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Richpa

Imba - First Encounter (Suntrip Records)

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Richpa    863

14595831_10209447634640758_6860827271874

 

 

Tracklist:

01 - Imbaba & 303 Trancers
02 - Hidden Paradise
03 - Cosmos In Her Eyes
04 - First Encounter
05 - Blacklight Beings
06 - Creature Of Heaven
07 - Digital Non-Sense (featuring Ephedra)
08 - Lydia Delay - After All (Imba Remix)
09 - Rising Sun

 

For all of you who are into Goa trance but still don’t know who Imba is, I suggest to start with his netlabel UAF Records and one of his first Goa trance projects – Space Elves (alongside with Arronax, CoaGoa and SETI Project), you will slowly get the feeling about his work, ideas and style. First Encounter is his debut full-lenght album, to be released on December 9th this year on Suntrip Records. Since Nikola Petrović (yeah, that’s guy behind Imba project) from Niš is owning me a couple of beers (and even more rakijas), I was blessed to get a digital copy of his new album fresh from mastering studio in return (Balkan Goa Mafia – it’s not a joke, it’s a reality), so instead of keeping it for myself, I decided to throw out few words about this release.

 

It comes with 9 new tracks and believe it or not – only one remix and one collaboration track. Yeah, it became some sort of bad joke to call out Imba for making so much remixes or collaboration tracks, but hey, some of the best remixes released on our label were made by him (Cellar Door, Blessings From Irij). Take a minute to think about it. As I said, new album has a lot of solo material to offer and it kicks off with Imbaba track and his 303 trancers (not sure who are thoose folks, but it seems they like acid). At the first listen you can already be assured you’ll get Imba vibe, not Imba wanna be someone else vibe. It has amazing acidic lines, perfect groove and flawless arrangement. It doesn’t try to sound ‘big’ or ‘epic’ it delivers Goa-groove and nice ride. Few melodies come and go, but it’s not your casual melodic Goa, it’s Imbabagoa. First track and I’m already liking this. Judging by the name, Hidden Paradise should be more ‘serious’ track and guess what? It is. Unlike first one, Hidden Paradise brings more melodies, a bit more of oldschool vibe and some really interesting breaks filled with nice vocals. It’s not my favorite track on the album, but if you’re into more emotive and deep Goa music, this one might do the work. However, I would love to hear the same track but with a bit more diverse and recognizable climax.

 

Cosmos In Her Eyes was the track that I had a chance to hear even earlier and I liked the version that has been posted, but this one seems a bit improved and upgraded. Unlike the second track Cosmos In Her Eyes has slightly better climax and more interesting details throughout the track. Perhaps it’s just me, but I find this one to be one of the better Imba’s works released so far. Ahhh here we go. Aliens. Yes, Nikola loves aliens and it doesn’t suprise me why he decided to choose this track as a release title (First Encounter). It makes absolute sense because it’s one of the better tracks on this album. Fast pacing, acid lines, invoking melodies and cool speeches. I’m liking it a lot and I think it will grow on me even more. Blacklight Beings starts with an unexpected intro – I would say it fits more to some psychill or downtempo music, but after the break it picks up to more straight-forward psychedelia. Not sure why, but it’s one of the lesser Goa tracks here. Unusual kickdrums and effects starts to appear, but not in a negative way, it just doesn’t feel right as previous tracks. I’m sure it’s more an experimentation (even it still sounds like Goa music, it doesn’t deliver that much of Goa for my personal taste).

 

With Creature Of Heaven we have totally different story, more details, more melodies, more snares and build-ups. Without any doubt this will become a true dancefloor anthem. Not sure does anyone from Suntrip tested it already on some gig, but I have feeling it’s one of thoose special tracks to be played in front of crowd. I think this sums up pretty much what you can expect from Creature Of Heaven. Ohh, here is Ephedra. And he doesn’t like digital things, just like Imba. Well, unlike the digital non-sense, this collaboration track got a lot of sense. It’s enjoyable Goa ride, spiced up with Ephedra flavour just in perfect moment to make this album even more interesting. I don’t know who Lydia Delay is, but the remix is another nice track on this album. It leans more towards classical trance sound with big and epic melodies, not chessy, but… you know, just trance. What makes the difference here is Imba’s capability to put enough of Goa ingridients to make it sound enjoyable and danceable. Not my favorite track, but it has nice groove.

