Jump to content

Jon Cocco

Members
  • Posts

    1629
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    29

Everything posted by Jon Cocco

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

    MFG - The Prophecy

    ILLUMINATION!!!!!!!
  7. I'm hearing this full album TODAY for the first time and to my surprise, it's actually not terrible. There is a singing track late in the album that made me almost jump through the window, and before that I was tempted to slash my wrists once or twice. Past that however, there may be hope. This is the most old-school sounding IM style album I've heard by them since maybe B.P. Empire... (!!!) Of course it's no B.P., Classical, or Gathering. The GOA isn't there anymore. But COMPARED to the ASHIT we've gotten from them for the last 1-2 decades AND in relation to being a stand-alone PSY-influenced electronic album, it's pretty good! Hmmm.. I guess that's what happens when you mix cocaine with LSD and some sativa weed. There were shrooms in there too, somewhere, I think. I just---- Fuck me. What year is it?
  8. It's been five years since Nemesis (2014) and after reading some talk of a potential retirement from Goatrance, some of us wondered if Emmanuel Carpus would ever release a Goa album again. E-Mantra's debut album, Arcana (2009) emphasized strong atmosphere, soundscapes, and moving textures. The other worldly tracks were praised by many, while others felt that the album lacked leads. The artist's second Goa album, Pathfinder (2011) was more mainstream friendly in that it incorporated a greater emphasis on leads, melodies, buildups, and climax. It was a solid release but lost some appeal due to sounding more conventional in some ways while lacking super songs. E-Mantra's third album, Nemesis (2014) combined strong atmosphere and moving texture/soundscapes with synth leads. The album was more imaginative, ambitious, and intricately layered than Pathfinder, though not as alluring or atmospheric as Arcana. Certain songs sounded a bit too cluttered with higher pitched synths while others, e.g., Ayahuasca, Orphic Hymn, Shae Nab (vs Suufi Astrolab) were refreshingly great! Which brings us to Stapanii Timpului (2018)-- 1. Rusalka -- With a running time of 7:20, the song never overstays its welcome. Unlike some of the artist's work in the past, this doesn't linger in a wall of soundscapes. Combining Psytrance with Goa-- the song cuts through various segments of terrain, engaging our interest. The build up at 2:50 progresses the storytelling aspect of the track, thanks to an Eastern-Indian synth that is enhanced by a strengthened baseline synth. Wave after wave, the song remains interesting and dynamic to some degree. For a stand alone track however, Rusalka sounds fairly minor to me. Fortunately, its approach is surprisingly punchy, energetic, and varied enough to keep my interest throughout, and to be fair, this is just the opening on an album by an artist who seldom reveals his best tracks right away. A- 2. Ghosts in the Mist opens with evocative ambience, as if something paramount is about to begin. The song is more immersive and Goa influenced than Rusalka. The synths in the first act are sleek, albeit simple along with the overall sound design. They're accentuated with echoes, like vehicle lights blurring by at night. A sense of purpose begins as we progress into the second act. A sustained hum arrives in the fifth minute, adding character. It's here that the song evolves into something more delectable and arresting. There's a sweet little buildup effect at 6:30, increasing the energy of the music and opening the door to the finale. Like a futuristic city, we enter a technologic band of sound. The last act is intelligently rhythmic, meticulous, fluid, and driving. The artist continuously evolves the music with supporting synths, soundscapes, alterations, and a subtle layer of moving atmosphere. The first few times I heard this song, I didn't know what to think of it due to all of the elements. The song never feels overstuffed IMO, nor is it dependent on one star synth that at times reduces the sense of feeling immersed in the world created. Rather than building up to a sensationalized climax, the artist rewards listeners with what I'd describe as a climax with brains. Although I enjoyed the opening track and consider it a part of the whole (album story), I consider this the first chapter in the more visionary Goa storytelling aspect arc of the album. A- 3. Ravenmocker -- The first act is fairly atmospheric, producing a fantasy vibe at 0:13. That said, the first two minutes sound like typical E-Mantra to me, with minimal arrangement and development. The song could have been contrived, repetitive, and forgettable, but it aims to improve. The music fades and at 2:45, a transition takes us to deeper into more interesting waters. Act 2 begins at 3:09. It's catchy, more focused in direction, and at 3:44, I'm more into the music and less concerned with the song's direction as I was in Act 1. A nice buildup to 4:47 encourages more cohesive and fresh growth and sound/melody work rather than keeping the song floaty/boring. Moreover, Act 2+3 are great, both complimented and improving over each with smart transitions, topped with the one at 7:00 that takes us into deeper into the sea of sounds. No longer does each act sound like one big swimming pool of swirling sounds to the degree I have trouble distinguishing if the song is getting better. Although a bit more linear than some of the others, I like the more cohesive melodic direction here. Here's a track that would be fun on dance floors while not sounding commercial cookie cutter in any way! The overall song is great and showcases character (characteristics) both colorful and fun! B+ / A- 4. E-Mantra - At The Foothills Of Kogaion is another characteristic track. It begins with a robot-esque sound that somehow works, and gives us something to hook on to. I'm happy to see the artist experimenting with fresh sounds that add character and enhance the songs with something different. The energetic melodies that join the robot accent are strong. The first half is fairly simple (too simple? Just right? I go back and forth) but catchy, and the tornado surging effect at 3:42 is awesome. In the past, I felt that parts of E-Mantra songs (not all but many) sat with melodies swimming and swirling around for too long. It slowed down the excitement of the songs at times, making them feel arguably aimless or less clarified and sure of itself. But not here. Once we break out of the first act, this thing moves! The music is charged, tight, and carefully constructed to avoid shortcomings. The repetitive -- in a good way, robot synth compliments the world created around it. It disappears in the last act (smart, not overused). We reach a transition that moves us forward. What follows, the finale is fluid, engaging, and full of life. The sparkling synth selected is superb, lifting the song higher. I love it! Our little robot friend returns, jumping in the mix and it works. This is another memorable, fluid, and engaging number. A- 5. Typhon's Wrath continues the characteristic/accent approach with a big, angry-- Death Star WAR of an approach. Wow this is dark! The music begins with a literal Darth Vader-esque accent. At first I didn't like it but its grown on me and is thankfully not overused. The deep, dark breathing conveys a sense of hostility and tension in an intergalactic fight for survival. Some have labeled this apocalyptic and I wouldn't argue that. The synth work is sleek, intense, and captivating. We move through each of its three chapter acts like a Sci-Fi film. The BLACK HOLE of a track showcases gripping synths, leads, and complimentary supporting sounds-- all while developing and the tension almost rarely ever lets up! A brief but sweet little beeping melody [accent] at 5:35 provides a boost of adrenaline to the high octane vibe, ride, descent into intellectualized chaos. I love the energetic "synth" boosts that add to the adrenaline feel. It may not be everyone's cup of tea (this thing is dark as b@lls!) but the artist IMHO nailed it! Well done! A- / A 6. E-Mantra - Rise Of The Dacians starts like something out of Bladerunner 2049. The 1:52 synth is a nice touch (signature sounding) and the crunchy accent at 2:33 compliments. A floaty harmony emerges at 4:15, and this is where the music feels more alive. The first few minutes were darker, and having a more harmonious track after the previous dark megalodon makes sense. A part of me feels that the floaty melodies and arrangement from 4:38 to 5:30 sound basic and uninteresting. That said, they take us to a nice combination at 5:10 which leads us to tight synths at 5:38. The last act grows tastier and surprisingly climactic! My favourite part is from when the 6:50 synth arrives forward. This track really came together by the end! Great track! B+ / A 7. Terp Muronivid Aivlsa returns the album to its edgier, more electric story. This fireball moves through the cosmos with such fluidity and drive. The overall structure, sound design, sound/melody work, arrangement, and direction is fantastic! Synths cut through soundscapes like a cosmic samurai sword slicing stars. I'm not master of hyperbole and don't want to overstate, but this track is crisp, sharp, adventurous, exciting. There's a arcing synth throughout; it's visionary, adding a relentless, almost overture aspect to the song like Juno Reactor, but through the distinct vision of E-Mantra. Thankfully there's no floaty, echoey sounds to take us away from the gripping ride. I consistently feel like we're going somewhere. This track and the overall album has broken free from something holding the artist back (from achieving zippier work) to some degree in the past. This is another favourite for me on the album, and what I consider an album seller. Strong track! A 8. E-Mantra with XOA - Amorok Rising From Black Sea is a dark, crisp, down/mid-tempo influenced Goa number. The beat and mechanical accents are great. I really like this track, and I'm happy to see the artist continuing to experiment, innovate, and release songs reflective