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Astralasia - Axis Mundi

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Guest PsychedelicGav   
Guest PsychedelicGav

Astralasia - Axis Mundi

 

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Artist: Astralasia

Title: Axis Mundi

Label: Magick Eye

Date: 1995

 

Track listing:

 

01. 07'10" Mystical Belief

02. 06'13" Mother Durga

03. 07'59" Khalahari

04. 07'36" Guruuve

05. 07'45" Whose Sane Hussein

06. 07'29" Flight 303 To?

07. 08'00" Bhagwash

08. 08'21" Mangoglitch

 

Review:

 

Starts off well with the upbeat ?Mystical Belief? with nice chilled out vocal

samples before launching into the faster Mother Durga. For me, some of this

album is a little bit too ?samey? after a while. I love Astralasia for one

offs but this seems to lose its way for me. This is more background type

music - too fast to chill to and too anonymous in places. On a brighter note,

track 5 is well worth a listen and has a kinda then-topical title.

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Guest Astro Cortex   
Guest Astro Cortex

Astralasia - Axis Mundi (1995 Magick Eye)

 

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1. 07:30 Mystical Belief

2. 08:41 Mother Durga

3. 12:24 Khalahari

4. 06:37 Guruuve

5. 07:03 Whose Sane Hussein

6. 12:47 Flight 303 to ?

7. 08:31 Bhagwash

8. 09:30 Mangoglitch

 

 

 

OK, now this time I’ll be having a real hard time trying to make the review do justice to how great this album is IMO but on the other hand not to let it sound too overhyping. I guess I will fail at both :rolleyes:

 

Anyway, now let’s get started. Axis Mundi captures the spirit inherent in the sound of the band like none of their other works does. It is, for me, the peak of their career, release-wise. There is this unique atmosphere that only Swordfish & Co know to create, that special feeling I get when listening to Astralasia’s music (I already made an attempt to put it into words here). Axis Mundi again offers a nice variation of trance and ambient tunes, the tempo of the former ranging from 95 (Bhagwash) to 130 BPM (Guruuve). OK, now to the tracks:

 

 

With Mystical Belief we have the perfect opener. It’s not trance but not ambient either, rather like a movie score with its epic, strong and majestic appearance. It impresses by its gongs, oriental melody and some lovely vocals, which make this a love & peace celebrating tune that wonderfully sets the mood for the rest of the album.

 

Mother Durga is really one of the best and most emotional tracks Astralasia ever made. Every time I listen to it I get lost in the layers over layers over layers of divine melodies, which make the track very rich and full sounding. There are also female vocals repeating the words ”we can change the world”, which may sound a bit cheesy on their own, but not in the context of this track I can tell you! They fit perfectly. Believe me, this is truly an ethereal piece of music that really touches the soul. It’s incredible.

 

What comes next is what has to be my favourite Astralasia track of all time. Khalahari is an unforgettable trip, it evokes the feeling of a magic carpet ride towards the horizon in a desert during sunset, as otherworldly as in a dream. That’s the image in my head when I listen to it, but it’s actually much more than that. If any piece of music can put you in a trance-like state then for sure this one. Everything is exactly how it has to be. And it’s astonishing how much energy it carries along, since it’s not particularly fast. There’s really not much that comes close to the magic of this track. Stunning!!

 

Guruuve is simply another nice and sweet Astralasia style trance tune, not much more I can add to this.

 

Whose Sane Hussein is a surprisingly exceptional tune for the band. Here, instead of trance or ambient they deliver kind of a shuffling middle-eastern electro-funk groove. Wow! A really cool track that somehow marks a still point, in anticipation of…

 

…the passing by of the huge spaceship that comes in the form of Flight 303 to ?. It steadily but unhurriedly proceeds along its way to ?, which gives the traveller enough time to enjoy the panoramic view from the window on this 303-loaded but still comfortable flight. Yeah, we’re really talking first class here ;)

 

With Bhagwash we get the excellent amalgamation of trance and dub, very subtle, laid-back and chilled. Distant voices generate a very special atmosphere, it’s Astralasia style dub ambience, a really well-crafted tune.

 

Mangoglitch makes up a well-done closure to this amazing trip. There are no beats, just a swirling ocean of mind-bending spaced-out ambient soundscapes. Truly delicious.

 

So altogether, all tracks are excellent but especially: 1, 2(!), 3(!), 7, 8

 

 

I can easily say that this is my favourite album ever. It comes closest to being the “perfect” album of all those I’ve heard. A major reason for this is the fact that it works so well for me as a whole. It’s a real journey from start to finish. Not that there aren’t other albums which are exactly that as well, but I think Axis Mundi is the most coherent of all their works. I cannot emphasize enough what a masterpiece it is. This album is true psychedelia for me. I’ll be in love with it forever :D

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seraph    14

Damn, I still haven't heard this album but I've heard Mother Durga and Flight 303 To...and they are pretty good tracks. I imagined whole album is great cause I really like their style ( old one only ) not this new pompeus trance they are making...

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Guest Cosmogenesis   
Guest Cosmogenesis

Really good album from Astralasia, ambient from A to Z. "Mystical Belief" is probably the most wonderfull overture track I have heard for an ambient album: very orchestral, it introduces it with the most majestic way and looks like more a cinematic sound track than a typical ambient piece.

 

The other tracks are globally nice, but, IMO, under the level of this first one. In fact, we have all the reasons to expect something grandious after listening this fabolous intro-track, but then the other stuff are quite good, nothing really exceptionnal.

And also, "Whose Sane Hussein" makes a cacophonic contrast in the global harmony of the album, because of its very freaky rhythm and ambience.

 

For me, "Whatever happened to the utopia" is better and more balanced. :)

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Nothing short of an amazing album. A thematically consistent and gorgeous journey through the deserts of the east and mystical times since long past, Astralasia's style and sense of simultaneously mellow and beautiful yet-only-slightly emotionally melodies has only been matched by themselves historically. "Whose Sane Hussein" is indeed a misstep, but the rest is classic stuff.

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