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E-Mantra - Stapanii Timpului [Suntrip Records]

E-Mantra - Stapanii Timpului  

10 members have voted

  1. 1. Rate the album:

    • Masterpiece 7/7
    • Great 6/7
    • Good 5/7
    • Mediocre 4/7
      0
    • Lousy 3/7
      0
    • Bad 2/7
      0
    • Horrible 1/7
      0


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MrAnarchy    221

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Artist: E-Mantra

Title: Stapanii Timpului

Record label: Suntrip Records

Release date:   25.08.2018

 

Tracklist:

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Total runtime: 66 minutes

 

Intro: I dont think he needs an introduction but I'll do it anyway in case you were living in a cave for the past decade. E-Mantra is Emanuel Carpus from Romania and he has been making goa trance since early 2000s. He gained notoriety in the scene with the release of "Arcana" in 2009, and his sound is described as being profound, dark and melodic.

I never could get into his music... up until now.

 

The Review:

Cover art: First things first- the cover art. It's absolutely and insanely good. I was never as impressed by any cover art as I was by this one. Made by Pieter Pan (lol). 7/7

1. Rusalka: We get thrown right into the fray. No easing into the album. The track starts with ice-cold, echoing, industrious sounds which remind me a lot of Pigs In Space. The track has a great, brooding psy-trancey drive that is contrasted by clear melodic goa effects. The track really peaked my interest for the album because it didn't show off too much and it didn't slack of in catching my attention either. 7/7

2. Ghost In The Mist: One word can describe this track: Alarming! It is notable for being acidic and pretty dark. Reminds me of Morphic Resonance's style a little bit, minus the volatile temperament. We are still in the plains- the track doesn't oscillate much. Steadily cooking you with 303. It is good but not the highlight of the album. 5/7

3. Ravenmocker: Oh man, the flow from @2:45 onward is so good. Has a great rhythm, drive and cooking ability- so much so that I can already imagine the people that are on psychedelics on the dance-floor being deep-fried by this track. In the fourth quarter of the track enter Etnica spaceship beep-boop sounds, followed by crazy screeching acid- culminating into a decent crescendo. 5/7

4. At The Foothills Of Kogaion: Warped voices lead the tempo of the track while the acid builds up around them. We get a little ray of sunshine near the end of the track which is a welcome addition but it is plagued by same repeating vocals and by this point they started annoying me even though I enjoyed them at the start. This feels as the second dance-floor oriented track on this album. 5/7

5. Typhoon's Wrath: Great dance-floor cookage again, very psychedelic but unremarkable. Follows the formula of previous tracks. Does its job. 4/5

6. Rise Of The Dacians: I really enjoyed this one. It's a bit warmer and lighter, and it is a welcome change after the acidic carnage we suffered through before it. Ethereal, echoey, atmospheric melodies in this track are signature E-Mantra. 6/7

7. Terp Muronivid Aivlsa: A highlight of the album. Track isn't as overwhelming as were the middle 3 tracks of the album, but it is still pretty heavy and in the spirit of the album. Feels very well planned and carefully crafted. Flows well and is catchy. @6:25 onward is absolutely brilliant and closes the track on a perfect note and impression. 7/7

8. Amorok Rising From Black Sea: I just love it when an album ends with a down/mid-tempo track, especially when it is as creative as this one is. In the beginning we've got some Koxbox' funky vibe going on. @3:25 it goes very serious and dark again, with these threatening and penetrating alien sounds. Very entrancing and groovy. And then it fades into silence. Great ending to the album. Love it to bits and it is my favorite track on here . 7+/7

 

Final rating: Great 6/7

You can stream and buy the album on Suntrip Records' bandcamp: https://suntriprecords.bandcamp.com/

Or main site: https://www.suntriprecords.com/release/cat/SUNCD51/

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Proxeeus    158

I'm not one for words so I'll keep it short and simple -- this sounds like a carefully balanced mix between Arcana and Nemesis and it owns.

favorite track: Rise of the Dacians.

congrats to E-Mantra & Suntrip!

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Richpa    875

New E-Mantra uptempo album is here and in case you enjoyed Arcana (one of my favorite 2nd wave Goa albums all-time), Stapanii Timpului is the right thing for you.

As it was case with Arcana, new record also got strong storytelling aspect, crisp sound design and trademark E-Mantra atmospheres enriched with plenty of acidic sounds which makes it perfect material for night time stomping on the dancefloor.

