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Asura - Life²

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asura    0

Just a precision: for those who are familiar with Discogs, don't hesitate to leave a note. I am eager to see, among the 62 persons who said they have this album, what they are thinking about it, though the 22 who left already a note left an amazing average 4,7/5 till now. Thank you for that! :)

http://www.discogs.com/release/997968

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asura    0

Asura: life²: Morpheus review

 

 

"Asura - Life²

 

STYLE Atmospheric downtempo electronica and global chillout. Life² opens with a dramatic track of tribal intensity, swelling synths and moody duduk phrases - establishing a somewhat timeless cinematic space threaded through with a cutting edge contemporary aesthetic. Laid back trance beats and rippling sequencers appear on track two, introducing an undulating rhythmic terrain that lumbers into thudding regularity one moment, smooth synthetic sheets and mists hanging in the air, before evaporating away into ambient floatation and beatless space. This varied approach produces some beautifully unhurried passages of meandering mystery and exotic mood in among the more danceable grooves where pulsing basses and gated vocals rise to the fore. Vocal snatches echo and spiral on turbulent sonic drafts, rich marginal effects gushing against choral beds, Indian female lyrics woven among lush strings, fluid pads and swells buoy up philosophical musings, middle eastern percussion meshing seamlessly with programmed beats. In short the sound palette is luxurious and diverse, yet strung together with tasteful restraint into a powerful listening experience.

 

 

ARTWORK Ultimae presentation guarantees a sumptuous package with tasteful imagery - Life² being no exception. The front cover photograph shows an arcane device of concentric rings and slots which reappears on the back in enlarged form and again on the cover to the accompanying booklet. Spread across the full three panel panorama within is a broad shot of grassed horizons and heavy skies centred on a gleaming sun - the artist looming in silhouette on the right. The sixteen page booklet follows the Ultimae tradition of laying out a full page for each track - a well selected series of beguiling imagery holds a brief credit at the foot of each. At the rear of the booklet is a page of French text and another English language page of thanks.

 

 

OVERALL Asura has been around in various incarnations since around the year 2000 when the debut album Code Eternity was released. This album accompanied the birth of Ultimae Records and became one of the landmark albums of the genre. Code Eternity was followed up with an altered line up in 2003 releasing Lost Eden and now the team has been further distilled down to founder member Charles Farewell as a solo project. This latest offering is something of a rebirth, seeing the initial sound revisited and developed into a dynamic, finely honed fusion of ethnic warmth and technological liquid. Beautifully produced and brimming with aural colour, Life² fits into the Ultimae catalogue ideally, bringing with it a distinct personality and confident vision that will doubtless further broaden the appeal of this flagship of modern electronic music."

 

You can read the review following this link:

 

http://www.ephemerid.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/html/reviews52.htm

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frisbee    3

i think butterfly fx is the strongest track here by far. after several listens i also like the album overall but some voice samples feel quite tiresome because they are overused in too many tracks in the past.

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buzzman    2

For me, a vocal sample is a sound, a material, exactly like a synth, and I think it doesn't matter if it has been already used elsewhere. It's what you do with it which is important.

Couldn't agree more :)

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kabamaru    7

For me, even though Golgotha is a really amazing epic piece of work, the rest of the album feels tired, old and maybe too much influenced by the sounds of Solar Fields and Aes Dana.

 

I totally respect the effort and work that obviously went into this album, but this is my honest view about it. I expected a more evolved sound in 2007.

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asura    0

For me, even though Golgotha is a really amazing epic piece of work, the rest of the album feels tired, old and maybe too much influenced by the sounds of Solar Fields and Aes Dana.

 

I totally respect the effort and work that obviously went into this album, but this is my honest view about it. I expected a more evolved sound in 2007.

Absolutly no problem Kabamaru. Don't see the Aes Dana or Solar Fields influences you are talking about in my album, but it's your point of view, maybe the Ultimae artists sound a bit the same, don't know... respect ;)

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qa2pir    7

Boring flutes and it sounds like generic film music. Butterfly fx is good though. Make something more like that.

 

Keep it up and don't take me seriously :)

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dunkey    0

hmmmm. i was waiting exciting, light-uplifting melodies - like in tracks code eternity, fahrinheit, incoming,

second half of Battle of the Devas - which burst me into pleasant euphoria , but vainly.

Anyway, I find its beauty and grace in other things.