 

Last track on this album – Rising Sun isn’t a downtempo. Shocker! Yeah, I expected some downtempo or goachill for the ending, but Imba doesn’t agrees, he wants to finish this album in style so you will go through 9 minutes of really mystical, but fast-paced Goa music. Not sure why, but this track reminded me on one old Trancemaster compilation tune – it also has catchy lead melody. Nice track for the ending.

 

So was it good? More than that. There are many reasons why I consider First Encounter more than just good. First reason is because we worked on Impossible Astronaut release for Neogoa earlier this year, and somehow I couldn’t put enough of attention towards this (newer) material. The other reason might be really nice Suntrip release schedule for this year, including a bit more anticipated releases (at least in my case) such as Ra or Morphic Resonance, so Imba wasn’t on the spotlight for me.

 

I guess I was wrong because this album brings exactly what it’s supposed to be – Imba sound. If you’re one of thoose guys who followed him around since his first compilations on Phototropic or UAF Records, you’ll know what you can expect. It doesn’t try to be different or someone else, it’s realistic, it brings groove and it’s more or less straight-forward Goa music. I can say it’s a little bit linear on certain parts, and it wouldn’t hurt it to have a bit more variations, but it won’t bother you if you like this guys work.  Regarding the artwork, I’m not the biggest fan of generic Goa artworks, but I know how much Imba likes alien imagery (as many of you), so this one makes sense.

 

Conclusion:

Even it's a bit short review under first few listens I can recommend First Encounter because it represents 7-8 years of hard-work by Nikola, not only in music making or music releasing, but also as being an important and vital part of this scene and culture. I didn't have any big expectations and I was positivley suprised by this album. It doesn't try or want to be something else, it's just honest and danceable Goa music from Balkan region - made with a lot of passion and as such, it should get a deserved attention and support.

Music & idea - 80%
Sound & production - 86%
Artwork & visuals - 61%


Overall Score - 76%

 

For more informations about this release, please visit official Suntrip Records website.

Written by Richpa.

 

Review and poll can be found here: http://www.neogoa.net/first-encounter-review/

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Celaripo    148

i am surprised richpa you give so much weight to the importance of the artwork - is it really a criteria that should represent 33% of the final rating?

i mean your review of the music itself is a 8.3/10 and it goes down to 7.6 because of the artwork - i dont think it is fair but that is my personal opinion of course

 

i like this album, like you said it is not innovative but very well made and i was already pleased in the past by imba 's work

it is a good improvement of his recent 5 tracks album and we can definitely feel passion and nostalgia behind this sound

i would give this album a good 7/10 and i am sure imba will produce something even better in the future but that is already very good

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Richpa    863

i am surprised richpa you give so much weight to the importance of the artwork - is it really a criteria that should represent 33% of the final rating?

i mean your review of the music itself is a 8.3/10 and it goes down to 7.6 because of the artwork - i dont think it is fair but that is my personal opinion of course

 

i like this album, like you said it is not innovative but very well made and i was already pleased in the past by imba 's work

it is a good improvement of his recent 5 tracks album and we can definitely feel passion and nostalgia behind this sound

i would give this album a good 7/10 and i am sure imba will produce something even better in the future but that is already very good

At some point you're right and it's one of the reasons why I decided to introduce a different aspect of rating the certain release. If you're aiming for music only, than judging by the score it gets 8+ grade, but for me personally, as a guy who pays a lot of attention to visual side of things, I had to point out what I like or dislike. Afterall, music comes with artwork and perhaps it's not in the focus for many people or reviewers (such as mastering for example), but I don't see any reason why we shouldn't give more attention to thoose things as well. To be fair with this one, I didn't enjoyed my own take with visuals on the EP because I personally dislike that type of imagery, but since artist connects his music throught that kind of imagery, I can understand.

