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Jon Cocco    96

E-Mantra - Nemesis

Suntrip Records, 2014
Goatrance

 

SUNCD31_medium.jpg

1. The Entity
2. Wrath of the Nomads (Rmx)
3. Fall of Icarus
4. Gebeleizis
5. Xibalba
6. Ayahuasca
7. Mission Aborted
8. Orphic Hymn
9. Shae Nab

 

E-Mantra is Emmanuel Carpus. His Goa debut, Arcana (2009) was praised for immersing listeners with strong atmosphere, soundscape textures, and dynamic (tweaked tempo) transitions, one of which is the coolest enhancement that I have heard in electronica music to this day. Although I found that Arcana lacked memorable melody leads, I can't deny its innovation. The exploratory element was great and Dansul lelelor proved that the artist could create memorable leads in addition to the atmosphere and everything else. Pathfinder (2011) incorporated some catchy synth leads, but lacked the absorbing soundscape textures to the degree of Arcana. Pathfinder had some great tracks, elements, and moments nonetheless. It was more melodic, and yet less immersive soundscape wise and atmospherically. Some liked it more than Arcana and vice-versa. Anyway , three years went by and Emmanuel's tracks continued to impress on Psy/Goa and Psyambient/Chill albums until the next massive Goa creature arrived. This brings us to Nemesis (2014). Every E-Mantra album to date has had a bit of a learning curve for me. Emmanuel's style is very distinct and complex, and at times overwhelmingly creative. Good news is that Nemesis is more ambitious, imaginative, and atmospheric than Pathfinder. It also has more of what many liked about Arcana, the soundscape textures (exploratory element). I'd love to hear an all ambient/chill album by this artist in the future too. But moving on to Nemesis...

 

1. The Entity is the best opening [goa trance] track by E-Mantra to date. It has a fantasy edge that I miss (since the old-school days of Chi-A.D.) coupled with immersive atmosphere, strong synth work, a driving beat and bass line, tasty soundscapes textures, and some great synths. This song is like moving through a galaxy of space candy. I love the female voice sample, even if I miss what she's saying half the time. Her "sound" alone enhances the track. Oh, and when I bitch about there not being enough memorable melodies in E-Mantra's first two albums, just wait until you hear the one at 6:44. It's very catchy! I really like the return of the strong bass line at 4:05, the atmosphere and melody/sound (synth) work. The echoed, female effects are nice too! My ONLY gripe is that after the beat drops out (which switches up the sound a bit), I am less gripped. From around 5:30 to 6:39 the song begins to feel repetitive. Fortunately, the melody at 6:39 leads to ear candy at 6:44 that elevates the song. Very little here could have been perfected (to me) for a nearly perfect score, as the artist did a great job overall. The Entity is excellent, one of E-Mantra's most solid tracks to date. A-

 

2. Wrath of the Nomads (Rmx) I find less dynamic and varied than the opening. The song moves in one general direction, but it has a strong beat and base line. The synth lead stands out among the heavy backdrop, and is accompanied by soundscapes/textures, as is E-Mantra's more typical style and approach. To be honest, I was a little disappointed here, primarily in the first half. The song starts strong with a solid synth but grows repetitive and predictable by the third and fourth minute. Fortunately, there's an interlude/ around halfway through. The beat and music return at 5:10 where the song grows noticeably catchier. The beat is accompanied with more engaging sound work. Better late than never I suppose. Simply put, the song could have trimmed a minute or two earlier on, or involved more enjoyable work in the first half which would have made it more enjoyable. This is a solid track that starts slow and rewards listeners in the second half. B

 

3. Fall of Icarus I find more interesting than the previous song which showcased a more typical E-Mantra sound. Earlier on I'm grabbed by the atmosphere here. The bass line that enters at 0:55 captures the driving, dark tone; it's good. Gradually details are added. There are many layers here; I just wish that the melodies hooked me more, as with E-Mantra's work there is sometimes more higher pitched synth streams rather than stand out Goa tunes. Having said that, the song innovates. It's like a fluid storm of debris shrouded in lightning and space snapping rattle snakes that sneak up and surprise. The more times I listened to this track, the more I found regarding the complexity and cohesiveness of it all. It gets catchier as it progresses naturally, and showcases some really good sound work in the second half that compliments the first. Having said that, more memorable melody work would have been nice. Good if not great song. B+

