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Modern goa/new school


Psychedelic Alien
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Is it just me or is this genre slowly fading away into the typical boring territory as most other genres? Specially the digital stuff...

Dont get me wrong. I am an old school goa lover by heart, I am in love with most complex goa released these days, but I dont know, it seems like something is changing, for the worse. Labels like Timewarp, Neogoa, Goalogique,... Seem to release mostly very boring, formulaic typical stuff with 1 good track here and there, but mostly it is mediocre at most. Also the last Cronomi was very dissapointing. Luckely not all is bad of course, I still love 80% of what Suntrip does (their last 1.5 year was very strong, no mediocre stuff at all), Goa Madness is doing good stuff and the Matsuri guys are bringing refreshing up to date music. Also Zion604 is clearly on the search to something new. So not all is bad, and I would even say 50% of the cd releases is good... But many of the online only releases are really weak...

 

Reasons I think:

- Everyone can make goa these days, because you just need a lap top

- Because of not burning it on cd, you can just release everything as an online label. There is no more quality control. The more attention, the better!

- Artists are much easier happy because the bar dropped because of mediocre releases (for instance Ohm Mind on Neogoa, is there any good melody in that album?)

- Because everyone knows everyone in the scene honest reviews are not there... people dont write what they think. And if they do, they get attacked. (Like with the UX album)

- Facebook is the key. Promote yourself there will, get 3000 likes and label X or Y will always take you

 

So, in conclusion: labels: keep an eye on the quality! Some do this, but some should really raise the bar! please...

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Did you ever heard about Sturgeon's law? ;)

 

Imo, the ratio of great releases to mediocre crap stays more or less the same throughout the whole history of psy/goa trance but the great tracks become classic while the the crap is being forgotten, therefore we may think that old goa was all killer stuff unlike today.

 

Maybe today we just have more of everything because indeed the tools needed to make pro-quality music are more easily accessible (plugins are cheap or free, yeah, but still, you need at least a powerful machine and decent monitoring) and running a digital label is probably much less expensive than pressing real vinyls or CDs - thus we have more crap, but also more great stuff.

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I can only agree that there is a very homogenous sound in many releases. Old school had wider variety of elements in the tracks and a bigger emphasis on sound design. For example you rarely hear tribal elements in modern goa. Though I have to admit there are a-plenty of forgettable melodies in otherwise well produced tracks (e.g. Cosmic Dimension/Innerspace), soa gain Goa doesn't always need melodies in your face, even good rhythms(attention to the other elements) can make a track huge.

And the artists that produce darker music just vanish or there are just a few. (Amanians...)

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i think you have very legit points

in my opinion obviously

 

but i would not blame any label like neogoa who released most of their music for free

when it is free i still give my opinion when i dont like it - for example i was disappointed with goatma - but when it is free i also have to say thank you for releasing even if i dont like

 

but yes i kind of agree with your whole comment about the current era

funny though - i much prefer neogoa or timewarp to suntrip

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Interesting discussion somehow, I think there is a change happening within this modern goa-movement. Things are starting to become more various and different labels start to focus on different stuff... Hard for me to judge if online only labels deliver less quality. Some are clearly amateurs but some are doing really good I think, and are not "less" because they don't release cds. And more important: never forget those online only releases and their artists are often the launch for other labels! So they are needed...

But if I am talking really honest, it IS true only 10-20% of modern goa appeals me and if we have to make a compilation, it is often even hard to find 10 REALLY good tracks between 200-300... but on the other hand, this is all subjective of course and depends on taste. But yes, if you like high pitched melodic goa these are golden times, if you prefer more floating or darkish stuff, there is less stuff, but always more and more... ;)

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As for reviewing, it IS true I rarely write reviews, because sometimes I don't like a certain release of friends, and then I prefer to be silent instead of pointing at it... Not sure what the best is to do

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Is it possible that goa trance exhausted all its resources (so to speak) and has reached it's limits? I mean you guys are mentioning formulaic sounds. There is not a track in neogoa that has a sound I havent heard before. Same goes for most old school releases. Not sure what novelty you guys are expecting after 20+ years.

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Is it possible that goa trance exhausted all its resources (so to speak) and has reached it's limits? I mean you guys are mentioning formulaic sounds. There is not a track in neogoa that has a sound I havent heard before. Same goes for most old school releases. Not sure what novelty you guys are expecting after 20+ years.

