy and atmospheric treat. I love the electronica-esque melodies in this track that blend seemlessly in with everything else. This is one of the best song by Shakri I've heard in a while. It has a really nice sound and development from start to finish. I'm not sure the instrument that leads the story hear, but it's great. There's lots of heart and feeling throughout the song too, especially in the final third. Simple? A little. But sometimes less is more. Great work! A- 9. Lab's Cloud - Winds Fairy is a dreamy, floating number, and one of the best song's I've heard by the artist to date. Again, this tells a story with a magical touch. Is that a flute? It's beautiful. I love the bubbly, psychedelic sounds, female hymns (gives the track a ethereal, fairy-tale edge). But once they disappear, this ambient-influenced number turns into a psychedelic Goa-influenced number that slightly reminds me of the final delicious track on Filteria's Daze of our Lives album. But the beginning and ending transitions are more seamless here. This is a really good track with a fantastic, psy/goa influenced middle section. Great work. A- 10. Asura - Everlasting starts out with gentle, but arresting ambient notes, and atmosphere that soon develops into one of the most intoxicating numbers of the year. Early on, the song has a feel as if I've heard something like this before, but can't quite place it. Either way, it is this song that I currently wish Asura's amazing 360 album ended with. I would have possibly therefore given that album a solid A, but who knows for sure. This is a beautiful, closing track. Like an awakening in addition to a dream coming true, a major good bye song. But Asura will be here for some time to come, likely prodicuing superb numbers as both on 360 and various Altar Record's compilations including this one. What vibes! This is an excellent, beautiful song! A In conclusion, Ether stands out far more than Altar Record's previous compilation (which had some great tracks on it too). I was simply not impressed with the second track. But the album really picks up, gets better after that. I wasn't expecting both Distant Systems and E-Mantra to be on a compilation. Both tracks are great and compliment the ethnic/indian, and tribal-influenced Chill feel established early on. And lets not forget Astropilot's work (his second track here I like the most), Shakri's number has some really catchy melodies, Tentura's number is very enjoyable, and more. But after all the pleasantries, I find Asura's song to be the jewel in the crown. It's deep and beautiful, as I imagined after hearing 360 by Asura which is IMO the best Chill album by a main artist in 2010. The overall album leaves me in a state of warmth, peace, and harmony. While some of the songs appear more simple than others, Ether is thoughtful, relaxing, and one of the most solid Chill compilations of 2010 so enjoy it! And give it a track or two to pick up. This is a good release! Favorite tracks: 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. B+ Samples / Order http://www.psyshop.com/shop/CDs/alr/alr1cd005.html http://www.goastore.ch/product_info.php?products_id=4258&osCsid=c95f07c9566fcd091097f6f300053c34 http://altar.bandcamp.com/album/ether http://www.altar-records.com/ether.html
  5. If I ranked Suntrip's releases from fave to least favourites. Main Artist Albums Filteria: Daze Of Our Lives ... A RA - 9th ... A- Filteria - Sky Input ... A- Khetzal - Corolle ... A- Filteria - Remixed + Unreleased ... A- Electrypnose - Sweet Sadness ... B+ Merr0w - Born Underwater ... B+ Radical Distortion - Psychedelic Dreams ... B+ E-Mantra - Arcana - B Filteria - Heliopolis ... B+ Goasia - From Other Spaces ... B+ Ka-Sol - Fairytales ... B Afgin - Astral Experience ... B Compilations V/A - Sundrops: Lights In Motion ... A- V/A - Temple of Chaos ... A- V/A - Apsara ... B+ V/A - Energy Waves ... A- V/A - Opus Iridium ... B+ V/A - Twist Dreams ... B
  6. V/A - Spiritual Rising 01. Gazzuar - Glyzerin 02. Astrancer - Koilon 03. Hypnotic Signal - Seven Nights 04. Zed Reactor - Velzevul 05. Joseph Mcdonough - Mindgap 06. E-Mantra - Ragnarok 07. Radical Distortion - IR 3109 08. Amanians - DNA 09. Psychedelic Quest - Project Meditate I don't know if this is better than Temple Of Chaos. It's well done though. Mastering could be better though on several tracks; the beat in Seven Nights sounds fairly low in relation to the layers, but that one or two tracks are incredible. Which tracks are they? Let's look at the whole album. 01. Gazzuar - Glyzerin has a really nice, driving feel to it. It sounds fairly Full On Goa-influenced, but in a good way. If Astral Projection produced cool tracks (to Goa fans) today, it might sound not too far from this. There's some good atmosphere here too, and although the track sounds a too synthesized (at times), the positive prevails. Great track! Solid production too. B+ 02. Astrancer - Koilon has the most captivating first minute on the album for me. It becomes so loaded at 0:40 however, that I was initially concerned that all of its strength had been revealed early on, thus contributing to an exhaustion peek sooner than later. Fortunately, the music changes up at 3:17; ambient notes fuse with the layers at 3:34, and at 3:46, and there is a wonderful, structure shift (part) soon after that leads a beautiful path throughout much of the second half. Most of the arrangements are fantastic. The artist keeps things interesting, and even brings back the delicious part, with added textures, in the last fifth. The part from 8:10 to 8:35 is great too; the vehicle drives relentlessly during this segment through a reduced, albeit ethnic-influenced layers. Strong production. The song could have ended a little better though. Excellent track! A- 03. Hypnotic Signal - Seven Nights is currently one of my least favorite tracks here. The beat's too low; the layers sound fairly tinny compared to surrounding tracks. There's lots of nice ethnic-influenced melodies. But the song sounds so conventional to me; it goes through similar sounding movements I've heard so many times before, but through the delicate vision of the artist here. There's some psychedelic work in the second half that enhances the track. I'm simply not hooked like the first two songs. Weak production and mastering compared to the first two tracks. B- 04. Zed Reactor - Velzevul starts out as if it could be a new Xenomorph album. The track is a roller coaster (the people screaming as if in peril sound fx remind me of a literal, run-away-train). These effects are great. The song's a monster dance number as Voodoo Serano's Blood Is Pumping song was many years back. But this has a dark (and mainstream dance trance) Goa influence. My gripe (not really a flaw) is that it's loaded with so much sensation, -the song's not much more than a big, adrenaline pump. That said, the climactic elements (such as at 4:18) after a quadruple-plus lift is impressive as far as energy (pick-up) goes. I thought the haunted (as if stuck in an evil castle) interlude was interesting too, though it went on for longer than I anticipated (for a song of this energy). The last forth varies the climactic arrangement. It's pretty good stuff. The song is just all (or almost all) sensation, and the least Goa influenced track here. But it's great for what it's going for: high octane, crazy/wild, dance friendly madness. The voice samples towards the end aren't necessary though; some may consider them cheesy (I wouldn't argue). That said, this is a pretty cool track, but I'm going to hear something that's more in the spirt of Goa now. B+ 05. Joseph Mcdonough - Mindgap is another artist I've never heard of before, producing a solid, elegant, and driving number. A soft, atmospheric backdrop comprised of ambient notes compliment its fluid rhythm and harmony. Although the song seems to play it safe, I'm hooked by its combination of elegant sounds, production, and smooth, floating rhythm. Another solid track. B+ 06. E-Mantra - Ragnarok was the most anticipated track for me since Astrancer's. One could some this up as eight minutes of atmosphere. But that would be short-changing it dramatically. Layers appear like one on top of another early on. I wish they appeared more seamlessly; the beat sounds a little repetitive. But the sounds somehow blend together really well. One of my issues with E-Mantra is that their songs, though atmospheric, occasionally seem to have no clear direction. This would have been my issue on Koilon, had the second part of that song not taken place. ayers. After an interlude, from 2:22 to 2:40, some form of a lead (though I wish its echoes were more subtle) takes place, providing the track with more catch to groove into. Since E-Mantra's melody leads generally come and go, or are seldom present, the earlier one fades out; the song enters a second interlude. There's a story being told here, though it seems vague at times. The beat returns at 4:14; layers build up to accommodate a powerful sound at 4:28. Additional, gripping sounds arrive; the song's quite climactic here, and absorbing. A sweet Goa melody dances in the background, from 5:03 forward, though it seems to have no direction; it compliments the immersive feel. The sound could have used a deeper sense of warmth and feeling however, and E-Mantra's echoes are sometimes so obvious that they distract from various, other soundscapes at times. Somewhere I think a more prominent, tasty Goa lead would have worked, with ambient support, etc. E-Mantra's style and visionary work is nonetheless ambitious and interesting. While it's impressive on a technical level, the song lacks being fun, as if it's taking itself so seriously. The ambient notes sound good towards the end, but why wait until the end to emphasis feeling?; they could have enhanced the interludes. Overall this is an interesting, strong, and (to some degree) epic track. B+ 07. Radical Distortion - IR 3109 develops nicely. I like how the artist(s) combine elegant with rough work, often switching it up, changing arrangements, combining, building, and making their songs more psychedelic as they progress. There is a multi-whistle sound early on that somehow works with the warm melodies, though the arrangement doesn't grab my attention. A wild, dancing Goa tune before the second minute is far more catchy. After a conventional interlude, the middle third integrates more psy sounds, melodies, and readjusts its arrangement for one more tasty and fun. The work here sounds influenced from some of the work on Radical's Psychedelic Dreams album, and that's fine. I feel that the song lacks taking some risks however due to that. Numerous times, an old section will evolve to one more involved. An example is after the second (or so) interlude/buildup, from around 4:50 to 5:30 where the track feels more full and satisfying than before. The ambient notes are cool too; they produce more of a relaxed, traveling feel. Each segment is well built here. I simply find that the song is playing it safe; it keeps me entertained, but never arrests me on a grander level, as track 2 and 6 have. The ambient notes return in the last minute; they sound great, and musically, the track (since it went this warmer direction) could have involved more emotion possibly (feeling in that regard), after hearing some of