 

Without being biased here, album is really good and it will be exciting to see where he will go next with his production :)

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antic604    497

I planned to start this by saying that I'm disappointed with the release, but actually that's not entirely correct...

 

To be completely honest I knew this will be underwhelming (definitely the weakest Suntrip Rec. release in 2016 even if I wasn't very keen on Ra's "Earthcall") and played back to back with recent albums of Artha, Crossing Mind, Mindsphere, Ephedra or - to take something non Goa-Trance - Nervasystem; it's clear Imba's only learning the ropes and while he's got the technical side covered, his music writing skills need to catch up. 1st thing to note here is the bass lines - he stubbornly insists on the 'galloping' bass which is present for like 90% of the time, not helped by playing it on too high a note (or by adding a hi-frequency components), which results in it sounding like a lot of (morning) full-on music used to sound few years ago: very static, monotonous, boring. There were several times after a break or bridge when I hoped something great and unusual would happen, only to be assaulted by that annoying K_BBK_BBK_BBK_BB pattern... 2nd thing are the acid lines - they're largely fine, there's plenty of them (which is great!) and they're very clear homage to classic psychedelic trance of 90's, but somehow they fail to deliver on the energy - I don't know if it's the issue with mixing or the way Imba designs his sounds, but acids work best when - within their full range for cutoff & resonance - they contain both the low growls as well as highly resonant twirls. I couldn't really hear it here, it's all sort of in a very narrow, controlled frequency range, with the most sonically "exciting" parts left out below and above that range. 3rd thing - tied to 1st, somewhat - is that musically the album is very constrained, with melodic variations firmly rooted to the monotonous basslines and limited to short 16-32 note (4-8 kicks) loops. It gets better in 2nd part of the album, in particular in tracks #5-7 but it never even touches the storytelling qualities or emotional impact of above mentioned artists. Some of the Astral Projection-like bell" melodies in early tracks are particularly annoying, slowing the otherwise dynamic tracks to a crawl...

 

As said, I wasn't surprised because after reading comments like this or this it's pretty clear that - at this point of his development, at least - Imba's focused on the technique, on making the dancefloor "rock" and this he's got spot on! I only hope that in few years we'll see him develop further beyond the craftsmanship and into the realm of artistry. He has the skills, he has the ideas, he has the experience - what he misses (IMO, of course) is some music theory, some craziness in his arrangements; maybe he should try writing some other non-trance stuff?

 

Incidentally, this comment in Richpa's review:

 

...believe it or not – only one remix and one collaboration track. Yeah, it became some sort of bad joke to call out Imba for making so much remixes or collaboration tracks...

 

...is actually backwards - he SHOULD collaborate as much as possible, because that's where his technical expertise complements somebody else's musical chops, resulting in great tracks like many of his remixes or collaborations, original Space Elves (Imba + CoaGoa, SETI Project & Arronax) album included.

 

3/5 from me - it will surely work a treat on the dancefloor, but does little to satisfy couch listeners :)

 

BTW, I love the cover art here!

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Imba    295

Happy to read 'negative' critics too and i exactly know what you think!

 

But i already stated that i was focused towards modern sound. I didn't want to recycle old sound so i choosed something 'new', something you don't have much in Goa these days - clean production. Just like Morphic Resonance leaves his signature trough darkish and crazy sounds, Crossing Mind trough melancholic melodies, mine signature is 'my production'. But when you compare bass or melodies to rest of Goa trance is not much different, it's just more EQed, compressed and sidechined - modern :)

 

As you noted i need music theory and yes i have 0, everything i make i make by ear and i was never attracted to study it while im 'addicted' to mixing. To be honest i had total freedom while making it and i am super happy because that. I expressed myself at present time and there is nothing better than that - full freedom and no rules or limitations for your creations. Every single little sound and noise was by my wish. And that's my vision of Goa trance these day.

 

These days i got so many msgs, hourly and most of them are about modern sound. People are happy that they have 'compromise' between old and new sound. And yes, dancefloor exploding non stop and i was shocked to see that, i didn't expected such thing.

