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DoktorG

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DoktorG last won the day on November 1

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  1. DoktorG

    V/A - Assassi-Nations

    You can read what I wrote above in 2003. It is now 15 years later, and my opinion is not the same. I still like the Alien Project and Logic Bomb tracks, but the rest is disposable dance floor filler. It is a compilation which is in my reject pile, to be sold. Significantly, very little of the Goa trance that I have from 95-96-97 makes it onto the reject pile. 'Nuff said.
  2. DoktorG

    Triquetra - Ecstatic Planet

    Ahhhh... how sweet it is to get some proper acid Goa in 2018. By proper, I mean kicking, intense, varied and otherworldly. Further, this album is blissfully free of the generic "16th note" bassline and rhythm section that, imo, spoils so much contemporary full on and Goa. If you listen to 90s Goa, you do not find the same beat hegemony that, along with other generic factors, makes today's trance so often cookie cutter in its formulaic similarity. These guys vary their basslines and drums/percussion, to my immense delight! The whole album is rip-roaring, and it sounds like they had a good time making it - a highly infectious quality that again is quite rare today. There are no bad tracks, but special mention must be made of the didgeridoo track "Gargantuan Tribes" - my feeling is that if Triquetra want to evolve to the next level, they could introduce more analogue noises, tribal sounds, real instruments etc. What a blast of a record. Recommended! ~*~
  3. DoktorG

    Power Source - Cosmic Waves

    Yes, I have to agree with the other reviewers here: "Goaway" is the best track of Power Source. Typical of Matsuri to pick that track to put on a 12". "Gargamel" which is on the other side of the 12" is only ok; the piano sound that comes in a couple of times rather ruins the spell of the track. But "Goaway" is a fantastic track, one of the greats of Goa trance. Really scathing sawtooth leads that scythe and slice and would devastate on the dancefloor accompanied by a hypnotic beat that could go on forever. "Cosmic Waves" isn't quite up to this level. Like the 12", it is a bit of a mixed bag. "Vorlan", "Memory Bubbles" and "Hyperspace" are all good tracks, but some of the others are lemons. Nevertheless, the good tracks on it make it worthwhile. ~*~
  4. DoktorG

    Astral Projection - Y-Salem Ep

    Btw, off-topic I know, but I really enjoyed the youtube clip of "Kapala". A good psychedelic tune with lovely melancholic intro Happy Horse. ~*~
  5. DoktorG

    Astral Projection - Y-Salem Ep

    Happy Horse, I really want to support what you've written above. Unfortunately, most psytrance played at parties and festivals today sounds very plastic and kitsch to me. Maybe I am an old fart, but let me make a few points. Firstly, the "full on" 16th note bassline is utterly repetitive, boring and mind-numbing in the worst sense. Uniformity? You betcha! Goa circa 95, 96, 97 did not have a generic bassline. Just listen to Etnica's records - practically every single song has a different bassline. Secondly, the "telephone line" series of valleys and peaks (obviously made to give a little drug frisson) in this music is not entrancing - I find it trance destroying. Infected Mushroom's more recent music is an example of this: music with neat little compartments with predictable build ups and come downs. I think of it as music for the short attention span generation. There is very little trance, groove, flow or gradation in this music: it tends to be about neat demarcation and segmentation. Everything is chopped into neat little byte sized portions for easy, safe, comfortable consumption. Thirdly, digital sound can be a problem. There is such a thing as too clear, particularly when accompanied by hardness. Original Goa trance was mostly made on analogue synths which tend to have a warmer, fuller sound with more body than plug ins on a laptop. Moreover, each synth or track had a unique tone, texture and sonic signature - plug ins cannot convincingly give this variety of tones; rather there is a flattening effect. There are also issues to do with timing and error, but let me not go on too much. When clear but hard laptop tracks (sometimes in low res mp3 format) are played back on a giant pa, which often has quite hard sounding digital and solid state amps, the result is not only a clear, metallic or plastic sound, but also ear drilling. Goa trance, especially when pressed to vinyl and played back on a decent rig did not sound like this - it was plenty clear but warm, soft, colourful, inviting you to get lost in its fractal matrix. It sucked you in by not being in your face so much. Fourthly, your point above, namely that "Goa trance is a blend of. 80&90's music styles and 70's stretchy psy rock and Indian orientated melodies" is excellent. If you listen carefully to Goa you will notice that the psychedelic effect is created by: a hypnotic beats and rhythms b atmosphere (backing sounds, ambience, samples etc) c "brain bubbles" - shimmering cascades of tremolo arpeggiated sounds as in traditional Indian ragas, harp music, etc - a fractal effect mostly created on the Roland 303 d melodies, often stretched with a droning, drawn out quality, often a combination of major and minor keys There is a surprising amount of drone in Goa. Combine it with sharp percussion and presto! a different state of mind that is alert to both the moment and the "longue duree" is created. For me personally, this state of mind is the epitome of psychedelic. Nothing new here - the San knew this as they droned their healing mantras whilst they danced, Ravi Shankar knew it as the tabla clicked and bounced on top of the drone in the background as his sitar melodies poured forth. I could go on about other problems with contemporary parties: the high prices, the lack of psychedelics, the way that people march (er, sorry, dance) all facing the dj, and so on, but lest I sound intolerably snobby and stuck in the past, my point is not that we should return to the past, which is impossible anyway. My point is that we should learn from the past, a highly psychedelic undertaking. As legendary British science fiction author John Brunner put it: There are two kinds of fool in this world. One says "this is old and therefore good". The other says "this is new and therefore better".
  6. DoktorG