Favorite track: At the Foothills of Kogaion

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Manuser    248

Never listened to his down tempo sound, but among his uptempo albums I found this one to be the least interesting. I guess coming last (to date) did not do it much favor. As usual with E-Mantra, if you isolate one random track from the album, you'll find it very impressive. If you listen to the whole album, you'll find it very linear. Still cannot rate it mediocre as objectively his sound is one of the best, I rate it 5/7 because I was expecting more surprises. 

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Aspartic    70

So glad E-Mantra decided to make another uptempo goa album. His style is and will always be recognizable.
The album is a delight for all of us E-Mantra fans. You know what to expect and he delivers. He doesn't go elsewhere, but sticks to his game and sound.
While the intro track and the last downtempo track are the least interesting ones for me, the music in between is fantastic.

I understand the critics that the album is linear. And it is. Its hard to id by name an E-Mantra track. It's a melting pot of sound, but perfectly blended together.
That's how I listen to his music. Just enjoying the sounds that embrace each other.

The total play length is short, but it's worth it. :)

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Jon Cocco    79

E-Mantra - Stapanii Timpului (2018)

Suntrip Records

Screenshot_3.png.8cddf67606499db8e8fb5ebc6c4d6942.jpg.f7e7c89c4b133736cee5942278af3814.jpg

After almost five years since Nemesis (2014), fans wondered if Emmanuel Carpus, the artist behind E-Mantra would ever release another Goa album.

NOTE:  E-Mantra's songs are generally difficult for me to appreciate and enjoy right away. The songs usually sound different to me, to some degree, the more I listen to them early on. I think this is due to processing so much taking place. Like anything, songs take time to grow. I spent days refining (after posting) my review and that was after hearing the album a handful of times. Just a suggestion. Give the album a week. Let it swirl around inside your mind to see what you think and then post whatever you think of it. Okay let's begin :) 

With the visionary debut album, Arcana (2009), we were introduced to a distinct and otherworldly approach that placed atmosphere and moving textures over leads. The world-building tracks were praised by many listeners, while others including myself felt that the album relied too heavily on soundscapes, and that it lacked leading synths to excite and drive the music forward despite a few songs having those aspects. The album gained cult status among Goa enthusiasts and remains a favorite for many to this day.

The second album, Pathfinder (2011) was more mainstream friendly in that it incorporated a greater emphasis on leads, melodies, buildups, and climax. It was a solid release that many people liked. However it lost some fan appeal due to reducing the impressive moving walls of soundscape textures and atmosphere that made Arcana such a hit. Furthermore, it lacked super songs, though most if not all were solid. While some listeners including myself enjoyed having leads to hook on to, the inevitable question arose: What would an E-Mantra album sound like if it combined the best of both worlds?, conceptually anyway, to some degree.

The third album, Nemesis (2014) seemed to close the gap that Pathfinder left open. It combined strong atmosphere and moving texture/soundscapes with synth leads. The album was more imaginative, ambitious, and intricately layered than Pathfinder, though not as alluring as Arcana. Certain songs sounded a bit too cluttered with higher pitched sounds while others, e.g., Ayahuasca, Orphic HymnShae Nab (vs Suufi Astrolab), and at least one or two others were great! It was announced that Nemesis would be Emmanuel's last Goa album, which brings us to -- 

Stapanii Timpului (2018)

1.  Rusalka with a running time of 7:20 never overstays its welcome. Unlike some of the artist's work in the past, the song doesn't linger in a wall of soundscapes. Combining Psytrance with Goa-- the song cuts through various segments of terrain, engaging our interest. The build up at 2:50 progresses the storytelling aspect of the track, thanks to an Eastern-Indian synth that is enhanced by a strengthened baseline synth. Wave after wave, the song remains interesting and dynamic to some degree. For a stand alone track however, Rusalka sounds fairly minor to me. Fortunately, its approach is surprisingly punchy, energetic, and varied enough to keep my interest throughout, and to be fair, this is just the opening on an album by an artist who seldom reveals his best tracks right away.  B+

2. Ghosts in the Mist opens with evocative ambience, as if something paramount is about to begin. The song is more immersive and Goa influenced than Rusalka. The synths in the first act are sleek, albeit simple along with the overall sound design. They're accentuated with echoes, like vehicle lights blurring by at night. A sense of purpose begins as we progress into the second act. A sustained hum arrives in the fifth minute, adding character. It's here that the song evolves into something more delectable and arresting. There's a sweet little buildup effect at 6:30, increasing the energy of the music and opening the door to the finale. Like a futuristic city, we enter a technologic band of sound. The last act is intelligently rhythmic, meticulous, fluid, and driving. The artist continuously evolves the music with supporting synths, soundscapes, alterations, and a subtle layer of moving atmosphere. The first few times I heard this song, I didn't know what to think of it due to all of the elements. The song never feels overstuffed IMO, nor is it dependent on one star synth that at times reduces the sense of feeling immersed in the world created. Rather than building up to a sensationalized climax, the artist rewards listeners with what I'd describe as a climax with brains. Although I enjoyed the opening track and consider it a part of the whole (album story), I consider this the first chapter in the more visionary Goa storytelling aspect arc of the album.  A-

