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V/A - The Rising of Kukulkan (compiled by Mr. Vatsa) [Timewarp 2021]


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Compilator : Mr. Vasta

Title : The Rising of Kukulkan

Format : Compilation

Genre : Goa Trance

Label : Timewarp Records

Release date : 03/26/2021

 

This is me when I first stumbled upon this compil while browing the Timewarp bandamp :

 

"Hmmmmm... Let's check that new compil with an awesome cover. So it reads : The Rising of Kuklu.... What ???"

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Then I realised it actually reads Kukulkan and I pretty much felt like this :

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So apparently, Kukulkan is just another name for the Feathered Serpent. Nothing to do with... sensitive issues. So, no, Timewarp Goa has nothing to do Nazis.

Unless... it's part of the plan. A kind of subliminal message to influence our brain and prepare our weak minds for the next race war. After all, Timewarp is a South American based label. And do you know where Nazis escaped after losing WW2 ? Bingo ! South America. Coincidence ?

Well, in order to check this out, I had to review this album. And this is what I found.

 

Cactus Arising - Quick Draws is the first track of it all. It's a Greek project that has been active for quite a few years now. The track is pretty average. Not so bad, not so good. Big full-on bassline, bubbling acid, the usual melodies. You can do better than this. You can... rise ?

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Lectro Spektral Daze - More than 3 Dimensions 

Guys ! LSD is back. And he's in good shape ! Expect what you can expect from LSD : bouncing bassline, kaleidoscopic meldodies, progressive elegance with a bit of funk into it. Very good moment at 02:57, giving the impression of massive volumes shifting in space and folding into new kinds of dimensions, fitting with the track's title. I also like the subtle melody at 04:57 : it's light and powerful at the same time. Now, this is a track that he can be proud of, faithful to the Goa spirit yet creative and sounding like it's 2021. This is most nice.

JIS - The Point of No Return

I have a special love for JIS considering that Illusions of Reality is one of my favourite album ever. And this track is pretty much what you can expect from it : it's good, it's mellow, it's progressive. I also think that, as it's the case for most of his tracks, JIS relies too much on the classical Goa sound (you know, the kind of eastern feeling), because he's really better at exploring Fantasy sounds, crystalline melodies with a more 'western impression', just as in Blessed Unconsciousness for instance. It's a bit of a shame that he gives into the more classical approach when he really has a potential to explore new territories for which we are craving. Now, don't get me wrong, the track is good. But it's only good. JIS should attempt at making out-of-this-world tunes, he has it in himself. Unleash the Kraken bro. Make us wonder and dream. Please realize that you have a huge talent and that you can achieve masterpieces.

Somnesia - Pyramidal Dimension

Ah, Somnesia. The guy and I lived in the same tiny city for years but he never agreed to meet me, even though he played in the bar that's just under my grandma's flat. Hey Somnesia, are you afraid of meeting your fanbase's warm embrace ?

Somnesia eluding his fanbase :

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As for the track itself, it's pretty good, but a little bland. As other reviewers have already pointed out, Somnesia's track suffer from a certain lack in power and creativity. The guys needs to add more muscle to his game. However, the melody at 08:11 is really sweet and interesting. It's the best part of the song.

Proxeeus - Kukulkan

Wow, the other tracks sound bland compared to this one. Really the hilight of this compil. Stomping bassline, multiple acid layers, euphoric hypnotic melodies, internal diversity, and a vague feeling of ominous-ness that's typical of Proxeeus' style. Again, this is what Goa Trance in 2021 should sound like. I think it's safe to say that Proxeeus is now one of the rising of the 3rd Goa generation alongside with Atlantis and Median Project.

Clementz - Overcoming Fear

This track is OK, but it's too formulaic, too predictable.

Median Project - Behind Closed Doors

As expected, a solid track with a lot of energy and melodies. There's this echoing sound at 01:44 that repeats itself a few times and that I like very much. However, Median Projects' songs tend to resemble one another too much IMHO, and I don't hear in them the kind of perfection you get when listening to Artifact303 (the project that's closest when it comes to the style). It's still a young project, so I believe that they have not yet reached full maturity, but when they will, it's gonna be something. Anyway, it's already way above average, so keep it up.

Neogenia - Memory Modulator (Modulated mix)

The track is built around a big bassline and the rest is pretty much filling up. However, there's a cool distorted melody at 04:38.

Spectrum - Panic in El Marrow

It's my first time listening to Spectrum. This song is Goa trance with Night Full-On influences. It is creative, the atmosphere is twisted and uncanny. But something feels amiss, because even though it's not too formulaic, it somehow feels bland. It's not a bad track, but there is room for progress.

Ion Vader - S19

This is a guy who used to make some very funny and enjoyable Nitzhogoa songs. This time it's like a blend of Goa, Forest and Full-On. The intro is efficient. The bassline is not very original, but it's well made and reminds of Dohm. I really like the dark climax at 07:09. It's not a masterpiece, but it's quite enjoyable.

 

The Rising of Kukulkan is a nice compilation that gathers some of the most interesting projects. These guys know how to make Goa, but they often stick to pre-defined Full-On and Goa formulas that prevents them from releasing the full potential of their imagination. However, the compil also displays how it's possible to renew the genre with tracks such as #2 (LSD) and #5 (Proxeeus). Median Project and JIS are creative but still a bit inclosed within the ordinary sound and shall aim at getting even more distinct, pushing their already unique style further away from what's already existing, and become more cosmic and dreamy. I feel like the others are behind. They all have good ideas, but the creative parts in the track only last for a few moments, while the rest of the sound is too predictable. They all make good Goa trance, they know how to do it. Now, you can be better than good and shoot for the stars.

Also, this artwork is amazing. It looks fresh and adventurous. We need more of these.

Keep it up.

Bandcamp link : https://timewarprecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-rising-of-kukulkan-by-mr-vatsa-timewarp156-timewarp

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Ah, Somnesia. The guy and I lived in the same tiny city for years but he never agreed to meet me, even though he played in the bar that's just under my grandma's flat. Hey Somnesia, are you afraid of meeting your fanbase's warm embrace ?

Somnesia eluding his fanbase :

This part had me in stitches for some odd fuckin' reason.

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