 

4. Gebeleizis begins like a computer spazzing out, printing up algorithms left and right without rhythm or reason, but in a psychedelic space sense; this is no computer or printer. The curious introduction slams the senses with an impact effect, or echoed beat and synth at 0:26. This moment is brief, but powerful and gripping. It also introduces the first wave of energy/synth work to power the starship. There is an interlude midway that reminds me of stars blinking out in the night sky. It's immersive and intriguing. Then a new crescendo of sound arrives, comprised of atmosphere, soundscape textures, and a delectable combination of synth melodies. The song evolves into combining the powerful effects with actual melodies that have harmony and feeling. I simply find that the last 1-2 minutes, while very nice, could have incorporated more development to increase the songs greatness in the end. An artist that applies this concept well is Cybernetika relative to his general tracks (1, 3, 6, 7) in the atmospheric and also dark album, The Scythe of Orion. Gebeleizis is a super song that has a soft ending that makes me go between a solid A and minus. The song is possibly deserving of a higher score. It's fantastic. A-

 

5. Xibalba begins less chaotically than the previous track, with good atmosphere and an effective, lower-pitched bass line. The bass line adds to the darker tone and is very effective, primarily when combined with other sounds that go into effect at 1:58. The more versatile "synths" are deliciously braided. There is a drum roll that leads into a highly effective third minute, coupled with a strong lead and otherworldly textures. At around 4:00, an echoed synth enters; this is the sound that I like from War of the Hierophant's track interlude from Arcana, as well as the Metamorphic Resonance track (last third) from Pathfinder. Here it's used more as a pitch bending accent rather than a visceral synth melody lead. Nevertheless, it's catchy and compliments the track; it's just not as infectious as how it was utilized before. No worries. It works well with the core rhythm. The beat briefly disappears at 5:12, and returns with the driving feel and even tastier melody/sound work at 5:25. It's also enhanced by the accent effects that appear like space insects flying by the voyager. All of this takes place with great synth work. An ambient segment enters around 7:15, and adds to the song's mood; it could be perceived as a sense of urgency or consequence. This part of the song sounds serious, evocative. It's interesting and adds character and feel to this intergalactic album. The song isn't as eventful as some of the others, but I like it this way. Xibalba is imaginative and captures my attention from start to finish. Well done! A-

 

6. Ayahuasca is the next track that I warmed up to the most, along with The Entity and Gabeleizis. ​This is because of the melody approach. The synth work emotes with the overall exciting feel. Instead of one synth, the artist somehow incorporated three or four, maybe five. The work sounds so layered and complex. It grows stronger, catchier as it progresses. The part around 4:20 forward has an amazing, climactic feel. It showcases what is quite possibly the artist's best melody synth (leading) work to date. I am very impressed with this part and how it fits into the context of the whole. I love it. The last third (or rather act) includes a very nice melody lead that blossoms around 6:16. It's unpredictable and uplifting! I love how the artist realizes that complexity alone does not necessarily make a song good. Ayahuasca showcases fantastic sound/melody work by the artist, who raises the bar on how uplifting and catchy his Goa songs can be! Part of me feels that the song could have gone even further or higher into heavenly bliss (ascension) in its final moments, but I really like the last few minutes. The song closes strong and knows when to end. Ayahuasca is one of the finest tracks in electronica! It's beautiful, unique, and innovative. The song has feeling too. It's excellent. A


