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Artist: Khetzal
Title: Etamines
Label: Suntrip records
Release: 15th of March, 2021

Tracklist:-
1. Admonition
2. Zigggurat
3. Grey Kitty In The Box
4. Gather Your Herds
5. Acide Formique
6. Pavane
7. A World Of Outmoded Ideas
8. Didge Voices
9. Ealitas Ex Nihilo

 

Please do not hesitate to enjoy

 

 

https://suntriprecords.bandcamp.com/album/etamines-3

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Holy shit....

 

Never thought he would release another album again.

I thought he once said he lost interest in the genre.

 

We all come back after a while eventually, it's just natural.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Holy crap, that's a worthy review, Tsotsi! You're the master of video editing, you've put some time into it. I really enjoyed it.
I enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed the music. Khetzal delivers again. Very mystical sounds, a lot thicker sounding than Corolle, I say.
In terms of sound, Khetzal, Ra and Antares are a bit on the same line here. Mystical, eastern-like sounds.

This is a hell of an album. It's got power, yet it feels very warm. Favorite: Acide Formique. Great percussion backing up a lightning of goa sounds.

:wub:

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  • 2 months later...

The Melodic Genius returns.

So 17 years later, Khetzal, who scored a hit with the melodic Goa trance album "Corolle", returns with a new record! That's a long time by anyone's reckoning for a second album.

Matthieu Chamoux is a melodic genius. He has a dynamic sense of melody, meaning that his melodies really move. He is able to make melodies sway, sweep, waltz, bounce, zoom off and develop. The development of these melodies is important: there is real storytelling structure in the songs, which speed up and slow down and change moods at points - this is derived from traditional symphonic structure or argument. "Corolle" was a hit, cited by a number as the best neo-Goa album, partly because of this melodic brilliance. It seemed to me that it stood directly in the line of classic 90s Goa from Astral Projection, TIP, Etnica et al. This was not only because it was not afraid to make big melodies, often with Oriental scales and motifs. In my estimation, it was also so good because it had a degree of simplicity: "Corolle" was just a bit less layeristic than most of the other neo-Goa from Filteria, Artifact 303, E-Mantra, et al. (Haha, I had to laugh when Morphic Resonance released "Perplexity" in 2018 - that can indeed be the response that excessive layerism can result in). "Corolle" was also not afraid to slow things down; quite a few of the tracks have modest bpms and are not shooting for high speed take off. To my way of thinking, this relative, I repeat relative, simplicity and slowness, along with the melodic genius, were the reasons for the success of "Corolle". Restraint, or at least some degree of restraint, is necessary for art: drama requires it. Hell for leather from bar 1 is a recipe for exhaustion, not for drama and intrigue. Restraint is often the mark of a master.

So what about this 17 years later second album? Well, it is definitely Khetzal. A similar melodic sensibility is on display, similar Oriental motifs, similar restraint. Similar, but not the same. This album does not have as much of a consistent Oriental vibe as "Corolle" did. It is not as restrained and goes a little faster and more layeristic generally. Is it as good? Hard to say. I wouldn't say it is as memorable or as outstanding as the first album, but that does not mean it is not as good.

"Admonition" is a strange title for the first track of an album, suggesting that things did not start off so well for the composer. Whatever, it has an atmospheric start, and soon becomes quite mystic and wondrous due to background choirs and drones - a building beginning.

"Ziggurat" is percussive and grows into a psychedelic monster with spinning melodies with oriental drones in the background - nice!

I must make mention of the background drones that set off the main melody so well in "Grey Kitty in the Box" (weird title - Matthieu got a present of a kitten?).

"Gather Your Herds" is a real head-nodder of a track with a highly memorable whistling main theme.

The melody in the next track "Acide Formique" is quite similar - a kind of continuity.

"Pavane" as the title suggests is a real bouncy dancey track with an addictive bassline and some cool percussive breaks - this track sounds a lot like Filteria in that the melodies seem to multiply and fly off or fizzle out in a drizzle of wiggles. Really an extraordinarily psychedelic track which even has sounds like lasers in a Star Wars movie and what sounds a lot like a violin or viola gypsy-style main theme - very, very, very nice! Khetzal outdoes himself in this track which is a masterwork and arguably the best track he has thus far composed.