of his high standards. Not since Arcana do I recall enjoying a DARK downtempo Goa track by this artist so much, though to be fair he's released some great work on his down/mid-tempo (psy/goa) albums over the years. It took me a few listens to really enjoy this song, as it's very distinct and almost fairly simple in nature. Giving time to revisit tracks (preferably at night with E-Mantra) allows our minds to perceive more so that we better understand and enjoy the music on repeat listens. I imagine others will really like this track too. It's consistently dark and visionary, and most important of all, the song is CATCHY and GRIPPING. This is a wonderful return to form and makes me want to revisit the downtempo tracks on Arcana! A Conclusion Stapanii Timpului not only met but exceeded my expectations. The album does many things that a good sequel should do, and that is build and expand on the world that preceded it, just as Nemesis did with Pathfinder. Often times in the past, I felt that the artist's work was too floaty and echoey, with melodies arriving (already developed); the music to me (at times, back then I felt) lacked drive and direction. That's not an issue this time around. As the album progresses, the songs grow sleeker, more visionary and infectious to varying degrees. Stapanii Timpului continues to break away from the swirling, echoey tracks. It focuses more on the intriguing synth-driven terrain coupled with moving soundscapes and atmosphere. It's no Arcana, but then again nothing will ever be, and quite frankly I find the overall synth (sound/melody) work in this release to be the most varied of all the E-Mantra albums, making for an engaging, imaginative, and fun ride. Stapanii Timpului builds on E-Mantra's more determined and exciting sound. The production design sounds clearer, more crisp than ever, and the melodies (when they arrive) sound more flavorful. I enjoy listening to the album from start to finish over Nemesis, in part due to a similar synth in many of the tracks. Something about the music on Stapanii Timpului feels more a little more flexible, fluid at times and dynamic. The songs are better paced. The song's are never overcrowded, though the first acts in a couple could have been a little more interesting, e.g., Track 2.. I love the edgier, more determined synth work that [to an upgraded degree IMO] began on Nemesis (2014), the infectious bands, the increase in flavorful melodies (hitting when least expected), and the overall structuring, mixing, sound selection, accents, pacing, and direction, despite some taking time to grow on me and warming up to Track 7 right away. Constructive Criticisms + Closing Words There could have been a few more surprises. Also Track 6 in context of storytelling, could have dropped the floaty, echoey melodies, e.g., 5:11 for catchier, punchier ones reflecting the less dark aspects. I don't want to come across as a dictator with what sounds the artist uses, as this is his vision. I'm just trying to discourage anything that's less captivating considering all of the progress he has made as one of the top, most underrated and talented producers in electronic music. Last but not least, I feel that the melodies at times could have been more memorable in arrangement and song, tune. I was critical of Morphic Resonance album, Perplexity for the same thing. I'm referring to melodies via tunes as are on some of our favourite Goa songs that have been more memorable, stuck in our heads, so to speak. As far as the length goes, almost 70 minutes without any fillers to me is great. We've gotten used to Goa albums pushing 80 minutes but it's really unnecessary here IMO, as I'll take quality over quantity almost any day of the week. Oh, and what a cool little cover. Nice artwork! All in all, this is one of the best Goa albums (personally it's my favourite to date) in 2018. Some of the artist's best work is on his main albums and this is no exception, as it showcases some fantastic work, no fillers (well duh! it's E-Mantra). The artist continues to upgrade, refine, and improve in various ways since Nemesis (2014), resulting in another high quality release in the genre of Goa Trance. Highly Recommend!! Favorite tracks: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8 Score: 4.5 / 5 Samples / Order https://suntriprecords.com/release/cat/SUNCD51/ https://suntriprecords.bandcamp.com/album/stapanii-timpului
  9. It's refreshing, inventive, and very melodic. The accents really compliment. It seems like the artists were having fun. The result is a more open sound in GOA. Definitely one of the most solid releases of 2018. I could see why some are praising it. Some of the tracks really grabbed me while I liked others. Stream it on Bandcamp here: https://bmssrecords.bandcamp.com/album/unknownium
  10. Love Psychic Influence. Love this old sound!
  11. 1. Intro 2. The Creature 3. Return of the Bad Dreamer 4. Outer Limits (Limitless Mix) 5. Vektogram (Remix) 6. Twisted Reality 7. Hallucinatory Acid 8. Unreal 9. Ouija Morphic Resonance's former album, City of Moons (referred to as CoM here) was a rejuvenating landmark in post 21st century dark Goa Trance. Nitpicks aside, CoM is considered by many to be one of the best dark Goa releases in quite some time. As with Tandu's Multimoods and later Cybernetika's Scythe of Orion, Morphic Resonance is known for incorporating strong atmosphere with magnetic sound/melody [synth] work, buildups, climaxes, twists and turns, and more. A full review ensues. 1. Intro is very dark and ominous. This atmospheric, mid-tempo opening resonates a sense of danger. The dramatic tone stands out. Intro is so dark that it may give the impression that the album is darker than it is. Not that the album's not dark, it's also fun and exciting! Intro is only 3-4 minutes. It's interesting, different from what we're used to hearing, and never over-stays its welcome. This is a unique and moody little piece that curiously builds up to -- 2. The Creature is more of my kind of dark Goa. It's atmospheric and thrilling. The synths are exciting and the transitions often lead to segments as good, if not better than the ones before it. Kudos on the accents, impact effects, ambience, alterations in tempo, and the overall development and direction of the song. It's very dynamic, e.g., 4:00, switching between ideas and momentum to keep us captivated. I was never bored for a second. If I were to nitpick, I'd say the synth at 5:00 reminds me of a lead in CoM's Procyon. It works well here. It simply felt less fresh to me. The last act is fantastic via 7:27 and when the energy picks up at 7:56, so catchy, exciting, and fun! Something great happens when the track could have otherwise ended at 8:35. The Creature is an adrenalized, dynamic, and darkly fun little gem. It's as if the essence of [the holiday] of Halloween via darker than we celebrate and Alien(s) [the film sequel] morphed into a Goa song, thanks to cinematic/impact effects, chilling atmosphere, and more. The synth work is so edgy, driving, and catchy. The Creature is more refined than the opening track on CoM, Psychedelic Hell. What a way to start off the album! I go back and forth between A- and A but overall what an opening. A 3. Return of the Bad Dreamer is where the album dips for me, despite some great segments and an amazing finale. The first several minutes are strong, featuring bouncy textures reminiscent of Hux Flux's album, Cryptic Crunch. The music sounds too muddled for me though-- from 3:45 to 3:58. It's soon corrected with a healthy lead in the forth minute. Lacking are as many tempo breaks and transitions (bells and whistles basically) as The Creature had. The former track was more crisp, eventful, dynamic, and varied. It had more of a whiz-bang sound, whereas this involves less jump cuts, so to speak. Things get a over-stuffed (muddled) again in the fifth minute, and this continues on and off for some time. Fortunately the last third, e.g., seventh minute forward is superb and includes an incredible climax. The song could have started in the seventh minute and improved from there considering the middle act was pretty repetitive and lackluster. The Creature I found to be so much more enjoyable and memorable, despite some great moments here. B 4. Outer Limets (Limetless Remix) continues the crunchy atmosphere. The first two minutes are good (great work at 1:20) until a synth leaves at 2:25. It's here where the song grows repetitive. A transition brings us to a catchy part around 2:45. It's short lived though, as the artist doesn't build on the dark, powerful tone. Instead another lead arrives, fairly exciting at first. It grows less interesting as it progresses. Same with the lead crossing the forth minute. CoM's, In the Mouth of Madness was in-our-face too, but that was so much more engaging compared to this. Why go backwards? The returning, less in-our-face part at 4:30 is intriguing. I suggest building a song on the most interesting, best elements. For whatever reason almost every lead and arrangement here grew samey to me, and too repetitive. The idea of a climactic song is great, but not with this sound/melody approach and design. The music got good again from 5:35 to 6:16, it's less busy, more intriguing. The tone from the opening minute re-appars at 6:02 and sounds great, but eventually wears out, and the sixth and seventh minute sound so 'samey' (repetitive). What's going on here? I don't feel like this song is up to MR's standards, or what we've come to expect, but then again, the artist included Mindwarp on CoM so who knows. The last minute has a nice little energy boost and climax, though nowhere near the climax on Bad Dreamer 2. I don't like this song. t kept me hoping that the next transition would evolve things, and not bring us back to what was less catchy, e.g., various similar sounding leads and/or arrangements around the super catchy, better arranged moments. This could have been an amazing track, but it's unambitious, intelligent, repetitive, and just plain lazy despite the cool atmosphere and moments. B- / B 5. Vektogram (Remix) sounds more distinct than the previous track. Talk about