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Triquetra - Ecstatic Planet

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Penzoline    334

Triquetra - Ecstatic Planet

 

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1.Gate to Happiness 08:45
2.Stormbringer 08:31    
3.No Unexpected Errors 07:50
4.Homonculus 08:57    
5.Gargantuan Tribes (Live) 08:24
6.Starbirth 08:26
7.Psychic Dissonance 08:30
8.Chosen By The Gods 08:36
9.Helios 09:01

 

Fresh.

It is the word I'd use to describe Ecstatic Planet. What this album avoids pretty well is using useless and predictable melodies and instead opts for absolutely vivid and odd sound design. It doesn't really follow the footsteps of modern post-2000 goa where all tracks share same intensity and melody structures, but instead it feels like it's molded from the same clay that Goa originally was. It sounds weird and at all times varied, aside from the screeching acid lines that might be a little over-abundant. It is highly danceable while remaining an interesting listen at home. You could throw tracks from this album to any compilation from the 90s and you'd have a hard time saying it's not from it. There is a clear ravey and unexpectingly alien sound to everything you hear.

The highpoints of this album are fantastic(Gate To Happiness, No Unexpected Errors, Homonculus, Starbirth). There are moments that will undoubtetly wreck the dancefloors with their unconventional sounds. Homonculus is a perfect example of the album not conforming to the mainstream goa sound, it's just so weird. There is a melody at 2:00 that just sounds like your auditory nerves just went into overdrive.

The tracks that fall a little short from the highpoints generally have too much repetition and can sound even a little bit aimless. Just about every track brings something new to the table for this album, and while it's not perfect, like some tracks engulf too much of the aforementioned problems, it has qualities that full albums don't always have - Variance. The Tracks sound different from another! the only real repetitous sound in this album is the typical screeching acid lines that I mentioned before. If you skip albums released lately you will find the sound is quite homogenous, I didn't really feel the same here.

Absolutely not what I expected! I hope that it'll stand the test of time!

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Jaza    30

Like all Suntrip releases I want to love this album. It's a solid listen, but it doesn't grab me.

It's a testament to the amazing strength of the Belgian goa trance scene that two young lads would aim to make music in 2017 that mimics music written around the time of their birth (1996 - staggering to think that Electric Universe' One Love and Hallucinogen's Twisted were released before they were born!)

In terms of the vibe they're going for they pull it off amazingly. I doubt many people at all would listen to tracks off this album for the first time and pick they were produced in 2017. The 303 usage is maybe a bit over-the-top, but that's a minor gripe. The songs themselves are written well enough without anything screaming out at me (I've listened to it three times now and could only ID Psychic Dissonance and Gargantuan Tribes immediately if I was played them again). For me the stand out track is definitely Gargantuan Tribes, comfortably the freshest sound on the album, a really cool mix of trance and live instrument additions.

If you really love the 90s sound this should be an instant purchase. I can tell I'm going to be in the minority in the goa community and that this album is going to make a lot of people very happy. But between this and the new Omnivox album I think I've cemented a personal feeling that I like my new music sounding well... Newer.

I respect 'Ecstatic Planet' greatly for it's nod to the past, and I've tried to divorce myself from focusing on the old-school production and listen deep in to the music, but it's hard to get away from the fact I'd rather be listening to Celestial Intelligence, Artifact303, etc. (Helios is a perfect example of a track that could be perfect but just sounds too dated in parts.)

Whilst this one won't be cranking in to dozens of listens throughout 2018 like others will, I'll definitely be keeping a close eye on Triquetra. To be writing and producing at this level at their age is brilliant, there's so much potential here no matter which way they go in the future.

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Urban    1

IMHO It's not up there in quality with the best Suntrip albums like Ketzhal-Corolle, Filteria-Daze of our Lives/Lost in the Wild, Ra-9th etc, but it's still very enjoyable to listen to throughout.

I love the alien-like melody in No Unexpected Errors that starts around 1.05 minute mark, it's short but effective, dark and mystical. Then the track picks another direction and goes crazy. Its a monster track and in my opinion best of the album. <3

Gargantuan Tribes (Live) is the second stand out track for me, mostly because of the use of the didgeridoo instrument. It gives the track it's tribal feel, just like the name suggests. The acid melody in the last third is cheesy as f, but it brings smile on my face! :)

Homonculus. I really can't stand the bass drum on this track. It sounds bad on my headphones, it sounds bad on my speakers. It's just bad. Combined with the overuse of acid sounds and being placed right after a great track it ruins the flow for me. It's the only bad apple on the whole album though.

