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E-Mantra - Visions From The Past


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As Arcana was almost the best thing that happened some time ago (for me), I just had to explore E-Mantra's other side. The downtempo side. This is a review of the latest addition to my cd shelf.

 

Visions of the past

 

The door opens as one would expect, with lush pads. Some ethnic vocals welcome us. But soon, a darker mood surrounds us.

Choir chants silently lead us through. After this moody and great intro, the psy-elements start to appear. Out of the blue comes this

fat 4/4 downtempo beat soon accompanied by some raw stabs. E-Mantra, even downtempo, is still psychedelic here.

Many little sounds add up to the whole and something apparent for the rest of the album: the sounds keep changing without the

listener knowing where it's going. If you're into that, this is for you.

A little melody now appears to guide the beat forward till the end. An intro that has passed-by very fast.

 

Forever

 

Sounds twirling like a vortex to suck you right in. The downtempo bassline kicks in right away to set the pitch.

The tracks has a break kinda feel to it, downtempo break I mean. As in the previous track, some tingling sounds enter to

move everything forward, while the pads in the background go up and down. Can't help nodding my head slowly up and down to this one.

Around 3,5min we have a break where everything starts to build up again and the melody sound twists a little.

Towards the end there is a greater trance feeling that goes more the uplifting way, but very subtle.

 

Secluded trails

 

Pure trance, that's how this one blows off. But wait, E-Mantra kicks right in with the basskick and the overall feel you get

in the beginning is a dancing feel, nice and easy, but dancing.

Some melodies remind you that this music is definitely still goa-influenced, some Indian touch.

After a short break, everything is back to run towards the finish. Perhaps a less interesting track here.

 

Menhir (2010 Remix)

 

This one starts off pretty dark with some thriller-like sounds. Some bassline bubbles precede the always present basskick.

The amount of psychedelica is much higher here than what I've found in the previous tracks.

This is what people call, I suppose, psybient. But correct me if I'm wrong.

More and more sounds enter the room and they all fit so nicely. I'm really enjoying this. There is a lot going on here.

And then the melody. You like it or not. I can appreciate it because it doesn't overwhelm too much, yet it needs to be there.

The second half of the track is simply stunning, warm trance pads put your mind at ease. Great track.

 

Hypnagogia

 

Well this one has the intention of being a true goa trance track. And well, it seems it is. :-)

This one takes up the pace to 125 BPM, so definitely dancing material. The track evolves slowly as an easy-going trance tune.

Some pads add a bit of mysticism to the whole. Nothing much happens here, but the atmosphere is quite relaxing and dreamy.

 

Mindfluid

 

Aah, a voice sample from Sam Neil as narrator in BBC's documentary Space. I own those DVD's. ;-) He explains some things about stars and

galaxies here. I can highly recommend the documentary. It's great.

The track also starts off great with those beloved acid stabbies. Again, a more uptempo track. The acid and some added sweeps continue

to form a great deal of psychedelica. More and more psy elements come in to suck you more into it. Love this.

 

Last day of the butterfly

 

A breaks track. The sounds continue a bit from the previous track. Some true goa sounds intertwined with arp pads.

They create a nice atmosphere. Soon a more prominent trance melody appears followed by the full power of the breaks beats.

Quite the dreamer as well,this one. And I love butterflies, I used to breed them. :-)

 

Emptiness (Reasonandu Remix)

 

From the beginning this track oozes trance. And when the 4/4 beat enters the place, I can only further agree.

Around 3min comes the surprise: a huge sharp trance sweep that grabs you. But it fades away soon to change into something else.

Typical: ever-changing sounds on this album.

The break is truly soothing, very calm and beautiful. Again, when the kick is back, I can't help shaking my head slowly up and down.

The track is very trancy, but it has enough psy elements to make you trippy. A truly marvelous one.

 

Echoes of an empty room

 

Breaks track to finish the album. Around 3min a prominent melody shows up to evolve a bit later, very naturally, into various other

sounds. The break is a bubbly affair surrounded by warm pads. All elements are brought back to restart the breaks beats.

This one is hard to review since it changes to so many things throughout the whole track.

At 7min things start to unwind and the feel is much slower now. Almost finished. All sounds fade away and ... done.

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

It's a special one. It doesn't quite fit in the ambient corner. Downtempo is the name for it. Downtempo psy, or psybient.

The first half of the album is very slow, but always with a basskick. The second half increases the tempo a bit and would be perfect

for morning dancing. Some chill albums are perfect to put on before sleeping, but not this one I'm afraid, it has too much beats.

But I don't thing E-Mantra made this one for sleeping. :-)

The sound is crystal. And how E-Mantra manages in some tracks to go from one sound to the other is stunning.

Noteworthy, the album is made of separate tracks and they don't really flow from one to the other. It doesn't have that

whole trip feeling, although the album uses the same atmosphere from start to end. The music is perfect to listen to as background

music while doing some mindwork. The cover art is simply fantastic.

 

 

Favorite tracks:

 

Visions of the past

Menhir (2010 Remix)

Mindfluid

Emptiness (Reasonandu Remix)

 

Buy at Psyshop

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Very good release, every title playable on party ... makes fun to play with the tempo of the tracks.

 

A very good combination of chill and trance - wide panoramic sounds at its best. Never got a CD and heard it again and again like that one.

"Visions from the past" and ""Secluded Trails" as favorites, but every track is awesome in deed.

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  • 3 months later...
  • 4 months later...

Visions of the Past is a mid-tempo album with psy/goa and ambient influence.

 

This album, not E-Mantra's new goa one (that I just wrote a full review on here: E-Mantra - Pathfinder) but this ambient-down/mid-tempo one - frustrates me.

