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RA - 9th


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--REVIEW--

RA - 9th


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PREFACE


"Since their first album To Sirius, released back in 2000 under Blue Moon Productions, re-released two years later under Novatekk/Velvet inc., and several appearances on Goa Head 12 & 13, Planet Goa 3 (beginning of 2000) and Energetic (2003) compilations, RA didn’t show a sign of life in our wonderful psychedelic world during some years. Moreover, a new album which has been several times delayed since the announcement of his creation, back in 2006.
However we find consolation, in the meantime, with two beautiful & modern ambient/downtempo tracks, Gates Of Tipharet and Road To Shiraz, appearing on both last Suntrip Records compilations: Twist Dreams & Opus Iridium.
Years of professional work, of fruitful efforts and patience to finally produce this second album: 9th is now available since the 16th may of 2008. In fact, more than two years of preparation have been necessary to produce this very long-awaited release.

To refresh your memory, for the people who have no idea about who are behind this project, early RA consists in Christer Borge-Lunde, Charlie Clarke & Lars Wedde Lind. For this new opus, only Charlie Clarke is absent. Most of you know it already, Christer Borge-Lunde, the main member of RA, has been part of mythic trance group DIMENSION 5, with who he collaborated to produce their last album, Second Phaze, and was also half of ELECTRON WAVE band, with Charlie Clarke. They delivered together the Uncertainty principle a kind of sci-fi psy album, both released back in 2000, under Blue Moon Productions in Thaïland.

A few words about the meanings of this wonderful artwork cover: it’s a clear invitation to the world of Pharaohs. This warm & bright colour suggests us the burning sand of desert, but also RA (or Rê) the Sun God, or the gold. The pyramids let us guess that the tracks are solid, detailed, polished ; as for the hieroglyphs, they take part of a mysterious riddle around this album. 9th is a marvellous travel in the Middle East.

Like the Egyptologists, Cosmogenesis & myself InFecTeD_gOa, will decipher the various tracks which compose this brilliant release.


*****
****
***
**
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01 - [1:21] - Intro
A class overture which is keeping us on tenterhooks till the end. A very cinematographic atmosphere punctuated by a disturbing voice and a melody as piping as mysterious. We imagine that we are lost somewhere in the bowels of a pyramid (maybe the one of Kheops), walking in those infinite narrow corridors, lighted up by a torch. A real labyrinth but it matters little, we let ourselves being guided by the music which seems to know where the right way is. We quickly notice that the voices of the intro were present in the opening of To Sirius, plunging us immediately in a mystic experience. That supposes logically a connection or following with their first album. The “wind distorted sound effects” of the first seconds of 9th, which were also part of the To Sirius track’s beginning, are one of the multiple recognizable elements of RA typical sounds & style during a decade.
RATE: 10/10



02 - [7:43] – Octagon
An excellent debut track, immediately linked with this great intro, starts this “Hollywood super production”. At first sight, Octagon sounds light, floating, although the rhythm is rather steady. The main melody is progressing gracefully. His ethnic tonalities seem to find some influences from the nitzhonot genre (non-cheezy melody of course) and remind early tracks of the greek mythic CYAN group, to just mention one example. The sympathetic and uncommon side of this track comes from the fact that, behind this famous threnody which looks repetitive, is dissimulated a developed background, composed by effects, rhythm and ambiences which, on the contrary of the main melody, are moving, changing alternately thanks to amplifications which are constantly increasing. A stunning and hypnotizing achievement!
It’s essentially question of a track using the “grandiose” side (wonderful side) with the help of sounds and entrancing, embellishing effects, referring us to panoramic landscapes of Egypt at the Pharaohs times.
Imagine one moment: pyramids, sphinx, obelisks & temples to stay in front of you, under a stifling sun, unifying you with the people which are articulated & organized around the Nile.
The result: a fantastic excursion.
RATE: 10/10



03 – [7:57] – Predator
This tune sounds radically different with the previous one. The atmosphere is, at the same time sombre by the utilization of a deep bassline, and angelic by the presence of melodic cascades. On the other hand, Predator is less axed on the grandiose side, and his melodies are trying to bring the idea of an exotic landscape of Egyptian oasis. We remember this kind of environment, less serious, more joyous, in the tracks Transformation & Beyond The Stars of the Second Phaze album. Technically, RA purpose a tune of which structure is more elaborated by new musical diagrams while it keeps some characteristics of Novatekk sounds (the organic and savant form of the FX for instance). “Predator” name is also known to be a famous VST plugin that RA members hypothetically have experimented for this composition. Track Time Current, originally called "Sytrus", seems to substantiate this trail.
RATE: [8/10]