3.  Ravenmocker is a more melodic and danceable. The first act is fairly atmospheric, producing somewhat of a fantasy vibe at 0:13. The atmosphere ambience early on reminds me of the trance-inducing, atmospheric backdrops on the surreal dark Goa fantasy album, Chi-A.D.'s Anno Domini. I'm a huge fan of melodies, e.g., D5, AP, Electric Universe, etc., so I may be a little biased. The dark undercurrent synth beneath the sounds works well here. We're given our first stand out melody at 1:55. It's good! I simply wish there was more development in arrangement, a catcher tune sculptured out of it somehow. The second act via 2:44 is a lot catchier than the first. A subtle ICY synth arrives at 3:34, most noticeable at 3:45. It's excellent, so sleek. The song evolves further at 4:38. The melody lead that arrives is fantastic. This is what a new D5 album could sound like to some degree (I imagine). The last act is refreshing/great too, blending warmth with sleek sounds. The transition at 7:00 takes us into deeper into the sea of melodies. Each act sounds distinct and as catchy, if not catchier than the one before it. If Emmanuel gets more involved with the infectious storytelling "tune" arrangement aspect of his more melodic Goa tracks, e.g., D5's Deep Space 5D, Pleiadian's Maia, AP's Kabalah and Liquid Sun, Cosmosis's Gift of the Gods, MFG tunes, etc., he has potential to produce some of the best Goa tunes. Ravenmocker develops into a healthy and immersive ULTRA MELODIC Goa song!  A-

4.  E-Mantra - At The Foothills Of Kogaion is another characteristic track. It begins with a robot-esque sound that somehow works, and gives us something to hook on to. I'm happy to see the artist experimenting with fresh sounds that add character and enhance the songs with something different. The energetic melodies that join the robot accent are strong. The first half is fairly simple (too simple? Just right? I go back and forth) but catchy, and the tornado surging effect at 3:42 is awesome. In the past, I felt that parts of E-Mantra songs (not all but many) sat with melodies swimming and swirling around for too long. It slowed down the excitement of the songs at times, making them feel arguably aimless or less clarified and sure of itself. But not here. Once we break out of the first act, this thing moves! The music is charged, tight, and carefully constructed to avoid shortcomings. The repetitive -- in a good way, robot synth compliments the world created around it. It disappears in the last act (smart, not overused). We reach a transition that moves us forward. What follows, the finale is fluid, engaging, and full of life. The sparkling synth selected is superb, lifting the song higher. I love it! Our little robot friend returns, jumping in the mix and it works. This is another memorable, fluid, and engaging number.  A-

5.  Typhon's Wrath continues the characteristic/accent approach that has been featured well on this album so far. The accent here is Darth Vader-esque in nature, and probably my least favourite of the stand out accents thus far, as it isn't the most ingenious thing but it works and I currently don't feel that it's overused. The deep, dark breathing conveys a sense of hopelessness in an intergalactic fight for survival (I imagine) as conveyed by the storming music. The atmosphere feels hostile and chaotic. The synth work is sleek, intense, dark, and captivating. We move through each of its three chapter acts like a Sci-Fi movie without ever sounding sound-tracky. The music immerses us in a black hole of movement and soundscape debris, yet has synths to hook onto as it moves through this dualistic cluster of the Universe. To some degree, the song feels like we're in a hurricane or tornado. A brief but sweet little beeping melody accent at 5:35 provides a boost of adrenaline to the high octane ride. Conceptually, it may not be the most original approach to Goa music, but the sheer epic feel, coupled with bells and whistles makes for a dynamic and exciting endeavor, whether this relentless tidal wave is your cup of tea or not. This is an exceptionally well done track. A