7. Mission Aborted begins dark, as if abandoned or alone, though the samples off-set this thought. What stands out to me the most here are the astronaut's voice. They're catchy as they echo across the music. The first third keeps the tone and driving (under-current) dark. The synths sound mechanical and grows catchier in the second act. I like how the artist supports these darker elements, and the ambient/atmospheric layer later on. These examples show how well the artist puts sounds together, however I wasn't that arrested with the overall song. The astronaut voice samples add character and I like that. However the synth work, while catchy, never stayed in my head. There's no tune that grabbed me, no climactic elements either and that's okay. The second half is quite nice I admit. I simply never felt completely immersed or addicted, and the ending isn't really exciting. Having said that, the overall song is very well structured; it builds nicely and has some interesting elements, solid synth work. It's also dark and moody (though I found Xibalba catchier in that regard). The astronaut samples compliment Mission Aborted in that they're catchy. I just wanted to feel more involved and hooked with the overall song after finding the previous three so exceptional in comparison. That said, this is a very good track that seems to separate two more ambitious and delectable ones. B+

 

8. Orphic Hymn is another one of my favorites along with tracks 1, 4, (now 5) and 6. The introduction is solid, and the beat/effect at 2:15 is wonderful. I love the humming ambient, and the synth work that enters at 2:33 is so ridiculously catchy. OMG I love it. Then there's the third minute where this infectious sound combines with others that sound as delicious with it. The third minute involves one of the catchiest segments in goa trance. After this phenomenal part, the beat leaves at 3:46 for an interlude (transition). This provides the opportunity to change up a few things and refresh the song. The returning music at 4:14 is nice. The atmosphere's enhances it. The melodies become brighter at 4:35 and I think it's good add light to the darkness. The second half of this song is attractive, don't get me wrong. I simply wish it was as infectious in the uplifting, positive and harmonious sense, as I love the idea. The melody/sound work is catchy. I just find them less captivating than the edgier work beforehand, which I found stunning. The song could have benefited from having a tastier final uplifting act in that regard, as it goes from darkly superb to beautiful good, in my opinion. Take Astral Projection's Liquid Sun, Radical Distortion's Star Dance, Goasia's Sunrise - ok those were morning Goa sunrise songs throughout and this isn't I realize (but for uplifting tracks that really impressed). Orphic Hymn does darker, edgier best and should have stayed that way with more development in the last third I feel. Or the brighter evolution could have used more work to make it more spectacular, just my two cents. I was so enamored by this song's first half and wanted to give it a solid A. Maybe a remix will get away with this. ;)Orphic Hymn is another great track that showcases some amazing work. A-

9. Shae Nab, unlike the last two tracks previous E-Mantra albums is far from slow. Is slow uptempo an oxymoron? Regardless, the tempo is good. This final track has a smooth and fluid feel, with seamless melody/sound formations that develop in some subtle ways. The synth work is very good. I especially like the skipping synth that comes and goes. Shae Nab isn't very eventful (that's not the point), but rather one continuous movement; the song flows like water. This flow of energy concept ? track reminds of a little of Khetzal's opening on Corolle; this is completely different in sound and approach of course. A really nice melody enters around 5:00, and a more gripping (to me) one at 5:50. After the third or so interlude, the rhythm returns with even greater sound, deepening the hypnotic vibe. The ambient notes in the last minute are beautiful. It would have been nice if such feelings of euphoria were more present earlier on. The ambient notes add so much feeling and harmony; by the time they arrive, the song has almost finished. Nonetheless, the artist's blending of sounds here produce an old-school, goa sound that some will love. Shae Nab is a beautiful work of art. Its gentle approach may not stand out initially, as much as some of the other songs. This is a solid closing track that could have had more personality. It flows beautifully nonetheless. A-

In conclusion, Nemesis is a strong album. If you're an E-Mantra fan, I think you'll be impressed, as I can be critical and pin point or over analyze even the smallest things at times. Every E-Mantra album I've heard to date has been impressive including his chill ones via Hermit Sanctuary (2013). The artist continues to improve and "perfect" his style on Nemesis and it shows. The album is dark and visceral, often immersive and at times magical. This album impressed me when I least expected, but it also took time to grow as Arcana did. I really like the power, rhythm and synth work of The Entity in combination with its fantasy elements. I was also impressed with Gebeleizis, Xibalba, and Ayahuasca for their strong synth work, arrangement, and sound formations. Orphic Hymn has an incredibly catchy first half (until 4:39 for me); the rest is pretty good, just not as addictive. Shae Nab is a pleasant closing track with an old-school feel. With the overall album, I enjoy the atmosphere, soundscape textures, and (being a huge melody fan) improvement in the synth department, though greater emphasis on tunes that get stuck in your head would be nice. There's a lot to explore thanks to the artist's attention to detail and interest in creating depth. The lower-pitched bass lines work well too, adding to the dark feel of the album.