a metallic, futuristic sounding track. I love the two-minute mark where the tempo changes up. That's dynamic, unpredictable, and gripping, excellent! Soon after however, I begin to notice a similar sounding arrangement. The 3:45 transition adds to the dynamic feel (so nice to hear these things!) and overall sound design. Development in the middle act elevated the whole, e.g., 5:45 is terrific, bending, conditioning, and exercising our brain, mind. What follows showcases more greatness. Nothing sounds over-stuffed or too busy. The sixth minute takes us further, higher. There seems to be no end to how meticulously catchy and well composed the track is more often than it isn't, despite a few brief, fairly repetitive segmented arrangements here and there. This song takes the album in a more refreshing direction, though we initially stormed out the gate with The Creature to bonkers and infectious degree. The rest of the album didn't live up to MR's greatness until this track IMHO. This is a smart, inventive, and articulately composed track, and one of the best GOA songs I've heard all year (along with T1 so far!) A- 6. Twisted Reality releases a very catchy accent (love those) early. The door-hinging (whatever that is) effect reminds me of something out of Semsis' album, Letting Go. We're quickly tripped into the electricity current and take off early. The accents work well as the artist builds a twisting band of electrical layers that grow increasingly psychedelic and complex. The overall album sounds newer to my ears since the previous song, and Twisted Reality, as with the previous track seems more advanced on the technical side, though an infectious melody lead that jumped out over the others would have been nice. The track is technically sharp and beautifully-- very well mixed. There is a part at 8:35 that reminded me a little of Tandu's album, Multimoods, excellent work. If I were to criticize anything, it's the final moments that sound a little too busy for me. A catchier lead and/or some refining could have improved the final moments from feeling as over-whelming (over-layered to the point I lose grip of the catchier elements). Conceptually I'm thinking I.F.O., Hallucinogen, Semsis' track, Seven, inspirations that could have benefited this track in its final moments. Although the ending felt less fresh to my ears, the overall song is great! B+ / A- 7. Hallucinatory Acid is not as dark as the others and that's okay! This thing's pretty electric and catchy. I remember by this time (Track 7 on CoM) we had the disappointing track Mindwarp. Hallucinatory Acid is so much better by comparison. The atmosphere and acid in the first minute is great, and the synth lead at 1:22 is excellent! The arrangement sounds bit simplistic and samey from roughly 2:05 to 2:39 and is soon replaced by another less than stellar segment. The arriving synth work at 3:35 is better, as well as the less layered segment in the forth minute. The last act becomes increasingly psychedelic, acid-induced, and delectable. The arrangement is fairly simple, but by now we've acclimated to that. The artist blends synths in the last act to infectious degrees. I just feel like certain segments in the first two acts were a lot more effective (edgy, exciting) than others. It's okay to have a simpler track. Not every song has to be a big event, and I like that this song adds variety to the track list. It's a different shade of dark and it works. The last two songs simply sounded more distinct, inventive, and impressive to my ears. Still, Hallucinatory Acid is a very good, if not great track. A- 8. Unreal begins with more organic sounding melodies! Filteria's album, Daze of Our Lives expanded to incorporating more organic sounding melodies and the result was amazing. I'm suggesting MR evolve more to what works best for MR's evolution too. The song returns the album to being darker. The first albeit least strong act is crunchy and atmospheric, solid. The ambience creates feels via 2:42 (rare on the album so far). The female samples are catchy and a few of the transitions are quite suspenseful. The forth minute produces a beautiful blending of sound/melody work. The song gets a little busy from 4:50 to 5:05. Fortunately it improves at 5:25, and again as we cross 6:00, infectious work. I savor the more organic melody work around 6:38 before we shift back into the edgy, dark, and adrenalized (albeit simple in arrangements() zone. The finale's combination of sounds is strong, with an accent so simple and catchy. Unreal has a healthy dose of melodies. It even has a few feels to boot! The ending is sharp and engaging. One of my only gripes is the lack of developmental melody arrangements. The arrangements are so short and simply. They come and go so fast at the expense of the story, and this lessons the chance of a melody or a segment being as memorable past the coolness of it in the moment. For example, take Pleiadian's, I.F.O, earlier Infected Mushroom, and Filteria's DoOL and LitW albums (at times!). As with tracks 1, 5, 6 -- Unreal is punchier than tracks 3+4 (with exception to the ending of Bad Dreamer 2). B+ 9. Ouija is less dark and in-my-face with exception to some whizz-by effects, a bombastic little element. Just to note, I miss the album having unhinged tracks to the degree of songs 1, 2, 3 on CoM. The song is fluid and refined. It has character and personality. It's punchy, exciting, always developing AND evolving to infectious degrees! I often to you hear that about a song? I love the dark foundation, the arrangement (similar in concept to Juno Reactor but in MR's style and approach). The song's energetic and moody, in part of the synth that reprises around 7:05, complimented by an accent. The song is crunchy, determined, and full of tasty sound/melody work, developmental changes, soundscapes, and atmosphere. It's a fluid, cohesive ride that grows to be more fun on repeat listens. And yet, I can't help but feel like something is missing. The song took time to grow on me, and I wasn't quite sure initially what to score it. Maybe I don't want the ride to end? Or lofty expectations? The problem with the album is that-- IT ENDS. No. I'm glad the album doesn't end with a remix. It gives us a strong and inventive, visionary send-off that's more refined than the masterwork on CoM. This is a surprisingly focused and somewhat restrained, yet meticulously crafted, surreal and haunting, beautifully sound selected and organized, mixed, and well directed track. The last two minutes are fantastic, though the final enhanced layer to a synth lead doesn't make or break anything for me. What a send-off to a flawed but terrific album! A CONCLUSION Perplexity is a strong, dark Goa album. It's intelligent, exciting, imaginative, and exceptionally well produced, mixed and mastered. The sequel to CoM is darker (at times, and vice-versa), more atmosphere, refined, fluid, and psychedelic, the latter in the second half. Not every track was super dark thankfully (cool shades of dark), and often consisted of variety and a wide range of ideas and clever manipulations of sounds and texture-ridden atmosphere. The album is less chaotic and bombastic than CoM, and virtually every song showcased, if not was dominated with excellent work. if you liked CoM, you'll like Perplexity. If you didn't, CoM won't convert you as the sequel is very much in the essence, a sequel to CoM. I highly recommend listening to Perplexity at night. Criticisms and Feedback: Perplexity [in some ways] feels like a refined and updated continuation of CoM rather than a full upgrade or evolution, as if some of the songs were made around the time of CoM, whereas Vektogram (Remix), Twisted Reality, Unreal, and Ouija sound more refreshing to my ears. There is evolution on Perplexity and it does break ground, but not to the degree of CoM (I feel). The album is great (!), but it never hit me as hard as In the Mouth of Madness and CoM (self-titled track!), the latter I found more bombastic than anything on this album. Speaking of evolution, the second half of MR's track, The Sphere on the compilation, V/A - The World Behind was very unique and different. I'd love to hear more evolution. A few more "feels" would have been nice too. Cybernetika's, Scythe of Orion and Penta's Pentafiles are just two examples [of dark Goa albums] that incorporated feels well. More organic sounding melodies (we get a few in Unreal) in the future would be cool considering the upgrade in atmosphere which is amazing here at times. Track 3 and especially 4 could have been better. T-4 could have been replaced with something grand. And more development (like telling a story) in musical/melody arrangement would be nice, as segments at times begin to show their age just before being replaced with a fresh one, so to speak. There are times when simple arrangements work for fast paced, kinetic energy. But without more substance, there's less to dig into for the more experienced Goa ears and mind. Final Words: Perplexity is a darkly psychedelic, rich, and satisfying follow up to CoM, but it's not perfect. Some segments grew to be repetitive, muddled, or bland, while certain songs failed to captivate throughout. When it works though, this is a sleek, edgy sequel to one of the best dark Goa albums in decades. Perplexity showcases some of the artist's best songs to date and should hold fans over for some time. The album retains the visionary, adrenalized approach that worked so well on CoM. I expected more of an evolution at times, and wish that he had replaced the weaker songs with healthier ones. All in all, Perplexity is highly recommended for fans of dark Goa Trance. Favorite tracks: 2, 5, 6, 9 ... (and the last acts of 3 & 7) A- Sample / Buy https://www.suntriprecords.com/release/cat/SUNCD49/
  12. I cannot think of a Goa album (let alone ALBUM) that I'm looking forward to more this year than Perplexity by Morphic Resonance. The sequel to my kind of album just released. Few nitpicks aside, City of Moons is AWESOME.. it's so DARK, EXCITING, and EDGY... SLEEK and EVOLVING... INFECTIOUS and POWERFUL... hmmm.. kind of like THANOS in Infinity Wars!!!!!