 

I am trully happy because all of this but i am really sorry you are disapointed. As they say, you can't satisfy everyone :( Hopefuly you will enjoy some future releases, there will be few more old sounding tracks. Thank you for feedback! :)

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antic604    497

@Imba, there's nothing wrong with your sound and the choices you've made, but review is - as I see it, mind - a deeply subjective thing and I just want something more from music than a good drive, deep rolling bass and squaky acids/FX. Those are obviusly important, after all it's music to dance to, and you got that covered already which in itself must have taken a lot of work and dedication! As I said, in 2nd half of the CD I clearly see there's potential for you to reach the next level, to get past the "technical" side and express yourself in more emotional, musical - or maybe more crazy & psychedelic - manner. And just like Hallucinogen, Cosmosis or Koxbox who - for me, at least - peaked with their second albums, I'm convinced you'll get there too and the immediate success you're finding in the parties or on the festivals will give you confidence to do so!

 

I'm happy you take my criticism so constructively and please keep in mind that any art form - music in particular - shouldn't be created with a mindset of catering to someone's tastes or expectations. It's got to come from you - your heart, your emotions, your ideas. If it's true and genuine it will find the audience, but you can't indeed satisfy everyone. And you shouldn't try to :)

 

:wub:

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LunarDawn    86

any art form - music in particular - shouldn't be created with a mindset of catering to someone's tastes or expectations. It's got to come from you - your heart, your emotions, your ideas. If it's true and genuine it will find the audience, but you can't indeed satisfy everyone. And you shouldn't try to :)

  :wub:

I sign this 604%!!!

I will write my 2 cents after thoroughly listening to this piece, i lack of time to give it a proper fullength listen... ;)

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MrAnarchy    221

I havent seen this much constructiveness and comradery on internet...well... ever! What a pleasant read.

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recursion loop    443

Really dig the album. Lot of effort put into production quality and I think this pays off - clean kicks, driving basses, catchy acid lines, all sounds excellent. What I often dislike about goa is that there are many screechy ear-piercing tones coming from high resonances, here it is carefully controlled.

 

I hope to hear more melodic and sonic variety in future releases but what we have here is already very good.

 

Hidden Paradise  :wub:

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Imba    295

What I often dislike about goa is that there are many screechy ear-piercing tones coming from high resonances, here it is carefully controlled.

 

 

Same here! That's why i spent 2-3 months of mixing per track, i wanted to get max from what i have at this moment. Future releases to be even more cleaner... EP is in progress :)

 

 

Thanks a lot, glad you enjoyed! 

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goa pride    12

boring full on

melodic goa trance is dead

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LunarDawn    86

That's why i spent 2-3 months of mixing per track

Good approach. Mix. Then rest ears and come back after few days. Repeat until satisfied. I do the same and it works pretty much, gradation of LD sound can be heard from first release onwards, same with you as I see.

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MrAnarchy    221

I sat on this one for a bit longer so that I can see how exactly I feel about this. + What i like, - Dont like (Based on TASTE)

 

+ Suntrip and Nikola personally have done a great job of getting the album out there with a lot of interesting FB posts and promotion on local parties where you can buy the cd etc...

+ Good production

+ I like Nikola's position on this album and how he took his time to perfect it to his taste

+ Very energetic music and high bpm

+ Variety. Some tracks do sound similar which will be the point of next bullet, but there are some good exclusions to that like: 3,5 and 9 for an example

+ Cosmos In Her Eyes is hands down the best track on this album for me.

- -/+ Predictable. Throughout the album I had a feeling that I knew what was going to happen 15 seconds before it does and how he is going to do it. Its like I heard the tracks before but I didn't. I had this feeling the most when he was building op to blast his full on melodies. Now, Im not sure if this patterned musical mindset that he has when he is making music is bad or good. Good because he found the formula that he likes and that works (+) and bad because it gets predictable (- -).

