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frozen dream

RA - 9th

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frozen dream    20

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Landed in the mailbox this morning, been listening since then while skipping turns with preparing my tracks for my own first live set this saturday.

Another significant release so it seems, the return of the old masters.

Well, I have my own preference in style 'n stuff, but i always try to keep it objective enough.

So let's go for RA - 9th, a fluid psychedelic trip.

 

1 Intro 1:21

Sets a dark mood, bulking voice, very cinematic, egyptian and impressive!!

 

2 Octagon 7:48

Here we are! Slowly we fade into this mysterious piece of trance with all the RA elements, feels good. Fat textures and crunchy pads.

The song keeps it's distinguished oriental feel down to the end.

 

3 Predator 7:58

This one I remember from the previews. Didn't think much of it but it surely isn't a bad track in any way. Happy times, a bit too happy maybe. Light on the digest. Still good melodywork but a bit too instantly forgetable maybe. Apart of the somewhat overfluffed bits, a very good track.

 

4 Other Self 8:54

The first one for me to breath the old Ra 100%. Lots of layers, oriental, mysterious. The strings. This one rolls on to become a very deep and mesmerizing tune. Deep space drones and floating pads make up the scene here. The typical Ra sound!!

 

5 Ultima Energica 7:41

More trippyness. Fast bassriff skids on, pads twirl. Excellent dancefloor stuff. Again the typical Ra sound and feel. Egyptian and oriental. Fast atmo and many crazy vibes. Indeedy Ultima Energica, the strongest dance track on this album.

 

6 Time Current 8:13

A lighter intro is welcome after Ultima Energica, and even better, a whole lighter track. Lucid melodies, even clubby even. This track has definitely a clubby edge. But a good one! Uplifting squares dance around and there's that signature sound. This will surely become the key track on this album. The melody is instantly recognisable and very sticky. A kind of goa/trance/club spin-off and still nice to listen. Good work! If i'm not mistaken this was the piece called 'Sytrus' no?

 

7 Spirit Complex 9:04

Another sweeping oriental mover. Comes on slower and more cinematic. Nice eastern synthsounds. Great how these guys build such a complete atmosphere with so little sounds. Steadily trances on to the break, and then some fat great synth riff. Love it how it keeps going higher and higher! No crazy layers here, but the simple essence of beautiful goa trance!

 

8 Transcendent 9:13

Gently slides in, deep bassriff, scary pads, mysterious and trippy atmo. Solid engineering. Strings change the feel. A short break, rebuilds itself to a steady piece of trippy goa trance. Very full, magical atmo. Then a repetitive riff. Hypnosis begins. Very entrancing but then an unsuspected key change. Interesting to hear. Moves around a bit, light, dark. Can't decide on an atmo and then comes the beat. Takes back it's flow into oriental strings and trippy synth pads. Light melodies and a deep, entrancing bassline. Builds and builds, grows and grows, Trance goes deeper and wider, then the wave breaks and slows down... hmm not too fond of this tempo fade outro... kinda weirda.. still good track!

 

9 Expand Consciousness 7:04

More Egyptian-ness. This time we're in the sarcophagus of Tutanchamon! :drama: Great portamento on the first main synth. Love how it glides. Slower tempo, same trippyness! Excellent riffs. It's hard to call this morning since it always tends to be egyptian/oriental but the feel it gives is combined for me. Makes me think of morning trance, makes me think of ethnical influenced music. It's the perfect fusion of both! Various short breaks give rests in between the massive egyptian melodies. Sweet, beautiful and entrancing!

 

10 Light Receiver 8:20

Voices haunt the air, typical eastern string pad. Breakbeats and shimmering melodies. Like a sad song for the forgotten souls, tip-toeing on the edge of happiness and sadness. Then more chilled breaks play. Flutes, voices, synths, it all molds to one here. Nice touches everywhere. Real storytelling. Very beautiful evolution in this track.

 

Then a very special ending piece with vocals. Great ambience!!! Like an old movie or something. Something you remember from somewhere but can't determine it exactly. Always Trust.

 

 

 

There we are. A scorching sun, endless dunes and desert plains and countless tombes later, we arrive in the oasis of the aftertaste of this album. Not so varied in general, but very varied within their own style! A very coherent album with a solid concept. Another timeless masterpiece to become!

Look into the light and see All that is RA!

 

favs: 1,2,4,5,7,8,9

 

8/10

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vancbc    0

Thanks for the well-written review. Referencing your descriptive imagery while listening to the Saikosounds samples sold me! I'm very much looking forward to receiving this album.

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pawelek    0

Checked the album already 4th time today. Its a good album comparing to other modern newchool goa trance albums released last years.

But its nothing special. What i means is its very high quality production, but it doesnt have a soul. I hope you know what i mean.