04 – [8:46] – Other Self
SIMPLY AMAZING! But the use of the adjective “sumptuous” would be there much more appropriated. Other Self offers an intro where the life begins. We still are close to the Pharaohs times where the sunrise comes to stroke the Pyramids of Giza and other titanic sculpture, letting some big marks of shadow. We invite you to close your eyes and to let yourself being transported by the breath of air.
We find again this contradiction expressed by this mixture of punctual & heartbreaking kicks, of animated rhythm and of the nice & soft melody which soften the whole, to make this track more harmonious. We are in the following of Octagon where the sounds, tympo and melodic leads are based on the enlightenment and the beginning. The threnody that takes all his sonorousness during the thread of the music, let behind her a dust of magical notes.
We identify instinctively in the intro the trademark of RA with those awesome majestic atmospheric pads which we used to hear, among others, in tracks Initiated (To Sirius) or Bombed Out (Second Phaze) and which are favourable to a deep transcendental meditation. They reappear, from time to time, to give a new cadence and a new spiritual impulse to the development of the melodies at 5’35’’. Lot of emotions at the end of the track.
RATE: [10/10]



05 – [7:40] - Ultima Energica
It seems we can detect some memories of ELECTRON WAVE project in this track with his metallic consonances, powerful basses & kicks, and this impressive wave of FX as explosive as complex and which are giving a dynamic and percussive rendering to the track. That’s there all the meaning of the track’s name, Ultimate Energy. The Egyptians tunes are superimposed to demonstrate the full Solar Power and Beauty of the son of RA, Pharaoh, if we can give a figurative turn to this track. MFG’s Project Genesis album comes to our mind when we hear some of the aliens FX and sounds of this electrifying tune.
RATE: [8/10]



06 – [8:10] – Time Current
As we said it already, the previous title of this track was Sytrus, at least it previously appeared with this name on the Suntrip Records myspace page. It seems once again that RA choice a well-known VST was to give not only an original but also familiar texture to this piece. The melodic leads are very limpid and clean, the production is crystal clear, the FX very well arranged and harmonically diffused. The ambiance isn’t really Egyptian this time, but rather purposes a heterogenic touch to the album, as track Predator which has to be considered with this same perspective. Some sonorities remind a certain influence from ASTRAL PROJECTION and other “anthem trance” style tracks. A small observation: the name is very evocative, because we get really the feeling to hear the tic-tac of multiple clocks ringing at the same time, thanks to the multiple FX used in the melodic imaginary.
RATE: [10/10]



07 – [8:57] – Spirit Complex
We are coming back to some much more spiritual notes with Spirit Complex, definitely one of the highlights of this album. The heavy pads appearing regularly in the background add a solemn & original atmosphere to the main building of the track. ETHEREAL band often uses to include this great ingredient in their productions, on Stream Of Life (Original Mix) for example. That backs up the idea of a 3D “multilayered” track. The main melodies are a bit repetitive after the second part, although they change texture several times with those kind of “trumpets leads”, the same that we could hear in some MFG tracks of The Prophecy album (at 4’51’’ however the sequence with the leads doesn’t sound so good in my opinion). On the other hand, at the 7th minute, the sequence with the tiny and very fluid melodies is prodigious and, without doubt, unforgettable!
RATE: [10/10]



08 – [9:09] – Transcendent
I think that words are not enough to define this staggering masterpiece which is, most probably, one of the best goa tracks of the decade! I think that everything is expressed in the title: this track or I would say, this big demonstration is definitely “transcendental”. But we don’t content us to put down roots of the trance music, we go through a secret gate of the metaphysic abilities of melody, since this tune gives shivers and touches us by his subliminal feeling. The intro is a very spectacular opening which immediately plunges us in a meditation of an “out of world” essence, an ecstatic moment, difficult to describe with words. It reminds also briefly an old track from RA, Azure Child, which has been released in an old Intastella/Blue Moon E.P. and started like this way.
The melodic effects appearing progressively around the 2nd minute in the background give this vision of depths and resonance. It’s like we are closed in some Egyptian temple surrounded by colossal statues of Gods. The track has lot of superimposed layers if we notice it carefully. At 2’29’’ appear suddenly very subtle melodic leads that ASTRAL PROJECTION used by the past in classic tracks as Power Gen, Solid Electronics, or Maian Dream, and a second “eastern influenced” melody comes on top of them and is growing more and more intensively. The detailed climax in the back stays in the continuity of DIMENSION 5 tracks
of Blue Moon times, as the original version of Transformation released on VA/Psy-Nergy for those who know it.
The main originality lies certainly in this unpredictable transition of tonalities around 5’30” and which sound as a kind of spiritual escape or sensorial vertigo. The finish at 6’44” is really impressive and original at the same time as the melodic leads are slowing down till the last breath. A smashing hit that will stay the coming years in our memory!
RATE: [10/10]