PD's fantastic tracks on 2009's Psychedelic Dreams album. Good track, but nothing superb. B 08. Amanians - DNA starts out like a breathing dragon before all-out-war. There's lots of rage and emotion here; possibly this song is influenced by Merr0w's Citrus Circus. Or not. The song grabs my attention early on and doesn't loosen for a while, until around 2:55... it becomes more interesting once the raging repetion fades fairly at 3:30 to accommodate an interesting/ambient-influenced approach to its madness. Parts like these produce more depth, substance to a song that could otherwise wear think as it progresses (for some people). The return of energy at just under the fifth mark sounds great. At roughly 6:12, the raging rhythm fades to introduce another refreshing variation. This keeps me interested until the next round of crazy/wild, headtrip, psychedelic mania. From 8:21 to 8:50 is the most unexpected change up yet. Both the beat and music fades until near extinct. Suddenly, both slowly return, gradually picking up speed.. faster and faster. The effect provides dynamic rush sequences to a solidly crafted vehicle. I'm sure many listeners will like Amanians intense and relentless Goa approach, especially in this track here. I find it more interesting, less one-dimenionsal than Amanian's Fireworks track on 2009's V//A - People Walk album. Great work! A- 09. Psychedelic Quest - Project Meditate isn't bad at all, the more I hear it. The opening, skipping sounds are catchy. The song has a deeper (lower pitched) beat that arrives at 0:41; this took time to grow on me. The skipping sounds continue, as more fuse together. The first several minutes sound pretty good; the layers work well together, though that lower-pitched beat's just a little distracting. But the selected sound/melodies, and skipping effect works. They thankfully leave for new images at 2:31; a bubbly bit takes over before a more authoritarian, coupled with Pleiadian-esque/skipping melodies take place. The skipping melody then takes over; basically the song is like a path comprised of islands, as it moves from one section of ideas to the next. This works to some degree, though I find the track less epic, rich, or visionary because of this approach. The beat changing up refreshes the feel of the middle third; a tiny though effective enhancement. Key changes enhance the track later on; the story seems more congruent in that regard. In short, I expected more after the previous song. This isn't bad though; it's simply not one of my favorites. B In conclusion, this is one of the best Psy/Goa-Trance compilations of 2010 along with V/A - Energy Waves and V/A - Temple Of Chaos. While I clearly find the mastering better on other 2010 Goa releases, including Crossing Mind's The Holographic Paradigm, the overall mastering here isn't bad per say; it could be better on certain tracks. The compilations has many good/great songs. I didn't care for the melody/sound work in Seven Nights, and the sheer sensation of Zed Reactor's Velzevul wears off after a while, though it will be great on dance floors I imagine. That said, Glyzerin is extremely accessible and fun. Astrancer's Koilon is grand. E-Mantra's Ragnarok is immersive and hypnotic, although the sheer power of its atmosphere seems to stunt potential fun it could have had with its melody leads. Amanian's DNA is excellent too, and numerous others are solid, though stand out to me less than the ones I'm mentioning here. I'm glad to say that V/A - Spiritual Rising is a solid compilations for fans of Psychedelic Goa-Trance. Favorite tracks: 1, 2, 5, 6, 8. B+ Samples / Order here http://www.psyshop.com/shop/CDs/eer/eer1cd003.html http://www.saikosounds.com/english/display_release.asp?id=8526
  7. Crossing Mind - The Holographic Paradigm DAT Records 2010 1. Andromeda 2. Terminal Fantasy 3. Magnesia 4. Mental Escape 5. Hypnotropic 6. Lunatic Transfer 7. Psy Crise 8. United Pulse 9. Out Of Time The Holographic Paradigm is Crossing Mind's Psy/Goa-Trance debut album. For those familiar with their track on Suntrip Record's V/A - Temple of Chaos, I wasn't crazy with their track on there, but as even artist Merr0w later proved on his debut album, Crossing Mind has its chance to shatter past perceptions, and for those who enjoyed their previous work, raise their bar. 1. Andromeda begins with some very distorted psy sounds. They skip across the beat as a variety of sound effects coat the growing rhythm. A catchy, albeit gentle melody enters at 1:49 and is accompanied by sweet, buzzing sounds. The track sounds nice, but its grip has yet to tighten. After a brief interlude, the music returns with more layers, a grittier support, and an excellent, psy lead that arrives at 4:09. The song is becoming tastier, as the backdrop hums along the sweet, driving rhythm. It's a good track so far, but the part after the brief drum roll is great. This involves more of an emotive, story telling approach via the melody department. Soon however, the psy sounds take over, leaving the melodies to swim with the atmospheric backdrop. Unsure of the song's next move, an intricate sound combination rises up around 6:15, and is soon supported by tasty Goa melodies. I really like the melodically driving rhythm throughout this song, and its development into the sixth and seventh minute. I feel that it could have ended around 7:27 however; the track begins to build new energy in its last 1-2 minutes. Fortunately, the return of some old, more emotive elements is pleasant. While this isn't the best track here in my opinion, it's well done, and this is just the beginning. B+ 2. Terminal Fantasy is far more energetic than the previous number. The melodies are confident and strong; they stand out more than the previous track. The atmosphere is good too, and from 2:15-2:28 is the sweet buildup that provides a fantastic rush, the first on the album for me. This staccato chorus-like segment is very different from Talpa's The Kingdom track, however it reminds of a less-crazy version of its climax nonetheless. The song seems less choppy however, more fluid and in that regard, tasty. This part takes place for a good minute or two, until a far, more blistering psychedelic Goa-trance rhythm pours into overdrive, arresting the senses in the middle third. So there's two great lead rhythms taking place here in addition to the track's strong atmosphere, and numerous, supportive sounds. Moreover, there's change up, angles of distortion, and rearrangements in the final act that combine both previous and new elements for a dynamic, final third. The last minute takes off many of the layers, and the less combined approach sounds catchy as well. Great track. B+ 3. Magnesia has an interesting introduction, ending with the voice of a little girl before taking off. The beat seems emphasized by subtle sound emphasis, as a powerful Goa-esque lead enters at 2:08, soon overlapped by a rich, ethnic influenced lead. I really like the driving feel, the rhythm, and the emphasis on the beat; the latter stands out without being too upfront. After a brief interlude in which the music chills in the background, a little girl's voice signals the next stretch of madness. This involves a radically different approach involving distortion; the layers seem to be being shaken up, put in a blender, and reconstructed. The overall effect is wonderful; you can hear this psychedelic enrichment more clearly from 6:50-7:00. Magnesia is a dynamic and psychedelic track with strong melody/sound work, unpredictable twists, and a delicious blend of wild atmosphere. It's currently my favorite uptempo track on the album. Excellent track! A- 4. Mental Escape nearly skips the intro via beat. The fast paced melodies hook early on, though an intro would have been cool. At roughly 2:04, a new melody sentence arrives. It sounds pretty good, but grow a little repetitive as it moves forward. The arrangement is soon altered, though similar behavior seem to take place. I notice a variety of movement in the backdrop that's interesting. There's also a lower key/grinding sound (it stands out even more from 5:39 to 5:53) that's great. My issue is that the melodies seem almost secondary (or repetitive) at times to the solid psychedelic work around them. For instance, the melody section from 2:03 to 2:52 soon grows tired, as if it's on auto-pilot to some degree. This takes place soon after, and again from 7:00 to 7:32; I find these parts monotonous. The melody work on previous tracks was far more gripping. That said, the melody work combinations sound great from 5:54-6:15, and again from 6:37 to 6:55, and yet again from 7:56 to 8:15. I simply find a decent amount of the melody work here less arresting than on previous tracks. All other supportive work is well done. B 5. Hypnotropic begins with a short but interesting, ambient-influenced opening. Here the layers seem to be pouring out of a tunnel on top of a "rumbling" generator. The first several minutes are psychedelic heavy, though I'm not in love with the higher pitched focus and miss a melody lead. Not to worry, if your attention hasn't been grabbed yet, it likely will at 3:00 when the rhythm changes up to adopt a rough, drivingly deeper tone. A higher pitched lead arrives at 3:31; it's quite high (maybe higher than I prefer), though the Pleiadians had layers that went higher. What's interesting is the combination between high and low synth work. There is a strong, healthy balance that ripples through the track throughout the middle third. One takes place from 5:35 to 5:50, and all the meanwhile, the vehicle (overall song here) seems drenched in acid. The same seems true for many songs here, and I may be missing a whole other layer of comprehension to the album's depth. That said, an intentionally choppy/tasty rhythm is highlighted throughout the final third. There is more taking place in the background textures, though the undercurrent sound is very effective, reminding me of some of the work on the Battle of the Buddha's - Twin Sharkfins album. Psychedelic track! B+ 6. Lunatic Transfer is more to my liking; the leads stand out more. The background work is psychedelic as they've been on previous tracks too. The melody work is really gripping here, especially from 4:33 to 4:56, and again from 5:17 to 6:30; these sections include some of the most infectious and most enjoyable melody/sound work I've heard all year. The track's just heating up though. I won't spoil everything, but before the seventh minute, the song changes up, gains a second appetite. The complimentary sound of what could be a clock reaching midnight (or whatever that "bong..." is towards the end) is an interesting, little addition too. Excellent track. A- 7. Psy Crise begins with radio-esque voice samples, as if we're on a station in space. The introduction is interesting enough; there's some bubbly sounds; the gradual/layer building works well. A catchy melody arrives at 2:14. Pleiadian-esque sounds swirl in addition to acid lines. A variety of soundscapes swim into the liquid as the texture heavy backdrop changes form. The beat and sound that overlaps it works well here; the less intense approach via beat gives the album more variety. The song's composure seems more articulative. Those who enjoy their work drenched in psychedelia may take note of this and