Its empty goatrance without any emotion. Melodies are in every track the same. They are just there just like that. Few tracks sounds like old Ra and that a plus for the artist he managed to keep old style. And a minus is the feeling of fluffyness. Thats too much for me.

Reasuming, in few months i will probably not remember this album was released. Sad...

6/10

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Anoebis    367

Checked the album already 4th time today. Its a good album comparing to other modern newchool goa trance albums released last years.

But its nothing special. What i means is its very high quality production, but it doesnt have a soul. I hope you know what i mean.

Its empty goatrance without any emotion. Melodies are in every track the same. They are just there just like that. Few tracks sounds like old Ra and that a plus for the artist he managed to keep old style. And a minus is the feeling of fluffyness. Thats too much for me.

Reasuming, in few months i will probably not remember this album was released. Sad...

6/10

I am very biased but I have to write this, that is not your style I can understand as it is floating goa trance, not climaxic stuff, but no soul? This is so untrue, no other artist I know worked longer on an album as Ra on this album, almost 3 years, this is pure soul (in my opinion of course), sensitive melodies all the way... But as said, it probably depends on the kinds of goa trance you like, for me this is probably the best thing we ever released together with Khetzal...

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Somseensee    0

Checked the album already 4th time today. Its a good album comparing to other modern newchool goa trance albums released last years.

But its nothing special. What i means is its very high quality production, but it doesnt have a soul. I hope you know what i mean.

Its empty goatrance without any emotion. Melodies are in every track the same. They are just there just like that. Few tracks sounds like old Ra and that a plus for the artist he managed to keep old style. And a minus is the feeling of fluffyness. Thats too much for me.

Reasuming, in few months i will probably not remember this album was released. Sad...

6/10

 

I disagree with you... I prefer darker goatrance overall or crazy suomi, forest. So my love for melodic morning style is very selective, I don't even understand what my own criteria for good melodic are.

I think this album has a lot of emotion. The melodies change smooth through the tracks... To be honest this is what I expect from modern morning goaTRANCE. The melodies are clear and distinctive, climaxes don't come easy which is a good thing, you need the entire track or even album on a good volume to really experience what it is... In the year 2008 someone will surely need to do his very best to top this in it's subgenre... If someone can do it, then maybe afgin...

So although I'm not the biggest fan of this style anymore, I can say this one moves me... Melodic Sunshine Smiles in Open Air :lol:

 

A full review will be delivered when I reach playtime 15 or 20. Have listened to it 6 times in the last week.

 

So I advise people to listen to the samples very well and try to picture them in a whole 80 min experience with lots of evolution...

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Checked the album already 4th time today. Its a good album comparing to other modern newchool goa trance albums released last years.

But its nothing special. What i means is its very high quality production, but it doesnt have a soul. I hope you know what i mean.

Its empty goatrance without any emotion. Melodies are in every track the same. They are just there just like that. Few tracks sounds like old Ra and that a plus for the artist he managed to keep old style. And a minus is the feeling of fluffyness. Thats too much for me.

Reasuming, in few months i will probably not remember this album was released. Sad...

6/10

 

My guess is that you havent taken the time to discover the complexities of the album (based on that you probably havent listen to it very long at all). Mostly bad and shallow music allows itself to be found instantly appealing; it is those albums that you will soon forget.

 

Putting aside that your critizism is at best very poor ("Melodies are in every track. They are just there just like that." for example), it is interesting that you despite the poor review call it good compared to "other modern newchool goa trance albums released last years." Many on this forum believes that there has been a good number of quality new school goa released the last couple of years (Mindsphere, Goasia, Afgin, just to name a few) with a lot of both heart and soul. That you give this album a bad review yet call it good in comparison clearly indicates that (any of the following) i) you do not understand/like goa, ii) you believe that new school goa cannot be as good as old school and therefore do not give it a chance, more than a couple of listens.

 

Did you enjoy Ra's first album? If no, GTFO. In fact, I feel annoyed, GTFO anyway.

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venom455    0

Checked the album already 4th time today. Its a good album comparing to other modern newchool goa trance albums released last years.

But its nothing special. What i means is its very high quality production, but it doesnt have a soul. I hope you know what i mean.

Its empty goatrance without any emotion. Melodies are in every track the same. They are just there just like that. Few tracks sounds like old Ra and that a plus for the artist he managed to keep old style. And a minus is the feeling of fluffyness. Thats too much for me.

Reasuming, in few months i will probably not remember this album was released. Sad...

6/10

 

Ok we are all entitled to opinion but this post feels like spam

NO SOUL -really ? is this a joke?