  13. Sometimes haunting and surreal. Other times... well I'll save that for the review. Fans of CBL and the Ambient/Chill/Downtempo genre may want to check this out. 1. Accede is an ambient-influenced downtempo number. It starts off the journey atmospherically. Soundscapes drip like PSY drop rain and a gentle beat begins to take shape. The song grows catchier with the entrance of melodies, moving higher both energetically and euphorically. The simple approach, direction, and lack of any WOW ingredients IMO may prevent this song from being a favorite for more than a small percentage of listeners. It's a soothing, light, and harmless opening that opens the door to the grander work. B+ 2. Derelicts really moved and inspired me. I love the organic sounds combined with the beat, the ingenuity, creative usage of unconventional sounds, the sound/melody work, evolution, and direction. I could go on and on expressing how catchy, evocative, and unique I think this song is. But you'd be better to hear it for yourself. The track is ethereal and fantasy-esque like a fairytale for adults. Excellent work. A 3. Clouds is the first ambient song here. It reminds me of little of the softer music in Mirror's Edge, the videogame (Soundtrack by Solar Fields) but not ripped off. The song feels fresh, inspirational, harmonious, and breezy. It has feeling and pulls the listener in quite easily. Very good! B+ / A- 4. Nattväsen is ambient influenced with a beat (downtempo of sorts). It's melancholy, atmospheric, eerily catchy, and haunting, if a bit repetitive. Still a great track. It's rich, yet simple, beautiful yet sad, and very memorable. B+ / A- 5. Equilibrium is a simpler albeit pleasant and smooth downtempo number. The unique voice bits, as well as the GOA-esque synths (in downtempo like Goa in slow-motion) compliments. Good song! B+ 6. Path of Least Resistance certainly takes the path of least resistance. The song seems good to be played in the background or for meditation. Generally speaking, the song seems little more than nature sounds, atmosphere, and ambient notes. Some people are into this floating and peaceful, cloud-walking albeit more minimalistic approach. By being so soft in nature however, it comes across as almost too uncharacteristic and uneventful, and this is where I begin to lose interest with the album. That said, the track is placed as a gentle transition between two more characteristic numbers, so it varies things up. B- 7. 780 Days begins with ambient, but with more feeling and direction, and soon takes off into downtempo beautifully. The picks up roughly halfway through, growing catchier, more uplifting, and engaging. It's beautiful, ethereal. I like my songs to go somewhere, not just float in pretty colorful puddles for 7 minutes, and this thankfully does exactly that. A 8. ~42° is another magical number. Female voices briefly speak among the enchanting backdrop that can be described as an evocative fairytale. Gentle and yet emotionally riveting, the entire number is AMBIENT and captivating from start to finish. For ambient, I much prefer this direction with more memorable arrangement and ingredients over softer, almost too-light numbers, e.g., Path of Least Resistance. This song's a magical treat. A 9. Rayleigh Scatterers is slow and begins very nicely via melody/sound arrangement. There's a cloud-walking transition in the middle act that allows a resurgence of the returning (welcome) sound with some growth and development. It's very nice and a less grande song around even the grander softer tracks. A- 10. Dodecahedron enjoys a warm, ambient-esque opening before lifting off into another downtempo/Chill-Out gem. The song is accompanied with a catchy beat and beautiful sound/melody work, e.g., arrangement. The same goes for many songs on the album. Virtually all elements of the song are great. I love the uplifting sound and of the overall album, and CGL in by and large, making vibrationally raising music, influencing our state of mind, inspiring our thoughts. The ambient adds to the driving melodies that are again, full of beauty, inspiration, and energy. A- 11. Loss Aversion is captivating. The ambient, sound/melody design.. the atmosphere, buildup and female hymns is gorgeous, creating a heavenly body and climax of ethereal rhythm that sound that nearly overwhelms the senses with heart and soul. This is one of those tracks that redirects my attention from whatever I'm doing upon hearing it. I feel completely still and at peace and surrender, as if I'm melting into the music. Despite it's fairly short length at five minutes and thirteen seconds, I'd rather artist(s) know when to end a song rather than overstay its welcome. This is the last characteristic super song on Derelicts and it's a diamond. A 12. Everwave took time to grow on me, but I've come to like it. For me the album has all but ended, and now we are left to enjoy this epic 14+ minute aversion of warm albeit ambient bliss and serenity. It's a pleasant song to have on in the background, to meditate or close your eyes to. Its placement seems most appropriate here too as the energy comes down and settles out into a straight line, so to speak. This would have been a challenge to sit through earlier in the album as it nearly puts me to sleep (in a good way) and that may have been my challenge with Path of Least Resistance which seemed to hold me down in quiet clouds after everything previous to juiced my positive outlook, energy, and imagination. Here the essence of the album comes home, to its place in eternity some call Heaven, of permanence.. that being [Heaven] outside the Universe considering the Universe is a projection of the collective "split" mind according to physicists and a growing number of spiritualists considering nothing in the Universe (or our bodies, planets, etc.) is preeminent and "consciousness creates reality". B+ / A- CONCLUSION Derelicts [the album] is magical and wondrous. Parts of it sound like a powerful fairytale, and showcases some of my favorite work by CGL to date. It is a bit gentler at times however when compared to their previous albums. Sometimes this is for the best. Other times though not often, a less than intoxicating ambient track will arrive before the album picks up and becomes more engaging again. This was most noticeable to me in the middle act on first listens, and the reason I find CBL albums like World of Sleepers, Hydroponic Garden, and Interloper easier to listen to straight through. That said, there is greatness in the middle third and the last third, with exception to Everwave that did little to stir my interest, iI found strong. Albums this enchanting we rarely seem to get now days, imaginative worlds oozing with dimension and beauty. Overall and few weaknesses aside, this is one of the best albums I've heard so far in 2017. A- Order/Buy https://www.blood-music.com/store-us/67-carbon https://carbonbasedlifeforms.bandcamp.com/ FULL ALBUM STREAM
  14. I browsed this thread in June and was surprised to see so few reviews. Identify Mash is the best Goa-influenced album I've heard in 2017 to date and the year is almost over! The album is wildly creative and inventive, energetic, dark, complex and UNCONVENTIONAL, mechanically infectious and yet melodic -- the album starts off good and gets increasingly catchy. Before this released (I missed the Promo thread) I was wondering when we'd get a new visionary work of art from Jannis considering four years had past since the last Filteria album... feels strange -- it doesn't feel like FOUR YEARS has passed since Lost in the Wild released in 2013. It's almost 2018. Time seems to be escaping us with each year that passes. As the album progresses, Jannis releases some powerful fireballs with nothing but strong numbers all around. Each track has so much distinct elements going on that each time I return to hearing Identity Mash, it feels somewhat new to me. It's certainly refreshing, even when compared to previous KOB songs. The artist has evolved Filteria and now he's evolved KOB, both in good ways I feel. It's just too bad that the album's been overlooked by the general Goa/Psy Trance community on here. I'm hoping more people become aware of it as the year(s) progress, and whether those years even feel like years when they do pass. 9/10
  15. Good album.. It's fairly dark, atmospheric, and moody, and unique. I'm glad it's not all ambient. I tend to gravitate towards music with beats. Even the tribally drums early in help to liven the music for me. I don't mind ambient introductions and find them good here. I do miss your more uplifting, mid-tempo work showcased on previous album. This is an interesting excursion into something also creative and different. Thanks producing quality visionary albums!