The sounds have been heard before... But the compositions!!! ;) It's like with Rock... A guitar has been done 10000000 before, and still, the right melody/combination/composition can still do wonders! Same for goa... which is far less explored then rock for instance :) still enough possibilities :)

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Is it possible that goa trance exhausted all its resources (so to speak) and has reached it's limits? I mean you guys are mentioning formulaic sounds. There is not a track in neogoa that has a sound I havent heard before. Same goes for most old school releases. Not sure what novelty you guys are expecting after 20+ years.

I'd certainly like to believe this is not the case. I do have to agree about the point about stagnation though. I don't personally like almost anything that's coming out these days. I'm often asking to myself is it the music or just me? Would I put on some old school record and I realize that there's still deeply rooted love for goa trance, just the modern aesthetic of it I'm somewhat tired of.

 

What's missing a lot of times:

1) Proper build-ups/story

2) Melodic ear

3) Proper mix of effect sounds and melodies (like Hux Flux - Time Slices, Psychopod - Dreampod)

 

I'm soon releasing my 2nd album, there's a bit of goa there too. I've really put a lot of work into it, trying in my own way to say how goa trance could be these days. But more later about that...

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Is it possible that goa trance exhausted all its resources (so to speak) and has reached it's limits? I mean you guys are mentioning formulaic sounds. There is not a track in neogoa that has a sound I havent heard before. Same goes for most old school releases. Not sure what novelty you guys are expecting after 20+ years.

No.

No.

 

I have more than enough faith in more than enough producers to bring something completely fresh to the scene.

 

+1 to what Joske said.

 

And I like to wait for wonders.

 

If you read some old topics, what you said was being said even at 2000 ... And also 2005..

 

What happened? Bam bam.. We got some beautiful sexy nasty Goa.

 

What am I expecting - hmm, new take on old sound. Completely new sounds. Mixing up other genres. Favourite old acts finding some inspirations (Zirrex said just today that he has some 12 odd "raw" tracks!)

 

so don't jump to conclusions.

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I'm soon releasing my 2nd album, there's a bit of goa there too. I've really put a lot of work into it, trying in my own way to say how goa trance could be these days. But more later about that...

Ah huh! Very nice ;) good luck. Eager to check it out.

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Totally agree. 2 years ago I though newschool Goa was finally getting more interested, but it seems we're going back in 2007.

I know I sound too negative and I still enjoy most of the newschool Goa out there, but it's very-very hard to hear a new goa track to make me say wow!

 

Reasons IMO:

 

-Too much obsession with the morning sound. Even they so called darker tracks are not really dark

-Dimension 5 sound is still the biggest influence, especially the Second Phaze sound. That means too floaty, too "deep", too straight forward.

-Almost zero twists. In the majority of newschool Goa the first minute is enough to know how the rest of the track will go. Climaxes, build ups, chord changes, drops and unexpected moments are extremelly rare.

-No raw sound. Everything sound too ethereal.

-Overabundance in story telling which is baffling since old school was just kickass melodies and powerful beats. Should I guess that most newschool artists prefer progressive over pure psytrance?

 

However the three biggest flaws IMO are:

 

-Quantity over quality in melodies. I love melodies more than anyone, but I prefer 2-3 memorable melodies over 10 which I would forget 10 seconds later. I don't even mean complex melodies. Some of the most famous Goa melodies are very simple ex. Mahadeva. I don't know if I'm the only one, but I can't remember any melodies in 90% of newschool.

-Removal of psychedelic trance. Old school Goa had many psytrance elements as well, but newschool seems to have remove most of it leaving a pure Goa sound behind. Although this seems reasonable you essentially remove a lot of what made old school so awesome. Stuff like Koxbox, Ofer Dikovsky's projects, UX, Pleiadians especially the FOL sound, Tim Schuldt and numerous other projects were so awesome cause they didn't care if they made Goa or something different.

-New Goa fans are easy to pleased. :P Almost any newschool Goa release is met with praise. Discogs rating is always 4+, ektoplazm rating the same etc. Sometimes I feel that it works like this: it's Goa? It's good. I know that many including me are happy that Goa is back and kicking, when 15 years ago we though is dead, but positive criticism is always welcome.

 

 

Now I know I sound like an old grumpy fart who only likes the good old days, but I buy everything newschool release and enjoy most of them, but after 12 years I think it's time to make the big jump.

Everything I wrote is with love and respect. Kisses.

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-Too much obsession with the morning sound. Even they so called darker tracks are not really dark

-Dimension 5 sound is still the biggest influence, especially the Second Phaze sound. That means too floaty, too "deep", too straight forward.

_________

 

-Quantity over quality in melodies. I love melodies more than anyone, but I prefer 2-3 memorable melodies over 10 which I would forget 10 seconds later. I don't even mean complex melodies. Some of the most famous Goa melodies are very simple ex. Mahadeva. I don't know if I'm the only one, but I can't remember any melodies in 90% of newschool.