several, previous tracks. The song continues this bubbly ride, developing its higher-pitched rhythms, and sounds pretty good to me, nothing spectacular. Suddenly, the beat fades Sounds disappear into darkness at 6:12. The interlude's intriguing, as if we're deep (and moving) underground. It's creative, unpredictable (and catchy!) work like this that I enjoy; the space provides a chance for change up and direction, for the song involve and evolve more. Although there isn't a melody lead that I can point out (save for the one around 2:14), the ambient-influenced work (even in the last minute) is great! This is another strong track that seems more imagination in the second half, as it takes risks to build new terrain. I may be giving this less credit than it deserves. The overall track is interesting, well done! B+ 8. United Pulse ... the mega uptempo (before last) song on the album begins as if deep in a borrow somewhere, adjusting how it will approach surface until breaking through the Earth at 1:52. This is a good example of storytelling I think. The first track seemed to reflect elements, like chapters in a story by using emotive notes. This is no exception; there is this warm feeling throughout that hooks my senses early on, eliciting emotions. I feel involved with the track. A spacey interlude breaks up the middle before the vehicle takes off for its next evolution in orbit. The lower sound compliments a few of the other tracks; note or key changes produce more of an organized, orchestrated feel too. I felt a little lost on Mental Escape, but here I feel more immersed, as if more attention as been invested into both the arrangement and overall structure of the track. This is an interesting, smart number that keeps me hooked without overwhelming my senses to sheer psychedelia. Strong track. A- 9. Out Of Time is incredible. I would love to hear more work like this from Crossing Mind. This mid-tempo vehicle feels as if we're moving in a rover across Mars (or in a dune buggy in the dessert) as the gorgeous, orange/red sunset bleeds across the sky with illustrated treasure. I can even hear a (whether intended or not) subtle Pleiadian-esque area (from 3:04 to 3:19). I think these guys could pull off even more amazing work if they let those artists influence them a little more at times; they're work on this track is captivating. Things continue to change, blend, develop, and evolve; and the melody/sound work is deliciously combined to the trekking score. I love the atmosphere around the beat, how the beat is deliciously encountered by a variety of Goa melody/sounds, and effects. Underneath the fairly driving beat is an undercurrent that stands out from 4:57 to 5:11. The chopped up sound/braiding section towards the end is sweet too. My only issue is that the track seems unsure how to end, as it fades pretty quickly. I would have loved a more satisfying, conclusive ending. Otherwise, Out Of Time oozes with greatness; it's one of the richest, most underrated, imaginative, and absorbing songs I've heard so far all year. Stunning track! A- In conclusion, The Holographic Paradigm has tracks that are much better than the artist's Cyclone in Your Heart song on the Temple Of Chaos compilation. I'm actually a little surprised that Suntrip released that track when they could have possibly released one of these. This isn't what I'd consider a homogeneous release because it wasn't cut that way, but rather a compilation of (some, if not all of) Crossing Mind's best work to date. The result is an album that will appeal to fans of Goa/Psy trance in general. It's simply not a story-driven album. There are other releases out there for that. That said, there are some really great tracks here. As with Derango's Tumult, although this is completely different, Crossing Mind's style is very psychedelic. If not for the melodies, I probably wouldn't like their work as much. But the melodies, combined with the psychedelic heavy approach can be very impressive and fun. I simply wish the album was more homogenous because hearing it straight through isn't as enjoyable I find, as breaking it up over maybe two listens. There hasn't been many Psychedelic Goa-Trance releases in 2010, aside from the one mentioned above, Goasia, V/A's Energy Waves, Amithaba Buddha's Myself In The Mirror, and most recently V/A - Spiritual Rising. The Holographic Paradigm may be more psychedelic than any of the above if we were to somehow measure. It's a solid release with some amazing tracks and work on it. Favorite tracks: 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 9. B+ Samples / Order Saikosounds http://www.saikosounds.com/english/display_release.asp?id=8522 Psyshop http://www.psyshop.com/shop/CDs/dat/dat1cd003.html Amazon.co.uk http://www.amazon.co.uk/Holographic-Paradigm-Crossing-Mind/dp/B003UEMSFI/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1287577704&sr=8-4 Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Holographic-Paradigm-Crossing-Mind/dp/B003UEMSFI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1287577677&sr=1-1
  8. Jon Cocco

    Asura - 360

    Asura - 360 Ultimae Records October, 2010 http://img577.imageshack.us/img577/1479/inr1cd043b.jpg 1. El-Hai (featuring Ayten) (6:02) 2. Regenesis (6:13) 3. Altered State (Album Edit) (8:55) 4. Atlantis Child (10:56) 5. Erase (6:05) 6. Halley Road (8:45) 7. Longing for Silence (8:13) 8. Getsemani (6:52) 9. Le Dernier Voyage (9:48) 10. Virgin Delight (9:40) 360 is the 4th album by Asura. Ultimae Records released Life², Asura's third album in 2007. Although the first two albums were very well done, Life² was a beautiful, homogeneous release, filled with gorgeous, ambient/trance influenced down and mid-tempo numbers. Some listener's complained however, that a few songs had beats too upfront relative to the wonderful music. Fortunately, such issues have been addressed in 360. But where does it rank as a chill/downtempo release? Read on for more. 1. El-Hai (featuring Ayten) opens the story with a marvelous, ethnic influenced downbeat number. It involves beautiful, foreign, female vocals backed by a rich and atmospheric backdrop. Gentle instrumental sounds enter, in addition to vibrant melody/sound work, a tribe-esque drum composition/score, and what appears to be numerous, organic elements. The song is beautiful, dreamy, and infectious. This is a fairly simple song, but its lush atmosphere, elegant, ethnic influence, and sound produce a strong and delicious recipe. Excellent track. A- 2. Regenesis begins atmospherically. The first half of the song appears more ethnic, ambient-influenced via downbeat. The idea behind the song's direction here, reminds me of some of the incredible direction/work on 2009's Solar Fields - Movements album. But through the vision and sound of Asura. The result is equally stunning. Without dragging, the atmospheric world here opens up at around 3:27 to one of the most gorgeous melody/sound compositions. I initially had no idea where this was going, until it elevated my senses in the second half like a mid-tempo rush, burst of flavors. The melody work in the second half is superb, and makes every second leading up to it worth it. Outstanding track! A 3. Altered State (Album Edit) is a remixed, remastered, more homogeneous and enjoyable version than the previous one from 2008's Opus Iridium compilation. I felt that the beat was too loud/noticeable in that version, and took away from the song's potential. In that sense (among others), the remix is a big improvement over the original. Furthermore, the song seems to have more of a variety of structure than previous tracks so far. Beginning with warm, ambient notes, soon integrated into atmosphere, the song establishes a solid foundation early on before the beat arrives. A unique and catchy/mechanical sound effect that enhances the first act, and at 2:52, things really get moving. A catchy instrument around 3:50 works well with the driving rhythm, as the atmospheric backdrop gradually washes away the beat to accommodate an interlude. The transition here is smooth, and makes the song feel more substantial and whole. While the melody/sound work stood to me more on the previous track, this is a remix nonetheless. The artist has given new life to a vision that had so much potential to grow; such growth is realized here. This is an excellent, superior remix/version of 2008's solid/downtempo Altered State song by Asura. A- / A 4. Atlantis Child starts off with a gentle, ambient-trance influenced introduction. The beat kicks in to the smooth surroundings at 1:55. What appears to be piano drives enhances the warm rhythm. The first few minutes are great, with tasteful foundation development. My issue is the passionate, male vocal hymns that enter at 3:11. I love the melody/note, the idea behind the voice; I think the delivery would have been more effective (and less distracting to the music), had an actual instrument, such as a violin, or something creatively tweaked been used instead. Asura's work is just so immersive on 360. I feel less involved whenever the voice/effects appear. Around that (and they're by no means bad), the song's terrific. The middle section involves the beat switching up; petals appear to be incorporated. There's a distorted effect, most prominent from 4:34 to 5:00 that sounds great; it builds interest and flows well with the returning harmonies after a solid transition. The track ends with several more hymns that I'm just not a big fan of. Overall, this is great, if not excellent song. I simply wish the hymns were replaced with a complimentary instrument, as I feel less "free" to the music with them in. Great track. A- 5. Erase seems different than other tracks here due to a variety of psy-influence that includes some dynamic, faster-paced mixing. Naturally, everything unique here takes place with attractive sounds. There's not much of a lead melody in the first couple minutes, but the psy approach is catchy and compliments the album. After a catchy, crunchy moment, a more evocative synth arrives. The beautiful sound/notes provide depth and feeling. Towards the end, as the sound fusion is most strong (roughly 5:09) involves a brief, male voice / singing shout of emotion- which I find unnecessary and distracting from the song's finesse. I understand the concept of the artist expressing certain ideas and feelings through the music, to add, enhance, impact, etc. I simply found this moment least necessary here. I'm sure some listeners won't mind it, as it's brief- no make or break. The song feels less epic than some of the others, but allows for breathing in that sense like cleansing the palette with something less JOURNEY-ESQUE. It works! Great track! B+ / A- 6. Halley Road has seemed to garnish a buzz on the internet due to its melody/sound work. It's like a sun dissolving the rainy clouds, or a transcending experience involving body, mind, spirit, and Source. If you've heard the samples, you have an idea of how great this song is. The track is surprisingly simple. The first half of the song evolves into an elevating score, buildup; the second is like where that ball of energy/buildup is released. So much is accomplished with so little here. Even though the song is set to one, continuous path, its heavenly sound and delivery is beautiful. Wonderful work! A 7. Longing