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AstralSphinx

Circle Of Protection - Music From Ireland [Glaive Records]

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AstralSphinx    49

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Release notes:

From the magical Island of Ireland.

released February 11, 2020 

Half-price.

 

https://glaiverecords.bandcamp.com/album/circle-of-protection-music-from-ireland

 

1. Wizards From All The Coasts 06:46

2. Spellcasted [KILLED THE ACCURSED] 06:29

3. Through The Devil [FIRE MIX] 07:25

4. And Over And Beyond The Boarder 06:57

5. They Gave Us Three Sevens 07:02

6. A Valhalla [THE SKY KINGDOM] 06:47

7. So Druids Regathered Once More 06:56

8. To Say That Mars Is A Dead Planet 07:36

 

[Review in progress]

Introduction

So it´s that time of the year, when I thought Filipe had stopped producing goa, since all other label accounts were closed down. And I happened to stumble upon his new goa projects/bandcamp page. It was quite well hidden, with album/EP descriptions not mentioning anything at all about goa trance. Disguised as beeing a bandcamp focused on chiptunes, there was some of that as well, but the majority was in fact goa trance. Sometimes hidden under such imaginative descriptions such as "Gregorian Portuguese Chants". But the seeker of lost light shall find, and he shall be plentifully rewarded! And I was very surprised with the variation on offer this time around, there is a lot of classic goa stuff in the Lost Buddha/Amithaba vein, in all but the artist names/track names/artwork at times. So when chipping of the veneer we are greated by some very nice classic sounding Goa. There are some releases though which are more obviously goa as well, with the Egyptian themed Ramose project beeing the prime example. As a consequnce of the hidden nature of this new labels output, most of it is not on discogs yet, making it a bit more time consuming to write the reviews. The styles on offer range between down tempo/breakbeat goa, and playful hyper-oriental Nitzho-goa, to the more classic variety of the Lost Buddha/Amithaba styles. There was some down tempo oriental chiptune goa as well. But I'm not sure psynews is ready for chiptune goa just yet? So I'll be concentrating my effort on the more purely goaish releases of the bunch.

This release in particular stands out. As it sounds a lot like the first two Amithaba Buddha albums. Very classic and old school sounding. Of course today in 2020, it's more reminiscent of the first wave of Neo-goa than of the actual old school Goa Trance from the 90's. With the first wave of Neo-goa, from the mid 2000's now beeing old school in itself. Could this be an actual Amithaba Buddha album released under a false guise for whatever obscure reason? Dunno, but it's intriguing to think about. And who doesn't love some good ole fakenews/conspiracy theories in this day and age? :lol:  At the end of the day who gives a f**k, it sounds epic, and it's some of the best Goa I've heard this year. Heck even Donnie Trump would be dancing to this, in the white house lawn with a lightshow provided by some classified Pentagon project. I can assure anyone who is a fan of the Lost Buddha and Amithaba Buddha styles, that this is the best of that flavour that has been released in a while. As I personally think that the Angels Trumpets album by Amithaba Buddha in 2015, wasn't as good as the previous two albums. It was a bit too hectic for my taste. And the Origins album released in 2017, didn't manage to draw me in either.

The album begins with the track Wizards From All The Coasts, which is a brainmeltingly good Goa stormer, it has those simple but joyful melodies characteristic of early Mystica. Accompanied by some viciously entrancing TB-303 barking, I love it when the main melodies are played by the TB-303 as well,  as is done very well in this track. It's a tried-and-tested method of bringing joy into peoples lives. As there is no other synthesizer which more effectively massages and stimulates just the right places in the brain, resulting in pure euphoric sensations for the listener. As humans have a very special connection to the TB-303's frequencies, which is not yet fully understood by the scientific community on planet earth. Inhabitants of other planetary systems have been practicing TB-303 therapy for gazillions of years already though, so no worries! It's safe, it's effective, and you neeeeed it. As we are getting warmed up by this faboulous track, let's dive into the next one.

The second track Spellcasted [KILLED THE ACCURSED picks up the speed from where the previous track left off. It's an euphoric number, a nostalgic Goa track full of Yoga induced wisdom and warm hypnotic melodies, which sound like something straight out of the Lost Buddha-Untold Stories playbook. And that is just what the doctor prescribed, so gimme the full dose. The track has a catharsis-inducing barrage of melodic and trippy layers thrown at you, and it never drops the pace. So you get a sensational rush, increasing the activity of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, sending your brain into a state of total bliss. The track is full to the brim with distorted layers of ornamental oriental melodies, which have a very sweet singing quality to them. The background is full of intriguing soundscapes of the more mind-altering variant. This prepares us for our next step of the journey.

Namely, Through The Devil [FIRE MIX], which starts with a burning 303 and some trippy oriental soundcapes, this sounds very different and original. There are some really clever tricks with how the background melodies are shaped/filtered, it's like a semi-camouflaged approach. The melodic landscape is very dimensional and stimulating, hallucinatory would be an apt description. There are these crying leads as well repeating their short hooks, so they get etched in your mind like a mantra. Very catchy indeed, this is how I would have imagined that a follow up to Untold Stories would have sounded like. The seriousness of the themes, and I'm talking about the musical themes not of the track names or album artwork, as I think they have nothing to do with these tracks. The contemplative modes on offer and the relentless approach to layers and progress in the tracks. A peculiar sense for melodies and storytelling is presented, and I definitely think that this should have been on a real CD and on Spotify, oh well let's head over to the next Goa beach party anthem.

