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Jaza

Unknownium - Self titled LP (BMSS Records)

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Jaza    30

Released January 15, 2018.

Purchase from: https://bmssrecords.bandcamp.com/album/unknownium

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1. Unknownium  07:15

2. Squareish Sawtooth  06:58

3. Absent Presence  06:31

4. Greasy Roller  07:01

5. Four Sided Triangle  08:06

6. Blackholes  07:46

7. Someone Elses Memories  06:34

8. Randomness of Thought  07:10

 

My interest was piqued a few weeks ago when the top-quality psy DJ Boom Shankar (who's always impressed me when I've seen him live) announced that Psilocybian and one half of Lunar Dawn had completed a full-length LP to be released on his label BMSS Records. Yesterday's release by the duo who've adopted the name Unknownium was an instant purchase without even listening to a sample.

I'm not inclined to do a track by track review. I've only had three full listens and not sure that's my style anyway. But this is a gem.

I'd describe it as sitting loosely in the "morning full-on" genre, but what makes it stand out is how it carefully straddles the known patterns that make this style enjoyable and popular while bringing something fresh to the table.

In today's world where a lot of music is released that falls under the very broad umbrella of "full on" and "morning full on" that are WAY TOO REPETITIVE AND LACKING UNIQUE SOUNDS, this stands out very quickly. It's a timeless style that is still a lot of fun for the dancefloor and even good for the mind when done well, but I've more or less given up on hunting new releases given how hard it is to find gems amongst the magnitude of shit that gets released. I know I probably miss some good stuff but I chase up tunes I hear at parties and trust a few labels to check them frequently, but I leave it at that rather than surf through rubbish frequently.

This release does not fall in to that trap at all. The production is sharp, which is no surprise with Psilocybian involved, but it's the song-writing that stands out here. Words fail me in describing how these tracks progress. They tend to unfold fairly quickly, only one track cracks the 8min mark, but each stands out with a different approach to sequencing and flow. The 303 sound is prominent throughout but to varying degrees from track-to-track, which aligns with the fact that each track has a unique atmosphere. As much as I absolutely love the full power acid attack in tracks like "Squareish Sawtooth" I am glad it's just a supplement on other tracks to keep things interesting. An 8-track LP in this style with something like 8 different vibes is a rarity.

The tracks are largely written in F or E minor, but span a very wide range of tempos from 125 - 148 bpm (!) so can find homes in a variety of DJ sets.

My first listen had me a bit disappointed the goa influence from Lunar Dawn (and indeed Psilo's own dalliances with goa vibes) wasn't more prominent. I must have been tired or something because it's shone through more in my subsequent listens, something about each repeat listen has the music overpowering the bassline more each time. The tracks "Four Sided Triangle" and the more pumping 147bpm "Blackholes" lead the way in melodic goa vibes. But I think at this stage my pick of the album is "Someone Elses Memories". A unique and twisted track, suitably mixing headcase vibes, psychedelic layers and dancefloor sensibilities.

I've only listened on headphones so far - while they are decent quality cans I am looking forward to putting this through my mixer and proper speakers some time tomorrow to hear the full soundscape a bit differently.

If you're a goa purist with a genuine, wide-reaching disdain for the chunky basslines of modern psy this isn't for you. But if you have any kind of open mind and an interest in full on or goa this is well worth your time exploring. Best 8 euro I've spent in ages.

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Richpa    851

Out of this world production, perfect arrangement and interesting combination of sounds and styles. It will be one of the best albums released this year.

Great review btw!

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gfp1    25

outstanding review! hopefully this doesn't get lost in the shuffle when people start checking out the 2018 release subforum... 

i had no idea this album was on the horizon but would have definitely checked it out regardless since i am one of those masochists that subjects themselves to random psytrance regardless of quality all in the name of novelty....

interesting how the BMSS bandcamp describes this album as a collaboration between Psilocybian and Lunar Dawn, rather than just one half of the duo. that's kind of like going to a Simon and Garfunkel show, and only Simon showing up and in Garfunkel's place is Jimmy Hendrix. does anyone know which member in Lunar Dawn is considered the Simon and which is the Garfunkel?

 

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Jaza    30

Hah it didn't even occur to me it's not 2017 anymore :P I'm sure it can be moved when the 2018 one pops up

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Richpa    851
12 hours ago, gfp1 said:

/

 


To confuse you even more: Kristijan is in Unknownium, with Saša, but he is also in Lunar Dawn, with Saša. :D

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PsiloCybian    2
15 hours ago, gfp1 said:

interesting how the BMSS bandcamp describes this album as a collaboration between Psilocybian and Lunar Dawn, rather than just one half of the duo

 

will check into that, on all the facebook stuff we mentioned that its only half of the project (Kristijan) but haven't checked all the other stuff.

Also thank you Jaza for a great review :D

And yeah would be awesome if this could be switched to 2018 reviews ;)

 

Njoooy the music my fellow psyheadz :D

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LunarDawn    86

Thank you very much Jaza, and all of you folks for listening! Hope to throw some more floor bangers and ass spankers for ya in the future! :)

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Richpa    851

Am I the only one who thinks this release got strong influences in late Posford (uptempo) works and M.E.E.O.? Not all the tracks of course, some are more Goa-friendly, but overall vibe is in that vein.

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MrAnarchy    220

This is the best thing Ive heard in a very long time. Playful, interesting, very psychedelic, sounds very original IMO. A fun rollercoaster which Im gonna ride many more times! 5/5 material right here!

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winterelegy    15

This release is so goddamn fucking good

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Trance2MoveU    355

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Congratulations on saving psytrance. 

Electric, bristling with energy and power is how I would describe this.  The title track is the way to make a statement.  Pure brilliance.  As is Blackholes with just relentless stamina.  Futuristic with constant changing patterns.  Great job!

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Shpongled247    70

Holy crap how did I miss this!??

This is the goa crossover style i was seeking for a long time.. Incredible production and great journey all round. Thanks for bringing to my attention Jaza!

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Jon Cocco    77

It's refreshing, inventive, and very melodic. The accents really compliment. 

It seems like the artists were having fun. The result is a more open sound in GOA. Definitely one of the most solid releases of 2018. I could see why some are praising it. Some of the tracks really grabbed me while I liked others. 

Stream it on Bandcamp here:

https://bmssrecords.bandcamp.com/album/unknownium

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BraneFreeze    27

Other than the first track (I can't stand the singing in the background), this is an excellent album that I still play frequently.  One of the best releases this year.

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