for Silence is (for me at least) even better than Halley Road. As with the previous gem, this compels in being simple, but has more layers, emotionally. The song tells a story, or chapter that is sad, and poignant. The song becomes very evocative at this point, with the entrance of what appears to be a gentle instrument coupled with subtle, female hymns. Remember the end of the film, "Man On Fire" with Denzel Washington, when he (John Creasy) gives his life in exchange for the little girl's? As the antagonists are driving him away, powerful music (like in Gladiator) scores the scene as the camera focuses in on John's eye. A song like this would work wonders in a scene like that. It's beautiful, sad, haunting, and contemplative. Superb track. A 8. Getsemani is a provocative, mature ambient piece. It begins with thunder, dark clouds, followed by strong ambient notes that tell an incredible chapter to this story. There is so much emotion throughout the track. Upon hearing it, I have currently experienced internal imagery (and feelings associated with) a post-apocalyptic world. As the song plays out, I see a balloon floating. A little girl's shadow appears frozen in dust from a nuclear explosion, and a child some miles away endlessly on a corner, clutching his stuffed teddy bear. From death comes rebirth anyway, from "perceived" destruction is change, and without change, we remain stagnant, stoic, the same. That's what I get from the song anyway. From loss and sacrifice comes a deeper understanding of who we are (beyond our adopted ego). Maybe this philosophy, or at least the post-apocalyptic scene I imagined was not the artist's vision here. The latter likely wasn't. Regardless, there is so much feeling throughout the song. I'm sure many listeners will interpret the track different ways. I find it raw in emotion, kind of like Golgotha on the previous album, but more ambient-based. This track seems to have impressed my girlfriend more than any song on 360. She was speechless (in what later I learned was a good way; she was affected), and we shared our personal feelings associated with the song afterwards. Getsemani is powerful and superb from start to finish. A 9. Le Dernier Voyage begins with chilling, icy atmosphere. Since Halley Road, this album has gone from excellent to outstanding, a solid A from me. Anyway, the first two minutes involve a healthy blend of ambient-influenced rhythm. Intriguing tunes enter at 2:01. Not just any old tunes, but carefully selected, beautiful sounds like liquid flames in a world of ice. Another arrives and supports the blissful voyage, soon joined by numerous soundscapes. The backdrop simmers for a bit before the arrival of an even stronger band at 3:12. The first half of the song could almost be described as two solid, curiously integrated developments, before choosing a complimentary (initially invisible) direction better than both, or in other words, evolving. The sounds fade for a breezy transition that opens up to a beautiful, beat-driven part. From 3:50 forward, the track sustains strong formation, and remains gripping until the final seconds. Even with what appears to be some experimental work over the sixth minute (doesn't take away but) enhances the spirit with floating ambient notes. The final third of the song has an infectious, celestial/ambient layer that ever so slightly reminds me of the gorgeous ambient notes on Hallucinogen's L.S.D. track. In short, it's superb, and adds delicious icing to the current life. This is yet another example of the evolved sound I love from Asura. The song's arresting, without any vocal bit(s) to remove me from the immersive experience. Excellent track. A- 10. Virgin Delight begins with a wave of dreamy ambient that takes over the senses in the first two minutes. I visualize flying freely above the clouds. The gentle beat arrives at 2:05, along with a sustained tune that initially stood out to me a little too much, but its grown me. It's here that I notice the influence from Solar Field's wonderful "Introduction" track on the Mirror's Edge soundtrack. I love the first 4:47 minutes of this song. I'd give it an A- to an A alone, but I'm looking at the whole. Many lush soundscapes and warm melodies swim throughout this creature, reflecting peace, freedom, love, and light. It appears that Magnus's gentle sound has been re-imagined to some degree, and the result is intoxicating. The female vocals from 3:41 to 4:47 flows beautifully with the other sounds. The beat leaves at 4:02, and beginning at roughly 4:48, a psy sound effect-driven interlude takes place. Unfortunately, the interlude seems too broken up, even a little random at times; it's ultimately less substantial, fulfilling, and confident than the previous section, and unfortunately off-sets the rest of the track for me. Maybe it's here possibly to reduce the sense of repetition. I feel that an opportunity to elevate the first 4-5 minutes to a whole new musical level of greatness (before seamlessly merging with the final act) has been missed. So in short, the middle segment is far less riveting and satisfying than the work around it. Otherwise, the song has many nice elements, a heavenly sound, is different in many ways than Intro on Mirror's Edge, and I've fallen in love with the first half. The overall track is simply not the masterpiece I had hoped to perceive it as. B+ In conclusion, 360 is the best Chill/Downtempo album I've heard so far all year. Simply put, this is Asura's most passionate, beautiful, and best album yet. Some of the work is relatively softer than Asura's previous work, and this "less intense" with the beats (for instance) approach I find more effective, satisfying. The beats aren't too soft; they're simply less evasive as they were on a few tracks in Life². There appears at times some influence to Solar Fields - Movements album, but this feels like a true Asura release, albeit one that has evolved, improved dramatically (in some ways) from 2007's Life². My gripes are that I wish an instrumental sound was used in Atlantis Child as opposed to the male hymns (appearing at times). The "hymns" don't destroy the track; some people may enjoy them. I simply don't. Add that to a couple sounds, whispers (towards the very end of Erase). And the last track, though influenced to some degree from Magnus's self-titled "Introduction" song on the Mirror's Edge Soundtrack, could have done more to separate itself (and possibly triumph its beauty in the middle) from it. Aside from these few quirks however, the album is stunning. I could throw a dart and any track it lands on will be great; that's when you know an album is really special. The album is so beautiful actually, that it's hard for me to not recommend this album to virtually anyone into music, especially listeners of downtempo, chill, ambient, etc. This is one of those albums that I think almost anyone who hears it will either like or love. For the record, I have yet to hear a better Chill album in 2010. Asura's 360 was well worth the wait. It's fantastic. Favorite tracks: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 A Samples / Order Ultimae http://www.ultimae.com/en/releases/486/tracks.html Beatspace http://beatspace.com/dettagli/dettaglio.asp?id=5958 Psyshop http://www.psyshop.com/shop/CDs/inr/inr1cd043.html Goastore http://www.goastore.ch/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=Asura+&osCsid=32d2f44b372c83fe061cae977e446400&x=0&y=0 Amazon.co.uk http://www.amazon.co.uk/360/dp/B004784FUW/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1289234600&sr=8-3-catcorr
  9. Psyfactor - Futurised Ajana Recordd 2010 1. Discovering Andromeda - 5:38 2. Flying Dolphins - 7:23 3. Are We Alone - 6:12 4. Futurised - 6:27 5. In Space - 6:00 6. Above And Beyond - 7:45 7. Cassiopeya - 7:03 8. Over The Edge - 6:53 9. Back In Time - 5:52 10. Purple Sky - 6:37 11. Neptunes Waves - 5:58 12. Out Of This World - 5:28 Futurised is the second ambient-influenced, Psy/Chill album by Psyfactor since the release of Endless Universe in 2008. I never heard that album (save for samples) so I can't really comment, but read some positive reviews on it. That said, a full review ensues of this new Psy/Chill release. 1. Discovering Andromeda begins as a dreamy, ambient-influenced score. There's what appears to be an altered goat and/or individual's voice laughing that somehow works wonders. A chilled, downbeat kick drum enters around 1:52. The song moves forward, surrounded by gorgeous soundscapes, emotive melodic and psy sounds. These have been combined very well, producing a heavenly backdrop. I love the beat, and virtually all ingredients throughout the track until the last thirty-eight (or so) seconds, the latter where the track seems unsure when to end. I think that the beat could have continued just a little longer; fortunately, the section with the beat changes up and avoids repetition. An evocative score pours across the layers like liquid at around 3:32. The entire world seems to be swimming in colors and lights; with elements ranging from romantic to intoxicating. The last minute or two could have used a little more touching up (direction and magic). But the first two thirds are engaging, and showcase strong craftsmanship. This is a magical, tasty, and beautiful opening track. It's sensual too. I love it. B+ 2. Flying Dolphins starts out with many psy sounds/scapes that are enhanced with ambient notes, multiple layers of ambient notes actually. There's an curiuos, fast paced sound/melody rising and lowering. It's soon met with more zesty, psy notes. Those notes temporally disappear to front a brief moment of breath before the song takes off via beat at 2:31. I really like this part, as the song seems to balance beauty and sensation fairly well. More notes arrive, some echoed; they carry the song to new areas of the land, and to a calm clearing, before soon taking off again. Tiny, melodic ingredients are gradually placed into the bigger pot, though the beat could have possibly changed up a little. The song seems almost bursting with sounds, for better or worse, and has less of a magical feel than the previous track. Furthermore, the sounds seem almost too layered at times; they don't flow as well, nor seem as congruent as the first. Overall this is a pretty good track with an experimental edge; I give the artist credit for taking risks. I'm simply not in love with the song. B- 3. Are We Alone begins with strong ambient notes that soon melt into a warm and intriguing, psy backdrop. Now THIS is the sound I love from this artist so far. I think the previous track was trying too hard. We're taken through a peaceful aura of colors in the first half. A slow, fairly soft beat appears, soon changing up, and letting the sounds breath in the infinite universe. At around 3:12, a tasty psy sound (like a skipping melody) trips over the reoccurring beat. The song develops nicely, and enters an evolved, celestial realm at around 4:10. There are so many nice elements working together here, yet none seem to overpower the other. In the last minute, the song loses its beat and elegantly returns to its contemplative, ambient-influenced direction. This is one of the most solid tracks by Psyfactor I've heard, and with a more satisfying ending than the opening, psy/chill number. Very good track! B+ 