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I'v heard the album several times with and without comparessing to the old album so there are my conclusions:

A. The production of the new album is amazing but it sounds a bit too much

B. I really miss the climax that have on the old album, in this album there is some climax i found but nothing like the old one, the old one opend the album with a downtempo track and the goa track that came after him below my mind with his entrens, on the new one, not so much. what i'm trying to say here is that in the old one i didn't expected to hear awsome entrens like in "Astral Flight", i didn't expected for this kind of agressions like in "Initiated". In the new album, i was expected, and maybe that is the point here, i was expected for something unusual, but i didn't heard it. Altough i liked most of the tracks in the album. Predator sounds a bit like dream club or something. At List the Downtempo tracks of Ra are

 

7.5\10

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pawelek    0

Maybe i have just too high expectations, dont you think ?

But whats wrong about it ?

 

After so many years, after golden goa "era" modenr goatrance should sound at leats as good as in the old days. In my opinion it sounds worser. I wont go into details. It's just my feeling old albums had a soul, most of the new stuff doesnt. Why i think so ? I dont know, just like that :)

Accept and try understand that:)

Cheers.

 

Ok...i have some though, a little bit offtopic, sorry for this.

How many classics like mahadeva, lsd, goaway etc. we have these days ?

Lets say newschool goa is produced since 2004/2005. It's already 3-4 years, and i cant say in this period of time we had any track that will remain as a classic. WHY ??

 

I have some favourite, which wont be a classic but its definitely the best goa track in the new era.

Shakta - Ten Times Around Sun

 

Seb is a KING! He managed to put an oldschool feeling into new track. This is amazing.

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only the intro wich I found to be a bit dorky with the guy talking with a down pitched voice repeating stuff like: this iiiis rrrrraaaa :lol:

 

Hehe, I thought the same but I like it, it's obvious that it's made from a comic perspective. Also the "self, or other selves" sounds so cliché....but in a good sense. I remember when just starting listening to psymusic and I thought all them samples were so cool, and we were always quoting different samples among friends. It gives me some kind of nostalgic comic feeling. I can though perfectly understand a person finding it dorky in a bad way...

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Anoebis    367

How many classics like mahadeva, lsd, goaway etc. we have these days ?

Lets say newschool goa is produced since 2004/2005. It's already 3-4 years, and i cant say in this period of time we had any track that will remain as a classic. WHY ??

 

I have some favourite, which wont be a classic but its definitely the best goa track in the new era.

Shakta - Ten Times Around Sun

 

Seb is a KING! He managed to put an oldschool feeling into new track. This is amazing.

I think the why is because of another reason, not because the music isn't good, but because none of the tracks has been released on any other cd... Mahadeva has been released on 20 cds, just like LSD, and it was played on 1000's of parties, now this all doesn't happens... A classic means that everyone knows about it, with "new school" impossible... This scene is way too small these days... Altough in Belgium you have classics within the new school scene because they are played ALOT on parties...

 

Ah well, this is rather on topic tho... back on reviews please :D

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HappyHorse    186

this is the best album from 2008 so far

i know many won't like it because it is not climax music; but it is climax music, just listen, listen to it! it is music in wich one can find new details and twists every time, that makes it so f...cking interesting man!

so, i someone tells me there are no cimaxes in it, it's a lie, imo!

 

intro is so massive, no beat, but i could dance dance dance on it like hell! because it has so musc power! just like the whole album, it is pure power! maybe we all think power is in the baseline of a song, well again, imo, that's a lie!

 

i noticed this on my last dj set this week, i only played this kinda music, and it was easy to see how many people don't seem to really understand goaTRANCE, needs no real hard baseline, no need for a high bpm, just trance and layers and it costs a lot of patience and effort to hear all the layers do their works, this album is one soul, one cluster of layers

 

i think this is the album! it's trance, complex and flows, maybe to much trance for the many of us???? who knows, I like like a lot; best new skool i heard ever! my taste, my smile!!!!

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frozen dream    20

Thanks for the well-written review. Referencing your descriptive imagery while listening to the Saikosounds samples sold me! I'm very much looking forward to receiving this album.

glad 2 have influenced you >) it really is a very good album for a very low price. such powerful goa trance

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venom455    0

Interesting with anonymous newcomers who always have strong opinions on things, your post is more spam then paweleks, he just said what he felt about the album! I havent listened to the entire album yet only the intro wich I found to be a bit dorky with the guy talking with a down pitched voice repeating stuff like: this iiiis rrrrraaaa :lol: i think it was the same type of intro on the first ra album :unsure: anyways thats just the intro im gonna write more here when I have heard all tracks B)

Oh so the number of posts on psynews is the new telling point of experience in the scene.... i may be new to this forum but im far from being new to the scene....nice little measuring scale you got there

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Diaks    5

Oh so the number of posts on psynews is the new telling point of experience in the scene.... i may be new to this forum but im far from being new to the scene....nice little measuring scale you got there