-Removal of psychedelic trance. Old school Goa had many psytrance elements as well, but newschool seems to have remove most of it leaving a pure Goa sound behind. Although this seems reasonable you essentially remove a lot of what made old school so awesome. Stuff like Koxbox, Ofer Dikovsky's projects, UX, Pleiadians especially the FOL sound, Tim Schuldt and numerous other projects were so awesome cause they didn't care if they made Goa or something different.

-New Goa fans are easy to pleased. :P Almost any newschool Goa release is met with praise. Discogs rating is always 4+, ektoplazm rating the same etc. Sometimes I feel that it works like this: it's Goa? It's good. I know that many including me are happy that Goa is back and kicking, when 15 years ago we though is dead, but positive criticism is always welcome.

 

 

-quite to the contrary. there's lots of overmelodic eastern stuff, and very little true morning music.

-i don't see any resemlance to second phaze. i wish most newschool was closer to that album. for me most average newschool isn't floaty and deep enough. instead it's random melodies over random melodies, leaving no space for floatiness or anything else.

_______

-yes!

-agreed, but i wouldn't stop there. i don't mind a few fullon (or progressive (if it's the good kind)) elements in my goa either.

-yes, i also criticise that sometimes, but from time to time i'm guilty too. "ooh, there's a goa track in my reddit feed; i have to upvote even if the track isn't that good" ;)

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Is it just me or is this genre slowly fading away into the typical boring territory as most other genres? Specially the digital stuff...

Dont get me wrong. I am an old school goa lover by heart, I am in love with most complex goa released these days, but I dont know, it seems like something is changing, for the worse. Labels like Timewarp, Neogoa, Goalogique,... Seem to release mostly very boring, formulaic typical stuff with 1 good track here and there, but mostly it is mediocre at most. Also the last Cronomi was very dissapointing. Luckely not all is bad of course, I still love 80% of what Suntrip does (their last 1.5 year was very strong, no mediocre stuff at all), Goa Madness is doing good stuff and the Matsuri guys are bringing refreshing up to date music. Also Zion604 is clearly on the search to something new. So not all is bad, and I would even say 50% of the cd releases is good... But many of the online only releases are really weak...

 

Reasons I think:

- Everyone can make goa these days, because you just need a lap top

- Because of not burning it on cd, you can just release everything as an online label. There is no more quality control. The more attention, the better!

- Artists are much easier happy because the bar dropped because of mediocre releases (for instance Ohm Mind on Neogoa, is there any good melody in that album?)

- Because everyone knows everyone in the scene honest reviews are not there... people dont write what they think. And if they do, they get attacked. (Like with the UX album)

- Facebook is the key. Promote yourself there will, get 3000 likes and label X or Y will always take you

 

So, in conclusion: labels: keep an eye on the quality! Some do this, but some should really raise the bar! please...

 

Hello Psychedelic Alien,

 

thank you very much for your feedback and input regarding our work and Neogoa music. Since I'm not involved in the work of other mentioned labels here, I feel obligated to give you couple of details when it comes to our work, music and the idea in general. During the last year (2015) we published 11 releases (all of them available for free and legal download). That is ~12 hours of music, in total 77 original tracks. During that same year, Neogoa achieved over 100 000 downloads only on Ektoplazm for our 2015 releases (other releases or websites aren't counted).

 

So, since 12 hours of music is a lot, let's see what kind of generic music we promoted. If you don't mind, I will take a few examples from our releases (since I assume you checked all of them, so it will be easier for you to understand our perspective on music and our criteria):

 

- JaraLuca debut album: intense Goa trance music, with psytrance flavour, very agressive, but melodic enough. Probably the newcomer of 2015, just as Morphic Resonance was in 2014, thanks to generic Neogoa digital releases.

- The World Beyond compilation: blend between atmospheric downtempo music and very eearie Goa trance sounds. Yet another generic newschool compilation published for free.

- Proxeeus debut album: acidic Goa trance, influenced by oldschool vibe. Not for everyone, but it seems folks in Israel and Japan somehow recognized this digital (and physical) release.

- Lunar Dawn debut album: fantasy elements merged with melodic Goa trance, with unique concept. I agree, you can find this kind of music on each corner. I wonder why they're getting so much invitations to play around the Europe.

- The Faithealers album: oh, somehow we gave a chance to more raw, oldschool technoid Goa sound with a pinch of cinematic atmosphere made by guys behind UX and Kiwa. It can't get more generic than this.