The last 4 tracks have all decent melodies, but nothing that's memorable. Anyway the whole album would have been better of with more complex melody structures and less acid sounds. For me It's probably Suntrip best album since Crossing Mind-Beyond Duality.

Recommended!

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Trance2MoveU    361

This was one of the most highly anticipated albums I can remember (maybe Morphic Resonance was right up there) and it's a good one by this pair of brothers.  One thing I've noticed is that most of the tracks lull you into what you think will be the same old same old modern goa trance, but they all seem to explode in their second half.  It's like they save the best acidic tricks for last while the 303's just go crazy in a tsunami wave of sound!  Certainly old school sounding and I believe it gets better each time I hear it. 

Recommended!

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Aspartic    70

It has been since Antares that a belgian based artist has made an album on Suntrip if I'm not mistaken.
We had to wait a long time for a second belgian, but Triquetra's debut is finally here.

I have recently reviewed their tracks on Inti as good and not so good. I wasn't really paying attention to these two brothers.
Last november I went to OiG XXI in Antwerp, mainly to see Ra live. Ra was superb, but Triquetra live was frikking amazing!!
Right there I fell in love with their enthusiasm, energy and music. Music that moved us all that night.

But anyway, I digress. How is the album?

Well, it's VERY GOOD dammit! :D

I was afraid at first when I heard it was gonna have an old school feeling to it. And I always liked the complexity and heaviness of new school.
My roots do not lie in the goa of the 90's. But I have been doing some research on artists and cd's from that era and I have found some true pearls there.
At last I understand the beauty of what has been and where it all has started. I understand the beauty of simplicity too.

Ecstatic Planet is not simplistic. Not by far. But it doesn't rely on very heavy basses or a plethora of dense sounds either. And it seems to be a very good compromise.

It's astonishing how every track is a journey on its own. Each track has more than enough twists and changes to keep it pleasant to listen to.
The music is very unpredictable and it's full of surprises. The loads of energy come from the many acid lines inside every track. Perhaps overkill for some, but perfectly placed for me.

Garganthuan Tribes takes the cake for all of us because of the live didgeridoo. And when you have the honor to see them live you will see and hear the didgeridoo live as well!! What an experience.
Starbirth is another track that brings me into total immersion of goa sounds. But the whole album is good. That's what I want to say.

Fresh sounds from Triquetra. Job well done guys! :wub:

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kicma    23

Awesome album and I agree that their live is fantastic, it's great to hear and see them live with didgeridoo in a world full of laptop lives. :)

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recursion loop    443

Interesting release. Not sure I actually like it, but it is different enough from typical modern goa sound. I can't say it sounds actually oldschool, the mixing sounds very clean and digital. It's more like that they just use less layers, less processing aimed at making things loud/fat/in your face, less delay and reverb. Not sure it's a bad thing, the sound may lack the complexity and fatness of most modern productions but on the other hand the sound picture is very clean, all details are clearly heard. 

 

As for the music itself, there are some very interesting moments (I loved these atmospheric synths and melodies in tracks 1, 7 and 9 and the didgeridoo is totally awesome of course) as well as some pretty pointless ones. Unfortunately the album doesn't completely avoid "useless and predictable melodies" as the reviewer said, there is enough of this chromatic and fake-Eastern pointless shreddage. Also I agree that there is too much 303 here and it is used in a very straightforward manner and often distracts me from more interesting sounds and parts the tracks may have (is it a real 303 btw? sounds more like some plugin to me, maybe Spire).

 

Anyway, there are some interesting sounds and melodies here and there and a clear intention to develop their own sound instead of doing the same thing as everybody else  (apart from that 303 which tries to sound like the most stereotypical goa 303).

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mak    0

Great Album from Suntrip Records. The best one in the last years and one of the best released, at least from my perspective of Goa trance. Old school with some new school influences, acidic, melodies I like, apart for a few tracks everything is top notch. Great release! I liked a lot Triquetra Fungus Fever EP and Inti tracks and I like a lot Ecstatic Planet.

I will keep an eye on every Triquetra release, excellent release!

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GhostOnAcid    17

Good Album. :-)

Best tracks for me are: 1,2,3,6 and 8.