- Cover. Dont like it. Think it's goofy and too colorful 

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Trance2MoveU    361

I4Q2azm.jpg

 

Artist: Imba

Title: First Encounter

Label: Suntrip Records

Date: December, 2016

 

1. Imba & 303 Trancers

2. Hidden Paradise

3. Cosmos In Her Eyes

4. First Encounter

5. Blacklight Beings

6. Creature of Heaven

7. Imba & Ephedra - Digital Non-Sense

8. Lydia Delay - After All (Imba Remix)

9. Rising Sun

 

"At that moment, I looked into her eyes and saw...eternity."

 

xICN6LK.gif

 

Great, now I don't know where to stare! 

 

Yes I do.

 

Antic's review had so many spot on points (bass lines, dynamism, etc.) that there isn't much to add.  Our boy does love aliens and this is surely cosmic melodic alien goa trance.  Anyone else feel like it's our younger brother growing up before our eyes?  The science fiction vibe permeates the entrie album which makes sense because like I said he loves him some aliens.  Like Richpa mentioned this album sounds exactly like you'd expect it to sound based on his previous works.  Melodies and 4 on the floor trancey dance music.  So while not surprising and hardly revolutionary, it's enjoyable for what it is.  I didn't hear many empty moments and was particularly impressed with the sounds and emotions elucidated when the kick was absent.  His breaks felt very organic and his sample game is on point.

 

Fair to say that he's on the right track and just needs to expand the dynamic range (depth) in his music as well as work on his bass line variation.  I liked the cover also.  One does want a hint of color, yes?

 

Suntrip

 

Psyshop

 

Beatspace

 

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LunarDawn    86

...and just needs to expand the dynamic range (depth) in his music...

I have to pinpoint here that (if I get this correctly) Imba himself said that he likes heavy pumped Tim Schuldt mastering, and that´s probably the thing with dynamic absence. But again, matter of taste - I am always fan of dynamic range over any loudness for example. Yet I still like some overpumped stuff, fuk me I am often contradictory to myself lately hahahaha ;)

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Novoice    13

I like it very much. Definitive one of the good albums, and the style is driven, powerful and very psy! For me Goatrance as it should be...

 

Very, very nice kicks!!! The kicks are not predictable compared to the normal kind of kicks... So: For me it fits perfect!

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Jon Cocco    79

SUNCD44_medium.jpg

 

Tracklist:

01 - Imbaba & 303 Trancers
02 - Hidden Paradise
03 - Cosmos In Her Eyes
04 - First Encounter
05 - Blacklight Beings
06 - Creature Of Heaven
07 - Digital Non-Sense (featuring Ephedra)
08 - Lydia Delay - After All (Imba Remix)
09 - Rising Sun

I've been meaning to review this for months. Some of these songs will be great for dance floors. But for home listening (me personally) not so much. And for home listening I found a good amount to enjoy here. 

 

1. Imbaba and 303 Trancers is very dance friendly, though that seems to be its priority above almost everything else. To me, this can be described as club (or more formulaic) Goa. For starters, the synths (acid lines?) are so in-my-face. They stand out too much. Furthermore, there are very few melodies. This relentless, rough approach (for me) grew grew tiresome and more repetitive than the song is, early on. There's hardly any room to breath! Moreover, the song left me with no room to explore, travel, or be tranced. I feel forced to dance rather than imaginatively lured into an adventurous fantasy reflective of so many great Goa tracks. The song has lots of energy and momentum. Morphic Resonance's City of Moons [the album] had that too. But its approach kept me immersed, hooked, and refreshed. I do like the segment from 4:39 to 5:06, but even that would eventually get tiresome. The fifth minute forward I found too similar sounding, and the hard-edged, in-my-face synth and beat tired me out before the song was over. That said, this is probably solid for dance floors, DJ's, and clubs, and with few exceptions, I can see general mainstream electronic fans saying it's awesome because of its relentless energy. I realize that my criticisms can be argued away since the artist was intentionally making this the way it is but that doesn't mean I have to like it (as a whole).  B-