 

 

the last track with the woman voice sample - remind me some Karunesh's tracks :(

 

Anyway, great work - 10/10

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visine    2

For me, even though Golgotha is a really amazing epic piece of work, the rest of the album feels tired, old and maybe too much influenced by the sounds of Solar Fields and Aes Dana.

 

I totally respect the effort and work that obviously went into this album, but this is my honest view about it. I expected a more evolved sound in 2007.

Don't forget Aes Dana used to be a part of Asura. That might explain any similarities you might find.

 

Anyways, I think all the praises mentioned in previous posts are justified. This is a top-notch chill out album, packed with emotion and that Trancey feel I love so much. No cheesy dub or background lounge music with pseudo ethnic shanti feel. This album is not pretending to be something it is not.

 

 

There seems to be a deep, personal meaning to this album as Carla-Marie is mentioned on the album, one song is named after her. I'm guessing this is his baby-dayghter, and if so, I feel priviledged that Charles would open himself so much and share it with me, the listener. It definitely adds another dimention to the album, that's not just the physical CD any more. It's more than just an album. It's a slice of Charles.

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cray3    0

Anyways, I think all the praises mentioned in previous posts are justified. This is a top-notch chill out album, packed with emotion and that Trancey feel I love so much. No cheesy dub or background lounge music with pseudo ethnic shanti feel. This album is not pretending to be something it is not.

+1 . The best chillout album of this year. Cant stop listening to Golgotha :)

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The best chillout album of this year. Cant stop listening to Golgotha :)

+1

 

definitely a great buy!

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healium    9

I'm sorry but while this is a nice album, and has its moments, it sounds almost exactly like all the other recent Ultimae releases...

 

Why is it the Ultimae artists have such a conformist sound? Why is there such a striking lack of originality?

 

The recent albums by Aes Dana, Solar Fields, Carbon Based Lifeforms, the recent Fahrenheit compils, and now this Asura album all basically sound the same - it's all in the same style, even the insert art is nearly identical... On the last CBL album, they even continued the tracks from the previous album, starting at track 12 instead of track 1 (yes I know it was intentional but still it's a good example of how stagnant a vibe we have here)..

 

The tone of the music is even the same among all these albums - sort of the "moody, serious, and restrained psychedelic-ambient sound", lots of drawn out pads, midtempo tracks sprinkled here and there.. But all in the same style and "tone"...

 

Does Ultimae request that their artists all basically sound like one another, or do the artists just do it because none of them have truly original ideas or want to forge a unique sound?

 

And what is with the artwork - do these artists really all like exactly the same style of art or what?

 

Ultimae releases are *so* predictable - I guarantee you I know exactly what the next Fahrenheit compil will sound like, which is sad...

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abasio    228

I'm sorry but while this is a nice album, and has its moments, it sounds almost exactly like all the other recent Ultimae releases...

 

Why is it the Ultimae artists have such a conformist sound? Why is there such a striking lack of originality?

 

The recent albums by Aes Dana, Solar Fields, Carbon Based Lifeforms, the recent Fahrenheit compils, and now this Asura album all basically sound the same - it's all in the same style, even the insert art is nearly identical... On the last CBL album, they even continued the tracks from the previous album, starting at track 12 instead of track 1 (yes I know it was intentional but still it's a good example of how stagnant a vibe we have here)..

 

The tone of the music is even the same among all these albums - sort of the "moody, serious, and restrained psychedelic-ambient sound", lots of drawn out pads, midtempo tracks sprinkled here and there.. But all in the same style and "tone"...

 

Does Ultimae request that their artists all basically sound like one another, or do the artists just do it because none of them have truly original ideas or want to forge a unique sound?

 

And what is with the artwork - do these artists really all like exactly the same style of art or what?

 

Ultimae releases are *so* predictable - I guarantee you I know exactly what the next Fahrenheit compil will sound like, which is sad...

Wow! I couldn't disagree more! If you think that this album by Asura sounds just like solar fields extended album then I would recommend listening a little more carefully. While I agree that on the surface Ultimae releases sound like Ultimae but once you listen deeply then they all have their own unique flavour! Your example of the CBL albums continuing the track numbers is a little flawed because those two albums sound really different in my ears! And listen to all 3 Asura (an ultimae artist) albums & then tell me they all sound the same. Listen to FP6 & tell me it sounds exactly like FP2! In my ears these all sound sooooo different! But then again, once you decided you don't like something, it all sounds the same. I can't tell the difference between pop bands, dark psy artists & cheesy fullon because I don't like those styles. I can hear a lot of variation & originality in ultimae releases because I like them! I'm sure pop lovers can with pop, dark psy guys can tell the difference between those releases etc!