  16. Beautiful album full of heart and feeling, spirit and depth, vision and ingenuity.
  17. First time hearing this now. I must say wow, what pleasant surprise. Tesseract is dark, mystical, fantasy-oriented, atmospheric, imaginative, and encompasses a healthy amount of catchy sound/melody work. It's a beautiful release with moments of power, sadness, inspiration, love, strength and freedom. The songs are never too long or drawn out, but tight! Stream the full thing here. It's free to download thanks to Ektoplazm. Download link: http://www.ektoplazm.com/free-music/pharaom-tesseract
  18. The full album is now available to stream on YouTube! I heard it in its entirety. At this moment, I think this is the first GREAT goa album by a main artist of 2017. https://youtu.be/_tTrr8495Hw Suntrip Order Page http://suntriprecords.com/release/cat/SUNCD46/
  19. V/A - Inti Suntrip Records 1. Ovnimoon - Invocation takes a few minutes to come alive, but sounds good until it breaks out(!) at 4:27. The second act great, but sounds a little progressive/mainstream-friendly influenced. Several great climaxes take place. The song sounds a little safe to me, but its Goa sound is catchy as well as the energetic (with energetic boost FX approaches to the music). It lacks depth and feels a little long, but (for what it's going for) it's smooth, attractive, and digestible, a more mainstream-friendly approach to Goa with less of an exploratory element. Great for dance floors. B+ / A- 2. Triquetra - Renkinjutsu is more aggressive, acidic, psychedelic, and dark. The skipping "accent" FX are great, so catchy! There's an exciting climax at 5:19. The structuring of the song is fairly simple. But the overall developing sound/approach here is engaging throughout! This is one of my favorite tracks on the album and of 2017. 3. Jagoa - Perverse Polymorph is dark and atmosphere. The first minute is intriguing. It seems like things are about to pick up. Instead however, the song grows repetitive until 2:35 where the rhythm changes up. The music could have benefited from this a minute back. What is it with these drawn out segments? A fresh part arrives from 3:39 to 3:53, but is quickly off-set by an annoying effect that sounds like the music is being pulled down. I found that distracting and unnecessary. Things improve at 5:00 until the energy retracts at 5:40. *Sigh...* This song could have taken off numerous times. In the end, the parts are stronger than the whole. As my girlfriend said: "The song did nothing to impress me." B- 4. Morphic Resonance - Varese Dream showcases a moody, atmospheric, and darkly melodic first two minute opening. It's very good and I hope that the next album has moody/atmospheric elements like this. The second act incorporates dynamic segments and variety. The music isn't too intense, though I wish the opening melody returned like a chorus at some point with new work built on top of it. The artist allows the music to breathe between climaxes, something Filteria learned from but didn't seem to perfect until his third album in 2009 via Daze of Our Lives. Speaking of climaxes, there are two in the last act. Is the second climax at 8:33 just a bit too much?, or too close to the previous climax? Maybe it's the rolling synth. Something just seems too much or crammed in regarding the overall sound or placement of the finale considering all other segments flowed so well. Few nitpicks aside, this is strong, sleek, and edgy track. Well done. A- 5. Triquetra - Destroying Dinausor is another tight song by the artists of #2 (not even gonna try to pronounce that). The atmospheric opening is warm and euphoric, very catchy and intriguing. Although the second act (earlier on) could have developed a little more, a mechanical synth varied it up, complimenting the rhythmic design. There is a transition breathing space of sorts (since the beat remains) at around 4:52. The music breaks out a minute later, igniting a flavorful and exciting final act. MR's song was obviously more dynamic with twists and turns, but I loved the overall sound, mixing, and melody work here that gave me more feels. That said, I think the artists' previous song is stronger or at least it's punchier via stands out more (comparatively speaking), but I really like the less intense approach, and (like I said) the warmer sound/melody design here. Great track! B+ 6. Celestial Intelligence - Distorted Visions starts mysterious and mystical, catchy before a typical melody arrangement (segment) arrives. Please avoid typical stuff. The middle, more complex and mechanical (robotic) segment is good (finally breaking away from the typical), and the last act is great, very catchy! The song could have ended slightly sooner but I love the less layered Goa tune part just before that. Find a way to end the song there, so it doesn't spend forever chilling down but doesn't feel about either. This artist has done better numerous times before. This is a good track with some really great work. B+ 7. Mindsphere - Harmonic Garden starts great before getting too busy sounding IMO. The middle act has some very nice tunes that stand out, great arrangement, sounds, etc. Then things sound over layered to my ears again. There's a catchy, harmonious tune in the last act that adds focus, euphoria. Keep the melody arrangement juicy and interesting! This is a pretty good track with some beautiful elements. B 8. Crossing Mind - Entropy (First Edition) took time to grow on me. It's very melodic, and not too complex or technical to the point I admire more than enjoy it, as my issue with some songs by the artist. The melodies smooth. They stand out. I enjoyed the euphoric feel in the song, but felt that the arrangement in the forth and fifth minute grew fairly typical and repetitive. Why not have magic in place of this? Take us higher? There's a sweet maneuver in the sixth minute that refreshes the whole. The song feels more varied and alive here. Overall this is an elegant, enjoyable track and one of my favorites on Inti. A- 9. Sykespico - Glimmers of Sunrise is an uplifting, morning track. The female hymns aren't too frequent (thankfully) and grew on me on repeat listens. The song has a pleasant vibe, nice melody/sound work. For a sunrise song, it's not at the level of Astral Projection's Liquid Sun, but then again, what sunrise track is? The track does waver close to mainstream trance, but basks close enough to Goa shores to not sabotage the album. The climax towards the end lifts the mood higher. This is a solid way to end a compilation that goes from dark (aggression) to light (positivity), something we can all experience more of in our lives. B+ Conclusion Inti is more atypical not. Nearly every artist offers something different, interesting, and catchy. Both songs by Triquetra are very great! Morphic Resonance delivers another dynamic, exciting track, though maybe crams in a bit too much via super climax towards the end. Crossing Mind offers a surprisingly elegant (not overly technical stylized) track. Sykespico ends Inti with an upbeat morning sunrise track. There are no filler songs, though a few segments of songs I found to drag or have slightly typical arrangement before breaking out into more refreshing (imaginative) work. These moments were few and far between. That said, Perverse Polymorph should have been more cohesive and satisfying considering its terrifically dark, crisp atmosphere and synths. It never seems to go anywhere and appears to be the least favored song here by general consensus. As with any compilation, everyone seems to have their favorites. Check it out and decide for yourself. On a side note, the album's theme appears to be energy going from dark (aggression) to light (colorful, uplifting without sounding cheesy, positive) and while the colorful placement of the Mindsphere track may seem a little jarring, I enjoyed the theme for the most part since so many compilations remain dark and intense throughout. This gave me variety and some very beautiful, crisp tunes within the last few numbers. Overall Inti is a very good / great compilation. Favorite tracks: 2, 4, 5, 8 B+
  20. Virtuart and Friends DAT Records 2016 1. Virtuart & Chronomyst - Vashisht 2. Virtuart & Franky - Wakatoom On The Road 3. Virtuart & Kshoo - Esprit Libre 4. Virtuart & Chronomyst - Sacred Drop 5. Virtuart & Nagar Bhatti - 2068 6. Virtuart & Kshoo - N2 O 7. Virtuart & Maël - Neverending Party 8. Virtuart & Manitù - Red Spirit 1. Virtuart & Chronomyst - Prospector M 2. Virtuart - Light Lifter 3. Virtuart & Chronomyst - L'Karnaj 4. Virtuart & Manitù - Indian Summer 5. Virtuart & Nagar Bhatti - Svadeshi 6. Underhead - Orejuna 7. Virtuart - La Sorcière Des Sables & L'Homme Libre (Sandoz Mix) 8. Virtuart - L'Annee Des 13 Lunes (Galactic Time Mix) DAT Records released one of the best compilations of 2016, e.g., Mind Rewind 3, yet Virtuart and Friends was undoubtedly IMHO their best album of the year. For starters, it received #4 in the Psynews "Best of 2016" Results. I think it had a good chance making #3 if more people heard it. Update: After posting my review, I saw that these songs were made in the 90's! So I reviewed it like they just finished production. I suppose that's a good thing. Anyway, we occasionally talk about a certain sound we miss from the golden years (1996-1998) of Goa-Trnace. Fortunately, we get to experience that with this fresh double album that would have been a classic then, had it released then. CD 1 1. Virtuart & Chronomyst - Vashisht incorporates some very nice drum work before the arrival of a catchy, low grinding synth to drive the vehicle at 1:46. More world building ignites after a brief transition, and we climb again. Detailed textures emerge in the second act, creating an infectious rhythm. A soft spot approaches, fronting a second lead. The last act incorporates some nice sounds and arrangement, though it sounds a bit similar (safe?), possibly due to the music rebuilding on its general 0:16 sound. But that's the worst I can say. This is a solid track, and this is just the beginning. B 2. Virtuart & Franky - Wakatoom On The Road is more complex, melodic, and ambitious. Early effects, like nuts and bolts add to the mix before a lively sound via 3:00. The first act is good, showcases a mechanical passage. There's a gripping lead at 4:20 that is soon complimented with a more aggressive, stacotto synth. Brief transitions front new ideas that keep this path unpredictable and interesting. The song climaxes with a beautiful lead at 7:16. This part reveals heart, the one ingredient I felt was missing. This is a strong, creative, and energetic track filled with variety! I find it more fulfilling than the previous one. Nice work! A- 3. Virtuart & Kshoo - Esprit Libre accents early on with a brief voice sample. It's not bad, though tastier accents exist in the track and overall album. The zippy synths add intricacy, engaging us early within the effect-ladden structure. There's a sweet, echoed sound at 2:12. The ear candy backdrop takes the forefront around this exciting fusion of energy. The sound selection, arrangement, and mixing in the second act is juicy, dynamic, and tastefully rhythmic. A little synth suddenly appears, enjoying the spotlight before the artists press the ignition at 5:38, a terrific sequence! The third act maintains the high energy. I love the skipping (hypnotic) sound towards the end, and the return of the music after the song seems to peter out. This track is so dynamic, pumping, and psychedelic. And this never-released-thing is from the 90..?! So cool! Kudos to the sound/melody work, mixing, and direction. Super track! A 4. Virtuart & Chronomyst - Sacred Drop is more raw, driving, and acidy. We get a neat, little synth melody in the first act. But what really stood