 

Because the first self-titled track for instance sounds so beautiful, powerful, tragic, and moody (like something out of a masterpiece film) only to abandon its amazing, characteristic/fantasy, storytelling sound for a beat (with sounds) not a fraction as engaging. If you want to listen to an artist who develops his wonderful storytelling sounds throughout the song, listen to tracks by Electrypnose: Neverending Story, Tripad, and Out There. Or a dozen-plus songs by Asura. I realize the styles are different. Nonetheless, imagine if the opening song here continued developing its amazing sound that captures the senses during the first 2:16 (I admit that before the beat kicked in was most engaging). This song deserves a better continuation or a stunning remix in my opinion, with the opening two minutes/sound and feel developed throughout, even if there's a transition. For the first two minutes I was listening to a masterpiece. The sounds that followed weren't bad, but could have been attached to a different song in comparison.

 

Aside from that, Last Day Of The Butterfly, ​Forever, and Secluded Trails are the only other two tracks that have so far arrested my attention. Maybe my disappointment after the first two minutes of the opening is causing an unconscious aversion. Maybe I appreciate E-Mantra's mid/down-tempo work more when its placed at the end of a goa album (see 2009's Arcana and 2011's Pathfinder). I realize that some will disagree. I simply find that the beats and/or their emphasis on certain tracks distract from the melody/sound work at times, and make the album feel more repetitive than it should feel. I also feel this way about too much punch in Secluded Trails that continues good work otherwise. Maybe some of the tracks go on for too long. I'm trying to enjoy the moods, melodies and I keep hearing Bomp, Bomp, Bomp, etc... For the record, I'm looking to experience the surreal sounds via the opening song to its potential. Such moods I never find again. I feel as if my heart was opened early on, only left to be teased by a magnificent world that quickly melted away.

 

I enjoy some of the psy/ambient, goa work that takes place throughout this mid-tempo album that some will really like. None of the songs are bad. I'm just saddened to see the beginning feelings evaporate as if the artist had another masterpiece album in mind.

 

This artist can produce amazing moods which is why I wish he would have relied less on the hard, continuous beats (Hypnagogia for instance; to his credit, he varies up the sound/feel of the beats every other song more or less) and focused more on the amazing feelings, moods, and storytelling within. Its generally the intros here that pull me in the most. I find the album "too much" to enjoy straight through currently for some reason. Had I not been exposed to the first track, I'd probably enjoy the album more, so I may try to hearing in starting on track 2. :)

 

PS: I just wanted to get this off my chest because this artist is so talented. I've been holding in these feelings for months. I do believe that numerous people will feel less conflicted and enjoy this album very much. I urge others to listen to the lengthier samples and decide for themselves because in all fairness, there is some good work here. And it's not often that a goa artist releases a mid-tempo (with goa elements/influence) album.

 

Favorite tracks: 1(first two minutes are superb), 2, 3, 7.

 

Listen to the longer samples here:

 

http://www.saikosoun...ase.asp?id=8717

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This album, not E-Mantra's new goa one (that I just wrote a full review on here: E-Mantra - Pathfinder) but this ambient-down/mid-tempo one - frustrates me.... (Review)

 

I completely understand what you are trying to say. I've had the same feelings, but couldn't really point out why I was a bit disappointed with the album... I don't think it's bad however, it just doesn't arrest my attention that much, probably for the exact same reasons as Jon's. Aside from that, I found it refreshing to see a goa artist make a whole down-midtempo album, since it deosn't happen too much...

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I recently produced and uploaded this video showcasing the wonderful, first two minutes of the opening track. Please no feedback on this thread, PM me or leave a page comment via youtube.

 

Link:

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  • 1 year later...

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Looks like you got dressed up in your Sunday best for nothing. I'm happy that you support your, ahem...team, but Colorado St. has as many championships as I do. But now you'll live forever on the internet Ram Boy!

 

Webster's defines fanatic as someone who is filled with or expresses excessive zeal. I guess that could sum up the community here. Well, some of you. We gravitate towards the psychedelic side of things cause we don't get what we need from "normal" music. We like our artists and support them as such. E-mantra is on top of the goa trance mountain looking down at the kingdom he helped build. You know his sound and how mesmerizing his goa trance can be. Like all good artists he likes to challenge himself, so I guess that's why he makes different types of music. His partnership with Altar Records seems to be quite successful as he has now delivered his third non-goa album. This was the first one however.

 

When I first heard this I felt like Geostigma...that this was just slowed down goa. While listening I looked at my watch and thought, "Get on with it already." Pushed the bpm's to 140 something and ta-da...new E-Mantra goa trance. Surely that wasn't his intention. So I realized I had to give it another shot. Put the headphones on and had lunch. And then I did something spectacular.

 

I folded laundry.

 

That's right, just me and two loads of permanent press (damn it that chocolate stain will never come out!) There's something about performing this mundane task where it's just the music and my laziness staring back at me from the laundry basket. I then realized that when he makes downtempo music he does the same thing that he does with goa. I listened to that CD 3 times before I knew what hit me, but rest assured with 2 kids there is always more laundry.

 

He hypnotizes. Long melodies form a floating cushion that allows you to drift high above the darkness. Soothing and descriptive the music takes numerous turns but never abandons the safety net. Don't let him kid you, this is downtempo goa trance meets Blade Runner with some great atmosphere. But halfway through he switches it up and gives you a few mid-tempo tracks like Mindfluid that could've been on Arcana. I'm very impressed and don't know if I should be happy or pissed that I know have to start shelling out money to another label.

 

Highly recommended from this fanatic.

 

Altar

 

Psyshop

 

Beatspace

 

GoaStore

 

Mdk

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