4. Futurised is an energetic and driving, uptempo number. It's loaded with cool sounds, melodic elements, ambient notes, flying soundscapes, and a fast, motivating beat from near start to finish. Although I found the second song fairly good at best, I better see the draw to Psyfactor's non-psytrance, uptempo work with this one. The beat provides an intense energy and gives the album more variety. I'm not bothered that the song seems more beat/driven than that with melodies, although there are many melodic elements. The style, approach, and energy is inviting and catchy enough. Cool track. B 5. In Space is my favorite uptempo track on the album. This is an energetically driving, sweetly textured, and visceral/pulsating electronica/psychill number. The kickass beat, and how it changes up around 3:30 reminds me of some of my favorite electronica tracks growing up by Prodigy, Chemical Brothers. But before the track falls into Psy-influenced techno, the artist changes up the beat in the second half after a fantastic interlude. Suddenly, the vehicle takes off with what appears to be breaks around the core energy and rhythm of the ride. Both my girlfriend and I really like how the song takes off and develops, as well as the break/beat (and all other) work in the second half. I don't quite understand why some people don't like song; to each their own. This is one of my favorite songs of 2010. Excellent work. A 6. Above And Beyond seems to have received some criticism, but I like to judge a track for myself, so I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt. This song begins more ambient based, and gradually attains many (to near exorbitant) sounds. A chilled beat arrives around 1:19 after a short, catchy lift. The song takes off, though remains down or mid-tempo. Melodies enter one after another, but the ambient notes really stand out as well done. They give subtle direction through the horizon until around 2:22 where a string of melodies pick up. Currently, the song is good. A peaceful interlude takes place at 2:57. Here is where new sounds arrive, particularly two or three (what I'll call) distorted, echoing cords. These distorted cords unfortunately get into trouble later on. Focusing on the song's continuation, the beat returns, and like a gentle tornado in concept: it absorbs numerous sounds around its deep, yet fairly soft and arresting movement. The beat works very well here, and as we cross over the forth minute. The problem is the distorted cords; they seem to become more out of sync to the point of distraction. There is a lot of overlap here, and in the case of the simultaneous pair of distorted cords; such overlap seems to throw off the measure, the timing of the beats. In this sense, I would have removed them entirely, or added something that better takes place. This flaw and/or gripe is heard without almost all other sounds in the last minute. I find it very distracting, and I have difficulty enjoying the song unfortunately due to this technical complication. C 7. Cassiopeya is a big improvement after the previous number. I realize that the artist likes to experiment, but this is the song I would have replaced the previous one with, as it's strikingly attractive, elegant, and catchy. The first ambient-influenced minute appears to incorporate numerous ticks, clicks, hi-hats, and various other elements that appear to produce a beat-free power. A shortly lived beat (great work) soon emerges, and updates itself into an even faster combination. The echoed melody at 2:24 I find rather simple, less contagious. However the ambient notes around 2:40 are very well done. The song is elevated by a lovely, musical fusion at 2:56. This part is wonderful, transcending. The artist pulls it off to an energetic beat those temporal excuses itself, in place of a beautiful interlude, from 4:17 to 5:03. At this point I've felt involved; I'm now enamored by the vibrant energy and harmonies entering. The beat returns as beautiful hymn-esque sounds layer a wonderous backdrop. Then they leave to accomidate a catchy, beat encore in the last minute before the warm atmosphere overpowers the final seconds. This is a strong and passionately produced number filled with lush atmosphere, elements, and harmonies. A- 8. Over The Edge is a healthy follow up to tasty, psy/chill, ambient-influence. The song sounds quite experimental, and although there are many sounds, none seem over worked or crammed. I really like when the artist takes time to develop the harmonies and backdrops, in addition to having unexpected, infectious elements at times. A psychedelic wave trips across the ambient notes and rhythm projected in the first half. The song seems to be growing, sculpturing itself to the magnetic sounds as it progresses. Then, at around 3:45, and before the track dragged for too long, a bizarre yet gripping sound combination enters. It's as if two insects are talking to one another. However both sounds play off each other to near simplicity and brilliance. The flow well, as the bass line appears to strengthen. Towards the final third, the entire melody approach changes up, though remains intact with the dreamy backdrop. I really like this track. It sounds inventive, creative, and diverse in ideas, while remaining solid throughout. Good track! B 9. Back In Time begins with numerous ambient layers. A strong melody enters at 0:32, and is soon enriched by ambient notes, a soft, but deep and effective beat, hymns, psy sounds, sustained melodies, and we're not even at the second minute yet. The beat soon picks up, becomes harder, more effective after the intro. The melodies are good here too, though the initial main melody remind me of a song I have by electronica artist Velvet Acid Christ. The song has a gripping interlude where the beat changes up and chills in the background to the atmospheric/psy elements taking place. It soon returns with its changed up momentum; the song avoids repetition by rebuilding in a sense, many new elements, and tweaking previous sound walls to the new skyscraper. In the final third, the strong beat arrives; it gives the song a more substantial, supportive feel. This is a good psy/chill mid-tempo number. I like the emotive, harmonious feel, coupled with floating backdrop, and beat work. There could have been some cool break work mixed in after the interlude I think, but that's no big deal. The song flows well and keeps my attention throughout. Good track! B 10. Purple Sky is a strong ambient-influenced number. The powerful bass line (without overdoing it) is great, and reminds me of some of Solar Field's recent work. I would have liked if maybe the melodies were developed a little more, but they sound good. There's some clever, dynamic mixing; the beat work is excellent, and sounds great with the melody/sound work, lush atmosphere, and ambient notes. The latter has supported the album nicely. It would have been nice if maybe more were done to build upon the tone and feel of the strong bass line early on. As the song seems to go through numerous sound details in order to hold the listeners attention. Take Solar Field's for example, who adds many details but also accomplishes so much power with grace, and typically less animation. Overall this is a pretty good track. B- 11. Neptunes Waves is yet anther ambient-influenced ride, albeit a consistent (without much of a beat) one throughout. It sounds nice, but I find the overall track more monotonous than the others, lacking in emotion and intrigue. What appears to be piano enters towards the end, but there are very few notes; not much seems to happen. I think piano in general can add good emotion depending on the artist's vision and musical abilities. The song here sounds less ambitious than the other tracks. It's okay, but kind of forgettable compared to many others I feel. C+ 12. Out Of This World utilizes a beat to support the melody work. I suppose the song is more interesting than the previous number, at least for the first half, as it seems unsure where/when to end. Among all of the sounds however, I find very little that arrests my attention. Sure, much of it sounds nice. I would have preferred if less subtle work was incorporated in these final moments, or last two tracks. Many nice sounds take place, but not much relative to structure or direction seems to happen. I'm left unsatisfied in this final chapter. Towards the last two minutes, it seems that whatever support this may have had, disappears; sounds kind of pour all over the place. It sounds kind of random to me, and not as congruent as the previous songs. That said, Psy/Ambient lovers may better appreciate this atmospheric number since it is more Psy/ambient based. C+ In conclusion, Futurizeed is an interesting release with some very strong work/tracks on it. This isn't ambient alone per say. Tracks are loaded with numerous elements. Some involve driving beats of various kinds. Others incorporate a down/mid-tempo feel. There's plenty of uptempo work too. The album isn't perfect though. For instance, the beautiful, sunrise, psy/chill opening could have had a clearer ending, and Above And Beyond "becomes a big mess" (my girlfriend's words, though she loved the opening) after the first several minutes. Flying Dolphins seems to involve almost too many sounds at times, and at the expense of numerous sounds appearing less connected with others. But I like it to some degree, and it's through experimenting in part that the artist's work has matured. While I'm getting my negatives out of the way, I'll add that the last two tracks don't interest me, and a track or two in the second half seems similar in beat to one earlier on, and the mastering could be better (especially track 6 which makes me want to pull my hair out the more it progresses). Relative to positives: Psyfactor seems to break, or at least bend conventions at times, combine sub-genres, and basically come up with his own. For starters, I love the opening, chilled track, which could have been inspired from Goa, to Psy/Chill, and downbeat. Both Discovering Andromeda and In Space put a smile on my face, similar to the way I used to feel when listening to one of my favorite tracks by Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, or Crystal Method, thanks to having strong direction, melody/sound work, beats, and energy. Naturally, these aren't techno songs, but deliciously influenced psy/chill numbers with lots of psy, ambient, down/mid, and uptempo work. The beats (and the changing up of them) are generally great throughout the album too. Furthermore, Cassiopeya is just beautiful. Generally speaking, there's no limit to improving, and if the artist's third psy/chill album can correct and strengthen what was weak here, a masterpiece (yes, it's a subjective word) album may not be far away. Futurized is an interesting, well done album with a handful of very good tracks on it. While there's some room for improvement (the same can be said for every artist), I'm currently adding this to my top 5 Psy/Chill (includes downbeat, ambient-influenced) albums of 2010. Good release. Favorite tracks: 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9. B Samples / Orders http://www.saikosoun...ase.asp?id=8409 http://www.psyshop.c.../aja1cd012.html It's on Amazon too and I imagine various other sites too.