- Jagoa debut EP: chilled Goa sounds with downtempo grooves, this kind of ambient can be found on every corner, especially for free.

 

Other releases that I haven't mentioned includes: Journey Into Sound, GoaTree, Ohm Mind, GoAtma and Sky Technology chillout compilation Sadhana.

 

I understand that we can't have +10 releases per year and to satisfy equaly everyone or to cover all the different tastes. We get that but for Christ sake, saying that we don't have any kind of diversity and putting us in the same basket with other labels who are affraid to give a compilation name that doesn't have GOA word written all over it, or with labels who are making their artwork in MS Paint is a serious crime. As I said, I respect your opinion but I strongly disagree and I'm saying that because I listen and watch what people say or show towards our work. Do you see other label owners offering music for the reviews for free? No. Why am I doing this? Because all critic that we get makes us even stronger and better, it makes us push harder and beyond our own limits. After 6 years we are here, with our little digital label playing on the playground with big boys :) I am proud on myself, on our music, on our work and especially very proud on all lap top artists and on all 3 800 people on our Facebook page, at least they're real followers.

 

Also, I am an old school goa lover by heart, just like you when I started doing this. If you want to change something, I invite you to invest your time, will, money, talent, communication skills, passion and emotion and to change and improve this generic scene. If you don't prefer dealing with music releasing or being bothered checking each month 20-30 new promos/demos (oh yes, if we do release everything we get, we would have like 300 releases per year), you can get the lap top and start making your own music, it's always interesting to explore new talents and creative minds and since it seems that you got taste for the good stuff, I would be glad to check some of it.

 

Yet another thing, if you want so hardly to compare Neogoa with other labels in the same genre, please pay attention towards few details:

 

- how much music they gave for free and legal download

- how much music they promote, release per year

- how many new artists they are promoting or discovering (or do they wait us to see how people will like generic digital releases and after they will get them for CD release) per year?

 

Once again, thank you for your input/feedback, I hope you don't mind me sharing my perspective onto certain things regarding this scene/music. I also invite you to post more reviews for our music, I would be happy to give you high quality WAV files if you're interested :)

 

Cheers!

 

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Well, some very nice input so far, only Richpa, please dont take it all personal. And like usual on this site, we are gonna argue why we release "good goa-trance". In your reply there are some points I want to explain:

 

- Its not because some artists are "popular" in Japan or so, they are good. This is one of the things that is wrong in todays scene. Some artists just promote themselves non stop and the result is "popularity" based on emptyness. One of your artists is very known here in Belgium, and he is more known for spamming as for his music!

 

- You seem to be proud to have released 12 hours of music in 1 year, this seems more quantity over quality to me. Of course there is good stuff in between... But if you would focus on the music, you could have released 3 hours of fantastic music in stead of 9 hours of maximum mediocre one. This is the goal of labels, making sure only the good stuff is released, no?

 

- I dont want to compare. you are a smart guy. You use the social media as a tool, which is a good move these days. Because of this you demand your followers for praising reviews, and then people download. Simple as that and a good move. So every comparision would be wrong, because your tactic is right and smart.

 

- I liked The World Beyond and Jagoa, so this has nothing to do with "you", just with the majority of the music released by neogoa and labels like that.

 

- Last but not least, I talked about Ohm Mind as an example of perfectly generic music. I want you to be honest, is there any tracks you think are amazing or are good enough for a cd release? Because this kind of music is exactly that is destroying the scene these days... (and I could write 10 more names). Always the same presets, always same notes, same sounds and no surprise or twist at all. Then, promoting himself on fb like a god, and the result is there: neogoa-release and blatant popularity.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Ormion: interesting view. I agree dark is not as dark as it used to be, although I have high hopes for Morphic Resonance & Toi Doi (which is not even new). I do not agree there is a lot of morning stuff. Melodic does not mean morning... For morning you need at least a floating atmosphere and some nice melodies which are simple but catchy. Too little of this!

Maybe I can explain myself better. I studied music for a long time and have an ear for harmonies and melodies, and I just feel 80% of todays artists are real amateurs on that matter. You hear/feel this and the result is often not good. This makes the quality lower and causes less good music in the end. And people liking this exist of course... But it will be less and less like this.

 

And to make things even more clear, I am supporting modern goa! Buy every cd I can buy, and go to parties in Belgium occasionaly, but I just want to make sure this movement grows to adulthood! And not to some adolescent inferior subgenre... Because if it keeps growing like this, it will not be taken seriously! (like Nitzhonot a long time ago)

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I share the same feelings as most people that were around during the golden age of Goa. So if you are wondering whether the reason for not liking modern Goa is because you get old and/or you know Goa too well by now and/or new Goa is actually bad and so on so on there is a simple experiment to do. Just listen to some oldschool albums/comps/tracks that you haven't heard before. Do you think they are bad as well? Do you prefer that sound from the modern ones?