09 – [7:02] – Expand Consciousness
Expand Consciousness is the Nirvana par excellence. That brings us in the era of wisdom with a relax rhythm and oriental scales. Between ambient & morning trance, this music is letting us pensive. The sounds and ambiences increase the spiritual imaginative side of meditation. Time is suspended one moment to stand back and to consider the world around us. To learn about the others, to learn about ourselves in order to grow richer and to be aware of mankind. Start to learn philosophy during the time of a music.
RATE: [10/10]



10 – [8:36] – Light Receiver
One element which made famous one of RA tracks on To Sirius reappears 8 years after in this ambient tune. It’s in fact question of Gregorian choral/chants we could hear on Astral Flight. Light Receiver has an ETHEREAL aspect there. It’s a peaceful source at the end of this essentially dynamic album, but it’s maybe not as exceptional technically as the previous ambient tracks we know from RA. The melodies are pleasant, but a bit redundant. However it remains a nice track which puts very well the finishing touches to this outstanding work. We notice the word “alone” at the end. It’s in contrast with the message which follows next…
RATE: [7/10]



11 – [3:10] – “You are not alone”(hidden track)
It’s the icing on the cake, I’ll be tempted to say! This very mystic outro hidden behind Light Receiver, contrasts with the whole content of the album by the presence of a different style of music, looking like a movie scene with poetic and angelic accents, since his resonances of Eden bring a sweet foretaste of paradise. The composition is aerial and floating. It’s like we are surrounded by a fog similar to the cotton. The notes are well spaced out creating a rare sensation of purity and freedom which put the final point of this exceptional album.
And finally, it seems there is a hieroglyphic message hidden behind the vocals: “you are not alone”. This sentence let us imply that we are not alone in our vast Universe, and that some extraterrestrial forms, gods who got advanced technologies or extraordinary powers exist. Without doubt, some similarities with the Stargate movie of Roland Emmerich. This new structure is maybe also the hope of a third album with a different style? Future will say…


*****
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***
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CONCLUSION


RA is back and what a COMEBACK!!! 9th is a big breath of oxygen. The tracks radiate the happiness, the coolness, a sensation of well-being without to plunge us in an euphoric state of mind, because the melodies are really soft. I admire the work of those two great artists. With a such album, I tell myself that the Goa music has still some beautiful years to live in the future.

We can’t avoid, on the other hand, for those who heard To Sirius, to do the comparison with 9th, because the similarities are there: oriental, spiritual, transcendental atmosphere, thanks to the using of Egyptians & majestic melodies; vivid colourful visions with the help of a developed background conceived in a 3D mode, to explore even more, every time, the different dimensions & possibilities of the psychedelic sound. And, of course, a top modern production to adapt and combine perfectly all the classic key elements of the goa-trance music in the year 2008.

We can’t resist to notice that To Sirius was maybe more floating, less aggressive at the sound level (for example, the cosmic pads and subtle tiny leads of Astral Flight and Beyond Control), sometimes more diversified and complex at the sequences level (Initiated consisted in a wave of unpredictable fast transitions and spectacular sequences of movements) and sometimes less repetitive (except for Universal Key which was very redundant); while 9th is much more dynamic, overbids on the energy, the power of sound, and purposing structurally a melodic “progressive” evolution of the track, with melodies growing, as one goes along, and with an intelligent approach (Time Current & Predator of course). That let us to think that 9th has been created in such a way that it can be also classified at his time, in 2008, because it includes some of the rhythmic tendencies of the actual trance scene.

9th reached also a superior degree of spirituality and metaphysic in his hypnotizing and enchanting melodies which find their origin in those “deep” ,emotionally talking, backgrounds. The perfect example is Transcendent together with Other Self & Spirit Complex.

At this time where the melody is becoming rare or uncommon on the psychedelic trance markets, or if it appears, it sounds sometimes “artificial” or “overrated” or “forced”, RA are making clearly the difference, offering us a “real” album ; that means mature, serious, authentic musically, while both members are always trying to add a modern personal note to their whole artistic work. An album that it’s impossible to miss if we are fond of spirituality and melodies!!

