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RA - 9th

frozen dream

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Suntrip Records

16 May 2008

Goa Trance




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)

11 Untitled (Bonus Track) (3:10)


Everything Suntrip releases seems to touch my Psy appreciation buttons and with the long awaited Ra album 9th they have taken a much loved artist still winning praise for the debut To Sirius. The risk is always too fold with situations like this. One, it could not be as good as the debut and people would be disappointed or Two, it would be too much like the first album and people would complain that it's stale and unoriginal. So how did Ra manage the difficult second album?


1. Intro

A soft goambient intro with light melodies and a deep dark vocal sample sets the mood straight away of spacey Goa.


2. Octagon

Now we really get going. A nice energetic party track with strong beats, light trippy synths and subtle melodies rising and falling. For some reason I get the feeling that I am in Total Recall. There's no sample like from the 1st album but I keep expecting one. A nice old Goa feeling with a slicker more polished edge.


3. Predator

Predator picks up the energy level in that it really gives me the impression of a chase. With small trippy sub beats under the main kick very audible, a quick bassline melody pushing along and synths always on the rise the feeling of rapid horizontal movement like a race is very apparent. The slight touches of melody always put in mind of police sirens in a very different world. Different sound, same feeling. I picture a car chase through a city of gleaming gold stretching far above yet the sun still illuminates everything very brightly.

4. Other Self

Lots of Energy again but with an altogether different feeling. A very old school feel for me in this track. The beat really takes me back as does the melody which although seems quite simple and repetitive at first, has enough movement in it to hold the mood and my attention. A very spacey atmosphere reminds me of my early love affair with Dragonfly Records, images of parties in long forgotten temples, forests and alien worlds spring to mind.

5. Ultima Energica

Long drawn out synths creating a floating atmosphere before the beat kicks in creating an overdrive atmosphere helped on by little stabs of melody, faster synths and squelchy sounds. A common enough hyperspace feeling but somehow this track gives me the feeling that I am still but the universe is a maelstrom rushing all around me. Personally I could do without the sample but it's not in there for long and the rest of the music is so good.

6. Time Current

This is another one of those tracks in that I am always expecting a sample to jump out at me. The music is very reminiscent of older Goa while still holding Ra's modern style. The production on this track is great and everything seems to have been put together perfectly. The progression of the track, the introduction of simple melodies intertwined with more acidic synth stabs. The melodies all sound at once the same and different and as they twirl together I'm left almost breathless. When the sample does come it's nothing like I was expecting adding to my pleasurable feeling of listening to fresh new music mixed with nostalgia. Great atmosphere, great energy, great track.

7. Spirit Complex

With Spirit Complex we start to calm down a bit. There is less pulsating energy and more a steady movement. The beat remains quite quick but the other aspects, synths, melodies and random sounds seem to have streamlined into a smoother ride. In the second half the melody that comes in is high pitched and adds a little more energy to the atmosphere but the breakdowns pulling it back make me feel like we've reached the apex and are on our way down.

8. Transcendent

Another track that seems to have lessened the kinetic energy. It's still pretty fast though like the last one and I have this feeling of going down hill. The music has time to breathe and take in the scenery. Lush melodies, nice synth work and lots of little noises make it a very enjoyable track. A slightly too long break down for my taste kind of breaks up the smooth flow I was enjoying and it never really gets back on track afterwards.

9. Expand Consciousness

Another notch off the accelerator. If it wasn't so deliciously Goa in its feel I could almost be tempted to call it prog. The sounds are much too Goa for me to ever really think that though. Eastern sounding melodies, sharp synths, bubbling melodic scales rising and shuffling sub beats all create one of those lush goa tracks half way between the really stomping stuff and the goambient.

10. Light Receiver

This is a really great track. It makes me crave a full downbeat album from Ra. Soft beats just trip along while the melodies glide effortlessly through the soundscape. The chanted voices fit in nicely giving an almost mystical feel accentuated by the Eastern melodies and foggy atmosphere. A very nice track.


11. Untitled

This little ambient number tagged on at the end is really nice. Almost beatless with a nice warm sample assuring me I'm not alone. I'm sure I'm not alone enjoying this album. The slight beats are so soft and the atmosphere created is so nice that I am actually sad it's so short.



So with this album I think Ra has managed to craft out a sound that is nostalgic in that it really has great old school atmospheres but also fresh with nice clear production and original ideas on how to make a record psychedelic. I don't think this is the best Suntrip release, I liked this year's Opus Iridium more but it is still a very good album that I think any Goa lover would enjoy and it is another example of why I am happy with today's scene.

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Nice review abasio. :)


9th is "Album of the Year" from me so far. That being by a main artist, group.