out to me, besides the vibrating atmosphere is the energy emphasis that occurs when new synths arrive, e.g., 3:34 and 4:01. That aspect is fun! I'm not a fan of the Indian chanting. I'm just a huge cosmic nut. What can I say . Also, the middle Eastern melody at 4:16 sounds a bit childish to me. The song grows ridiculously trippy from 5:10 forward, as if we OD'd on psychedelics! The last act is strong with exception to the returning melody from 4:16. It takes away from the otherwise sleek, edgy feel. Otherwise, great song! B+ / A- 5. Virtuart & Nagar Bhatti - 2068 has a dong-esque accent early on that develops into a melody. The accents on this album are so catchy and this is no exception. Another plus is the synth at 1:10. Here the song has a sort-of skipping, hypnotic feel that Espirit Libre first introduced, conceptually anyway. The first act's arrangement could have used more variety, but that's a nitpick. Also, the music gets a little repetitive by 5:30. Fortunately, the interlude at 5:50 changes things up, restoring intrigue and appeal. Things grow catchier from there thanks to a gripping final act. An emotive wave hits at 7:26, adding harmony and improving the whole with beautiful sound formation. Despite a few nitpicks, this is a very good track. B+ 6. Virtuart & Kshoo - N2 O is another psychedelic albeit darker vehicle. There's a drumroll at 1:37 and the plot starts to thicken. A little more could have been added (for me anyway) by 2:30. Not to worry. A synth arrives in the third minute, though it isn't the fire. It lights the wick. A stronger lead suddanly enters at 3:41, and everything lights up! The forth and fifth-- basically the rest of the track is exciting, full of energy. It's excellent. While the song's first half took a while to get going, the second half turned this number into a psychedelic cocktail. Enjoy! A- 7. Virtuart & Maël - Neverending Party has a curious, arguably mischievous opening. Remember a while back, I praised the usage of "accents" on this album? Well this thing accents very well, multiple times, e.g., the beeping at 0:26. The song showcases more energy too. The synths are fast and involving. The character's personality has attitude. The song's more dynamic and magnetic than the previous tracks. And that spinning, spiralizing accent effect from early on is sweet! There are transitions that front new accents, killer synths, and some crazy voice FX that add to the unstoppable carnage of this Joker-esque ride! Not only does the song excel on the mixing front (like many of the songs on the album), it's daring, determined, and intense. Never mind that this never-ending party starts strong and keeps getting stronger. Even the last minute is FANTASTIC. Can we order more of this please? Neverending Story is one of the jewels of the year, and in years. The unhinged nature of it coupled with an experienced set of mixing skills, solid direction,and risk-taking are just a few things that make this song top notch and so much fun! A 8. Virtuart & Manitù - Red Spirit opens with cloud walking atmosphere. After the inclusion of a fairly harmonious and catchy albeit incoherent vocal-esque accent, the song begins to develop. I wasn't as engaged as I wanted to be in the first act. There's a strong buildup in energy across the 4th minute, peeking our curiosity. This follows the energetic release, a attractive braid of melodies. The second act is elegant. The music crosses a second mystical barrier (transition) which takes this dragon to new heights, encompassing improved sound/melody work coupled in warm atmosphere, and the song's signature, harmonious accent to boot. My favorite part is the re-collection of energy around the 8th minute, resulting in a beautiful, infectious climax. This is another highlight on the album. A- CD 2 1. Virtuart & Chronomyst - Prospector M combines layers of euphoria with bouncy, infectious tunes, immersed in warm and euphoric atmosphere. Sounds good? I hope so because this song's excellent. The first act incorporates a very catchy, be it gentler melodic approach before the relaxing interlude. The music returns refreshed, with a very catchy tune, arrangement at 3:45, and is complimented with stronger synths and energy at 4:52, the latter is superb. The beat soon disappears to introduce something new (and very nice) in the 8th minute. The final act evolves into an arresting, exciting, and captivating rhythm, ending the chapter on a refreshing high. The sound/melody work, development, and direction throughout this song was wonderful. The first track on CD 2 is already one of my favorites tracks. If you like catchy "tunes" in your Goa, you're going to love this. Superb track! A 2. Virtuart - Light Lifter has a mystical opening thanks to lush female hymns and atmosphere. I wish the overall song built on this sound (earlier on). The promising introduction fades at 1:20. Here the song basically starts anew. The first act is decent buildup. From around 3:50 forward, the song grows increasingly catchy. Things really jelled for me at 5:09. The sound/melody work really stands out in the second act; it's great! The last third sees the change up of music. I liked the progression initially, but felt that the music could have developed more, encompassing more variety, as it's not eventful. I feel like the artists could have developed the fantasy (more infectious, detailed) aspect towards the end, in that sense. This is a solid track with a really good second act! B / B+ 3. Virtuart & Chronomyst - L'Karnaj begins darker, more atmospheric. The first act engaged me more than the previous numbers first few minutes. After an ominous (beat-free) interlude, the music breaks out at 2:47. The rhythm here is less predictable and quite catchy. The next clearing is brief. It fronts a homogenous continuation. More development would have been more refreshing I feel. After the drumroll at 4:30, an elegant lead enhances the vehicle. The atmosphere grows increasingly thick with soundscapes and dripping, psychedelic ooze and treats. The transformative final act of the song is sneaky relative to how trippy it becomes. The sound/melody work keep us hooked, thanks to the creative direction. By the time we reach our destination, the vehicle is drenched in psychedelia. B+ / A- 4. Virtuart & Manitù - Indian Summer begins with a danceable, stomping sound. It's a little atypical, but let's see where it goes. A flying saucer effect cuts through the air, across the third minute (very cool). The lead at 3:54 is strong too, elevating the vehicle through an intriguing transition. This song improves considerably since the stomping opening. Another area worth nothing is at 4:50. From the midway mark forward, the creature grows like a tornado, gaining strength and delectable details as it moves forward. From the halfway moment (roughly) we're flying through in an exciting wave of immersive wonder, color, complexity, and imaginative psychedelia. The sound work in the last act is fantastic! Infectious soundscapes nearly jump out of the speakers, infecting our senses like bursts of cosmic delights. The first act seemed like a very different song from how this evolved. I suppose it could have been more homogenous, but what a wonderful ride this turned into. Great track! A- 5. Virtuart & Nagar Bhatti - Svadeshi teases us early, keeping us at bay around friendly voices, atmosphere. The song takes off at at 1:55 and doesn't look back. The music is rich and engaging! This is just the beginning and it's about to get so much better! 2:52 sees the involvement of a gripping lead before becoming increasingly catchy across the third minute. The brief interlude leads to juicer, more infectious synths and soundscapes, gorgeous ear candy! The sound work in the second and third act are delightful, ultra melodic, so good you can nearly taste! To top if off. the artists incorporate a stellar lead in the last act. It's awesome. This is one of the catchiest Goa tracks I've ever heard! Another super song! A 6. Underhead - Orejuna​ has an interesting opening coupled with ambient/atmosphere. An intense burst of energy electrifies the atmosphere at 1:23, kicking this thing into high gear. The music does remind me of Pleiadians' side project, Crop Circles 3:43. The second act is harder edged, more acidy and complimented with a softer (less aggressive) tune. The last act continues the high octane and cosmic approach. This was one of my favorite tracks for a while, but the adrenaline has since worn off. As a whole, it seems like the artists were going for a super/killer (and danceable I presume) Goa song. Either way, it has the energy, the leads, climaxes, etc. That said, the direction and the overall sound/melody design never quite reaches the heights of I.F.O.'s finest songs, Elektra, Alcyone, Asterope, etc. Nonetheless, it's high energy approach is bound to appeal to many Goa listeners and dancers alike. A- 7. Virtuart - La Sorcière Des Sables & L'Homme Libre (Sandoz Mix) begins hard, acidy, and stomping. The darker tone adds variety to the previous track. The second act introduces hard synths to punctuate the aggressiveness. What's missing to me is more variety within the song's structure, sounds, and overall direction. This concept happens to some degree when a new lead is introduced at 5:56, restoring interest. Crunchy psy butterflies pass by, and I can imagine the psychedelic nature of the song will please psy/goa listeners alike. The overall song to me, while being effectively hard, acidy, and rough, also feels uninteresting, fairly repetitive, and lackluster. Conceptually, the dark heavy nature of it will appeal to some for the same reasons I don't care for it. But it's not bad! B 8. Virtuart - L'Annee Des 13 Lunes (Galactic Time Mix) is a distinct closing. The driving feel has an atmosphere nearly unseeable from the amount of thick psy pollution via textures and soundscapes. I imagine the artists wanted to end the album with a very psychedelic track, and I give him (them) credit for sticking to their vision. This chapter adds to the imaginatively exciting and more often than not elaborate chapters played beforehand. The song reminds me of a group of malevolent, extra-terrestial saucers, scouting neighborhoods for potential subjects. The song is moody and dark, and the ambient adds to the haunting vibe. This is a solid closing to an excellent double album. A- CONCLUSION Virtuart and Friends is a surprisingly strong Goa album that would have been in the red section for Classics here on Psynews (for those who remember back then) had it been given an official release in the 90's. The old-school style is style. It's getting better as the album progresses. A few things to boot include the sound/melody work, mixing, creativity, and complexity. We get a handful of terrific numbers on CD 1. The album climaxes with Neverending Story (energy wise IMO) and then follows that up with the traveling, elegant, and mystical journey of Red Spirit. CD 2 continues the healthy trend of super songs, starting with the infectiously harmonious, Prospector M. This is DAT's best release IMO of 2016, followed by V/A - Mind Rewind 3. The double album is a newly re-mastered, previously unreleased (for sure, destined to become a) classic from the golden era. Only for our time now. It's one of the best Goa albums of 2016 and one in... well I'll let you decide after its grown on you. Highly recommended! Favourite tracks CD 1: 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8 CD 2: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 A- Sample / Order https://datrecords.bandcamp.com/album/virtuart-friends http://classic.beatport.com/release/virtuart-and-friends/1959583 https://www.psyshop.com/shop/CDs/dat/dat2cd009.html Stream a full track off the full album!