Some Words:

Gate To Happiness - Nice Intro, nice melody. The middle turns a litte bit to medicore neogoa. At the end it has more character again. The sounddesign and the usage of the arpeggiators reminds me a lot Celestial Intelligence.

Stormbringer - nice melodies and energy.

No Unexpected Errors - Best Track of the Album! Cool melodies, good arrangement, really good build up at 04:58 to the end. Thats amazing! :-)

Homunculus - I dont like this track that much, but the idea to take a distorded kickdrum is cool and not often in Goatrance. 

Starbith - The melodies are nice and have a feeling of MFG. Good energy! The acidsounds are to loud sometimes and hide the good melodical work.

Chosen By The Gods - I think this track works perfect as a good start for a dj-set. :-)

 

I would give 7/10. Good melodical work, good intuition for interessing arrangements. The 303 is sometimes to prominent. Here and there moments of typical mediocore neogoa. But overall a good album with a lot of tracks, they bring me alot of joy. :-) 

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Alek    36

Wow! Biggest surprise of 2018 so far :) Without knowing anything about Triquetra before, I just assumed this was an old artist with a bunch of unreleased tracks from way-back-when, which only now got polished for 2018 and released :D It's very refreshing to hear something that sounds truly old school, as funny as that sounds...

It''s rare that I come across an album in which I enjoy almost every track, a few more listens will determine some favorites :) 

Anyway great stuff, and I hope I get to hear it live some day!

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DoktorG    4

Ahhhh... how sweet it is to get some proper acid Goa in 2018. By proper, I mean kicking, intense, varied and otherworldly. Further, this album is blissfully free of the generic "16th note" bassline and rhythm section that, imo, spoils so much contemporary full on and Goa. If you listen to 90s Goa, you do not find the same beat hegemony that, along with other generic factors, makes today's trance so often cookie cutter in its formulaic similarity. These guys vary their basslines and drums/percussion, to my immense delight! The whole album is rip-roaring, and it sounds like they had a good time making it - a highly infectious quality that again is quite rare today. There are no bad tracks, but special mention must  be made of the didgeridoo track "Gargantuan Tribes" - my feeling is that if Triquetra want to evolve to the next level, they could introduce more analogue noises, tribal sounds, real instruments etc. What a blast of a record. Recommended! ~*~

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Jon Cocco    79

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1. Gate to Happiness 08:45
2. Stormbringer 08:31    
3. No Unexpected Errors 07:50
4. Homonculus 08:57    
5. Gargantuan Tribes (Live) 08:24
6. Starbirth 08:26
7. Psychic Dissonance 08:30
8. Chosen By The Gods 08:36
9. Helios 09:01

I know very little about Triquetra other than these guys are two brothers who make Goa released by Suntrip. I enjoyed No Unexpected Errors, Gargantuan Tribes, Psychic Dissonance, and Helios right away. It took time for the other songs to grow on me (or settle) so here we go!

1. Gate to Happiness has a beautiful, atmospheric, Ambient-influenced (with feels!) introduction that developes until the beat drops at 1:48 (very cool). The distinct sound of Triquetra arrives-- a whirlwind of melodies. Harmonious ones fly above as deeper ones swims below among a key tune. The uplifting vibe is pleasant. The middle act though could have had more ingenuity, character, something to make it stand out and be more enjoyable. Act 2 is fairly bland and in that regard, the song could have benefited from being shorter. Fortunately, the last act is dynamic, exciting, and showcases beautiful sound/melody work. Here the song comes alive. Talk about a rebound! The last act is excellent. Good track!  B+

2. Stormbringer dives into its psychedelic rhythm early on, though the music sounds a bit too acidy, for me. Cool intro! The female voice accent is catchy. The first act is pretty good! It keeps building, keeping my attention and features a really nice melody at 2:00, and a tougher synth lead at 2:40. It's good. But at some point early into the third minute, the repetitive ACIDIC sound begins to grate on me. It's too acidic and makes the music feel more repetitive than it is. A healthier variety in sounds and direction would have been helpful. Act 2 allows us to breath (the song works best when it's less maximal IMO). Some nice new melodies enter. I enjoyed the forth minute, and the traveling melody in the fifth. These are good parts! Even 5:49 has an edgy Goa synth that works well, but at 6:04, things get too acidic (grating) and 'samey' for me. At 6:37 I can breathe again. It's not great but a relief. But that's not what sells the high energy song. The last act-- aside from a few tweaks and not being too in-my-face, lacked fresh ideas and inventiveness to make it stand out. To me, the song feels like one long extensive act, despite likely working better on dance floors considering it's full of energy and rhythm, but the artists are more intelligent and talented than this. They know how to make smart, visionary songs that are great for home-listening and dancing. The acidic emphasis and samey (in that regard) sound here just exhausted me out by the end. But damn, it has some really good elements and I'm sure some people will like this more than I did, but I'm not going to sugar coat how I felt.  B-