2. Hidden Paradise thankfully dives deeper into storytelling development and variety. There's a beautiful lead at 1:22 that reminds me of Transwave's Land of Freedom. It's very nice! However, the synth at 1:49 turns the track into formulaic club trance. What happened? The song went from promising to predictable quick! Thankfully 3:16 introduces hymns that add feeling. The skipping melodies sound great. The synths aren't too in-my-face like the opening track. I can breath. Also nice are several interludes and tempo changes, and the ambient influence is great. These aspects create a healthier, more developed, and satisfying chapter. There's a pretty cool Goa meets Psy combo in the sixth minute before another interlude. Here the artist reprises the epic Trance anthem via 7:30, unfortunately turning the song back into, what feels like -- a mainstream club trance influenced (commercial Goa?) song. I can see this divided audiences, at least Goa listeners, Imba fans, etc. The song is sure to appeal the general club trance scene. Compared to the first track, this is so much more varied and alive, and yet it could have been excellent if it lost the training wheels and let the spirit of Goa-Trance guide its soul throughout, or replaced those contrived segments with something more akin to Goa. Still I enjoyed many aspects of this song. Good track!  B+

3. Cosmos In Her Eyes has a beautiful, cosmic opening. Now would it be possible for a song to carry that gorgeous opening feel throughout the entire song while never getting repetitive? The first act, though a bit simple in arrangement, builds around an atmospheric backdrop with soundscapes. The voice sample at 3:25 is effectively used to enhance the story while doubling as a transitional tool for fresh ingredients. The second involves warmer melodies melodies coupled with very nice atmosphere with ambient elements to boot. It's engaging! There is a second voice sample at 5:25 before the last, delectably homogenous act. The song's dreamlike approach pulls me in, unlike the first track that kept associating my mind to dance floors, or the second Track that that infrequently made me feel like DJ Tiesto was trying to spin incorporate his House and/or Trance set to Imba's next visionary album. I'm all but swept away here by other-worldly landscapes. The song is vision driven. It sounds so passionately produced, full of heart and spirit. The song is a beautiful piece of work, and one of the artist's best tracks to date. Beautiful work! Well done!  A-

4. First Encounter is more energetic. The first main lead at 1:30 stands out so much that it all but drowns out its supporting layers (a reoccurring issue I have with the album). It's joined with another main melody. The sound selection is great, though the arrangement is repetitive and predictable; also the leads stand out a little too much, thus not allowing supporting sounds to feel more rhythmic which could have produced more complex sound designs (another issue I have with the album). The main melody exits at 3:17. I realize Imba likes melody leads (which we so often praise), but they stand out so much that their sound volume in addition to their lack of variety in arrangement makes the songs (at times) feel less layered and more monotonous and close-up (obvious) than they are. The last act doesn't change in style obviously. I get bored. I want to hear something more intelligent, ambitious, and imaginative, as Imba proved he's capable of in his collaborative Sevilla In Trance track on Suntrip's Ten Spins Around the Sun compilation. Hearing that created excitement for his main albums. I miss hearing work with that infectious (never generic sounding) complexity. Where is THAT Imba? Sigh... This song isn't bad if you're looking to dance, or for clubs that play trance I suppose. it's Goa influenced, so it has that going for it. But not in the way I prefer.  B-

5. Blacklight Beings appears to have less Goa influence than previous tracks which is ironic considering this sounds more distinct than almost every songs on the album. The first half is pretty unambitious, as though we're going through the motions. It would have benefitted from having a more intriguing buildup. From around 4:50 forward is where the song starts to get interesting to me. Crossing the fifth minute (at 5:14), the artist showcases a delectably engaging segment of mechanical complexity. It's excellent. Now why couldn't more of the album be as catchy as that? Not only is it super catchy for home listening. It's also super catchy for dance floors! A wave of ambient soon arrives. It's very nice! This follows a buildup to climax in the sixth minute. The last act is uplifting and fun, despite the simple arrangement. The closing ambient is nice too. Good track!  B