No hehe you missunderstood, its just that very often around here it seems like people who are regular users tend to make fake accounts =) quite impossible to know ;)

 

and btw "this scene" i couldnt care less about if someone has experience or not in this so called scene, since its not in my interest, (sorry for OT) now some reviews ok :clapping:

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Anoebis    367

No hehe you missunderstood, its just that very often around here it seems like people who are regular users tend to make fake accounts =) quite impossible to know ;)

All moderators can see this immediately thanks to IP addresses, and so far we only had 1 artist that promoted himself via a fake account, and I think you know who that was :)

 

And from now on, all off topic will be erased! :) Reviews ONLY :)

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StraydoG    2

Yeah, that was you... Trying to promote your own CDs! >_<

The Suntrip name needs no promotion now, fan base is getting strong.

 

Anyways, actually on topic. I do find some of this music is a little similar but some of it really stands out and is just beautiful. Although Ive only gone through once properly, other time to many distractions so I need a few more runs. So far 6 & 10 are the best for me. I also like the intro, dont know why you guys dont, its cool. My first time listening to a RA CD, I havent heard his other release.

 

Just noticed #10 also is longer than time stated 11:37 compared to 8:20 listed.

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Trolsk    13

I am very biased but I have to write this, that is not your style I can understand as it is floating goa trance, not climaxic stuff, but no soul? This is so untrue, no other artist I know worked longer on an album as Ra on this album, almost 3 years, this is pure soul (in my opinion of course),

...by using that logic the upcoming Guns 'n' Roses album will have the most soul ever!

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Trolsk    13

Putting aside that your critizism is at best very poor ("Melodies are in every track. They are just there just like that." for example), it is interesting that you despite the poor review call it good compared to "other modern newchool goa trance albums released last years." Many on this forum believes that there has been a good number of quality new school goa released the last couple of years (Mindsphere, Goasia, Afgin, just to name a few) with a lot of both heart and soul. That you give this album a bad review yet call it good in comparison clearly indicates that (any of the following) i) you do not understand/like goa, ii) you believe that new school goa cannot be as good as old school and therefore do not give it a chance, more than a couple of listens.

I'm an old school fan and just as Pawelek I dont' think the current new school trend is all that. I like Suntrips compilations and the Filteria albums but the rest of the albums haven't been that exciting. I can enjoy one track at a time from most of the albums but I can't enjoy the albums from start to finish, there's something missing.

 

...and don't get me started on the net labels that are dedicated to the new wave of goa trance...

 

Did you enjoy Ra's first album? If no, GTFO. In fact, I feel annoyed, GTFO anyway.

Ra is ok, I've been listening to them since before their debut album. I have an old demo tape of theirs, their best stuff in my opinion. I'm not sure what my verdict on the 9th will be, but I'll keep you updated! :-)

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Trolsk    13

I think the why is because of another reason, not because the music isn't good, but because none of the tracks has been released on any other cd... Mahadeva has been released on 20 cds, just like LSD, and it was played on 1000's of parties, now this all doesn't happens... A classic means that everyone knows about it, with "new school" impossible...

A classic tune is a tune that can stand the test of time. A classic psychedelic trance tune would be a tune that can still blow people's mind's ten years later. I doesn't have to be known by many.

 

Hallucinogen can still play all over the world based on albums that are more than 10 years old, that's classic stuff.

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Masterfully produced, it's obvious the artist has put down ALOT of work into this one. Some of the tracks are just amazing with great melodies. But half of the album feels kinda dull. Need more listens though.And an extra + to the dorky opening, just hilarious, even if not intended :posford:

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advance    0

There's tons of soul in this one.

 

I like it. Haven't heard it enough yet, maybe 3 times.

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Jon Cocco    77

RA – 9th
2008
Suntrip Records


Track list:

1. Intro ... 1:21
2. Octagon ... 7:48
3. Predator ... 7:58
4. Other Self ... 8:54
5. Ultima Energica ... 7:41
6. Time Current ... 8:13
7. Spirit Complex ... 9:04
8. Transcendent ... 9:13
9. Expand Consciousness ... 7:04
10. Light Receiver ... 8:20


RA's 9th is the official follow up to “To Sirius,” a great 2001 debut in Goa-Trance that's now considered by many to be a classic. While not in my top 5 or 10, it featured some amazing work. RA's passionate, unique, and substantial, visionary style deserves the praise its gotten. In 2007, Goa experienced two magical moments that had not taken place since the golden years of 1996-1999. First, Transwave released a new, albeit “Best Of” album with some of their greatest tracks “never” before released on a main album, or ever, with exception to three songs. Further into 2007, Suntrip Records fully restored, re-mastered, and re-released Dimension 5's super rare and now classic, old school Goa album, Transdimensional. D5's re-release sounded better than ever before, and was finally made available after nearly a decade for all of those who never had the chance to hear back then, before the Goa masterpiece became unavailable to order unless you were willing to shell out a thousand dollars plus, on Ebay or something ridiculous like that. Which brings us to 2008 with a smile.