3. No Unexpected Errors is so much more dynamic, interesting, and enjoyable compared to the previous track. This showcases tight and punchy synth work and direction. The flurry of nuances kept me hooked; I love accents. Take the one via 2:50, a brief one-note. It's so simply and catchy, and never overstays its welcome. There is a gripping lead. I mean leads! None are too in-my-face. Sure there are borderline moments, but they keep changing up, avoiding repetition. Moreover, a lot of sound/mixing work happens that supports the leads while preventing the song from feeling too acidic or repetitive. Act 2 allows us to catch our breath by reducing layers while maintaining the momentum. Engaging things keep popping up around every corner. The voice sample sounds cinematic, very Sci-Fi in origin. It shifts us to he most exciting part yet via the last act. I'd love to hear more elements that excite and surprise us (I don't mean this track but in general, thinking of the previous song). The mixing work is evident and impressive. Towards the end, I feel like the music could have incorporated a wider range of complimentary sounds via climax. The song's development is great, and I feel like it could have evolved a little more if that makes sense. That said, this is one of the best songs on the album and my first favorite track on Ecstatic Planet! No Unexpected Errors is smart, relentless, creative, and exciting from start to finish. Excellent track!  A- / A

4. Homonculus seems to be the love/hate song on the album. I like it but have some criticism because I feel like some of it is very good, and some of it could have been so much better! The first few minutes are not interesting IMO despite some nice melody work. The music breaks for a transition at 2:27 and returns with (peeking our curiosity) touches of drum. The music falls to the background at 3:50 for an extended transition that would have been more welcome, had the first act been stronger. It doesn't help that the transition isn't very interesting. A sudden BOOM impact hits at 4:16 (I can't believe the song is half over already!). Fortunately this part is a lot catchier, followed by a more interesting, tighter transition with an intriguing Black Crystal sample. At 4:54 we get a strong, PURER FORM [bouncy Goa] melody arrives that's so good! What happened back there? Why did the song not its footing sooner? I feel like you could completely redo Act 1 (save the intro), tweak the finale, shave off 1-2 minutes, and the song would have benefitted. Act 3 remains animated, but lacks variety from Act 2. A memorable tune would have been nice. Act 3 is solid, but with so many layers via the acidic emphasis, it made me miss the fluid, cool groovy bounciness of Act 2. All in all, this is a pretty good song with a great second act, and a third act that's bound to keep the momentum going on the dancefloor.  B-

5. Gargantuan Tribes (Live) integrates the use of an organic instrument. The result is something so creative and refreshingly organic sounding, that it's a wonder this approach hasn't been done before. I agree with everyone here. What a great way of using a didgeridoo! Man that's catchy! The track has a subtle hypnotic sound throughout. The organic sound is supported with good sound/melody work despite [the overall song] being fairly simple. It could have evolved more, as it got a little repetitive by the end. But the overall song and what the artists accomplished here is great! These guys have to do more creative stuff with incorporating organic instruments in Goa. It makes the music feel more alive! Well done.  A-

6. Starbirth is a blast of danceable GOA bliss, though Act 1+2 could have showcased more sparkling gems, each act builds nicely on the former one. A request is to more catchy (interesting) opening acts since the tracks are quite gripping by the second half (the last track obviously grabbed me sooner). The growing energy and feels via ascension (like we're raising, uplifting) is terrific. Act 3 completely evolves into something wild and beautiful! I simply wish Act 1 was more interesting because the payoff is worth it! Starbirth has one of the best, most infectious climaxes I've heard all year!  A-