 

Constructive Criticism / Feedback

1.) Some of the melodies could have more development of arrangement. For this reason, I find Filteria's albums (DoOL and LitW) easier to get into. Emmanuel tends to scaffold his melodies more with trills on notes, whereas many Goa artists compose more arrangement.

2.) Sometimes this artist has something so perfect going, only to incorporate a last third that isn't as infectious (track 4, 8). I love songs that get catchier as they progress!

3.) I would love to hear more sleek interludes like the one in Arcana's War of The Hierophants track, from 3:58 to 4:50. Such work was wickedly catchy and sleek. The ones here are solid nonetheless. End of Feedback

 

There are things about the other albums that make them special I realize. I have warmed up to Nemesis slower than Pathfinder, but faster than Arcana. This is probably due to Nemesis having more depth and exploratory elements/details over Pathfinder. Sure Arcana had some fantastic elements (atmosphere, textures). Pathfinder had the melodies (synth leads) that stood out where the debut was lacking. Nemesis is more refined, involved and deep; the synth work and melodies are catchier too. Thanks to numerous improvements, I think many listeners will consider Nemesis to be the artist's best [goa trance] album yet, but it took time to time for me to assimilate to this album for some reason. Not since moments in Arcana have I been so impressed with an E-Mantra album in the psy/goa genre (I also recommend E-Mantra's Hermit Sanctuary album for psyambient/downbeat). Nemesis puts the listener back in a voyage through intergalacitic space travel, atmospheric elements and exploratory psychedelia. It's a lot to process. A lot takes place, and while I personally favor certain styles of Goa over E-Mantra's (normal considering we all have our preferences), Nemesis was well worth the wait.

 

Favourite tracks: 1, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9

 

A-

 

Samples / Order

 

Suntrip

http://www.suntriprecords.com/release/cat/SUNCD31/

Suntrip Bandcamp

http://suntriprecords.bandcamp.com

Psyshop

http://www.psyshop.com/shop/CDs/sut/sut1cd031.html

Beatspace

http://www.beatspace.com/7916/Suntrip+Records/E-MANTRA/Nemesis/detail.aspx

Goastore

http://www.goastore.ch/e-mantra-nemesis.html

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Nemesis-E-Mantra/dp/B00HW1FEQA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391013235&sr=8-1&keywords=E-Mantra+Nemesis

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kartoonz    9

i heard the samples on itunes and i am blown away... i am certainly getting this one...

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kartoonz    9

Got the album and I must admit there cannot be a better start to 2014. This is so fucking melodious, I can't get enough of it. Very intense and creative. 10/10 from me :)

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Panoptes    45

Has its moments. I find it too formulaic overall. 8/10

I was really excited after hearing beyond light speed emantra remix but this was disappointing in comparison.

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Anoebis    435

Thanks Jon Coco for the review! :)

For me, this one is spectacular. The best E-Mantra to date without a doubt. I had this in mp3 player since august, and I have been listening to it almost every day, I absolutely love it and think it is a stellar album. Also on the dancefloor it is a tsunami :) Ayahuasca, Xibalz & Wrath of the Nomads are the standouts for me :)

What makes me the most happy, is the fact both E-Mantra & Filteria managed to release something which is better as their previous work :) goa is becoming better and better :)

But ok, I'm probably not really objective, still... :)

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desysko    82

I've finally listened to this today on my speakers while driving since that's when I have the most free time to listen. It was interesting. I like the atmosphere of the songs. One thing I have to say about E-mantra's stuff is that his stuff can be a bit hard to listen to for the first time. It takes several listens to understand more and more of the songs, especially with all the chaos going around (but in a good way), sort of like Cosmic Dimension's album. That album took a while to grow properly on me. I will have to give it a couple more times to listen to, but I would recommend this album.

