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Everything posted by DoktorG

  1. I've been a fan of E-Mantra since his awesome debut album "Arcana", which is still his best work. I've tended to prefer his up-tempo stuff to his chill out, mainly because it strikes me as more original, whereas some of the downtempo material has seemed a touch generic and predictable. At times the downtempo tracks seem like Goa played at 33 instead of the 45 it was pressed at, if you see what I mean. Nothing necessarily wrong with that, but it can seem slowed up as a result. Now he's back with "Drifting", a downtempo album released on vinyl as well as other formats. This is generally a chill album with a serene atmosphere and gentle melodies admirably captured by the marine cover art. It is quite different to the more complex and psychedelic downtempo of a Shpongle or an Androcell. One of the things I really like is the way this album builds from chill tracks towards more uptempo stuff towards the end - it is quite carefully structured. The latter more uptempo tracks seem a bit better than the slower early tracks, suggesting that E-Mantra is better at trance than chill. The melodies in the slow track "Returning Home", for instance, are on the predictable side. However, when things speed up a little towards the end, so does the quality and interest. The breakbeats on "Sea of Eternal Gloom" are noteworthy and a welcome refreshment in a genre dominated by 4/4; this track reminds me a lot of Electric Universe psybreaks songs. "Farewell Philae" is also a noteworthy track with gloomy bass synths. The final track "Depth of Nothingness" is probably my favourite: steady pulsing beat, sawing synths, sprinkles of dewdrops - lovely. Another thing is how good the album sounds on vinyl. When I listened to it online initially, sometimes it seemed just a bit too chintzy and smiley for me. However, listening on vinyl now, that feeling has dissipated and instead the scale of the sound creates compelling mystery. Well done to Ensancha El Alma for a good mastering job. In conclusion, "Drifting" at times seems to be E-Mantra on autopilot, but in the right mood is soothing - who in this world does not need more of that? If only Suntrip Records would release "Arcana" on vinyl. Anoebis, are you listening? ~*~
  2. Ostap Hirnyak is a Ukrainian musician known as Katedra. His superbly original debut album is here: https://globalsect.bandcamp.com/album/katedra-we-are-not-alone Slava Ukraine!
  3. "Timelessness": I like that. I'm also so happy that we agree on the pre-eminence of this artist. Analogue has a physical, visceral sound that vibrates the whole body. If set up and played back right (not always straightforward), it can also deliver a velvety warmth and scale that is seductive and appeals to precisely "the primordial parts of our brains".
  4. Some reviewers (on Discogs, for instance) have found RA to be lacking in dramatic hooks, but even if that is true (which I'm sceptical about) those can detract from the hypnosis that RA typically enables in the listener. Indeed, it might be said that the ethereal, floaty, swirly kind of Goa is more about hypnosis than it is about climaxes - more a plateau than a mountain range, more an inner journey than an outer one. Hypnosis is surely close to the heart of trance, related as it is to meditation, magic, dream, and altered states of consciousness. My vinyl copy of To Sirius has amazing sound - lots of tonal colour against a black backdrop. I'm excited to get 9th on vinyl, which should be any day now. I don't think Earthcall is as great as the two prior albums, but it is good nevertheless. For me Christer Borge-Lunde is a major contributor to Goa trance and an instant buy. Do you know "ROM/Azure Child"? Came out on a Blue Moon 12" in 97 - amongst RA's best tracks:
  5. Knocking some of the shibboleths of a movement off their pedestals is not only a sign of decadence, a movement in decay, but also an important stage in identifying the classics that stand the test of time. Hence I read the comments above with some iconoclastic delight and some recognition. I completely agree with the insightful posters above that these are, or were, over-rated: Astral Projection "Trust in Trance" (good album, make that very good, but not in the league of "Dancing Galaxy" and "Another World") Hallucinogen "The Lone Deranger" (amazing sparkling moments but just a bit too cocky about its whacky schtick, such as the Celtic knees-up in "Jiggle of the Sphinx") Man With No Name (some brilliant tracks and very good production but Goa-lite) Green Nuns of the Revolution (infectious at times, but comes across today as hastily thrown together) The Muses Rapt (the cheddar detector was malfunctional) Infected Mushroom (first two albums are excellent; after that...) So there we have it: the greatest hits of Goa trance are reduced to smouldering ruins by the critics. The question all this begs is what, then, has withstood the test of time? But I think that's for another topic.
  6. Surely no-one is surprised that Infected's prices are, erm, high. I'm sorry to be cynical, but they've mostly been making cheesy and commercial music since album number 2 in my jaded view. Moreover, if this is not a remastering that is really a pity as the mastering on the original triple vinyl is far from special.