  21. This is one of my favorite Goa albums. I feel like Suntrip was getting a little like Disneyland with fun (less risky) rides until they released this beast of a dark Goatrance album. As with Filteria's Sky Input, it won't appeal to everyone due to its extremeness, e.g., intensity, aggression, etc. But I would hardly change a thing, in retrospect. The first 3-4 tracks are so catchy IMO. Well done. T-4 felt a little less ambitious (less variety?) and felt less stellar after the first act before rebounding with more delectable synth work again. Overall it's a great track. The album seems to progressively improve in the first half, though it loses some momentum in the second half. I feel like it peeks with T-3 via City of Moons. Nevertheless, each song offers something innovative and satisfying with with exception to Mindwarp which isn't bad, but sticks out like a sore thumb compared to the other songs. Hmmm.. its been since 2009 with Filteria's Daze of our Lives that I recall giving a new school Goa album an A Also, a few songs like Chronos, while overall great -- could have used a few segment refinements. I've since rewrote my review of Chronos and will include it for convenience... 5. Chronos begins strong, as if (at 0:13) a special event is unfolding in our consciousness. The brief opening is emotionally riveting and has FEELS -- something I'd love to hear more of (at times) in this album. At 0:52, the artist establishes "attitude" with a zippy, infectious synth. This attitude-esque segment coupled with a noteworthy beat, ambient, and atmosphere (0:52 to 2:47) is exceptional and develops beautifully. That is, until 2:48. From 2:48 until 3:14, the more zippy and edgy (I'm calling attitude) approach is lost due to a repeating dinging synth that takes me out of the hard-edged and raw, exciting feel that the artist so flawlessly captured beforehand. It's not bad but kind of dismal, comparatively speaking, a fairly weak patch. The song returns to healthy, now refreshed (new moves aka synths) topical terrain from 3:15 to 3:27. We enter an intriguing, atmospheric interlude that the artist takes advantage of. When we release back into hyperdrive at 4:20, the attitude returns, delicious. The second act is super from from 4:47 to 5:37. Unfortunately, at 5:50, we hit yet another less stellar (by comparison) patch due to a growingly repetitive synth. This part isn't bad. But it's not nearly as catchy as the more complex, rich, and sleek feel beforehand. That's two noticeably weaker (by comparison) segments so far to an otherwise strong track. We reach a final interlude from roughly 6:42 to 7:07. The sweet buildup releases us back into cosmic bewilderment at 7:20. It's great. Actually, the last act is beautifully designed, and returns us to the intergalactic feel I love so much on this track (when it's keeping things tight!) and overall album. The finale is excellent, a climactic burst of cosmic excitement and intervention. The song's few noticeably weaker patches (mentioned above) are unfortunate considering how great everything else is. Chronos could have used a little more refining in that regard. Otherwise, the song is satisfying as a near whole and showcases some amazing work. A- I LOVE how this album avoids middle eastern influences (feels) until the last song (at times) and keeps to its darker vision. Very few new school artists like Filteria I feel can churn out masterpiece tracks and albums. The next MR album has potential to be the Terminator 2 (so to speak) to this ambitious, sleek, and thrilling nighttime (but noticeably less stellar at times) release. Thanks again Christian/Morphic Resonance and Suntrip for this killer release that knows how to let its energy loose off the hinges. Not since Tandu's Multimoods do I recall being so into synth work in a dark Goa-Trance album, nearly 22 years before this release.
  22. I'm glad it won. I was back-and-forth between UX and Morphic Resonance, and ended up leaving UX at #1. I enjoyed both so much. Tastes are different of course. For me, Morphic Resonance was huge. Suntrip never released anything close to the dark/sleek edginess, and grandiose-ness (dark goa wise) as City of Moons IMO. Kudos to the artist and Suntrip for making (and getting out there) this radical gem. Here's hoping the second tops the first (no weaker songs!) and is the magnum opus it has potential to be. No rush! I would have added Max Million - Monogramma to my downtempo if I knew about it earlier. This is great moody stuff (attached). Just wow, bring on the LP or sequel LP. Beautiful work. Link: https://youtu.be/ZMrdhxjk8AA Also, thank you for taking the time to count the votes and so compile the Best of 2016 results!
  23. Many of the songs are really good on this TRIPLE CD COMPILATION! You have to comb through them to find your favorites. The Filteria track I found underwhelming. It sounds too samey throughout and doesn't pop or immerse me like many of his other celestial bodies (songs). Fortunately the artists and numerous others knocked it out of the ballpark! Artifact303, Merr0w, Psy-H, Centavra Project, Celestial Intelligence, Morphic Resonance. STREAM the FULL 3 CD compilation on YouTube below! ( CD 1 https://youtu.be/FPXASvWBJyw CD 2 https://youtu.be/rmUAWxO22Eo CD 3 https://youtu.be/OKhXBYkZ5CI
  24. Tracklist: 01 - Imbaba & 303 Trancers 02 - Hidden Paradise 03 - Cosmos In Her Eyes 04 - First Encounter 05 - Blacklight Beings 06 - Creature Of Heaven 07 - Digital Non-Sense (featuring Ephedra) 08 - Lydia Delay - After All (Imba Remix) 09 - Rising Sun I've been meaning to review this for months. Some of these songs will be great for dance floors. But for home listening (me personally) not so much. And for home listening I found a good amount to enjoy here. 1. Imbaba and 303 Trancers is very dance friendly, though that seems to be its priority above almost everything else. To me, this can be described as club (or more formulaic) Goa. For starters, the synths (acid lines?) are so in-my-face. They stand out too much. Furthermore, there are very few melodies. This relentless, rough approach (for me) grew grew tiresome and more repetitive than the song is, early on. There's hardly any room to breath! Moreover, the song left me with no room to explore, travel, or be tranced. I feel forced to dance rather than imaginatively lured into an adventurous fantasy reflective of so many great Goa tracks. The song has lots of energy and momentum. Morphic Resonance's City of Moons [the album] had that too. But its approach kept me immersed, hooked, and refreshed. I do like the segment from 4:39 to 5:06, but even that would eventually get tiresome. The fifth minute forward I found too similar sounding, and the hard-edged, in-my-face synth and beat tired me out before the song was over. That said, this is probably solid for dance floors, DJ's, and clubs, and with few exceptions, I can see general mainstream electronic fans saying it's awesome because of its relentless energy. I realize that my criticisms can be argued away since the artist was intentionally making this the way it is but that doesn't mean I have to like it (as a whole). B- 2. Hidden Paradise thankfully dives deeper into storytelling development and variety. There's a beautiful lead at 1:22 that reminds me of Transwave's Land of Freedom. It's very nice! However, the synth at 1:49 turns the track into formulaic club trance. What happened? The song went from promising to predictable quick! Thankfully 3:16 introduces hymns that add feeling. The skipping melodies sound great. The synths aren't too in-my-face like the opening track. I can breath. Also nice are several interludes and tempo changes, and the ambient influence is great. These aspects create a healthier, more developed, and satisfying chapter. There's a pretty cool Goa meets Psy combo in the sixth minute before another interlude. Here the artist reprises the epic Trance anthem via 7:30, unfortunately turning the song back into, what feels like -- a mainstream club trance influenced (commercial Goa?) song. I can see this divided audiences, at least Goa listeners, Imba fans, etc. The song is sure to appeal the general club trance scene. Compared to the first track, this is so much more varied and alive, and yet it could have been excellent if it lost the training wheels and let the spirit of Goa-Trance guide its soul throughout, or replaced those contrived segments with something more akin to Goa. Still I enjoyed many aspects of this song. Good track! B+ 3. Cosmos In Her Eyes has a beautiful, cosmic opening. Now would it be possible for a song to carry that gorgeous opening feel throughout the entire song while never getting repetitive? The first act, though a bit simple in arrangement, builds around an atmospheric backdrop with soundscapes. The voice sample at 3:25 is effectively used to enhance the story while doubling as a transitional tool for fresh ingredients. The second involves warmer melodies melodies coupled with very nice atmosphere with ambient elements to boot. It's engaging! There is a second voice sample at 5:25 before the last, delectably homogenous act. The song's dreamlike approach pulls me in, unlike the first track that kept associating my mind to dance floors, or the second Track that that infrequently made me feel like DJ Tiesto was trying to spin incorporate his House and/or Trance set to Imba's next visionary album. I'm all but swept away here by other-worldly landscapes. The song is vision driven. It sounds so passionately produced, full of heart and spirit. The song is a beautiful piece of work, and one of the artist's best tracks to date. Beautiful work! Well done! A- 4. First Encounter is more energetic. The first main lead at 1:30 stands out so much that it all but drowns out its supporting layers (a reoccurring issue I have with the album). It's joined with another main melody. The sound selection is great, though the arrangement is repetitive and predictable; also the leads stand out a