7. Psychic Dissonance has a more arresting (decisive sounding) opening. The unique, morning (maybe influenced), but more psychedelic sound/melody work in Act 1 is unique! Something with the beat, baseline, and/or overall song makes the music feel more refreshing. Sometimes less is more! The energy (arrangement, notes) in Act 2 continues to develop like a story playing out. There's light and dark, beauty and danger. The electrical accent FX are catchy, like water droplets hitting a hot stove top (synthesized) as they skip across the beat. A transition smoothly evolves us into bouncy (infectiously danceable!) Goa terrain. It's excellent and so catchy! We reach another transition. The music falls to the back, save a few industrial FX, an interesting interlude of sorts. The tunes evolve and overall direction is so varied and engaging. What plays out can be described as ascensional-- like a magic elevator taking us to the higher dimensions. Gorgeous sound/melody work and direction! Like T2 or the FIRST Matrix film, the artist(s) seemed to go ALL OUT with the vision and finale.  A-

8. Chosen By The Gods has a catchy female sample early on. The tingly melodies in the first act are really nice as soundscapes emerge. In the second or third minute though, I began to wonder where the song was going. It felt a bit indecisive and grew a little repetitive, idea wise. I like the clicking effect that doubles as an accent to the beat and/or note, and more development into more interesting terrain would have been nice. Though a bit more acidy than I prefer, Act 2 is much better. There is an elevating (for lack of better words) hypnotic effect in the second half that's interesting! I just wish there was more memorable aspects to hook us. The female voice re-appearing is catchy, and the last act is good, showcasing some elegant sound/melody work that feels different from anything we heard in the song beforehand. This is a solid song that could have been more memorable compared to the last three tracks, but it's growing on me.  B

9. Helios has a nice, though it could have been more intriguing before the beat drop at 1:32. Gradually, the fantasy setting takes form. The atmospheric element is good. The storytelling arrangement work well, with each act complimenting and improving on the one before it. The shift into Act 2 via 4:25 grabbed my attention thanks fo juicier melodies, development, and key notes that compliment the storytelling aspect. The sound/melodies work continues to improve as if one if journeying deeper into a rich fantasy novel. We reach a transition (not too long) that develops and evolves us into something even more arresting. I love the gentle echoed melodies and nuances in the second half. Suddenly and at just the right time (in the last act), the artists push the envelope further, incorporating a completely unexpected, infectiously bouncy Goa lead that compliments the whole! It's such a fun, catchy OH WOW (satisfying) moment to top off an already harmoniously magical finale, adds sparkles to the icing on the already delicious organic cake. Wow... The song is full of feeling and emotion. It keeps getting better as it progresses, and then doesn't stop there. Other than it could have had a stronger (more visionary but complimentary) intro and first few minutes, I'd love to hear more magical tracks on the next album and future compilation tracks. Magic can be dark or light and I love the positive (light rather than dark) ascensional song here. Despite a bit of a slow start, Helios develops into a beautiful and memorable closing track. It's both my and my girlfriend's favourite song on the album, and brings FEELS !!! Actually at some point in the second half, I feel like we entered a fantasy (higher frequency) dimension. Excellent closing track!  A-A

CONCLUSION

Nitpicks aside, there is a ton of creativity on this album! The first two tracks simply do not do justice to how well done, complex, catchy, and distinct the sound/melody and overall mixing/production work is on this album. There are instruments that sound completely organic, excellent! Also a plus on having intros, be they decent or good. They lead listeners into the world of the music. The artists have their own distinct style and sound. Although I'm a fan of the variety of songs in the first half, the album showcases some of the artist's most beautiful work in the second half, e.g., Starbirth, Psychic Dissonance, Helios. To be constructive, a few songs could have had stronger first acts or first halves (1, 4, 9). A few tracks lacked variety and were a bit repetitive at times (2, 5), and in one or two cases, the last act could have been more refreshing (3, 4, 5). That said, I enjoy almost every song on the album. At least 3-4 are some of the best songs I've heard all year. I also felt that way about a couple songs on E-Mantra's 2018 album, Stapanii Timpului, as well as Morphic Resonance's 2018 album, Perplexity. Ecstatic Planet is a smart, articulative (no muddled sounds), psychedelic, and eclectic album, and it's one of the best [Goa Trance] albums of 2018.

Favorite tracks: 3, 5, 6, 7, 9  ...  and the last act in Track 1.

4/5

Order / Buy > https://www.suntriprecords.com/release/cat/SUNCD48/

Stream a full track

 

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