6.  E-Mantra - Rise Of The Dacians begins with sound conveying a sense of apprehension. It sounds like something right out of Bladerunner 2049. The synth at 0:50 is catchy, providing a sense of direction. The 1:52 synth is a nice touch (very signature/nice) and the crunchy accent at 2:33 compliments. A floaty harmony emerges at 4:15, and this is where the music feels more realized and alive. The first few minutes were darker, and having a more harmonious track after previous dark megalodon makes sense. A part of me feels that the floaty melodies from 4:38 to 5:30, though pleasant, sound pretty basic and rote. They take us to a nice combination of sounds at 4:27 and 4:38. The crunchy accent returns, helping to maintain a nice balance. Again, the floaty melody at 5:10 sounds simple by itself. Fortunately it's here to accommodate the band at 5:38 that improves the music crossing the sixth minute. The last act grows tastier and surprisingly takes off. My favourite part is from when the 6:50 synth arrives forward, accentuating the GOA aspect. Overall the placement of this track between two darker ones makes sense. This allows us to catch our breathe and cleanse our pallet. Although I felt that the lighter melodies in Track 3 were more memorable, the balance of light and dark here is attractive and provides something different. This is a very good track elevated by a great finale.  B+

7.  Terp Muronivid Aivlsa returns the album to its blazing glory. This fireball of a track moves with such fluidity and determination. The overall structure, sound design, sound/melody work, arrangement, and direction is fantastic! Synths cut through soundscapes like a cosmic samurai sword slicing stars. I'm not master of hyperbole and don't want to overstate, but this track is crisp, sharp, adventurous, exciting. There's a arcing synth throughout; it's visionary, adding a relentless, almost overture aspect to the song like Juno Reactor, but through the distinct vision of E-Mantra. Thankfully there's no floaty, echoey sounds to take us away from the gripping ride. I consistently feel like we're going somewhere. This track and the overall album has broken free from something holding the artist back (from achieving zippier work) to some degree in the past. This is another top favourite for me on the album, and what I consider an album seller. Awesome track!  A

8.  E-Mantra with XOA - Amorok Rising From Black Sea is a DARK and CRISP Psy/Goa influenced DOWNTEMPO piece. The overall beat and mechanical accents are great. I really like this track, and I'm happy to see the artist continuing to experiment, innovate, and release songs reflective of his high standards. Not since Arcana do I recall enjoying a DARK downtempo Goa track by this artist so much, though to be fair he's released some great work on his down/mid-tempo (psy/goa) albums over the years. It took me a few listens to really enjoy this song, as it's very distinct and almost fairly simple in nature. Giving time to revisit tracks (preferably at night with E-Mantra) allows our minds to perceive more so that we better understand and enjoy the music on repeat listens. I imagine others will really like this track too. It's consistently dark and visionary, and most important of all, the song is CATCHY and GRIPPING. This is a wonderful return to form and makes me want to revisit the downtempo tracks on Arcana!  A

Conclusion

Stapanii Timpului not only met but exceeded my expectations. The album does many things that a good sequel should do, and that is build and expand on the world that preceded it, just as Nemesis did with Pathfinder. Often times in the past, I felt that the artist's work was too floaty and echoey, with melodies arriving (already developed); the music to me (at times, back then I felt) lacked drive and direction. That's not an issue this time around. As the album progresses, the songs grow sleeker, more visionary and infectious to varying degrees. Stapanii Timpului continues to break away from the swirling, echoey tracks. It focuses more on the intriguing synth-driven terrain coupled with moving soundscapes and atmosphere. It's no Arcana, but then again nothing will ever be, and quite frankly I find the overall synth (sound/melody) work in this release to be the most varied of all the E-Mantra albums, making for an engaging, imaginative, and fun ride. Stapanii Timpului builds on E-Mantra's more determined and exciting sound. The production design sounds clearer, more crisp than ever, and the melodies (when they arrive) sound more flavorful. I enjoy listening to the album from start to finish over Nemesis, in part due to a similar synth in many of the tracks. Something about the music on Stapanii Timpului feels more a little more flexible, fluid at times and dynamic. The songs are better paced. The song's are never overcrowded, though the first acts in a couple could have been a little more interesting, e.g., Track 2.. I love the edgier, more determined synth work that [to an upgraded degree IMO] began on Nemesis (2014), the infectious bands, the increase in flavorful melodies (hitting when least expected), and the overall structuring, mixing, sound selection, accents, pacing, and direction, despite some taking time to grow on me and warming up to Track 7 right away.

Constructive Criticisms + Closing Words

There could have been a few more surprises. Also Track 6 in context of storytelling, could have dropped the floaty, echoey melodies, e.g., 5:11 for catchier, punchier ones reflecting the less dark aspects. I don't want to come across as a dictator with what sounds the artist uses, as this is his vision. I'm just trying to discourage anything that's less captivating considering all of the progress he has made as one of the top, most underrated and talented producers in electronic music. Last but not least, I feel that the melodies at times could have been more memorable in arrangement and song, tune. I was critical of Morphic Resonance album, Perplexity for the same thing. I'm referring to melodies via tunes as are on some of our favourite Goa songs that have been more memorable, stuck in our heads, so to speak. As far as the length goes, almost 70 minutes without any fillers to me is great. We've gotten used to Goa albums pushing 80 minutes but it's really unnecessary here IMO, as I'll take quality over quantity almost any day of the week. Oh, and what a cool little cover. Nice artwork!