OVERALL AVERAGE FOR THE ALBUM: 9,5/10



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Guest Cosmogenesis

That album is an Atomic Bomb!!! 9th is the perfect definition of the trance goa new school ^_^

Please Suntrip, told me that RA will produce a new album :clapping:

Yes, Christophe, I want more me too!! 2 or 3 other albums from RA and I reach the Seventh Sky for good!! :D
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As mentioned, this album is pure brilliance of genuine goa trance music. Nothing more to add.

 

100% Goa.

 

 

and great reviews, guys. *thumbs up*

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Thanks for a long and detailed review! This album is super classic goa :posford:

 

Other Self and Transcendent sends shivers down my spine! This is what goa used to sound like, all these complicated spirals of tones that flows like notes from the heavens or something :drama:

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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.

 

Intro 1:21

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

 

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.

 

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. A part from the somewhat overfluffiness, a very good track.

 

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!!

 

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.

 

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?

 

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!

 

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!

 

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!

 

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

 

8/10

 

kinda funny, your vote on discogs is 1/5; why; your review says at least 4/5; what is already actually 1 point to little for this CD :)

 

 

man, i love this CD; I told Jos this was what i was waiting for a whole year, and it is!!!! man, shit, crap, good!!! day 5 it is on here, still not tired!

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well i was trying to find out where you could see the vote... no luck so far :rolleyes: but apparently you guys know how to... <_<

well, everyone can see everyones vote on discogs so far as I know? This always was like that... So you review an album, say it is very good, rate it 1/5 after the review on discogs and say this is a test... ok... That makes sense and makes your review very believable... :rolleyes:

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well i was trying to find out where you could see the vote... no luck so far :rolleyes: but apparently you guys know how to... <_<

Eh.. You don't know how to see the vote? You already set a rating of 1 out of 5, lowering the average to 4,8 :P

http://www.discogs.com/release/ratings/1335266

 

This album is quite special for me, as Christer and Lars have put a lot of effort and soul into it. I have had the privilege of listening to its development from unfinished sketches to the wonderful end-result. After listening to goa and psychedelic trance for some 15 years now. With a few notable exceptions (hi Twisted records) almost no new music really tickles my spine like the old classics did. But this album has track after track with pure melodic trance joy, and my hair rises on several occasions.

 

It is great to see so many others picking this one up and thinking the same thoughts! :)

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well, everyone can see everyones vote on discogs so far as I know? This always was like that... So you review an album, say it is very good, rate it 1/5 after the review on discogs and say this is a test... ok... That makes sense and makes your review very believable... :rolleyes:

 

 

myes, seems that now everyone can just vote on discogs; didn't it used to be different?

i think voting needs to be taken a bit more serious, even when not liking this cd, it seems a good cd, quality, sound, story, layers, all very good, even if you are not into goa you can see/hear this; sorry, really bothers me this 1/5; seems unfair to the hard 3 year work these guys did! they deserve better, i think if you give it a 1/5 you should just dispose of it and delete that vote...reviewing like this and voting like that, seems like a frustrating; haha...any how, freedom of speech i guess, well i just gave mine too ;)

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yea

 

Eh.. You don't know how to see the vote? You already set a rating of 1 out of 5, lowering the average to 4,8 :P

http://www.discogs.com/release/ratings/1335266

that was actually funny, i was looking all the links in the right tab and looking and clicking, not noticing the 24 votes link :P

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yea

 

 

 

that was actually funny, i was looking all the links in the right tab and looking and clicking, not noticing the 24 votes link :P

ok, so... Now that you know that, you are still not thinking of giving it the rates of your review? or was the review a fake...? Sometimes I don't get goa people...

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Anoebis,

 

Do I ask much if I ask what SUNCD11 will be ? :ph34r:

 

Feel free deleting this post after your answer, if any .

Last off topic one, as a moderator I should give the good example, héhé :)

 

Anyway, OR Merr0w, OR new style Filteria, depending on who's ready first :)

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Guest antic

big brother saw all i was doing so i had no other choice... :(

 

monitoring devices... :(:(:(

So you really think it's OK you rated it here 4/5 and 1/5 on discogs?! :unsure::huh:

It's fart from 5/5 IMO, but I'll hold my review / votes untill I get more familiar with it...

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It's fart from 5/5 IMO, but I'll hold my review / votes untill I get more familiar with it...

+1

First listen sounds very good, but I'm not THAT hyped about it. We'll see.

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So you really think it's OK you rated it here 4/5 and 1/5 on discogs?! :unsure::huh:

It's fart from 5/5 IMO, but I'll hold my review / votes untill I get more familiar with it...

he dud, i can mek a joke right

 

jus like you with the fart :lol:

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