    V/A - Lucas Presents: God Save The Machine

    I'm listening to this as I type, and I have to say I just don't get the hype. Sure it is a little bit better than generic full on, which is to say that it is just slightly less crap than a steaming pile. The only tracks with any individuality are the opening, the Hallucinogen track (which is not so special imho) and the Prometheus track which at least has an actual melody. The rest have moments here and there but are otherwise dominated by that maddeningly samey full on bass line and extra cheesy "psychedelic" samples. Meh. Moving on. ~*~
  7. DoktorG

    Cwithe - Illegal

    Hey Goa heads, why no love for this album? I admit, firstly, that I'm a bit of a fan of the short-lived "psybreaks" or "breaktrance" movement, enjoying the excellent 21-3 compilations, Deviant Electronics, Germinating Seeds of Doda and so on. I also love drums and complex rhythms; full-on with its super-repetitive generic bass line (I can't say bass lines, cos there's only one), simple drums and non-entrancing stop-start buildups just can't do it for me. Those biases on the table, I enjoy this album, though it took me a number of listens to like it. The mix of drum n bass, breaks and Goa melodies and warbles is interesting to me because it tends to rid the music of any "Euro" tendencies (please understand that this is comment on cheesy, commercial "Euro" club "trance", not a political/social comment), replacing it with complex, entrancing polyrhythms and more of a tribal, even "third world" kind of feel. There are excellent examples of this on Illegal such as "I don't wanna Shrink" with its jungle sounds, "Tellus D", "Memory Foam" and "Injection" which is probably my favourite. Admittedly not all tracks are so great and "160 Madness" is an instance of that. However, there is a strong spirit of experimentation on this album which I have to salute. This album is far from being great as it is simply too fragmented, but if anyone out there likes psybreaks, then this is worth a listen or two. ~*~
  8. DoktorG

    Morphic Resonance - Trip To The Stars

    Thanks Draeke. I guess in some ways the more interesting question is not how Trip to the Stars relates to IFO, but how Trip to the Stars relates to The City of Moons, Cristian's previous album? To be flippant for a moment: Pleiadians vs UX? I need to listen more to say something substantial about this, but it is clear just from memory that Trip to the Stars is more obviously melodic and spacey than City of Moons. City of Moons is visceral, darker, harder, has more of an industrial edge and rusted metal feeling to it. My gut-level experience of the two albums is summed up by their titles. Trip to the Stars sounds to me like an interstellar trip to the Pleiades and beyond - the listener is zooming in a space ship across uncountable aeons of space and time with awesome vistas like those relayed from the Cassini spacecraft unfolding before their boggling eyes. City of Moons feels as if the listener has physically landed on one of the planets which features ancient ruined cities and dangerous species, like one of the recent Alien movies (Ridley Scott really should use some Goa in his movies!). I like the sense of doom that pervades City of Moons, but the melodies inspired by IFO in Trip to the Stars are unrivalled. Both albums are amongst the few recent nu skool Goa albums that are not embarrassed by the classics. One of the things I really like about Cristian's work is that his bass lines do not always stick to the generic, cookie cutter 16th note of so-called "full on"; 90s Goa artists did not all use the same bass line! ~*~
  9. DoktorG

