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E-Mantra - Drifting


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Ensancha El Alma Records

01 - Your Journey Begins Now  7:05
02 - Fiat Lux (Live Version)  7:10
03 - Akashic (vs. Reasonandu)  6:21
04 - Petrichor  7:12
05 - Returning Home  6:45
06 - Sea Of Eternal Gloom  6:39
07 - Tale Of The Polar Drifter  7:17
08 - Long Siberian Night  6:06
09 - Farewell Philae  6:09
10 - Depth Of Nothingness  8:36

12th album by Emmanuel Carpus with his E-Mantra alias, the master of super psychedelic goa-trance but also prolific when it comes to downtempo and chill out trance. Five years after his last downtempo album Raining Lights (released on Altar Records), we are granted another relaxing journey. This album is chilly as it gets, yet combines slow trance with faster output in the second half of the album. 

From the opening track we are thrown right into the frosty melodies, sound drops, light and floating rhythm, a really perfect beginning, then confirmed in similar fashion with tracks #2 and #3.
If you like 4*4 beat tracks on a slow tempo, you can find such thing in this album, track #5 in particular (Returning Home) is a gem with a brilliant sense of poetry, ethereal and pleasant melodies, chiseled and lace-like sounds.
Track #6 Sea Of Eternal Gloom is a surprise as the track lies on a drum & bass structure, in this track you will hear the more characteristic psychedelic sounds from E-Mantra in a mellow atmosphere and it will also be the case with the two tracks that follow. 
With track #9 Farewell Philae we are back to the style of the beginning, if you have the opportunity to go for a walk around an icy lake during winter with this music in the background, I bet that would be a sweet experience. And our last track, Depth of Nothingness caught me by surprise again as it is a pure midtempo goa-trance composition with acid lines and the usual psychedelic vibes from E-Mantra, maybe the perfect transition to his next uptempo album? :-)

To sum up, this album has two sides: the very chill side and the more energetic vibes that come with it, whether you prefer one side or the other, all tracks are top quality without a doubt. Drifting is an album you can put on and then just lay down and drift to a cold land of fairies, where there is nothing but good things. Everything radiates floating energy and harmony.
A very good release to keep yourself relaxed for a while. Hope to hear something similar in the near future.

Rating: 8.5/10.
Listen / Buy: https://ensanchaelalma.bandcamp.com/album/e-mantra-drifting

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  • 2 years later...

I've been a fan of E-Mantra since his awesome debut album "Arcana", which is still his best work. I've tended to prefer his up-tempo stuff to his chill out, mainly because it strikes me as more original, whereas some of the downtempo material has seemed a touch generic and predictable. At times the downtempo tracks seem like Goa played at 33 instead of the 45 it was pressed at, if you see what I mean. Nothing necessarily wrong with that, but it can seem slowed up as a result.

Now he's back with "Drifting", a downtempo album released on vinyl as well as other formats. This is generally a chill album with a serene atmosphere and gentle melodies admirably captured by the marine cover art. It is quite different to the more complex and psychedelic downtempo of a Shpongle or an Androcell. One of the things I really like is the way this album builds from chill tracks towards more uptempo stuff towards the end - it is quite carefully structured. The latter more uptempo tracks seem a bit better than the slower early tracks, suggesting that E-Mantra is better at trance than chill. The melodies in the slow track "Returning Home", for instance, are on the predictable side. However, when things speed up a little towards the end, so does the quality and interest. The breakbeats on "Sea of Eternal Gloom" are noteworthy and a welcome refreshment in a genre dominated by 4/4; this track reminds me a lot of Electric Universe psybreaks songs. "Farewell Philae" is also a noteworthy track with gloomy bass synths. The final track "Depth of Nothingness" is probably my favourite: steady pulsing beat, sawing synths, sprinkles of dewdrops - lovely.

Another thing is how good the album sounds on vinyl. When I listened to it online initially, sometimes it seemed just a bit too chintzy and smiley for me. I've gradually become jaded with bright, shiny, plasticky software sounds. However, listening on vinyl now, that feeling has dissipated and instead the scale of the sound creates compelling mystery. Well done to Ensancha El Alma for a good mastering job.

In conclusion, you get exactly what is written on the tin with this album. If you want to drift, this is the record for you. "Drifting" at times seems to be E-Mantra on autopilot, but in the right mood is soothing - who in this world does not need more of that?

If only Suntrip Records would release "Arcana" on vinyl. Anoebis, are you listening? ~*~

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