RA, one of the old, but far from oldest Goa masters has finally released the long awaited follow-up to the classic “To Sirius” album seven years later. I have often wondered what it would be like if numerous Goa masters returned and released a new school Goa album after all these years, but this never seems to happen. Most do not seem to produce music anymore, or they don’t produce Goa. For instance, the once awesome Pleiadians returned with two less members and released a Full On Psy-Trance album in 1997 that merely echoed a shadow of the group’s former self at best. Not even MFG could repeat the compelling and potent Goa vibes from their first three or arguably four classics when they released “Message From God” in 2006. But none of these artists released their works in association with Suntrip Records, the one label that somehow manages to consistently release strong Goa albums in the 21st century. Seven years later, and with 2-3 years in the making, RA returns with something that no Goa artist seems to do anymore, something that seemed too good to be true. RA releases 9th through Suntrip Records. It is a brand new Goa-Trance album with all new and exclusive tracks! But how is it? How does it compare to the debut? Is the heart and soul still there after all these years? And where does it stand relative to other hard to compete against albums that Suntrip Records has released since 2004, including the amazing Corolle debut album by Khetzal? All of these questions and more will be touched upon, as well as a full track-by-track analysis, scores, and more below.

1. Intro is very similar and nostalgic in some ways to the intro on RA’s To Sirius debut album. For example, the memorable deep voice symbolizing RA returns over the ascending tune. It’s only a minute or so long, but musically, the track is very strong. The only thing that could have been “less of” is the voice that makes a philosophical point regarding a souls unconditional choice to come into the next lifetime to attain life experience for its desires, or to be a guide for other soul's development(s), for other people to learn from, like a teacher. The words are well intended, and these words are written in the inside flip. Was saying it in the intro necessary? I suppose it was important regarding the message of this album. The mysterious voice may come across as a bit dorky and unintentionally humorous to some, but the returning character of the mythological God "RA" makes the opening all the more unique and expressive, and in the end the words are spiritually aware information that is simply getting out there to the Universe for people to hear. It's such a short track that I don't mind the voice so much, but it would have been great if the wonderful musical element continued a minute or two longer, without the voice, before making its smooth, connective transition into the next number. B

2. Octagon is the first real song up to bat. The result is a strong, darkly driving nighttime number. It may come across as fairly reminscent to the self-titled Another World track by Astral Projection, but with the strong and distinguishing trademarks, atmosphere, and melodies of RA. The song spends little time building up into a powerful, adrenaline-pumping ride. From 3:36 to 5:02 is a very catchy downtempo interlude that would make the general clubby atmosphere cringe or stand confused by the fact that the general mainstream clubber is unaware of the wonderful non-mainstream characteristics of Goa. Furthermore, this island of peace is a sign that the RA we all remember and love is back, emphasizing individualistic listening pleasure to deepen the ethnic Goa interlude as opposed to pushing a continuous beat throughout. It isn’t long until several melodies arrive. They're catchy, and they lesson the more aggressive tone to a degree, but they compliment the song in the sense it is less repetitive, more evolved with ideas developed through melody structure, soundscapes. The track does however seem to drag a bit towards the end. It lacks zest and fresh ideas in the final third, and travels through already established motions. While nothing spectacular, this number starts off the album with a bang. B+

3. Predator is instantly more optimistic and upbeat sounding than the previous power. RA is known for generating beauty in the mysterious light, combined with elements of darkness. This is a track that guides the listener to the light with no exceptions. This is also the first melodic number filled with harmoy and euphoric, melodic bliss. A beautiful combination of melodies arrive and develop around 1:46 and again at 3:16. These are the most beautiful, uplifting melodies that I have heard all year on an artist’s main album to date. I have noticed some people refer to morning Goa melodies in the sunshine style, as this one is, as fluffy, cheesy. People can believe whatever they want to believe in their mind, and I've agreed that some morning Goa is cheesy in its happy melodies at times in the past. And I think some people will be missing out on how wonderful this song really is unless he/she turns off the ego and opens their heart and soul. And even then we can agree to disagree, but for each person who doesn't like a song like this, my intuition tells me that more hearts will be touched. In 2007, Goasia released a super song on the From Other Spaces album called Sunrise, and based on that song, many people know just how amazing, how positive and deeply felt certain morning Goa songs can be. While Goasia’s track was more powerful in its second half, this one doesn’t spend half its running time staying in the "pretty good at best zone" before revealing its beautiful soul. Likewise, this track is developed, clear in its direction, and wonderful at reintroducing just a part of RA’s gorgeous light before leading us into other more animated and aggressive parts of the subconsciousness. This is a great song, both touching and sad, yet uplifting with warm, sensitive melodies throughout. B+