 

edit: Oh & no need to apologise for having an opinion :lol:

Edited by abasio

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healium    9

Right on - well actually I do like these albums - I'm not saying I dislike them, I'm just saying I'm not impressed by how homogenous the Ultimae sound is... Fahrenheit 2 & 3 are a couple of my favorite downtempo compils ever, and I love many tracks I hear by Ultimae artists - but I can *always* tell when it's from Ultimae...

 

Why is it always that ultra-serious moody ambient with lots of pads? - I agree that each album is its own "flavor", but to my ears it's all just variations on the same theme, with a very very similar "feeling-tone"...

 

It shouldn't be so easy to predict what a release is going to sound like...

 

I think I'm just starved to hear some really original psychedelic music - and so I've been listening to some of the classic psytrance albums recently, the groundbreaking ones like "The Gathering", "Radio", "Cryptic Crunch", "Dragon Tales" and I remember what it's like to hear something truly unique that has its own voice - thank-God for albums like those!

 

These Ultimae artists, they don't have their own unique voices, or well differentiated sound IMO - I can easily distinguish the Shpongle sound from the Bluetech sound, for instance, and the Ott sound from the Abakus sound - but I have a very hard time differentiating the Ultimae artists from each other in any major way...

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pacm4n    0

Golgotha -- if this was created by the time the Documentary *Baraka* was being produced then most probably the director could have inserted Track # 1 somewhere in the intro.

 

i was cruising around in the car when i started playing the album , i mean i was like a 130km /hr, count till ten just to find myself driving on the very right side of the road at around 50 km enjoying every fraction of a second .

 

this is QUALITY music, Mature indeed , iam checking their first album now *Code Eternity* .

 

Cheers from Lebanon.

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Towelie    0

This album has few good tracks, what i dont like is the 4x4 kick in too many tracks, would be ok tracks without it for my taste.

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Drew05    8

what i dont like is the 4x4 kick in too many tracks, would be ok tracks without it for my taste.

 

man i LOVE the 4X4 tracks...i find trance at that bpm to be super psychedelic

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Guest antic   
Guest antic

This album has few good tracks, what i dont like is the 4x4 kick in too many tracks, would be ok tracks without it for my taste.

 

man i LOVE the 4X4 tracks...i find trance at that bpm to be super psychedelic

I tend to agree with Towelie. This album starts with three super neat tunes, but the 4/4 kick ruins couple of next tunes. It is not the thing that he used it in first place, but the sound he used - those kicks are too strong and sharp for such a gentle, flowing and melancholic music like this. It sounds ridiculously out of place in the title track and works only for 'Butterfly FX'. If he'd replace it in #5 and #7 with the soft-kick he uses in 'Back to light' it would be much, much better. Also, the singing in last track is terrible. I don't care that it was already used by Ott, but what bothers me is that Japanese sing on some weird scales and I always find it uncomfortable for my European/Slavic ear ;)

 

But, the CD is still wonderful! Very varied, atmospheric, musical and the kick-thing is just nitpicking :)

And it sounds different than other Ultimae releases, which is a refreshing thing after string of cold, scientific and measured (IMO!) sound of CBL and Sync24.

 

4/5

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Nexus    0

I agree with you guys. My wife usually loves chill that I listen to but this one she asked me to turn off because it annoyed her. After about 10 listens I still don't get this album, oh well :)

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asura    0

Oups, sorry for the heavy 4/4 beat in the title track, but of course, you imagine I didn't put it up there by chance. ;) Nevertheless, thank you so much for all these fantastic comments in general, be sure they touch me right in the heart. No unrespectful comments here, two thumbs up for your correction, even when you don't like that much my music (even if I am really happy to see, that, since the beginning, they are many more lovers of Life² the album, than haters, fortunatly for my ego ahahah).

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abasio    228

Fine Line is here my favorite

??? :huh:

 

Fine Line? Is that even on this album?

 

edit: oh do you mean five lines? kaazaa'd? :P

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Also, the singing in last track is terrible. I don't care that it was already used by Ott, but what bothers me is that Japanese sing on some weird scales and I always find it uncomfortable for my European/Slavic ear ;)

Hehe I love that singing :)

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Maden    5

??? :huh:

 

Fine Line? Is that even on this album?

 

edit: oh do you mean five lines? kaazaa'd? :P

Sorry, Five Lines track

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