 

When I did that experiment to myself I was jumping up and down and turning the volume up after many years. So yeah, for me modern Goa (NeoGoa) is bad.

 

P.S. I am not producing Goa music in any way. I just like to play around with hardware. And honestly I was able to recreate the Astral Projection sound on a Korg Electribe. So yes, anyone can make goa nowadays.

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When I did that experiment to myself I was jumping up and down and turning the volume up after many years. So yeah, for me modern Goa (NeoGoa) is bad.

Well, you cant judge an entire genre, there is really good modern goa. Probably more as most pure old school lovers realise. When I heard Aurora Sidrea the first time, I jumped out of my chair. I had the feeling as with First Flight when I heard it the first time! This compilation is now my nr. 1 since 2000, give it a try. But yes, 70% is very mediocre, hence my topic. I dont want to bash it, I want the people to change it! :) And I want people only truely respect and praise the really good music! Which still exist, only like this, goa has a future ;)

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70% is very mediocre

It is actually good, if we are talking about prog or full-on, 95% of it is mediocre to piss-poor (but the rest 5% is as awesome as it gets, actually I believe that the golden era of psytrance has just began because today we have really amazing possibilities for production and sound-design which weren't available or at least were prohibitively expensive 5 years before).

 

Yesterday I gave a spin to Trust in Trance, and I was actually surpruised how many mediocre tracks it contains. Yes, there are Kabbalah, People Can Fly, Enlightened Evolution, but most other tracks are boring and simplistic. Mindsphere's Mintal Triplex/Presence released this year is much more interesting and diverse album. I understand that if there weren't Trust in Trance there was no Presence, but still, goa has improved a lot (if we judge it accoridng to the best releases).

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i don't mind a few fullon (or progressive (if it's the good kind)) elements in my goa either.

 

Actually, a crossover between goa and psytrance/full-on looks like a good idea :) Psytrance sound design (squelches, FM leads, other weird sounding stuff) and the energy of kbbb bassline plus goa melodics could make killer combinations, I wonder why there are so few tracks based on it.

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Just listen to some oldschool albums/comps/tracks that you haven't heard before. Do you think they are bad as well? Do you prefer that sound from the modern ones?

yes and yes.

 

there's no difference. let's take the first oldschool and newschool copilation that i find in my library:

 

it turns out to be:

VA - Tribal Science.

 

the only good tracks on here are imho space tribe - flipout the dolphin (voodoo edit), mwnn - silicon trip and cydonia - animals (which is the track why i downloaded the comp in the first place).

the rest is mediocre at best. the psychaos track are very average, just like tip, the sounds in prana gets on my nerves within a few seconds and even the second mwnn track has a horrible, uninspired melody in the middle (which is surprising because there's hardly a track by him that i don't like).

 

for newschool is was:

VA - Goamystica Vol. 1.

 

the good tracks here imho are khetzal - damocles, imba & jagoa - unidentified flying spores and fiery dawn - feelings.

space elves and somnesia have melodies i don't like, cactus arising and maiia303 are nice, but not special enough to get a "good" rating in my library, afgin is horribly cheesy and the rest is just average.

 

 

surprisingly there are exactly 11 tracks in both compliations (no i really didn't pick them or plan this) so the comparison is easy to make. 3/11 tracks are good in the oldschool compilation and 3/11 tracks are good in the newschool compilation. the rest is just average.

 

i've been disappointed by newschool and have therefore turned to oldschool instead multiple times, each time only finding that the percentage of good music wasn't better back then, it's rather that the average and bad tracks sound different. much of that used to be amateurish, boring music with bad sound design, now it's music with "standardised" sounds playing a constant and tiring stream of forgettable eastern.

 

maybe we disagree because i wasn't there in the golden days and don't have fond memories of the time?

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Yesterday I gave a spin to Trust in Trance, and I was actually surpruised how many mediocre tracks it contains. Yes, there are Kabbalah, People Can Fly, Enlightened Evolution, but most other tracks are boring and simplistic. Mindsphere's Mintal Triplex/Presence released this year is much more interesting and diverse album.

 

 

 

the psychaos track are very average

 

george-carlin-freakout.gif

 

 

 

 

I recently purchased Full On Vol.3 and Future Navigators and both blew me away. So no nostalgia involved.

 

Tracks like this don't exist anymore.

 

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