4. Other Self is very energetic and aggressive compared to the previous number. It’s great how the previous track built up to this energy as opposed to throwing the listener straight into the higher octane numbers without much of a path to prepare, arouse and stimulate the conscious, subconscious mind. An interesting intro is developing during the first minute. The melody work arrives in bands, one after another. A second, catchy melody plays off an initial flavor including the likes of strong supporting sounds. A moody atmosphere is present around 3:30. And from around 4:48 takes place the most incredible and intensely driving and danceable Goa melody combination on the album so far. It’s addictive sounding, and repeats again before the whole track shifts into an island of breathing space, without the beat, to regroup its energy, thus returning with fresh and unpredictable direction and insight. But that driving climax was both impressive and rush-inducing and I wish it returned with more layers and aggressive emphasis. It doesn’t. But the song leads us into a sensual aura of mystery, accompanied by ambient notes, new infectious melody leads, supporting sounds, warm and delectable atmosphere, and more. Such elements make the second wing on the kingdom just as pleasurable, more floating and developed, but not as intense. Overall, the build up and climax on this track is excellent during the first half. The second half doesn’t lose its motion; it evolves into something different, mysterious, and catchy. This is the best dance song on the album so far. It's great! A-

5. Ultima Energica takes the torch from the previous fireball. The intro is not too lengthy and very well done. Just one of the many great things about RA is the artists' ability to create intriguing intros that lead the listener into world created. The track shares an attractive characteristic to Octagon in that it also has a strong undercurrent rhythm. Although I prefer the faster melody work from 1:05 to 3:15. At around 3:16, a very Indian influenced and gentle melody takes place until 4:34. I like the idea. It gives the song more substance. However it doesn't get my heart racing like the previous number. The song sounds masterfully crafted, but a bit tame. That is, until an unexpected, vivid, and almost angry or fierce, albeit seriously cool and welcome sound arrives at around 4:55 followed by an interested, echoed voice sample. The aggressive melody was a smart choice to mix into the song. I was less engaged until the gritty texture occurred, and the brief voice sample compliments. Actually, the more aggressive sounds compliment the softer melodies. It presents an almost ironic battle between light and dark relative to the melody work. In the end, the darkness seems to win, but not entirely, as spiritual development essentially flows from one number into the next body and mind. Overall, this is a good, possibly great dance number, and I found the previous one more infectious. B

6. Time Current is a super, new school, up-tempo Goa number. It may also be an indirect follow up to the super and now classic track ROM from the debut. This track may bring back some wonderful memories of ROM. For starters, it includes skipping voice samples, although so short lived, you may forget they ever existed while being distracted by the engaging music. Also similar to ROM is a very strong build up, and the greatest climax I have heard on the album so far. The fourth track had a strong build up into a driving climactic rhythm, and this one seems to get better and better with multiple listens. This is an excellent Goa song with a degree of club friendliness. Fortunately, the song is powerful and not too clubby, or many Goa fans may have had a problem with it. It’s more Full On Goa/Psy-Trance, with a fairly present, although definite club trance edge at times, but the Goa exceeds and over powers any sense of this number ever thinking of falling into the club trance genre. Push that thought away because it thankfully never happens. In other words, this is probably the most mainstream club/dance friendly song on the album, but it isn’t a mainstream club trance song per say. Famous artist: Man With No Name once combined Goa with club trance with a song called Vavoom! Many people have fond memories of that song, and Time Current can be placed up there with Vavoom! But it has an even less club trance connect, a positive thing for Goa fans. I see this song edging out the other numbers on the album due to its strong, infectiously climactic wave, and its focus to stay on the hook to keep us dancing. This climax advantage is something Other Self did not achieve in its second half, and both should be appreciated for their successful differences. A weakness here is that it is so capitalized on being dance friendly that it lacks developing intellect, being thought provoking in comparison to another wonderful element of RA's soul. However this is a well earned song, just the way it is. It’s smart in execution and direction. It knows where it's going and does a great job getting there. Consider this number, or this part of the self, so to speak, the more fun rocket that lacks spiritual awareness, but it's a fun part of a beautiful spirit. This is one of the best Psy-Trance songs of the year. It's Full On, new school Goa, and one that will really lift people off their feet and make dancing grounds nuts in a positive way. A-