  7. There's an argument to be made that great art has mortality awareness, which lifts it beyond the merely fashionable or topical. As Ezra Pound said: "literature is news that stays news". I like this collaboration:
  8. I think that Aleah knew she was dying when she recorded Hour of the Nightingale. Thanks for unearthing this "Jewel Stanbridge" gem! "Jewel Stanbridge" and "Julia Liane Stanbridge" are the names that Discogs uses: https://www.discogs.com/release/66424-Various-Caribbean-Eclipse The one review at the bottom says it all: "Not a single bad track here in my opinion, but the stand out track is withouth doubt the Binah - Crescent Suns track. An almost 12 minutes beautiful journey, given us by two of the true masters in the scene, Simon Posford and George Barker. But the track wouldn't have been the same without the gorgious vocals by Jewel Stanbridge. Her voice in this track is absolutely stunning!" ~*~
  9. Swampdelica I only discovered this record now; I don't know which mix I am listening to, but this is interesting and original music. This is Sloa Goa with a relatively slow, measured, unhurried pace. The rhythms tend to the industrial and have a grinding quality to them, which at times seems a bit linear and monotonous; I occasionally wanted more syncopation and percussive drama and different drum and cymbal sounds. However, the simple rhythm section avoids the plasticky psytrance sound completely (yay!) and does tend to create hypnosis in the listener. Moreover, the simple pounding drums and pulsating bass are well balanced by rotating and whirling Goa melodies full of reverb and echo, often quite quiet and subtle, and most of which do not build to climaxes. I need to listen again, but I don't recall any vocal samples. This is the opposite of extroverted full on psytrance with its plastic rhythm section and bold shiny leads. Further, the bass is heavy and the sound is quite soft and muddy, almost lo-fi. The overall effect is entrancing - sucking the listener into a deep, dark vortex of murky intrigue. So whilst all the ingredients are familiar, the way they are mixed together is unusual enough that a strange new dish is created: introspective industrial scifi Goa that reminds me a bit of Semsis and Menis in the Koyote days. For me, the primary impression this record creates is of a swamp. I'm calling it swampdelica. Original! Just goes to show that there's more to this genre than we often think; imagination is the main limitation. Really hoping to see more from this artist. ~*~ PS - beautiful cover art!!
  10. Thanks Jikkenteki. I should have mentioned Prana, Joujouka, Bass Chakra, Kailash etc. Lots of Suzuki's work involved breaks and dynamic use of percussion. ~*~
  11. O'er, is it really me to kick things off? Ok, my top albums 2021: Uptempo 1) Battle of the Future Buddhas Songs From a Forgotten Memory 2) Khetzal Etamines 3) Artifact 303 From the Stars 4) Moon Beasts On the Edge 5) Various Carpe Noctem Downtempo 1) Entheogenic Animism (listed here as a 2021 release, though I'm not sure about that as Discogs says 2020)
  12. Edgar Allan Poe would have loved this, seeing as he once said that the most poetic image was that of a dead woman (easy to get your knickers in a twist over that egregious sexism...). Nevertheless, whilst this album is an obvious accompaniment to Poe's femicidal classics like "Ligeia" and "Eleonora", or Tennyson's "The Lady of Shalott", or Tolkien's Arwen, it is more than that. An all time great album in any genre in my opinion, there's enough darkness and determination here to make the fragile gossamer beauty truly transcendent. She sang so sweetly before she died.
  13. Hello All I always liked psybreaks and wrote a number of reviews on Discogs about it. Most of it was a short-lived, primarily UK-based, sub-genre around 97-98 and here are the most significant releases in my limited and biased opinion: Cwithe Illegal Somaton Future Memories Digitalis Third State All Boundaries are Illusion compilation on 21-3 records Deviant Electronics Brainwashing is Child's Play Tristan Space Sage (Process remix) Germinating Seeds of Doda Upside Din Metal Spark Corrosive In other words, look out for the work of Andy Guthrie, Seb Taylor, Ciaran Walsh, Tristan, Shorn Rah. I feel quite strongly about this movement because if Goa had followed more syncopation, it might not have ended up in the straitjacket of 4/4 and one note bass that too often characterises psytrance. ~*~
  14. The prolific Mr Kirkwood... until he devoted himself to religion after 2009. I'm listening to Wired again; it strikes me that there's something bluesy about his compositions, almost melancholic. It is certainly well-knit in that all parts work together to create a feeling. Going back to the original topic of this thread, I guess you probably know this already, but if not here is some tribal black metal with industrial and trance elements:
  15. Ah Vienna - city of music. I listen to opera, btw; not only a fan of new trendy music. One of the places I would love to live! Look, I'm no expert in dungeon synth as I've only been getting into it recently, but take a listen to a couple of minutes of this and tell me it doesn't sound a bit like Klaus Schulze or Brian Eno or Tangerine Dream or suchlike. I'm not sure that much of the genre sounds like this, but there seems to be a connection. Love the idea of unreleased stuff getting onto a vinyl. I will gladly support that if you do a digger's or crowdfunding or some other way to support; and of course I will buy at least one copy. In fact, if I was a millionaire and didn't have to work, one of the things I would really love to do is release the best of neo Goa on vinyl. Suntrip are starting to do this, but very slowly. I understand it is not easy as lots of young hippies don't get vinyl (vinyl is tricky to get right and lots of kids don't ever buy any music period). There's an unrelated story of Sven Vath being invited to Goa in 94 or 95, the early days, and arriving there to blow away the crowd, but being unable to play because it was 45 degrees in the shade and all his vinyls warped! I really don't know how true this story is, or even who told it to me, but it tickles me every time. I must listen to Magnetrixx again; haven't thought of him in ages. I have the cd of Wired and the Somnam and Wired Remixes vinyls, but don't know his music apart from that. He definitely has some talent for melody in my view.