V/A - Opus Iridium (Uptempo) is up there though. And wins best compilation if that's an option this year. It should be. Compilations should be separate from main artist albums when you think about it.


Distant Systems for Chill/Ambient or V/A - Opus Iridium (Downtempo).




RA - 9th is a very memorable album. Each track is so diverse, different, catchy, involving in different sounds/ideas, and substantial from the song next to it. There is dark. There is light. Both are combined at times to form these living, breathing worlds. That's one thing some New School Goa lacks today I've noticed: the magic or the "presence of life" in the music. In other words, the passion, the soul.



3. Predator is my favorite emotive Goa/Psy song of 2008. It's extremely uplifting while maintaining a drive throughout. A song can be driving without being dark and aggressive and this song proves it. Just in the light, which I find beautiful. It's very positive sounding and compliments the darker, more aggressive song before it. I like this one more. It puts me in a good mood, my state heightens. I can feel it.


5. Other Self is amazing for a less linear Goa number. (the art of Goa is not being too predictable, because you're free! :)


6. Time Current is awesome for a slightly more linear (but thankfully building and evolving) Goa/Full On number.


8. Transcendent is arguably the most abstract number here, a powerful, innovative design of mysterious architecture; it's more meditative, contemplative, though thankfully driving. This is a rare and unique approach into the deeper, more traveling, and less mainstream directions that most artist's would be reluctant to pursue now days for fear they'd create something too different, not friendly enough. But that attitude, that fear of trying new things keeps people closed to some degree. If grow from experience after all. RA has grown with this song. I love it. And the background melody and altered voice echoes. The number is huge in a smart, well constructed, developing, and generally anti-climatic (with exception the complimentary and elegant buildup in the end) type way. This approach keeps me absorbed, hypnotized in its world, much like Ethereal's work. Transendent surreal and unlike anything I've ever heard.


9. Expand Consciousness is a beautiful, moving ethnic flavored Goa number. It's very strong and gripping. How it begins and the first several minutes, especially around 2:13 is excellent. Around 2:45 is strong too, as the song continues to build tasty formations within tasty, driving formations. Where the song beings to lose a little stream from my perspective is after the second transition that ends at 4:42. It's still great. I think the artist's didn't want to change a strong direction too much and in that they've succeeded. I suppose the third act just sounds a bit familiar to the first two. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. The ending is more about bringing together what's been established into congruent, full harmony as opposed to adding more elements that would likely need more time to bring justice to and develop. But I think they could have done just a little bit more in the final last three minutes here to really elevate the second act, that had elevated the first. Nonetheless, this is a strong, mid-tempo Goa/Ethnic number, rare, catchy, mature, and great.


10. Light Receiver is beautiful, probably the best downtempo/Goa song I've heard all year. And the bonus after that is probably the most Goa/Chill special since Cosmosis added a short bonus piece at the end of his Intergalactic album.



In follow up conclusion to my full review on page 2, this album is excellent. It's like the new Batman film, The Dark Knight in the sense it not only meets but exceeds expectations. The songs are too evolving and "present" for 4-minute samples to give them justice. Simply put, this is just about everything I've ever wished a new school Goa album to be. And I like it more than Khetzal, which I found magical too, and in some ways more than this one; this is more magical than Khetzal in some ways too. I love the track variety especially. If I had to choose one Goa/PSY album for anyone to buy in 2008, it would be this one. I'm still impressed to see these golden Old School artists creating album(s) in not only Goa, but creating superb albums in New School Goa. How many Goa artists dried up or switched over to typical Full On styles, I've lost count. RA is the only rebel Goa artist I know exists on the planet who said fuck it. We're going to get together with Suntrip Records and make an amazing Goa album in 2008!!!! People I know love this album who've never even heard GOA before. It's wonderful to see more people waking the planet with beautiful music like this, and RA has edge and intensity at times. They're not just "pretty, elegant, beautiful," although they're that too. And it's awesome.

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Got my cd Today after waiting for it fr like two months..... But it was worth it mannnnn Totally awesome melodies , totally danceable & so

spiritual at the same time better than To Sirius atlst for me it is ........


This is a killa...................gh album A must have. :wub: :posford:

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 weeks later...

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...


I actually agreed with you on the first few listens... but then it started growing on me.


OK let's face it, Ra never was classic material. Looking back on To Sirius, the only thing good that can be said of that album was that for years it was basically the last proper oldschool album to be commercially released until all this newschool hype came around. But it doesn't really stand out as a whole, like IFO, Cyclone, Dancing Galaxy, etc., and the same can be said here.