Which is And Over And Beyond The Boarder, this track begins quickly after a short intro. It has these wavy melodies that I love in the background, and lot's of zick zack patterns. It's similar to Islamic geometric patterns but in soundform. Perhaps alluring to some entheogenic visions previously experienced, or some state of mind reached during Yoga. These type of melodies and way of shaping sounds are found in the Lost Buddha Track-Lost In Paradise as well to some extent, but not as developed as those we are exposed to here. Many years have passed since the Untold Stories era of course, so experience and time by all means can have this transformative effect on the creative capabilites as well. Since I don't know exactly when this album was composed, I could of course be way of with my speculations. Since there isn't much information available, and the album isn't added to discogs yet. The only real piece of information we have are the relase notes found on bandcamp: which state that it was released on February 11, 2020. And with those reflections sorted, our path to enlightenment continues.

Our next contender is They Gave Us Three Sevens.

The track A Valhalla, is wasting no time in getting things started. A short intro is constructed by means of gradually introducing different layers. After a brief playing around with some ergot derivative psychedelic sound effects, we are introduced to the hallmark Goa leads found on Amithaba Buddhas tunes, as well as in the Lost Buddha tracks. There is a steady stream of TB-303 patterns, most likely AudioRealism Bassline or any other of the popular 303 clones around. Spiralling and chirping synthesizer sounds, coupled with some crying and soaring leads which are sure to melt the heart of any fan of the hyper melodic variety of Neo-Goa. The melodic hooks on offer are brilliant, it's very reminiscent of Mysteries of The Women, in its tonal and acidic approach. Towards the latter half of the song, intense spiraled melodies are introduced, and even some shimmering cosmic sounding layers and arp lines. Similar to Ra or Dimension 5. A very surprising and elegant ending to this track. Excellent track which I rate highly, I don't use grading metrics, just take my word for it, it's really good. None of those grading systems are needed, this isn't amazon or ebay, nor is it a school handing out grades and diplomas. Besides the student on this album was expelled way too many times already from the Psynews Academy, so grades won't help much. :D

Here we have So Druids Regathered Once More

The final track is To Say That Mars Is A Dead Planet

Conclusion:

[in progress/placeholder]

Upon doing some research, I have found what appears to be the same tracks as on this album, released in 2019 on an album called Devilish on the label Acid Chemical Plant Records Reborn, with slightly different/altered track names and track order.

https://www.discogs.com/Circle-Of-Protection-Devilish/release/13892884

Tracklist 

1-Devilish 7:25

2-Under Verge 6:57

3-Druid 6:56

4-Valhalla 6:47

5-Wizards Of The Coast 6:46

6-Green Mars 7:36

7-Trinity Seven 7:02

8-Spellcaster 6:29

Compared with the reviewed 2020 album in question:

1. Wizards From All The Coasts 06:46

2. Spellcasted [KILLED THE ACCURSED] 06:29

3. Through The Devil [FIRE MIX] 07:25

4. And Over And Beyond The Boarder 06:57

5. They Gave Us Three Sevens 07:02

6. A Valhalla [THE SKY KINGDOM] 06:47

7. So Druids Regathered Once More 06:56

8. To Say That Mars Is A Dead Planet 07:36

While listening and comparing, the composition seems to be the same, and the tracks lenghts are identical. I need to listen and compare more carefully to see if the tracks are identical, or if any alterations/improvements have been made in the actual compositions and the mastering. Which underscores the difficulty in really knowing when this artists releases actually were composed/released. Who knows if it might have been released previously under even more aliases? 

*Update*

And upon digging some more, most of the tracks have also been released on EP's, between 2017 and 2018. So they might have been composed who knows when. https://www.discogs.com/artist/5828150-Circle-Of-Protection

In that sense, not much has changed since the two Untold Stories albums, which also contained a selection of tracks from different years. Still, this doesn't detract from the fact that this is an awesome piece of work. It's the best and probably only way to get these tracks today. I think there are two reasons for the tracks on here beeing repackaged, one beeing to improve the track order/flow and making the artwork and track names fit better. Despite the tracks to my ears sounding more like something evocative of the eastern hemispere of themes found in the Amithaba Buddha and Lost Buddha world building, there are samples in each track referencing the track names and or druid/celtic stuff. So there is some type of theme going on in that world. In one track we have a sample of what sounds like either Gandalf or Miraculix saying something. Perhaps it's best understood as a flux of idea worlds flowing together, similar to those one might experience during an altered state of mind. In such an imaginative world, not everything abide to the same set of rules as in the normal unaltered reality. And one might experience a mishmash of religious/mythological themes. Another thing I have been reflecting upon, is if the at times camouflaged nature of some of the releases on bandcamp, is due to a game of cat and mouse between the artist and the p2p groups. Like a way to mess with them for a bit, making them have to work a bit to get their heads around where to find the music and what to make of it. If there isn't a clear item description of the genre of the music, the release groups will have to be quite dedicated in order to find their loot.

 

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AstralSphinx    49

Added some speculative "conspiracy theories/fake news" :lol:

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Tsotsi    138

Your dedication in finding this guys music is appreciable. 

Only on track 1 but it's a light fueled banger for sure. 

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AstralSphinx    49
5 hours ago, Tsotsi said:

Your dedication in finding this guys music is appreciable. 

Only on track 1 but it's a light fueled banger for sure. 

Thanks! Much appreciated, bon voyage and have a pleasant flight :)

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Aspartic    98

Your bandcamp links don't seem to exist??

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AstralSphinx    49
13 hours ago, Aspartic said:

Your bandcamp links don't seem to exist??

 

Yeah it's a bit of a recurring theme unfortunately. :) At the time of the review links were working. Most of it is on his new bandcamp tho. Search and you shall find. 

*hint* first name and surname, which are on discogs.

And btw this album is now called something else yet again, it's now Circle Of Protection - Circle Of Protection.

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