  10. Finally had a chance to get it and post a review. The album's great. What do you guys think? The review thread's now open. See below. http://www.psynews.org/forums/index.php?/topic/59923-electrypnose-sweet-sadness/
  11. Submarine, Cordial Family, Entre Palmeras, and This Is The Beginning are great. I find Mountain Landscape less interesting than the others. Both Neverending Story are Tripad wonderful. Listen how (in Tripad) the piano is purposefully off key; the artist creatively makes it fit by adding in sounds individually over each note, thus distorting intentional errors with tedious tweaks to accommodate innovation and emphasis its grip. I think most people missed some of the most (impressive on a technical level) details on this album. Electrypnose's editing, mixing, and sound programming is impressive. Rozococie has grown on me, with its chilled, organic background and instruments. It's a pleasant, contemplative track that nicely separates the more dynamic, intricately designed numbers. I just opened a review thread in the 2010 section (below) for the downbeat/tempo "Sweet Sadness" follow up to Subliminal Melancholies. Both are great. http://www.psynews.org/forums/index.php?/topic/59923-electrypnose-sweet-sadness/
  12. Electrypnose - Sweet Sadness Suntrip Records 2010 Track list: 01. A5sention 02. Histoire d'Histoires 03. A Part Of Myself Is Somewhere Else 04. Sady 05. Triste Gaîté 06. A Wasp At The Fairies 07. Out There 08. Triste Vie 09. Perle De Vie 10. Dramatic Orchestra 11. El Cornio (Second Chapter) 12. Peurs Et Pleurs Sweet Sadness is the highly anticipated sequel to 2006's critically acclaimed Subliminal Melancholies. This is also the first ambient-influenced album by Suntrip Records, and a huge surprise. Some tracks have more of a chill, ambient, and/or downtempo influence, while others are more classical, involve breaks, electro, psychedelic work, or share a combination. The album is filled with sensitive harmonies, soundscapes, atmosphere, and melodies. So how does it compare to the debut? A full review ensues. 1. A5sention starts out with crunchy ambient atmosphere, like a candy wrapper twisting in a tin cup. A slight rush of ambient rises up as warm, tasty melodies appear. Complimented by a gradually building sound; the first half is relaxing and atmospheric, coupled with intriguing sound stimuli. At 4:48, a strong, climactic effect lifts the song forward, like a distorted ocean wave rushing in. Hear it crash and sizzle. The effect is great, soon gone, but provides the track with more energy and appeal. Again it comes in around 5:55; all the meantime a delicate combination of Psy-influenced work and effects blend together, composing unique support as opposed to a typical beat. This is a good opening track that massages the listener's ears and mind before exposing him/her to the bigger world that awaits. B+ 2. Histoire d'Histoires is more harmony driven. It takes a minute to develop a foundation, releasing a contemplative flute-like appearance to the ambient sound. I'm hooked when a delicious combination of melodies appear at 2:12, and compelled yet again at 2:54, when a sensitive melody falls into play with the haunting atmosphere. This sound reminds me of a wonderful sound on Filteria's Filtertraces (Abstract Dream Remix) track, with its beautiful, blinking melodies. Wonderful use of piano enters the second half; providing a more dramatic, substantial feel. While I enjoyed the previous, more ambient-influenced track, I really like the buildup, piano and melodies here. They're haunting at times. I could see this working great in a mature, "self-realization" film sequence. The song feels a little short, but ends well. Great track. B+ 3. A Part Of Myself Is Somewhere Else is a psy/ambient influenced number with dynamic sound mixing. The fusion of concepts is interesting. An intriguing, psy-influenced part is effectively combined with ambient-influenced elements, both warm and soothing. The song becomes even more contemplative when a tune arrives, from 1:36 forward. This is yet another track that I could see working great in a powerful, reflective game (such as Silent Hill) or film sequence, such as when the main character has a "realization" or epiphany. An additional melody enters at 2:30, enhancing the moody backdrop. The mixing seems more rhythmic from 4:19 to 4:50. This is an interesting, evocative, and well done number! B+ 4. Sady begins with gripping ambient, melodic elements, and acquiring a beat around 0:43. The song is very smooth, develops nicely, and has several moments of gentle space where ingredients are added to strengthen the stew. Both the beat, drums, and intricate mixing compliment the melodies; the latter sounds fairly Goa-influenced in the final third. Also sweet is the music's return. I was afraid that the song would end early at 5:40, and happy that it returned both more involved and gripping than before. The work is fairly subtle though; it doesn't jump out but delectably rebuilds itself. The artist sculptures the design into the final third, providing an ultimately more satisfying feel, conclusive feel. Good, if not great track. B+ 5. Triste Gaîté begins with beautiful, soft notes via piano. Soon, an inhale and exhale sound, like breathing enters reminiscent to that via Electrypnose's ChillinBerlin song. I love how the music picks up, takes off, changes, and returns here. If down or mid-tempo songs can have climactic elements, or climaxes, this track seems to incorporate several. Simply raise the volume and listen to this. It's driving, atmospheric, infectiously arranged, and filled energy. This is a far superior follow up to Electrypnose's ChillinBerlin song on the Opus Iridium compilation from 2008. The energy throughout is great. Excellent work! A- 6. A Wasp At The Fairies sounds closer to Subliminal Melancholies relative to its emphasis on breaks, beats, staccato editing/mixing, melodic chimes, and sound effects. The song starts slow, and becomes fast paced and engaging. It sounds great actually, which is why I'm surprised by its short running time. It's catchy while it lasts, but could have developed into something more fulfilling and superb, or a sequel of sorts to either New Wave or This Is The Beginning from the debut. Cool track, but this is the only song I find lacking on the album. B 7. Out There continues as if it could be an intriguing, atmospheric extension off the previous track. The ambient notes that arrive early on sounds good. Soon after enters psychedelic sound-work, like pop corn crackling, popping, and snapping. At 2:04 however, the cool experimental work melts away to accommodate a wave of emotion. The ambient layers form a beautiful relationship with several melodies, as a gentle beat enhances the backdrop. A wonderful part of the album takes place at 3:50. This includes piano notes; the story travels deeper. Beautiful soundscapes float across a fantasy/ambient world, as the piano leads the developing path. A shift in emotion takes place around 5:25 relative to sensitive melody work. The song sounds excellent, until a harmony arrives after the music fades at 5:55, which is outstanding. I love the piano, feeling, and harmony throughout this track. It oozes with passion, and is captivating and provocative from start to finish. A 8. Triste Vie follows up the previous track nicely. It begins a strong albeit heartfelt piano tune complimented by various other instruments. A second piano via higher note soon arrives; the two are integrated well together. The first 1:30 roughly is great. The track then enters a cloud walking interlude. It's fairly interesting I suppose (depending what mood you're in). Since my attention was arrested on however, I was expecting something less floating-in-space. To the interlude's advantage, the peaceful sound is very relaxing; it creates some space between two wonderful, story driven segments. After a minute or two, the piano returns in the third minute with simple notes, and picks up a stronger direction around 3:54. The lower, sustained keys are beautiful and affecting. At 4:50, the swirling ambient backdrop via interlude pours into the piano's view, and the listener is immersed in the structure's core heart of the story until the very end. This is another track that shows how versatile the artist is; he's convinced me that he can produce ambient-influenced music on par with some of Solar Field's finest work. I find this song so beautiful, meaningful, and occasionally sad. At times it reminds me two souls, once together on Earth, whose spirits are now free. The music is really poignant anyway. This is a beautiful track filled with heart. A- 9. Perle De Vie has more energy after the previous, piano-led, floating experience. It begins gentle, with a different piano fell entirely. A slow, plodding beat arrives within the first minute. The vehicle soon acquires a unique, catchy melody. Atmosphere is projected as the plodding beat's joined with multiple supports, altered Psy sounds, tweaks, and melodic elements. As the music fades, a solid piano-driven tune enters, and is soon complimented by another. Floating soundscapes move through ambient, as the warm melody becomes the gentle, now softly floating away piano. A warm atmospheric interlude emerges, involving animals, running water; sounds as if we're in a jungle or by a stream or waterfall. I find the interlude more interesting here than in the previous, otherwise strong number. After the intriguing center-space, the music with more angles, layers, development, and appeal. It's like a beautiful creature opening its wings (showing its soul at 7:31). The sensitive/piano arrangement from 7:31 forward is superb. Moments like these elevate an already great track. A- 10 Dramatic Orchestra starts out soft. It takes full advantage of an instrument, making it quite possibly the most paramount sounding number on the album. The track builds extremely well (no spoilers). It's smart and rewarding. One may not realize the songs sheer power early on, but the work is nevertheless impressive. The first two parts are great; they flow very well with final third. This is easily one of the biggest, best tracks on the album. It's excellent, sounds epic, and defines the term dramatic orchestra. Superb! A- 11. El Cornio (Second Chapter) incorporates a variety of zippy, crack/pop, twisting effects to the sound of a piano, altered ambient notes, and more. Around 2:00 is where the song seems to grip onto something more substantial; with an echoing thud, the deep ambient stands out. The beat is slow, and picks up speed at 3:16 which is catchy. Moving through various musical instruments, a contemplative, eerie tone takes presence at 4:00. The artists approach to storytelling appears throughout the album, and I'm reminded of it at times here. A chilling atmosphere, with what seems to include literal, tediously mixed water droplets, compliments the notes. There is a subtle, psychedelic touch here too that is cool. While the previous song captured me more by its sheer power, this song is refreshingly different, less musical, and more ambient/textured-influenced. It's cool. I like it. B+ 12. Peurs Et Pleurs is quite possibly the most ambient-influenced song, or at least of them here. It's floating, atmospheric, and calm. Ambient extends the opening of the track, which develops nicely around 2:23, when various elements, a moment of drums arrive. The work seems more subtle here, the tone is most relaxing. There is a strange, eerie sound that arrives later, almost like a wink to the artists darker work. I like the sensitive soundscapes and distorted piano in the second half, accompanied by the ambient notes. I think that the first half could have been a little more interesting, but ambient-lovers may really appreciate it. After hearing the entire album for the tenth (or more) time, I don't think there is anything quite like this release. This is a peaceful closing to a strong album. B In conclusion, Sweet Sadness is a great follow up to Electrypnose's Subliminal Melancholies. What the debut had in eclectic mixing via scratch pads, sound effects, Sweet Sadness makes up for with strong ambient-influenced soundscapes, warm melodies and atmosphere, crisp sounds, beats, harmonies, and rhythms. There is even some electro/breaks, psychedelic, and experimental work integrated into the whole. Tracks reflect a variety of emotions, from beauty to sadness, determination, contemplation, and peace. I enjoy listening to the album straight through, as it flows well, especially in the second, more harmonious half. If I were to gripe and/or nitpick, the debut had more scratch pads, drum kits, and sound effect/intricacy that I occasionally miss here. Also, A Wasp At The Fairies is too short. I wish it was longer. That said, the energy of Triste Gaîté is great. The surreal, haunting soundscapes of Histoire d'Histoires is excellent, and tracks like Out There, Triste Vie, and Dramatic Orchestra are some of the most enjoyable songs I've heard all year. Sweet Sadness is one of the best, most interesting, diverse, and provocative downbeat/tempo albums. Thank you Vince le Barade/Electrypnose and Suntrip Records for releasing this long awaited, beautiful, and compelling follow up to Subliminal Melancholies. Sweet Sadness is one of the best albums of 2010. Favorite tracks: 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. B+ Samples / Order Suntrip Records http://www.suntriprecords.com/releases/ Saikosounds http://www.saikosounds.com/english/display_release.asp?id=8572 Psyshop http://www.psyshop.com/shop/CDs/sut/sut1cd020.html Beatspace http://beatspace.com/dettagli/dettaglio.asp?id=5893 Goastore http://www.goastore.ch/product_info.php?products_id=4064 Play http://www.play.com/Music/CD/-/8/33/-/16317132/Sweet-Sadness/Product.html .