7. Spirit Complex is a strong new and old school sounding Goa fusion. It's a solid return to more emotive story telling too. This story compliments the previous number because while that was more about high octane energy, sensation over depth, this is less charged and intense. It has an elegant, catchy introduction, and a smart, classy build up. The number is more contemplative, thoughtful in sound design than the previous rocket too. It’s not dependent on climax and in that sense it makes the previous number even more appreciated, the album is less tiresome and more unique because of the strong song variety. The first several times I heard this song, I found it decent at best, almost uninteresting and repetitive. But the amazing thing about RA’s music is that the general, mature listener continues noticing details and catchy elements the more energy he/she invests with a RA album. It’s really perspective changing because an environment or mindset can bring out a totally different outlook on how a song is perceived. Over multiple listens I enjoy the melody work more and more. I especially love the elegant part from 2:13 or especially 2:25 to 3:30. The song may come across as a bit dry in the middle, from 3:53 to 4:23, but the music returns after the interlude just as catchy as ever, and brings the song to higher ground by adding some beautiful melodies, fresh sounds and development in the final third. The melody work echoes D5, especially during the opening, the first, and the final third in that the melodies are very attractive, juicy. They are like little golden treasures, mixed into a very thoughtful piece. This is a solid, traveling song that is not quick to impress due to having no climax or strong build up. It’s a carefully constructed blend of both old and new school Goa, a song that will likely grow on the listener in a very good way. The old school edge makes it one of the more special sounding tracks on the album. B+

8. Transcendent is a wake up call to spiritual awareness, but the mid-tempo music tells the story after the well placed opening voice sample. The altered, echoed voice sample around 1:40 is compelling, and one of the coolest little voice samples I have heard in new school Goa album as to how it sounds with the music. It is amazing how effective and gripping one little detail can be. The psychedelic sample repeats only several times, but I soak up every second like a sponge. I actually think this voice concept, or something similar was on the debut. If so, it’s very cool that this artists crossed over and modernized such classic elements from the debut to this follow up. Also wonderful is the interlude just over the halfway point of the song. It’s magical, mystical, and one of the best interludes ever produced by RA. This artist made a smart choice by not overdoing any voice samples on this album as I felt took place on track eight in the first album. This is a far more mature and infectious song. Also established here is that Time Current was the last of the high-octane number's to focus on climax. This is a good thing because RA is very powerful when it comes to less climactic, less up-tempo numbers as well. There is a repeating two-note sound that takes place throughout much of the song in the background. It is very noticeable, described as a deep, lower pitched melody, and this is the icing on the cake, especially in the second half. It brings the consciousness deep into Egypt, the pyramids, the soul, and the overall essence of RA. Do not be fooled by RA’s traveling, generally less climactic, mid and downtempo numbers. I remember a track on the debut self-titled track called To Sirius that is one of the most gripping and unique sounding mid-tempo tracks out there. RA's mid-tempo style has the potential to be very trance inducing, and having a number such as this creates a wonderful flavor and a rare approach to Goa in the 21st century. Songs are often so fast and up-tempo now days as if to grab the attention of the nearest person with A.D.D. But this vehicle is filled with interesting details, secrets within layers of liquid pyramid walls and feeling. I recommend trying not to focus on one particular sound too much, and letting the music flow over the body and mind. That’s how people meditate successfully; they calm and detach their minds from all thoughts, desires, and this number may be great to meditate on. I'm not sure yet, but it's very powerful for being a traveling light. Transcendent is one of my favorite songs on the album, and of the year. It's superb. A

9. Expand Consciousness is an ethnic, mid-tempo number that moves closer to enlightenment. Both this and the previous track reflect the unconditional, deep, and more spiritual essence of RA. These final several songs are actually some of the more elegant numbers on the album. The song is traveling, motivating, and contemplative. I love the mid-tempo speed; it’s wonderful after the album provided us with uptempo work. I appreciate these more traveling, intellectual numbers. This feels like a follow up to the self-titled To Sirius track from the debut to some degree, with emphasis on ethnic, heart, and soul. It's engaging. Great song.  B+ 

10. Light Receiver is one of the most beautiful, magical, and emotive downtempo closing tracks I have ever heard. Imagine RA’s interpretation of Heaven and Earth combined, an attraction from what once made New Age act Enigma so wonderful, but RA's song is not New Age per say; the occasionally appearing male choir idea seems inspired from few of the more beautiful ethereal songs I have heard in various genres. I’ll leave the rest of this number alone, except to mention that there’s a part from 2:20 to 3:00 that is one of the most novel and refreshing moments I have ever heard. I love the melody work on this song. And this number blows away the closing track from the debut. Its only weakness is that it gets noticeably less capturing somewhere towards the end, as if the artists ran out of innovative ideas, thus resorting to less fresh character development. However this is a small quibble in relation to the success of the whole. Receiver is a beautiful number that is sure to win many plays throughout life to those who also recognize how soulful and catchy it really is. I don't need to mention production because all tracks are well produced and mastered on this album. And stay tuned for a little something in the end that doesn’t correlate with the tracks running time on the back cover.  A

