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Shakta - The Enlightened Ape

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This is a very different style than the earlier Shakta or Somaton releases, but definitely one of the classics, even just going by the overall immense sci-fi/alien atmosphere. This is one of the last plain great releases from a known artist on the old school territory. The very only track I'm not too keen on, and don't even think fits the album very well, is the last downtempo track. It's just a tad too mellow, if it weren't so dubby I feel it could have worked better here. On the other hand rest of this album is quite the whole. Between Worlds, The Enlightened Ape, The Future Is Now, Zevel Boy and Spaceflowers are just acid stormers, innovative, epic. To get a track example under a microscope, Spaceflowers starts off with loads of alien atmosphere and proceeds to establish a story with incredibly well picked samples from the cult classic horror movie, Invasion Of The Body snatchers. It is intelligently composed, a ton of wet acid farts, large bassline and tiny alien details and reverbs fill up the sonic voyage. It also introduces something that is quite looked frown upon in goatrance, a guitar. I would honestly have excepted it to be a fine mess but this is Seb Taylor we're talking about here, it works, and it works incredibly well, bringing the music this growly dark atmosphere. The outro just perfects this track by sending you off with a magnificent sample "I've never expected metal ships." The others are as well rounded as Spaceflowers, no doubt. Human Life, Of The Essence and Life Circles, on the other hand, are more trying to create very intense and vivid imaginary through slower tempo, very thought-out atmospheres and stories.


Very imaginative/psychedelic atmospheres and production is to be found here. It seems Seb tried to tell more of a story with this album and did that with staggering success. Silicon Trip is more of typical goatrance release, not really establishing too much storytelling, but it was wickedly good dancefloor material and more psychedelic. To give some outside perspective, I could say this second Shakta album is to the first one like Pleiadians FOL was to IFO. The style changed quite a bit, but the quality didn't really go anywhere. I find this album a bit underrated because of this. Sure, it's hard to follow up the beloved Silicon Trip, but this man knows what he is doing and this album is the proof.

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  • 2 years later...



Artist: Shakta

Title: The Enlightened Ape

Label: Dragonfly Records

Date: August, 1999


1. 07'10" The Future Is Now
2. 05'41" Human Life
3. 07'04" Spaceflowers (Dirty Guitar Mix)
4. 06'42" Of The Essence
5. 07'25" Zevel Boy
6. 07'14" Between Worlds
7. 07'20" Life Circles (Samsara Mix)
8. 08'04" The Enlightened Ape
9. 08'36" Brainwash Nation


"Everything is within this and this is within everything."


Let me first state that like almost everyone I thought Silicon Trip was an absolute classic of goa trance. For the longest time I thought this album was just an afterthought and could no way be a worthy sequel to his debut. You know listening to it with one ear closed. And while this isn't quite as good, it's a close f*cking second. Goa stormers? Yep. Tracks like The Future is Now, Spaceflowers and Zevel Boy tear the roof off with acid leads and crunchy guitar support. Of The Essence thumps with thick bass and alien gurgling before erupting with life. Between Worlds is an evil mixture of eerie leads and bubbling bass sweeps made for twisting and turning. Life Circle is one of my favorites with its mid tempo swirling of melodies and tribal like banging.


While his debut will always be superior, this is nothing to sneeze at. I fully agree with Penzo in that there is no dip in quality. If Silicon Trip was a hot blonde with big boobs and Daddy issues, then this is her twin sister who on the board of a major corporation.


Either way you're going home with a smile on your face.



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  • 3 years later...

Never really paid this one much mind before, but I dug it out the other day, and had a blast with it. Perfect example of music that will take your body and soul to another dimension if you are in the right frame of mind, but is hard to understand otherwise. Brilliant blend of ripping acid, sci-fi atmospheres, Eastern spirituality, and judicious use of samples.


Some moments remind me of 'tribal industrial', check out the track This Morn Omina - Taliesin after listening to Life Circles, for instance, they seem to be trying to achieve a similar effect.

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