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Veracohr    115

For me, this one is spectacular. The best E-Mantra to date without a doubt.

 

I agree! I like that it's a bit of a new direction yet still retains the E-Mantra sound. Pretty awesome album!

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Jon Cocco    96

Have any of you guys heard the full album yet? What do you think compared to his previous two Goa releases?

 

For me the album grew over time. There are often occasions (or entire songs) where the artist evolved his style and I like that. I think it's good to innovate and expand one's imagination. While not the most groundbreaking thing since sliced cheese, this album deserves more feedback than its gotten so for. I think it will appeal to many E-Mantra fans. :)

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Robbelaar    5

In my opinion this album is HUGE! I didnt like Pathfinder that much, but this album strokes me the right way. So much tracks to love.

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Bill    85

One thing I have to say about E-mantra's stuff is that his stuff can be a bit hard to listen to for the first time. It takes several listens to understand more and more of the songs, especially with all the chaos going around (but in a good way)

 

Agreed completely! I did not like most of Nemesis on the first listen. That said, it does get better with repeat listens. Hermit's Sanctuary is his masterpiece, I feel. Not a bad track in the bunch and each were delicious to my ears from the very first listen.

 

To stay on topic though, "Ayahuasca" is stunning!!! Best track on Nemesis.

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kartoonz    9

Agreed completely! I did not like most of Nemesis on the first listen. That said, it does get better with repeat listens. Hermit's Sanctuary is his masterpiece, I feel. Not a bad track in the bunch and each were delicious to my ears from the very first listen.

 

To stay on topic though, "Ayahuasca" is stunning!!! Best track on Nemesis.

+1

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goa pride    12

i don't like, no melodies.

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johnb820    158

i don't like, no melodies.

Well there are plenty of melodies, but Emanuel's songwriting leaves a lot to be desired, at least for me personally. Fade-in, cutoff/resonance sweep, fade-out, repeat over and over. None of the melodies are compelling because they just come out of nowhere with no focus. Style? Sure, I'll give it that, it's kind of always been an E-Mantra thing. However, I'm not so sure I would be dancing to this stuff once I realized after the third song that there's no explosion or energy to it, just restless plodding compositions.

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Anoebis    435

i don't like, no melodies.

You must be kidding, right? :) on fb one of the comments was: "too much melodies" :D Of course, no in your face melodies (well, in Ayahuasca and Mission Aborted they are in your face), but more psychedelic, subtile melodies... but that's what I love so much about E-Mantra. The hypnotic and subtle melodic compositions... I do feel a lot of energy in the tracks John, although there are no climaxes like with so many other goa-groups... This is more trance-dance music, repeating compositions with slight changes allover the place :)

 

For me, this album is like the return to Arcana :) I agree Pathfinder was a little weaker...

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Richpa    922

In my book this album is nice, but honestly it can't match Arcana which is still one of my favorite albums in last couple of years. However, it's still much better than Pathfinder.

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johnb820    158

I do feel a lot of energy in the tracks John, although there are no climaxes like with so many other goa-groups... This is more trance-dance music, repeating compositions with slight changes allover the place :)

Oh yea definitely! The way the melodies work in and out throughout the songs make it very trancey and subtle. Like I said, it's always been Emanuel's style so I couldn't say Nemesis is all that different from the rest of his work. I don't know sometimes I just crave more clearly defined songs with more of a set up and pay off. Nebula Meltdown has a similar style, making slight changes throughout each song, but I get the feeling Nemesis is directionless where as Stardust Chronicles takes you on a nice journey. Maybe I just need to give Nemesis a few more listens with a different mind set. It's not bad! His production is always amazing, it's just a personal preference.