    Cosmosis - Intergalactic

    I have tried to like this record because Bilbo Bagginz' debut with Jeremy van Kampen, the widely-praised "Cosmology", was so great. However, despite my best efforts and many spins, I can't rate this album as highly as the previous two. As Jikkenteki suggests, the production values are superlative. The sonics are really something; every sound has its place, the tonality is superb, bass growls, treble stings and soars. Those smoking sessions with Gandalf really paid off, and Bilbo successfully refines his studio technique here. But I find the conception is lacking: there is little coherence or flow to the ideas here which span the gamut from aliens to flatlining in a hospital. This is particularly apparent in some despicable samples that rival the later 1200 Mics albums for inanity ("just say no" - would Bilbo really say this?). The cheesiness injected into the album by these asides is exacerbated by the overall vibe which is very funky. Funk grooves, jazz elements bop, but there just isn't enough food for the head whilst the feet and hips are moving. There is barely a minor key in the whole thing. This light tone, a "we are having it" attitude, is something I theoretically love, but just not in this way. Flippant may be a harsh word to use, but... There isn't any pepper with the salt, and that depth of feeling so apparent on "Cosmology" is absent. I've even wondered if Bilbo is best as a collaborator: most of his co-productions are really great. ~*~
  10. DoktorG

    The Infinity Project - Mystical Experiences

    Mount Kailash meditation guaranteed. Totally hypnotic music which will give you an out of body experience if you allow it to bathe your neural matrix. No psychedelics are required because this is aural acid of the purest quality. If you don't lift at least a little off-planet listening to this, may I humbly recommend that you join the queue for Getafix's magic potion, get thee to a nunnery, do fifteen years of pranayama or otherwise reprogram your horizons. Even the slightest openness to this trip will allow you to view our galaxy, let alone our planet, from an impossibly remote distance and contemplate our irrelevance in the multiverse. It seems almost churlish, given this level of psychological profundity, to mention the significance of this album for culture generally, for music, for psychedelic music in particular. I'm not joking when I state that in my opinion this constitutes possibly the most important album in the second wave of psychedelia to sweep through popular culture; in other words, it is up there with "Are You Experienced?", "Sargent Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" or the best of early Tangerine Dream. Pretentious I know, but that is what I think. Moreover, it inaugurates the genre of psychill, psybient, call it what you will. All tracks are simply mind bending genius, but "The Answer" has one of the all time classic samples that I feel compelled to reproduce: "No one saw its approach A small point of light lost in the glare of the morning sun it had been drifting for centuries through the inner solar system like an iceberg in the ocean of interplanetary space." This track is THE ANSWER to the question you didn't know to ask. ~*~
  11. DoktorG

    E-Mantra - Nemesis

    E-Mantra's "Arcana" is the best album of new school Goa trance so far in my opinion. "Arcana" is one of very few current releases that can stand shoulder to shoulder with the great works of Goa trance from the 90s. So it was with some anticipation that I got the new album "Nemesis". The title and dark cover promised something even more darkly alluring than the brilliant "Arcana". Having had it on constant rotation I am slightly disappointed to report that I'm not as wowed by this as I was by the previous great recording. The first five tracks are really good, culminating in the storming "Xibalba" which features an entrancing stomping beat, moody deep bass and plenty of space between the sounds when the acid kicks in. An addictive track with just the right amount of restraint to draw the listener in. However, for the next couple of tracks E-Mantra indulges in some high-pitched melodies that remind me of the hysterical sounds to be found in old school "hard trance" and "hard house" - not to my taste. Was Emmanuel trying a bit too hard on these tracks? I don't know. Somehow this album doesn't reach the heights of "Arcana" which was quite a bit more dark, mysterious and transporting than "Nemesis", for me at least. Don't get me wrong, this is still an excellent album which absolutely deserves to be in your collection if you're a fan of Goa trance, but I don't find it quite as atmospheric and otherworldly as "Arcana". ~*~
  12. DoktorG

    Morphic Resonance - Trip To The Stars

    There is a high potential for hubris in this album, seeing as it attempts an updating of Pleiadians' IFO, one of the all time classics of electronic music and the Kailash of Goa trance. Indeed, one wonders why Cristian Fernandez, one of the best of the current crop of Goa musicians, attempted this. Whatever his motivations, that this remix album is far from a lemon is a minor miracle of sorts. It is tempting to compare it to the original album, which it by no means replaces or renders redundant. One could say that the sound is better, though IFO has perfectly good sound on the original Dragonfly vinyl. One might argue that the remix is worse than the original on this track or that track. One may point out that the haunting space and flow of the original is not as apparent here. It would be plausible to argue that the more hysterical and hyper sound of contemporary trance is no match for the more organic and slightly mellower sound of old school analogue synths. However, it seems almost pointless to compare this to the original album, which stands on its own anyway, but rather to critically appreciate it in its own right. Assessed in this way, one could simply say that this is one of the best albums of late Goa trance. ~*~
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