CONCLUSION
RA’s 9th is far better than the 4:00 samples had me believe. This is a beautiful album, and many people who love Goa music are going to like if not love it! RA’s tracks are generally more traveling than they are quick to put a big, bright wave in your face, and that is one of the reasons why I think many people will appreciate 9th more over time. This is a more contemplative, mature, intellectual and spiritual style of Goa. RA thankfully included some strong Full On up-tempo GOA numbers as well. I love that the artists never sold out. They stayed true to the awesome mid/down-tempo gems too. Furthermore, 9th feels very connected to To Sirius, the exceptionally well-done, slightly more organic sounding, but still electronic, Goa debut in that 9th follows up some very wonderful elements that made the debut so special. 9th is mystical and magical, especially in the last three tracks. Moreover, there are some classic elements here that have been carried over from the debut. From the unique, low pitched voice of RA and the beautiful melody stream in the opening, to various sounds on the super animated, climactic, and attractive Time Current, to the mysterious and atmospheric, mid-tempo Expand Consciousness. Even the moody, emotive male choir from Astral Flight in the debut has crossed over to some degree on the gorgeously floating Light Receiver, and I'll leave other small details for you all to find or notice when you least expect.

Is 2008's 9th better than 2001's To Sirius? I don’t know. On the debut, I found ROM an extremely infectious up-tempo number. Here there are two excellent, super climactic ones in RA's accomplished building-up-to-something-special-or-great style. On the debut, I fell in love with tracks 2, 3, 4, 7, and 9, but it took years. ROM is one of my top favorite RA tracks of all time, and the self titled, mid-tempo To Sirius track on the debut is nearly matched and/or topped on this album's final last three tracks. The last song is on another level of greatness when compared to the less memorable closing on the debut. Furthermore, the artists were very tactful with where and when to incorporate voice samples on this album. I felt that the voice samples were overdone on Paradox, the eighth track from the debut. Such overuse put a dent in an otherwise solid gem, for me at least. I don't like being too distracted by repeating voices in trance inducing music. Fortunately, RA's 9th can be very trance inducing, and it does not overuse voice samples ever. People will see these aware choices acknowledged in the follow up, and I feel strong that overtime, many listener's will really appreciate this album that RA/Suntrip Records have released. It may be just under Khetzel’s magical Corolle album in terms of where it stands on the greatest Eastern-Indian influenced new school Goa album's list. Some may like 9th more. Either way, it will be interesting to see how RA’s 9th continues to be perceived, both now and over the coming years, and yes, even ten years from now. But for now, any old and new school Goa lover would be passing up a potentially wonderful opportunity by not listening to this strong and rare comeback by RA, the magician(s) behind Dimension 5. RA's 9th is the best Goa/Psy-Trance album by a main artist in 2008 to date. And I think some people are expecting to be blown away the first several minutes or they're quick to compare nostalgic feelings from the debut with something that cannot be nostalgic when it just released! If you’re looking for all flash and no heart and soul, this is not the album for you. It doesn’t shoot cannons off as soon as you press play. And if that was the case, RA would have less heart and soul because "quick to impress" is not the essence of RA. Yet the album manages to have some excellent Goa/Psy dance numbers that are likely to impress right away, just as ROM did on 2001's To Sirius.

Last but not least, I see how some people may feel that the overall album has a bit of a different feel from the older school sound of the much loved debut, but expecting this to sound exactly as the debut did seven years previous to this release is setting up unrealistic expectations. The follow up somehow manages to incorporate the older, classic sound into new school Goa. The result is a stronger production with all new RA tracks in the old and new school Goa spirit. The artists did a wonderful job with this album while developing their passion, soul, the spirit of how they perceive RA, or how RA is channeled through them, even if some tracks are not as mystical sounding as others. Not every track on the debut was a peach either! I know because I heard it several times around hearing 9th and writing this review. And to be blunt, not every track on this album is superb, but nine out of ten tracks; not including the introduction, is no less than good. For instance, Transcendent is more powerful than most people will know based on the first several listens. It's provocative, very reflective, introverted, artistic, and complex, with fire and passion. Same with both numbers that follow. And the ending three tracks top the famous debut's final three numbers in terms of greatness. Actually, the last three tracks on 9th are like an extension of beauty and excellence right into the heart of the sun. Getting there is a lot of fun, positive, spiritual, and well worth the price of admission for a nearly 80 minute ride that you'll likely want to hear soon after the little bonus secret I just revealed.. fades away...



Favorite tracks – 3, 46, 8, 9, 10

A-


Samples / Ordering:

http://www.saikosounds.com/english/display...ase.asp?id=7266

http://www.suntriprecords.com/blog/news.php

http://www.psyshop.com/shop/CDs/sut/sut1cd007.html

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