All in all, this is one of the best Goa albums (personally it's my favourite to date) in 2018. Some of the artist's best work is on his main albums and this is no exception, as it showcases some fantastic work, no fillers (well duh! it's E-Mantra). The artist continues to upgrade, refine, and improve in various ways since Nemesis (2014), resulting in another high quality release in the genre of Goa Trance. Highly Recommend!!

Favorite tracks:  2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8

A-

Samples / Buy

https://suntriprecords.com/release/cat/SUNCD51/

https://suntriprecords.bandcamp.com/album/stapanii-timpului

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Extremely good reviews here on the new E-Mantra,I´m a little surprised.

No question,this is a typical and good E-Mantra release,but nothing special and far away of being a Masterpiece.

I enjoyed 4,5,7 and 8,but the rest is typical NeoGoa,and there is no memorable Melody on the whole Album.

Edited by BASS-O-MATIC
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Trance2MoveU    363

yrPEyCE.png

Artist: E-mantra
Title: Stapanii Timpului
Label: Suntrip Records
Date: August, 2018

1. Rusalka
2. Ghosts in the Mist
3. Ravenmocker
4. At the Foothills of Kogaion
5. Typhon's Wrath
6. Rise of the Dacians
7. Terp Muronivid Aivlsa
8. Amorok Rising From the Black Sea feat. Xoa

The prodigal son returns or, just when I thought I was out they pull me back in.  Emmanuel Carpus is back with his

*checks Discogs*

Holy sh*t his 11th album (4th uptempo) as E-mantra?!?  And look at that dazzling cover!

The Romanian master stays in his comfort zone with his instantly recognizable sound, content to lob acid grenades under the cover of acrid swirling smoke and hallucinogenic fog.  Where fire brings light his acid lines sear darkness across the landscape coming in relentless waves.  Track names seem meaningless as the music flows from one apocalyptic atmosphere to the next.

Ghosts in the Mist screeches through layers of the abyss; each lead growling to take the place of the previous one. Devastating. 

Ravenmocker, the most feared of Cherokee witches, robs the sick and dying of their heart.  Unsettling.  This one brings the heat and a sense of dread with a deliciously chaotic climax.

That lead at @1'45" of At the foothills of Kogaion...ah you sneaky f*cker!   Undulating waves and driving rhythms.

Typhon's Wrath starts with Darth Vader exhalations and evil intent lurking just beneath the surface.  This track sounds angry.   But in the sense of watching your secret weapon utterly destroy your opponent.  This is a scorched Earth track.

The intro of Rise of the Dacians brings to mind a vast army preparing to do battle with advancing hordes of netherworldly creatures.  While not as bombastic as the previous track the leads meld into each other while the 303 churns forward. 

The track I have zero chance of pronouncing was a straight forward goa track that didn't have any surprises.  Good, but not compared to the previous ones.

And to be honest I didn't care for the closing downtempo track.  He went out with a whimper when 6 or 7 downtempo albums prove he can do better.

Like someone said, it ain't perfect, but it's still damn good and re solidifies him as one of the premier names in goa trance.  Congratulations and welcome back.

Suntrip Bandcamp

Psyshop

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Jaza    30
On 9/8/2018 at 12:36 PM, BASS-O-MATIC said:

Extremely good reviews here on the new E-Mantra,I´m a little surprised.

No question,this is a typical and good E-Mantra release,but nothing special and far away of being a Masterpiece.

I enjoyed 4,5,7 and 8,but the rest is typical NeoGoa,and there is no memorable Melody on the whole Album.

He's not going for that vibe though. It's quite introspective and hypnotic. You almost don't want a dominant melody to break you out of it. He has it in him to do it as shown by Ayahuasca, Distant Signals, etc, but I think it wasn't his aim here.

It's a pronounced journey from night to day. Almost a concept album.
A quite intentional link between where he came from with Arcana and evolved to with Nemesis. It's nice to get some morning E-Mantra vibes with the sharp production he's developed. I would critique that it is a bit too similar in the 'night' session and one of the tracks - probably Typhon's Wrath - could be swapped out for something. I'd have liked him to go crazy and give Morphic a run for his money on a track, but even another morning-ish track may have balanced the album a bit better.

I dunno... I guess I wouldn't intro a person to neo goa, psy, or even E-Mantra himself with this. But the world needs more artists with clear identities like he has.

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