6. Creature Of Heaven opens with evocative ambient. It's engaging, though I'm finding that the songs aren't always on the same level as the fantastic introductions to them. The energy picks up with a lead that, well I'm sure you can guess. The first half is pretty standard. I was expecting an epic, spectacular dance-friendly track after reading some of the praise above. What I got was a fairly catchy sounding lead without a memorable arrangement for a third of the song. There's a break. The beat disappears and at 5:13 a wave of emotive ambient arrives (very nice along with the intros), followed by a voice sample about wars, land, and power. It is here that I'm hooked. This part adds substance and character, but it should have a song that is on par and as powerful as a prominent, highlighted moment like this that compliments it. The ambient/voice (from a film) provides FEELS, despite the uptempo work not capturing the same magic. Still I have to consider the style. The music grows catchier in the last act, and the ambient compliments it.  B

7. Digital Non-Sense (featuring Ephedra) again starts with a promising opening. The first act's melody work is nice. It sounds more layered and rhythmic thankfully. A transition gives way to bouncy (catchy!) synths via 4:33. The song's fifth and sixth minute are good too. The skipping ambient notes, also used earlier, are great. There is a really nice shift in arrangement and sound at 7:30. A voice sample arrives and the music returns. There's a lot that engages me in this song compared to some of the other songs on this album. The synths jump out, but enough supporting sounds compliment them, so I'm tired or bothered by anything lead-oriented thanks to a healthy variety of ideas, execution, and mixing. While nothing spectacular, this is a positive step in the right direction, Goa-Trance wise. It doesn't sound like standardized Trance influence nor formulaic. Cool track!  B+

8. Lydia Delay - After All (Imba Remix) is an example (at least in the first half) where the synths are more rhythmically integrated with the whole. This approach allows more enjoyable details e.g., ambient, atmosphere, and soundscapes to breath! The journey is seamless, fluid, and delectable; it's beautifully composed. Then we reach an interlude that is elegant, mystical, and intriguing. Everything sounds great thus far. There's a quick buildup after that. Unfortunately the returning music at 4:29 sounds too club trance influenced. What happened to the mystical vision and vibe? After this detraction to Goa enthusiasts, the song's sixth and seventh minute improve. Unfortunately, the second act takes away from the more mature GOA feel in favor of returning to a safer, more Trance-friendly sound.  B

8. Rising Sun begins with a poignant, ambient opening. The arrangement early on starts nice, but grows a bit repetitive to me. An interlude and a voice sample allows a catchier, stronger segment and lead to arrive. The lead never appears too loud and prominent in the tiresome sense. It's good! The returning music is more energy and drive, very nice. We reach another island (interlude via 5:42 which ignites even tastier complexity. While no melody or particular section sticks to me in memory, no part of the song take away from the overall whole. The last third loses some melodies in favor of a zippier segment, and are thankfully joined by a very nice albeit fairly repetitive melody in the last 1-2 minutes. I love the final seconds. It makes me wonder how great  a Goa-Influenced down (and occasionally mid) tempo album could be by this artist. Solid closing!  B+
 
CONCLUSION

There's a lot I like and don't like here. Where to begin? The intros are intriguing and mystical. But the overall style and the songs (at times) sound generic compared to them. I love the artist's use of ambient. It creates warmth and emotion, though the personality of the tracks does not always reflect the promising impression of the ambient introductions. I really enjoyed chunks of Hidden Paradise, the entirety of Cosmos In Her Eyes, the second half of Blacklight Beings, the first half of Lydia Delay - After All (Imba Remix) and Rising Sun. Unfortunately, I can't escape the more mainstream sounding style and Trance influence that makes certain songs (or parts of them) sound too formulaic at times. Some of these songs just sound too similar too, or at least extended parts of them do. It's as if the artist took Goa melodies, plus some extra Goa ingredients, and made a Trance structured album with them with exception to a few tracks. There is some beautiful work as the album progresses. I simply wish the artist would swim further away from the shallow waters and produce a definitive [stellar] Goa-Trance album if producing electronic music is going to be his legacy unless he prefers to do mainstream-influenced Trance Goa (if that makes sense). The end result here is a mixture of good, great, and some not so great work, the latter more likely to please the general Trance crowd despite Goa influence (more or less) in virtually every track. If Imba enjoys this type of style music, he should stick with it despite criticisms. He could improve this less elaborate approach, and take the safer (potentially more profitable?) route assuming this release is really that successful. It's bound to attract positive comments from a few those less familiar with Goa music, and probably a few who love Goa as well. To the contrary, many Goa listeners have stepped away from anything that sounds like general Trance. We prefer more spice to our tea, complexity (for the most part), fantasy, and depth. Unfortunately, I feel like these, with few exceptions and along with some other more advanced aspects of Goa-Trance, took a backseat to this album despite the enjoyable, fun parts.