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goa pride    12

melodies with no climaxes = no melodies

best E-Mantra work is Signals

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Richpa    922

I'm not sure is it the best, but for sure it is the most underrated.

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Aspartic    106

Finally I had the time to listen to this full length new E-Mantra album, Jon! :)
I'm not going to write a large review, but I can say that this is probably the best E-Mantra album to date. Although I expected something harder, this album is a great combination of the rougher Arcana and the melodic Pathfinder.
The album is a journey into space from beginning to end. The whole album is written in the same style: acidic twirls above a clear and extremely powerful bassline.
It's not as rough and chaotic (in a good sense) as Arcana but it's much deeper than Pathfinder. So a nice melting pot of the two.
It has the word "space trip" written all over it. It's futuristic and powerful. And sometimes we are indulged in the sweetest and warmest trance sounds.

In my all time favorites it nicely fits at the first spot together with Artifact303's Back To Space.

E-Mantra has improved and outdone himself here. More please!! And even a bit harder! :D

Congrats to Emmanuel and Suntrip.

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Ormion    434

Not a fan of this album. Together with his debut rank as my least favourite E-Mantra albums.

All tracks go without any sense of direction IMO. Which is bad cause the synths and the bass are all awesome.

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Anoebis    435

In my all time favorites it nicely fits at the first spot together with Artifact303's Back To Space.

 

E-Mantra has improved and outdone himself here. More please!! And even a bit harder! :D

 

Congrats to Emmanuel and Suntrip.

 

Thanks for the review :) At the moment he is working on more progressive like Ovnimoon... Hopefully he will return to darker goa, one day... otherwise, wait for the new generation, enough acidic newcomers :)

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Trance2MoveU    410

Cti5JXL.jpg

 

Artist: E-Mantra

Title: Nemesis

Label: Suntrip Records

Date:

 

1. The Entity
2. Wrath of the Nomads (Rmx)
3. Fall of Icarus
4. Gebeleizis
5. Xibalba
6. Ayahuasca
7. Mission Aborted
8. Orphic Hymn
9. Shae Nab

 

 

CUyI0ga.jpg

 

It takes a lot to be a champion. To be number one or the absolute best at your chosen profession. I was never the best at anything. Emmanuel is though. And he has been for quite a while now. He is the alpha male ibex at the top of goa trance mountain. Let's look at the definition of trance.

 

Trance: noun: trance; plural noun: trances

a half-conscious state characterized by an absence of response to external stimuli, typically as induced by hypnosis or entered by a medium.
Yep. That's what he does. Well what his music does. Maybe he has trouble talking to women, I dunno. Perhaps he is a sh*tty coworker. But his music? If the object of trance is to open your mind and get caught up in the swirling layered vortex of beauty and darkness then welcome to dream town. He opened the door to another universe in his distinct style where the portrait is so vivid and immersive you can feel it on your skin. His music is seamless and has the best flow of any artist out there in my opinion. If I'm E-mantra I drop the mic and say, "Suck it bitches!"
pSbBvog.gif
"E-mantra Nemesis! Goa Trance 2014! What!?!"
Jon's right, the whole album is a lush soundscape with palpable atmospheres. He's painting a picture not with a brush like mere mortals, but with a diamond tipped scalpel. Dark and layered the music is steeped in mystery and magic. It's in a constant state of flux rising and falling, twisting and turning. Entrancing and hopelessly hypnotic with breaks that defy description. Isn't this what we want from our goa trance?
This album has everything you could hope for and in my opinion is the pinnacle of his career thus far. Taking all that was great from Arcana and Pathfinder and combining them into a journey like no other. And I'll go one step further. I believe it to be one of the greatest goa trance releases of the modern era.
E. F*cking. Sential.

 

 

Suntrip

 

Psyshop

 

Beatspace

 

Mdk

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franki    34

Love this album. I much prefer this kind of Goa, with much more subtle melodies to Filteria - for example. The groove is more important than melody, IMO.

Top release!

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NightHex    33

well ..im very proud about my baby

makes me even prouder cuz this was my last goa album

thx for feedbacks people

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