That said this album still has its potential, like many said before me, it sounds a bit like Khetzal: the floating dreamy trance type, not the agressive "hurricane of sound making you want to pull your hair out of your head when on the dancefloor" type that most of us think of when speaking about oldschool. IMO that's why most people (including me) are a bit dissapointed when listening to all the newschool releases.


Another thing bugging me (about this album and new school in general) is the absence of memorable hooks: ok, you're having a good time while listening to this album but press "stop" and try continuing the melody in your head: nothing will come because nothing really stands out! I remember back in the days some oldschool melodies were so memorable that they would stay in my mind for YEARS. For example, I haven't listened to Prana - Scarab for at least 5 years but all I have to do is close my eyes, think about the track and it all comes back to me in a flash: the way it starts with the didgeridoo sounds, the way it picks up and continues, the way it stops near the end and the great melody starts just when you thought the track was over, EVERYTHING! That simply isn't the case here, or with most newschool releases. Maybe this should be something that newschool producers should keep in mind for future releases?


So yeah in conclusion this isn't classic material IMO but still an enjoyable listen and it is MUCH better than most new releases out there. Don't really see the use of making a track-by track review cause all the tracks sound more or less the same (think Dimension 5 meets Khetzal and you'll have a pretty good idea of how this album will sound ;)). Only the Intro (which I quite like BTW, even if it has the Raaa sample lol) and track 8 Transcendent (which sounds the most like "proper oldschool") stand out of the crowd. Oh and Light Reciever is a nice downtempo closing track. 8/10

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  • 1 month later...

I just got this album today, and it blew me away! I like different kinds of goa: killargh tracks and grooving progressive tracks and weird psychedelic tracks, as long as it is full of beautiful feeling.


I don't think I've been as moved by hearing a goa album for the first time since I first heard Chi-A.D.'s "Virtual Spirit" (which admittedly wasn't that long ago).


Actually, I think I generally prefer goa with a bit more impact; this album is somewhat smoother than my usual favorites, but I just thought it was so good. I suspect it will quickly shoot to the top of my favorite list.


I definitely have to check out "To Sirius"!

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  • 2 weeks later...

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Ra - 9th is Deep, Soulful, Harmonic, Soft, Beautiful, Uplifting, Transcending, Epic, Eastern influenced Goa-trance. It also manages to be pinnacle of pioneered quality modern day Goa-trance with all of it's tracks... such quality...


Favourites are Octagon, Other Self, Ultima Energica, Time Current, Spirit Complex, Trancendent and Light receiver. I get such a great feelings when I listen to them - warmth, safeness and gladness. Nods to Intro also being really good, but I don't consider it as part of this review as it simply is like a part of Octagon in a way.


The best of the best here are definitely Trancendent and Light receiver. Which is also quite ironic as Trancendent is the most epic and 'hardest' out of all the tracks and Light Receiver on the other hand is the most chilled, magical and, at times, mysterious, downtempo track. Both are, simply put, Trance, in every sense of the word. Closing my eyes, relaxing and playing those tracks is a wonderful experience.


Bom Shankar, truly - Bom Shankar! We need more of this! 9.8/10(4/10 scale) (Why -0.2? 2 tracks, Expand Consciousness and The Predator, didn't manage to fit in my "favourites" category, even though they are very good. Funnily enough, the downsides of both was the repetitiousness, it can be a deal breaker a lot of the times, here it luckily is not, but it still takes a little away from them.)

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  • 1 month later...

This album is why music is still worth spending 20 bucks for. So much passion, dedication, and effort was put into finding the perfect sounds on this album. 9th is warm, uplifting, intense, exciting, spiritual, deep, and beautiful. Thanks to those behind this project. You are truly amazing.

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  • 1 month later...

I have honestly never felt this way after hearing ANY album from start to finish. There is truly something magical, ethereal and mystical about this. :) :)


Cant wait for Ra's third.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Wonderful, magical and engaging story telling Goa-Trance from beginning to end. Several of the tracks could have been stronger including the opening. And my favorite uptempo track by them is remains R.O.M. on the previous album; as R.O.M. had this no-limits (adventurous, edgy, and breaking out) infectious feel that seems to partially limit otherwise wonderful Time Current (on 9th) from achieving similar aim. So for me the super exploring-far-outside-the-box Goa uptempo vessel here is Other Self.


Overall, this is one of the best Goa releases I have heard. Only they can top 9th with the third now. And miracles do happen.


9th is my overall most enjoyed album release from all of the Suntrip Record's releases to date.

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You enjoyed this more than Filteria's Sky Input? Somehow Im surprised to hear that, although this is no doubt a brilliant album.