little too much, thus not allowing supporting sounds to feel more rhythmic which could have produced more complex sound designs (another issue I have with the album). The main melody exits at 3:17. I realize Imba likes melody leads (which we so often praise), but they stand out so much that their sound volume in addition to their lack of variety in arrangement makes the songs (at times) feel less layered and more monotonous and close-up (obvious) than they are. The last act doesn't change in style obviously. I get bored. I want to hear something more intelligent, ambitious, and imaginative, as Imba proved he's capable of in his collaborative Sevilla In Trance track on Suntrip's Ten Spins Around the Sun compilation. Hearing that created excitement for his main albums. I miss hearing work with that infectious (never generic sounding) complexity. Where is THAT Imba? Sigh... This song isn't bad if you're looking to dance, or for clubs that play trance I suppose. it's Goa influenced, so it has that going for it. But not in the way I prefer. B- 5. Blacklight Beings appears to have less Goa influence than previous tracks which is ironic considering this sounds more distinct than almost every songs on the album. The first half is pretty unambitious, as though we're going through the motions. It would have benefitted from having a more intriguing buildup. From around 4:50 forward is where the song starts to get interesting to me. Crossing the fifth minute (at 5:14), the artist showcases a delectably engaging segment of mechanical complexity. It's excellent. Now why couldn't more of the album be as catchy as that? Not only is it super catchy for home listening. It's also super catchy for dance floors! A wave of ambient soon arrives. It's very nice! This follows a buildup to climax in the sixth minute. The last act is uplifting and fun, despite the simple arrangement. The closing ambient is nice too. Good track! B 6. Creature Of Heaven opens with evocative ambient. It's engaging, though I'm finding that the songs aren't always on the same level as the fantastic introductions to them. The energy picks up with a lead that, well I'm sure you can guess. The first half is pretty standard. I was expecting an epic, spectacular dance-friendly track after reading some of the praise above. What I got was a fairly catchy sounding lead without a memorable arrangement for a third of the song. There's a break. The beat disappears and at 5:13 a wave of emotive ambient arrives (very nice along with the intros), followed by a voice sample about wars, land, and power. It is here that I'm hooked. This part adds substance and character, but it should have a song that is on par and as powerful as a prominent, highlighted moment like this that compliments it. The ambient/voice (from a film) provides FEELS, despite the uptempo work not capturing the same magic. Still I have to consider the style. The music grows catchier in the last act, and the ambient compliments it. B 7. Digital Non-Sense (featuring Ephedra) again starts with a promising opening. The first act's melody work is nice. It sounds more layered and rhythmic thankfully. A transition gives way to bouncy (catchy!) synths via 4:33. The song's fifth and sixth minute are good too. The skipping ambient notes, also used earlier, are great. There is a really nice shift in arrangement and sound at 7:30. A voice sample arrives and the music returns. There's a lot that engages me in this song compared to some of the other songs on this album. The synths jump out, but enough supporting sounds compliment them, so I'm tired or bothered by anything lead-oriented thanks to a healthy variety of ideas, execution, and mixing. While nothing spectacular, this is a positive step in the right direction, Goa-Trance wise. It doesn't sound like standardized Trance influence nor formulaic. Cool track! B+ 8. Lydia Delay - After All (Imba Remix) is an example (at least in the first half) where the synths are more rhythmically integrated with the whole. This approach allows more enjoyable details e.g., ambient, atmosphere, and soundscapes to breath! The journey is seamless, fluid, and delectable; it's beautifully composed. Then we reach an interlude that is elegant, mystical, and intriguing. Everything sounds great thus far. There's a quick buildup after that. Unfortunately the returning music at 4:29 sounds too club trance influenced. What happened to the mystical vision and vibe? After this detraction to Goa enthusiasts, the song's sixth and seventh minute improve. Unfortunately, the second act takes away from the more mature GOA feel in favor of returning to a safer, more Trance-friendly sound. B 8. Rising Sun begins with a poignant, ambient opening. The arrangement early on starts nice, but grows a bit repetitive to me. An interlude and a voice sample allows a catchier, stronger segment and lead to arrive. The lead never appears too loud and prominent in the tiresome sense. It's good! The returning music is more energy and drive, very nice. We reach another island (interlude via 5:42 which ignites even tastier complexity. While no melody or particular section sticks to me in memory, no part of the song take away from the overall whole. The last third loses some melodies in favor of a zippier segment, and are thankfully joined by a very nice albeit fairly repetitive melody in the last 1-2 minutes. I love the final seconds. It makes me wonder how great a Goa-Influenced down (and occasionally mid) tempo album could be by this artist. Solid closing! B+ CONCLUSION There's a lot I like and don't like here. Where to begin? The intros are intriguing and mystical. But the overall style and the songs (at times) sound generic compared to them. I love the artist's use of ambient. It creates warmth and emotion, though the personality of the tracks does not always reflect the promising impression of the ambient introductions. I really enjoyed chunks of Hidden Paradise, the entirety of Cosmos In Her Eyes, the second half of Blacklight Beings, the first half of Lydia Delay - After All (Imba Remix) and Rising Sun. Unfortunately, I can't escape the more mainstream sounding style and Trance influence that makes certain songs (or parts of them) sound too formulaic at times. Some of these songs just sound too similar too, or at least extended parts of them do. It's as if the artist took Goa melodies, plus some extra Goa ingredients, and made a Trance structured album with them with exception to a few tracks. There is some beautiful work as the album progresses. I simply wish the artist would swim further away from the shallow waters and produce a definitive [stellar] Goa-Trance album if producing electronic music is going to be his legacy unless he prefers to do mainstream-influenced Trance Goa (if that makes sense). The end result here is a mixture of good, great, and some not so great work, the latter more likely to please the general Trance crowd despite Goa influence (more or less) in virtually every track. If Imba enjoys this type of style music, he should stick with it despite criticisms. He could improve this less elaborate approach, and take the safer (potentially more profitable?) route assuming this release is really that successful. It's bound to attract positive comments from a few those less familiar with Goa music, and probably a few who love Goa as well. To the contrary, many Goa listeners have stepped away from anything that sounds like general Trance. We prefer more spice to our tea, complexity (for the most part), fantasy, and depth. Unfortunately, I feel like these, with few exceptions and along with some other more advanced aspects of Goa-Trance, took a backseat to this album despite the enjoyable, fun parts. One of my biggest problems with this album, is that many of the synths that the artist selected, stand out too much on their own, instead of coming together more cohesively to compliment the whole. Another issue is the more club-friendly trance influence despite NO track ever sounding like "club trance" (at least not as a whole) per say. Nevertheless, these more standard (formulaic, predictable... call them what you will) influences take away from the more imaginative and delectable aspects of Goa-Trance. Maybe Imba was going for higher sales, tracks with appeal to a wider (less Goa alone) audience. Maybe the idea was to make Goa-Trance sound more mainstream friendly. I don't know. I mean, who doesn't want higher sales? I think Imba's great with Goa-Trance, and I'm glad his tilt is towards Goa here, despite some of the melody arrangements lacking complexity and appearing to go through-the-motions at times. The album has many evocative moments (mainly the intros and interludes), buildups, and other changes to keep the general listener entertained. I'm sure some of these songs will do well on dance floors and I enjoyed a handful for home listening (more or less). I simply don't know if Goa listeners (primarily when it comes to home listening) will feel the same, by and large. That said, those looking for fun, more mainstream sounding Goa-influenced tracks should find plenty to like here. Even in terms of Goa, the artist has done some great work. But for me, I expected more, or rather something different. I mean, if you want to make a more mainstream friendly Goa album with more memorable melodies, listen to EPHEDRA's Citric Storm song from 2016's "Flying Over the Universe" album. Or RA's 12th Hour (with. Menkalien) song. The leads on those albums stand out, but never too much for their own good, All in all, viewers should listen to this album, at least online, and decide what they think for themselves. Nitpicks and complaints (constructive criticism) aside, this is a pretty solid release. Favorite songs: 2, 3, 5, 7, 9 B Sample / Order https://www.suntriprecords.com/release/cat/SUNCD44/ Stream the full album here!
  25. Thanks for the correction. I don't recall where I read that, or rather it's Simon + Nick aka Doof.
×
×
  • Create New...