 

One of my biggest problems with this album, is that many of the synths that the artist selected, stand out too much on their own, instead of coming together more cohesively to compliment the whole. Another issue is the more club-friendly trance influence despite NO track ever sounding like "club trance" (at least not as a whole) per say. Nevertheless, these more standard (formulaic, predictable... call them what you will) influences take away from the more imaginative and delectable aspects of Goa-Trance. Maybe Imba was going for higher sales, tracks with appeal to a wider (less Goa alone) audience. Maybe the idea was to make Goa-Trance sound more mainstream friendly. I don't know. I mean, who doesn't want higher sales? I think Imba's great with Goa-Trance, and I'm glad his tilt is towards Goa here, despite some of the melody arrangements lacking complexity and appearing to go through-the-motions at times. The album has many evocative moments (mainly the intros and interludes), buildups, and other changes to keep the general listener entertained. I'm sure some of these songs will do well on dance floors and I enjoyed a handful for home listening (more or less). I simply don't know if Goa listeners (primarily when it comes to home listening) will feel the same, by and large. That said, those looking for fun, more mainstream sounding Goa-influenced tracks should find plenty to like here. Even in terms of Goa, the artist has done some great work. But for me, I expected more, or rather something different. I mean, if you want to make a more mainstream friendly Goa album with more memorable melodies, listen to EPHEDRA's Citric Storm song from 2016's "Flying Over the Universe" album. Or RA's 12th Hour (with. Menkalien) song. The leads on those albums stand out, but never too much for their own good, All in all, viewers should listen to this album, at least online, and decide what they think for themselves. Nitpicks and complaints (constructive criticism) aside, this is a pretty solid release.

 
Favorite songs:  2, 3, 5, 7, 9

B

Sample / Order
https://www.suntriprecords.com/release/cat/SUNCD44/

 

Stream the full album here!

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Novoice    13

I like it very much. Definitive one of the good albums, and the style is driven, powerful and very psy! For me Goatrance as it should be...

 

Very, very nice kicks!!! The kicks are not predictable compared to the normal kind of kicks... So: For me it fits perfect!

Btw: Good production quality.

 

Sorry, didt want to quote my own post, wanted to edit... However, nice music.

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Mozza    9

Btw: Good production quality.

True. Its great to see how much his sound improved over the years..

Hidden paradise is my personal favorite but I really like tracks like First Encounter, Blacklight Beings and Creature of Heaven.

Good work Imba & Suntrip! :)

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Hello Imba.

 

Congratulations to your release on Suntrip!!

 

I havent listened to your album yet, although i skimmed thru a few tracks on youtube just to get a grasp of the sound.

Just wanted to say that I think it sounds clean, and I kind of like your sound even though it reminds me a bit of a generic mix between Electirc Universe (post-goa) and Talamasca (post-goa).

 

They both made sweet goa then changed direction into a more fullon style, "progressive goa" and there is nothing wrong with that, but I get why people get turned off from it.

Either way I might return here once I listened to the album. I have 1 year+ of catching up to do, music-wise.

 

 

 

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Manuser    238

I really like this album, I mean it is not too often these days you can hear modern goa trance with room between the layers, all tracks are nicely built with impressive attention to details. Imba's sound improved dramatically since the first track I heard back in 2013! (that was the track in Sideffect compilation).

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Aspartic    70

I can confirm that Imba's tracks set the trancefloor on fire! Without mercy, Imba, amongst others, pushed the limits of our dancing endurance.
His set at Dreamwaves II (Belgium) on 22/12/18 was amazing. I think the whole album was presented to us. The beats and rollercoasters took us to another world. His b2b with Ephedra was the cherry on the cake.
Well done, Imba! And nice talking to you and Ephedra outside. :D

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