I find 9th more enjoyable to listen to straight through over any other Suntrip Record's release to date. So in that sense, yes, I enjoy listening to 9th more than Sky Input. However (and I think many will relate) I was blown away, more impressed when I first heard Sky Input due to the sensation overload of Filteria's debut album. Naturally, both are powerful albums in Goa that have helped to shape and redefine the wonderful genre in the 21st century. :)

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Be it an abbundance of soul, or complete lack of, production genius at work or a fluke, call it what you want, but Ra's "9th" does not reside up my alley. I do not consider the album bad, far from it, it's just one of those situations when you're sorrounded by what most consider sheer beauty, but you fail to get immersed in all it has to offer. It's like your living room is equipped with the most modern, state of the art audio and video hardware, and whilst being aware of its full glory and might, you don't use it. Like you remain locked by yourself in the finest candy store you can imagine, and while you're usually a dedicated candy terminator, you won't taste a single chocolate bar this time around.

I'm not shy to admit it either.

Grand leads flying from all over, emotional, mystical, deep, dance floor friendly and suitable for many situations.

Excellent production, with dynamic percussion and a whole ocean of moods painted throughout.

The flow is carefully arranged and obviously well thought out. Journeyesque, call it that.


What it all comes down to is that Ra's sophmore album is that old school release you have been waiting to hear since his debut. Well, it's here, and I'm not feeling it.

No given part of it is lackluster, likewise, none of its components stick with me. And I've given it time too. For reference only, as far as straight up melodic goa trance forged in this new millenium go, I was delighted when I heard Khetzal's "Corolle". I tried to listen to both one after the other. Despite the fact nothing on this album played in my head on repeat like Khetzal's Indian Attic, Ra's music prevents me from getting really loose and lost. Apparently this is floating goa trance, but that is what I lack. If the rest of you flow, I'm a ship wrecker. If that makes sense, mmmmk?


You know when you're in a room with your mates and then one of 'em tells the rest to shut the hell up while he is preparing to put on his newest musical purchase, Ra's "9th". He puts a track that really impressed him, and then keeps on repeating to his friends "Listen to this melody! Just listen! Isn't it amazing? Isn't it the coolest thing you've heard in a while? I mean, wow, listen to that lead!!!" The other buddies nod their heads in approval and join the public exalting feast. All rise. One mate remains sitting on the bed. That be me. I just fail to get impressed by this album. Whenever my eyes catch it residing on the shelf, never does the arm want to reach out, grab it, and let it play. I think I've had just about enough. Cheers!

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  • 4 months later...

I haven't heard this album for over a year, then it got mentioned again on a different forum a few days back. I loved it back then but now I'm listening to it again I'm in awe. The music is strong and delicate, both things simultanously, playful, dramatic, melancolic, euphoric, driving. The production is flawless, the attention to detail everywhere is obscene. The melodic skillz of Ra are just right.


Truly inspiring. Just thought I'd show my appreciation :)




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  • 3 months later...

A lot of these melodies and soundscapes are just so soft, rich and pure. For me, you have to be in the right mindset to get the most out of it, it works as background music, but then you lose all what makes this so special. But when I get to be in that mindset and I listen to this, it dwells into my subconscious mind and makes me feel and see things.


Ra - 9th is really a marvel in the modern psytrance business, in my honest opinion. The sound and soul is just like from the 90's GOA-trance period, but with the modern production. A rare sight.

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Beautiful CD. It reminds me of the Hunab Ku album, one or two of the melodies are from there directly. But it's a lot more chilled. It's nice to see goa trance like this that isn't trying to be super hardcore with 50 melodies at once. I hope we can get some more great chilled goa trance in the future, it is really some of my favorite stuff though there's only a couple CDs that have ever bothered.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Maybe a bit too much of the same notes and rhythm that gets blurred by delay effects. And definitely too loud bass drum, perhaps a bit overcompressed sound.


But well thought out, floating music with a sense of journey.

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  • 1 month later...

Beautiful CD. It reminds me of the Hunab Ku album, one or two of the melodies are from there directly. But it's a lot more chilled. It's nice to see goa trance like this that isn't trying to be super hardcore with 50 melodies at once. I hope we can get some more great chilled goa trance in the future, it is really some of my favorite stuff though there's only a couple CDs that have ever bothered.


Hmmm, since I composed this with Lars I feel like I have to ask since you are saying some of the melodies are ripped from Hunab Ku.

If any melodies are similar to Charlies riffs then I was unaware of that fact and I guess I should go back and listen to the old Hunab Ku CD again.

Allthough I must admit that me and Charlie have often talked about how similar our composing styles are and it was one of the reasons we liked working together so much, so I would not be surprised if people can hear lots of similarities.

Please list the RA tracks (and the time) and list the Hunab Ku tracks that we "took" these melodies from.


Chris [RA]

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