  16. I'm a vinyl fiend (analogue is my first love; I build my own tube amps) so in the absence of Goa on vinyl (I have almost all the first wave Goa I want on vinyl) I went over to the dark side . Yeah, I admit it, I buy metal on vinyl (though metal is weird; unlike Goa where I like a lot of it, I dislike most metal). But I completely hear you about limiting one's obsession and controlling the budget. I manage it not by limiting genre, but by limiting edition - I will only buy first edition lps, not reissues (very few remasters sound as good as first editions - there's a lot of technical reasons why, though they become questionable in the digital era). That's the way I dice it. Lots of other legit ways to do it... I'm super happy to see that some psychill and trance is making it to vinyl as part of the vinyl resurgence - oh dear, wallet damage... At the moment I'm trying to decide which Solar Fields I should get (only got the first one on vinyl so far and it is a good pressing and mastering job). Thanks for the Viking recommends - I know Skald and Finntroll, but will look into the others. At the moment I'm more into dungeon synth than folky vibes; I'm enjoying Old Sorcery presently. There's a zone where some early electronica (Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk) actually sounds quite similar to ambient techno and trance which resembles some dungeon synth - they are all keyboard-based music styles so the instrument starts to determine the music it seems. I've only been to Innsbruck and Vienna once - loved it I have to say. Seemingly a bit of a conservative country, but lovely people nevertheless and the mountains... I'm a mountain lover and walking in the Alps was just heavenly. Whereabouts are you located? I've never seen so much tobacco smoking in my whole life though - that amazed me. Speaking of which, I prefer other means of imbibing smoke than whisky, but I hear you. In a cold climate those Islay malts really warm up the bits that are chilly. I think Lagavulin is my favourite, but there's a Bunnahabhain 18 that's really good too. Have a nice day!
  17. Triquetra's second album Human Control begs the question of human control, or lack thereof, with its title. Personally I think that the very notion is deluded hubris; humans have never been in control, even of their bodies, not to mention their "minds". Thank goodness! Leaving big philosophical questions aside, can Human Control get me out of control? The answer is a resounding YES! Firstly, I really like the cover and its almost military minimalism that is pleasingly unusual for the genre and suggests the Alien movie franchise. However, the packaging of this album really leaves something to be desired. The too tight cardboard scratched the second cd badly; looks like it was just stuffed in there. Luckily, it plays ok, but still. The paper inserts were also mangled. This is a careless production job with inadequate packaging. Secondly, I'm not sure how much Triquetra evolved beyond their acid-drenched first album. The limited sonic palette they tend to use starts showing on this album, even though their basslines are just fantastic and it seems that our brothers in music have put work into their melodies, which are often squiggly, tweaky, and hence alien in flavour. The live album is inevitably a little rough now and then, but has that spontaneous feel that is hard to describe. However, whilst the sound of Triquetra has not evolved and remains mostly quite simple acid Goa, this is a huge advantage. Ignoring the manic layerism, stop-start peakism, and 16th note bass of most contemporary Goa and psy, Triquetra go for an old school sound that is full of dust. This is authentic to how the parties were in Goa; you had to drive your motorbike through the night, stumble through the bush in the dark, following the sound of the beat, all you had to eat and drink for hours was a chai from the chai mama tending her coals by the side of the dancefloor, you get the idea. This is not the sound of manicured hipsters grooming their fashion statement outfit in clean hotel rooms as they check whether they booked for the vip area on their smartphones. It is the sound of nature and the desire to transcend. I fucking love it! If you are a fan it is a lot of Triquetra music for you to enjoy. These dudes learnt much from the dusty, dog-eared tome of ancient, crusty Goa trance, and by staying true to the basic ingredients and spirit of this music, they've made 2 good albums now. This second one does feel a bit like they were treading water, but it is still a shining light of authenticity in the scene. ~*~