  13. Please remember to post links to samples and where to order it. Update: See my review and longer samples below.
  14. Finally got the game for the PS3. I love the First Person feel and soundtrack. The story, plot, cutscenes, and combat leave room for improvement (some trial and error approaches may turn a few gamers off). The game could be lengthier too; at roughly 6-7 hours it's kind of short. The sense of speed, fluidity, and gameplay movement in the First-Person View (seeing actual realistic camera physics, movement) is exciting, a rush at times, at other times disorienting; I feel a bit nauseous. Sometimes I put the game on just to hear the wonderful, "introduction" theme song in the opening. Learning curve: Medium. At around $10 dollars, worth checking out for fans of Pakour and an innovative approach to FPS. Check out the song and trailer for Mirror's Edge below. The developers need to improve the sequel to Mirror's Edge, as Assassin Creed 2 was a dramatic improvement over the first, offering more of a story, plot, and substance that Mirror's Edge lacks. The developers can even show how society became the way it did by showing how a special interest group's vision (one world domination or at least in a country) came to fruition, from unprecedented merges/corporate takeovers after a potentially-influenced, financial collapse. And how anyone is a terrorist according to the context of the system; runners (in the game for instance) are considered terrorists. I think this could make a great film too with the right cast, crew, and more importantly director! The guy who did District B-13 showcasing all of that parkour has potential! What I see doing with the game's story/plot would not only compliment, but blow the first's out of the water. That said, I'm open to the idea of collaborating with Dice/EA via script, story/plot, and/or backstory (or at least to explaining to some degree) if Magnus forwards this and/or someone associated with the company reads this in time. The vision I have would rival the bleak (roughly 7/10 score) that Mirrors's Edge game averaged (roughly) on Ign, Gamespot, and most important (vast general consensus site) Gamerankings. But I don't know who to speak with. And if the sequel's too far in progress to alter plot/story dramatically, as such changes can be costly depending on the game's status of tentative production, this could be exercised as an option in the third. Furthermore, I have a groundbreaking vision that would make one of the most jaw dropping, best selling, next-gen games, if produced. After seeing the movement and sleek graphics in Mirror's Edge, I believe that EA has potential to produce/back it, or Konami (after seeing Metal Gear Solid 4), or Rockstar (after seeing GTA 4). There's just so much talent out there. But I do have clear vision for a game (story/plot, gameplay, graphics, main character) that raises the bar pretty high. It will take passion though, not greed, to capture this infectiously riveting experience, and I'm very passionate with my work, as I can see Magnus who composed the soundtrack here is. Naturally, have Magnus (Solar Fields) compose yet another wonderful soundtrack for the sequel. I know people who bought this game just because they fell in love with the music from the trailer. It's excellent. I hope there are more beautiful tracks like "introduction" and "Still Alive" on the sequel's soundtrack.
  15. Jon Cocco

    Inception

    There's currently two films I found great in 2010. One was Inception; a film that shows again, how creative Christopher Nolan is. The other is The Town; proof that Ben Affleck can direct much better than act (although he can act), -a strong heist film with some very intense action. I thought Inception was very interesting and well done. Although the final shot is ambiguous (no spoilers), and the dream scenes didn't feel that dreamlike (with few exceptions). Part of me liked the fairly realistic approach, though some of the snow scenes I felt dragged a bit, or could have been more hallucinogenic like the arresting hotel sequences, for instance. It would have been cool if all of their operation work regarded more revelation than the fact that they got a piece of information for one business man while conducting a highly technical operation (dream within a dream). I also think the film could have benefited from having a developed dream antagonist (not the business man), as the opposition lacked characteristics or personality. They were like Matrix agents without a Mr. Smith to produce distinguishing presence. But in the emotionless professionals felt, well, professional at least. Some people felt that the end was a little drawn out. But I liked the extended music video approach. It was smart and innovative. Great film. Btw, the short vid below (my sig) I shot around 9 years before Inception. I simply scored and uploaded it in 2010.
  16. Modern horror films I highly recommend: - Martyr's - Inside (French version) - Frontier(s) - The Descent - The Mist - The Hills Have Eyes (One of the few solid Remakes IMO) - The Ring (Remake) - Pandorum (for those who like Sci-Fi horror, i.e: Event Horizon). - Silent Hill (first one) - 28 Days Later - 28 Weeks Later - Saw Older horror films I highly recommend: - The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (original) - A Nightmare On Elm Street 1+3 - Hell Raise 1+2 - Halloween - The Exorcist 1+3 - Evil Dead 1+2 - Child's Play 1+2 - Re-Animator - Carrie - The Omen - In the Mouth of Madness - Invasion of the Body Snatchers (original and 1978 remake) - Children of the Corn (first one!) - The Brood - The Devils - Tremors ... fun stuff, same with Gremlins!
  17. Jon Cocco

    Youtube

    Agree. There is so much CREATIVITY and TALENT out there.
  18. Jon Cocco

    Youtube

    2004 Boxing Day Tsunami ORIGINAL Elephant Painting
  19. Jon Cocco

    Youtube

    Battle at Kruger - Amazing! Just watch what happens and how the animals react like people. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU8DDYz68kM Validation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cbk980jV7Ao
  20. This is the biggest album surprise for me of 2010. Bigger than V/A - Temple Of Chaos even. I was completely NOT expecting (although hoping on and off over the years for) this. 2006's Subliminal Melancholies is one of the most inventive, ambient/psy-influenced, down/mid-tempo, dreamy, beautiful/sad, atmospheric, and CATCHY albums out there. An underrated gem. It's so positive to see this artist make a follow up! Samples sound GREAT. Thank you Vincent Rybicki/Vince Le Barde's and Suntrip for making this happen.
  21. I agree. The opening, well the first 4 tracks (2 and 3 especially, for me) are great. I would love more tracks like Kick Back, Black Arrow, and Brainbow. The subtle psy/goa influences compliment the stronger psy/ambient-influenced trance, uptempo. Although there are some solid parts past the opening four numbers (track 5 and 6 has some great atmosphere; Cruse is pretty cool), the general album is noticeably weaker (less infectious) in the second half. I like how the artist approached uptempo though, and would be interested in a follow up to this perhaps at some point. Overall, Earthshine is a good album with some beautiful, great tracks and work. The uptempo style and approach is refreshing, albeit not as riveting (to me at least) as Solar Field's ambient-influenced down (and mid) tempo work. Favorite tracks: 1, 2, 3, 4. B+ .