  18. The Moon Beasts are Alexandre Cohen (that's Ephedra) and Jerome Lesterps (a.k.a Proxeeus). The name is goth cheese (presuming "moon beasts" are werewolf type creatures), the cover is unexceptional (though the colour combination is appealing), the music seems pretty straightforward Goa... Not much good then? Well, Moon Beasts pull a rabbit out of the moon with some innovative melodies and a good melodic sensibility, make that a crazy good melodic sensibility. On some of the tracks, they take the usual whirling Goa melodies and blow them up. They cram extra melodies in, they pitchbend, they use clashing keys, they warp and twist them in some way. One way or another, or several all at once, Moon Beasts are going to have fun with those melodies. There are a number of examples throughout the record, but take the maddening mosquito melody at 7.44 in "Sleeplessness" for instance - that is some skull penetrating, irritation arousing, skin piercing nasty sound to make a melody with, but Moon Beasts do it. Sleepless indeed. The vaporous ethereal melody in "Separate Species" seems breathily beautiful, until the 303 kicks in at the end and turns the track so intense it is almost ugly. The beasts are not a separate species; we are the beasts. The haunting three note melody that is the lead of "Demon Star" (wonderfully Lovecraftian name for a track) is worthy of any of the classics of Goa trance from the 90s. Weaknesses? Well, one might say that Moon Beasts pay so much attention to the melodies that they tend to ignore the rhythms a bit and they might have put more work into varied drum and bass patterns, but this is not a glaring weakness in the album. Tired of no melodies or the same old melodies? If you fancy the idea of some lunatic reanimation of Goa melodies then take a peek round into the dark side of the moon and go and join the Beasts. This crazy melodic sensibility seems set to blow up on their upcoming album. There's a preview track "Real Externality" that demonstrates a particularly intense messing with melody. It is also available as a white vinyl preorder here: https://moonbeasts.bandcamp.com/album/unexpected-turn-of-events Neo-Goa on white vinyl? Hell yeah - support the artists! ~*~
  19. Yes, I've been buying from Steinklang and Napalm records for many years as I listen to a bit of industrial and atmo black metal/dungeon synth (Summoning, that kind of thing), amongst many other genres. Nytt Land's Ritual is readily available in all formats; quite big soft bass on this album, but a good recording nevertheless. There are still vinyl copies of previous album Cvlt available from https://www.kontaktaudio.com/ if you are into vinyl. I'm listening to it right now and the sound is good. Very difficult to find this vinyl elsewhere. PS - I don't mind the odd wee dram myself; more of a sherry bomb lover than an Island lad - it is a bit warm here for maritime malt. PPS - I suppose Muslimgauze must be one of the oldest industrial tribal/tribal industrial outfits.
  20. Thanks so much for the This Morn Omina recommendation RTP - I love it! If you like Wardruna, then Heilung are an absolute must (maybe even better than Wardruna and very well recorded) and Nytt Land are pretty good too for pagan tribal.
  21. Moon Beasts "Unexpected Turn of Events" 4 track ep on white vinyl pre-order: https://moonbeasts.bandcamp.com/album/unexpected-turn-of-events
  22. Great concept. This is entertaining and quite mesmerising to watch as well as listen to. One of the problems with software in my opinion is that it can make the sound metronomic and robotic in its timing and that robs it of human spontaneity. "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing". That ain't a problem here. This is some funky space music, starting with prog trance and slowly morphing into psytrance/Goa tunes. Stoked to see the Axiom, Tetra, and a Roland in the home studio. There's some great playing too. However, sometimes there is the opposite problem of too many mistimings and I don't think that all the tracks quite come off, especially the prog ones. "Chronos" for instance - great moments in this song but it gets a bit uncoordinated. On the other hand, I enjoyed "Spiral Cloud" which goes more Goa than prog. Another Goa track and for me the magic track on the album is "The Redeemer"; this is beautiful! I really love the gentle rhythm section in this masterful track that is both bubbly and floaty. I sorta think that maybe M-Run do Goa better than prog, or maybe it is that I prefer Goa? ~*~
  23. Ah thanks for letting me know Anoebis; I'm glad he is happy - credit where credit is due. That review was written objectively; I have no affiliations, nothing to gain, no axe to grind. Huge credit is also due to you for supporting the artists, for releasing some good music, and for keeping the faith! The year has started off really well for Goa trance; I hope it continues on a positive trajectory for all!
  24. Great news Anoebis; we look forward to more information on your plans as and when...
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