  22. Just found out about this release today. Hope I get a chance to hear it soon! Samples sound good.
  23. V/A - Temple of Chaos June, 2010 Suntrip Records 1. Khetzal - Rosin Memories 2. K.O.B. - Lost Belly (Of Civilization) 3. Daimon - Codex 4. Moonweed & Shakta - Perfect Invisibility 5. Merr0w - Citrus Circus 6. Filteria - Illogical Logic 7. Crossing Mind - Cyclone In Your Heart 8. Nebula Meltdown - Encrypted Illusion Temple of Chaos is the second release by Suntrip Records this year, and it is their most aggressive, acid-laced compilation to date. Whereas Energy Waves was bright (morning/sunrise), Temple of Chaos is dark (in comparison). This is the nighttime half to the Yin-Yang. And while there are elements of beauty, I think (not just myself but) many of us have been craving something less lighthearted for a while. An album that ditches the upbeat melodies for one more driving, psychedelic, twisted, visceral, etc. I miss the days of Tandu's Multimoods, Toi-Doi's Technologic, Hallucinogen, Pleiadians (among others), when there seemed to be no rules. No boundaries. And while this can't replace those, it is a great step in the direction that was once, and still is darkly magical and at times, edgy, exciting, and absorbing. 1. Khetzal - Rosin Memories sees a strong return from Khetzal after a several year hiatus from Goa-Trance. I can't believe its been half a decade since the beautiful Corolle album! This track is filed with so many elements, both atmospherically and otherwise, that it's difficult to describe. Next track! Just kidding. A shivering (like a blade spinning in the distance) sound moves closer and further away in the opening minute. Numerous sounds appear in the environment, and the beat arrives soon after. The first several minutes develop a braiding rhythm. A delicious sound fusion at 2:13 enhances the world that sounds as if beauty moves with urgency. Sustained sounds swim frequently, blending into the stream until a brief interlude. The music seems to lighten up, offering a pleasant tune that reminds me a little of RA's work... until quickly diving into thick atmosphere, and switching tones at 3:33 for a more paramount, perilous mood in comparison. The beat evaporates, ditching the melodies and here is the continuation to my favorite part! At 4:06 the melodies are gone; the vehicle drives into an acid-twisting, at least more aggressive (in comparison) environment. This part could have been developed a little longer, as the braiding sounds (with added elements) gradually sow themselves into the liquid fabric. I think that the song had an opportunity to have an amazing, more daring final third as well. The music towards the end seems to tread (like a spirit) between realms darkness and light. It would have been cool simply put, a more zesty, interesting ending took place. Although there are several tracks I've enjoyed more by Khetzal (and a part of me is just happy to see him back), this is a radically different, intriguing, and well done number. B+ 2. K.O.B. - Lost Belly (Of Civilization) really has to release an album one day. His style strips the melody heavy emphasis of Filteria and focuses on the pure psychedelia, driving and twisted-effect zest of Psytrance without abandoning cleverly integrated atmospheric/melody work. This is one of those rich tracks that could be an opening on Halluciongen's next album; I say that in reminiscence to The Lone Deranger's super opening. After an intriguing buildup, this one takes off at 2:34, rocketing (without too much intensity) like a spiral dragon, diving in and out of the sand (moving) across the dessert. I love how much is achieved with minimal (to virtually no) melody use in the first 3-4 minutes! Naturally, when one appears at 3:42, it grabs my attention, moving the beat to the side which eventually returns to enforce the flow at 4:19. This is a great part. We're treated to all elements combined after a brief spotlight had been removed to accommodate the new sound. As the vehicle moves forward, things heat up; they become more twisted and acidy. Soundscapes skip, the echoing (deeper toned) siren-esque melody disappears, and a wonderful concoction of psychedelic rhythms are given time to breath, develop, and infect the senses. I can't make sense of all the subtle sounds, which may make sense if I was in another state. A (not necessarily interlude but) section of hallucinating bliss transforms the atmosphere until the beat is nearly gone. And at 7:49 the music erupts, as an evolved complex of chaotic/driving energy. <--- Great (avoided from being overdone or too lengthy) finish. This is an excellent, unpredictable, and psychedelic nighttime number. A- 3. Daimon (Antares) - Codex grabs my attention early on. Once the beat begins, it's already developed into a building current, and is soon engaged with more tenancity at 1:19. A psy-effect melody lead (if you can call it that?) ignites us deeper via tone. It's strong, and keeps the experience magnetic as it travels deeper into this energy warp. Joined by numerous, catchy, and supporting sounds. One that I find compelling arrives at 2:38. It is this other (lower note) leading sound that pulls me into the world more than any track on the compilation so far. Acid sounds and floating textures accompany the environment as the story becomes more psychedelic, and we're only halfway through! I don't know what it is about the sounds/rhythms on this track; I feel hooked by them, absorbed. I love the Goa sound generated here; it's arresting, changing, and emotive in a surreal way. As opposed to fading out via interludes, the song continuously tweaks and perfects its juicy approach, lifting higher (energy wise) to an outstanding, screaming and dynamic segment around 7:00. So it avoids being too traveling. More tasty sounds and effects are integrated into the recipe. This is one of those songs that sounds almost dreamy due to its hypnotic feel, yet it is determined, rewarding, and insightful throughout. Wonderful track! A- 4. Moonweed & Shakta - Perfect Invisibility is a return to more crazy-acid insanity after the previous number. Surprisingly, it's the melodies I most enjoy after the opening breakout via psychedelic sounds that appear to fly (at times literally) out of the song. A large focus here is the psychedelic, dynamic aspect, and it's well done. The part from around 2:54 to 3:16 (or 3:42) is very psychedelic and melody-free, and it is this synth part that is a little too much for my preference; although various lovers of psychedelic trance may eat it this acidy treat. What I enjoy here is the more musical (and psychedelic) from 3:45 (right after the voice sample) to 4:34 part. To me, this section comes close to the perfect balance of chaos and harmony. The track is more synth/acid than previous numbers, and achieves solid results with less. Also catchy are the claps, though they get a little repetitive into the second half, a small nitpick. Fresher melodies join the twisted, acid backdrop that soon changes temporally; I think the backdrop could have used less returning to. In other words, more building/variation as the song progressed would have been cool. Overall this is a psychedelic, energetic number that will likely appeal to numerous listeners right away. Currently it's my least favorite track on the album, though on virtually every compilation, I always find at least one or two tracks I enjoy less. I give these artists credit for taking some chances. There appears to be some serious, experimental work here, and the melodies are solid. I feel like the song deserves more praise but we'll see what others think. Great track. B+ 5. Merr0w - Citrus Circus is THE dark, crazy, powerful, and relentless track (more aggressive and psychedelic than Ka-Sol's Scraqp on Apsara IMO) on the compilation. I feel like I have to get this out of my system. Last year (2009) Amanians released a song called Fireworks on the kickass People Walk Funny compilation. This song (to me) sounds as if as Merr0w heard that track, and through Merr0ws vision, gave it the complimentary (with justice to) melody approach that the Amanian track lacked. This song is like a tornado -- a TSUNAMI -- with a Matrix-esque score in its final third, oozing emotion. The song is brave in its uncompromising direction. Yes it's aggressive, sensational, and arguably angry or wild as hell. It's loaded with an infectiously developing, living and breathing current, and I feel completely arrested, provoked, and excited while listening to it. This is one of those tracks that could have been repetitive, had it not been for the artists diligence to take risks and successfully sculpture an energy of such magnitude. The track sounds more like an event. It never loses composure, and follows one general path to ridiculously amazing effect. This is intense, catchy, and gripping. Fantastic work. A 6. Filteria - Illogical Logic could have been a K.O.B. track had I not seen the track list. Sure they're melodies. But the sounds selected are different from any Filteria song I'm familiar with. We dive into an energy current early on (after an interesting albeit strange voice sample). Soon after, a spontaneous selection of melodies arrive, reminding me of the ultra-catchy computerized (melody) world in Electrypnose's underrated "Funked Up" album. This song however, is nuts; it's mixed extremely well. It's also innovative, fun to see Filteria continue to innovate. A more realized high-energy rhythm enters around 2:00, and since the Daze of Our Lives album, I've noticed more juicy melody work from the artist. Not to mention the K.O.B. influence here, primarily the solid section from 2:50 to 3:16; it seems that Filteria has learned a thing or two from K.O.B., and vice-versa. And then there's the gripping improvement to an already blazing ride, from 3:17 forward. Wonderful sounds are continuously integrated into a psychedelic, twisting, and acidy, shifting backdrop. A continuation of the voice sample takes place at 4:15 before the vehicle takes off again. More altered layers and tasty streams (the part around 5:31 to 5:54 is excellent!) appear. The melody heavy (more maximal) section dissolves to accommodate an arresting segment, before an incredibly infectious event via 6:24. The sheer rush is soon accompanied by a twisted sound effect, as if Nintendo Mascot Mario (altered sound included) just died. That may be an odd analogy. The effect here is effective. The song ends with the full voice sample, so one can attempt to make sense of it. Personally I find that the voice sample does not enhance the song in any way. Also, the general focus on higher pitched sounds may be a bit too much for a few listeners (I had to lower the volume a little, unlike the other tracks because my ears started to hurt). Some of the track's highlights however are the melodies (how they sound and are utilized), as well as the non-maximal (at times, what I call K.O.B.) influence. I love songs that start off good and get better as they progress. Excellent track. A- 7. Crossing Mind - Cyclone In Your Heart took time to grow on me. It's less melody friendly, more psychedelic in the acid sense via the Perfect Invisibility track. Yet this seems to soak every sound in acid before letting it loose out the speakers. Various sounds support the acidy melody lead in addition to subtle, barely noticeable details. The song starts out as if we're waiting outside a nightclub. Just as we enter the dance space, the beat is overrun by a thick storm of psy/crazy overload. Also cool is the general melody lead and later on, the change up in rhythm (from 6:07 to 6:24) after the beat-free interlude. There's a subtle, echoed sound too in the background (like a gentle beeping) that compliments (maybe it's an echo from another layer. I don't know). The song would have been better had more innovation (and sound variety) taken place in the last third especially. The track returns to its general sound in the last act, as opposed to refreshing our senses with something new. Lastly, I initially found the synth lead a little monotonous, but its grown on me. Still more overall sound/melody variety in the song would have been nice. This is a hard, rough, and aggressive track. It's just not what I consider great (I am between a B and B+ here). B+ 8. Nebula Meltdown - Encrypted Illusion I would have never expected to be what it becomes based upon its opening sound. Here is a song that grows, from a fairly simple patch of soil, into a blossoming, delightful tree of life surrounded by a land of magic mushrooms. The first few minutes a healthy, soundscape-developing movement. Around the third minute enters a skipping sound, varied and accompanied with twisting fireflies, beetles; the song seems to come to life. A subtle buildup soon takes a place inviting a boost of energy into the rhythm as 4:05. Soon after, an infectiously skipping and dynamic melody arrives, and is complimented by numerous skipping treats. The track grows more hypnotic, catchy. Into the sixth minute enters the blissful touch of ambient notes. They're beautiful, producing a sense of emotion right where is desired (I felt). Also nice is a distorted piano touch which reminds me of the piano used in Nine Inch Nail's Closer song. This sounds completely different from that of course. The cut off piano notes add to the sense of emotion. They flow wonderfully with the ambient, now skipping; sounds are returning while evolving like multiple cycles of life. I love the hypnotic feel and psychedelically rich and musically developing, evolving sound as the song progresses (as if it's sculpturing itself). Soon after the ninth minute appears a skipping albeit gritty tune a la Infected Mushroom - BP Empire. The track's infected alright, and many gorgeous sounds fall into marriage with this driving, mid-tempo/climactic movement. The more I try to criticize, the more beauty I find. This is a beautiful, hypnotizing-the-mind while melting-into-the-senses closing track. Superb. A In conclusion, I am close to saying that this is Suntrip's best compilation. At the very least, it is one that stands out (more than Energy Waves and more) than virtually all new-school, Psychedelic Goa-Trance compilation due to its embrace of the night via twisting, psychedelic approach, rhythms, synth leads, acid lines, atmosphere, and more. For those that have been waiting for something that isn't just refreshing (well done and new) but more atypical (aggressive, dark, twisting, at times labyrinthine) from the general Psy/Goa today, this is the best, most vivid and interesting compilation of 2010 to date. Well done Suntrip Records and all artists involved! Favorite Tracks - 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8. A- Samples / Order http://www.suntriprecords.com/shop/ http://www.psyshop.com/shop/CDs/sut/sut1cd019.html http://beatspace.com/dettagli/dettaglio.asp?id=5719 http://www.goastore.ch/product_info.php?products_id=3907
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