"A World of Outmoded Ideas" is quite fast and busy - lots of fractal pixillations here and babbling long melodic lines. The main melodic theme which works with stabs does not work so well for me - it is just a little too chintzy and bright sounding for this listener. This track is sort of like a sped up Astral Projection.

"Didge Voices" slows things down a little and offers a haunting Arabic melody with a flute sound from the get go. This main melody owes a lot to music and film - it could easily be from "Lawrence of Arabia" or any number of other classic films with its combination of yearning and minor key gloom. What a great track.

"Ealitas Ex Nihilo" is a nice closer going a bit slower than most of the other tracks on the album. Nothing too special or outstanding on offer here, though it does have an epic sensibility.

So Khetzal has created another fine album, albeit not as restrained as the first record. I'm not sure that this works better for the album as a whole, but it has helped him create some of his best melodies thus far, particularly on "Pavane" and "Didge Voices". This album was not as immediately memorable as the first album for me. Nevertheless, it is a superb work that may just have more staying power; only time will tell. Seeing as "Corolle" got a vinyl release (at last!), Suntrip are obligated to give this a vinyl release too. C'mon Suntrip: you can do it. ~*~

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  • 2 months later...

15 or so years ago, I was walking on this earth, in what resembled a true paradise. It was that sweet-spot in the year between spring and summer. When the weather is just perfectly splendid, and the birds and nature encompasses you into its divine secrets. That was when I first came in contact with the music of Khetzal, it left an indelible impression on me ever since. The music itself managed to capture exactly what I was experiencing, in this total blissful moment of joy as I experienced a very close bond with the earth and nature around me. There was an optimism in the air, I felt very excited about the prospect of the Goa Trance revival. Which seemed like a very creative and inspired movement. It was a new dawn for a genre which had been slumbering. 

So now we are blessed with yet another finely crafted piece of Goa Trance by Khetzal, which hopefully will awake the inspiration of a new generation of Goa producers. I will need to re-listen multiple times to catch all the details on this album. But so far it has been beyond expectations, a very nice cinematic and somewhat ambient-like approach on the Goa Trance formula. And it's very apparent that Khetzal spent a long time honing his skills between the time of the last album in 2005 and this new album.

In particular what's striking is a skilful play with colors and careful balancing of light and dark atmospheres. The melodies are evocative of oriental geometric textures when I close my eyes. A very lush and richly textured meditative Goa Trance, which is uplifting for the spirit and contemplative for the mind. The third track is unfolding now (Grey Kitty In The Box) And it's soo beautiful! It feels like I'm flying over ancient lands in a Vimana, above colossal statues and temples in every direction, with their surrounding sacred precincts illuminated by a radiant red sun. Which spreads its beams in every direction, picture something like the Angkor Wat temple complex. To quote something from wikipedia which captures the mood: 

In the Ramayana, the pushpaka ("flowery") vimana of Ravana is described as follows:

"The Pushpaka Vimana that resembles the Sun and belongs to my brother was brought by the powerful Ravana; that aerial and excellent Vimana going everywhere at will ... that chariot resembling a bright cloud in the sky ... and the King [Rama] got in, and the excellent chariot at the command of the Raghira, rose up into the higher atmosphere.'"

Massive tune that feels like a contender for the next benchmark in Neo Goa.

Acide Formique is another track which really captures my imagination, a very intense euphoric rollercoaster. This is like a serotonin overload, bombarding your synapses with pure unadulturated euphoria. Which is sure to put a big grin on your jaw which is dropped squarely on the floor. And if that wasn't enough, I have barely recovered from the epicness of the previous track, let alone collected my thoughts enought to write something comprehensible. When we are thrown into yet another solar storm of a track: Pavane

It continues with the same unrelentless drive as the previous number. It feels a bit darker and is captivating, employing a foreboding and mysterious storytelling mode. Spiralling your mind further into the vast depths of the undiscovered potential of your consciousness. This track showcases Khetzal's knowledge of the violin instrument. I do not know if he plays a real violin in the track or if it's sampled and played on keyboard. Either way the result is fantastic, it reminds me a bit of the violin segments in Dancing With Kadaffi by Infected Mushroom. So it's played or programmed in a very oriental vibe indeed. With natural points of articulation. Which makes me lean on the notion that it's a real violin, but you never know these days. :D 

The closing track: Ealitas Ex Nihilo starts out like an ambient track before it picks up speed and becomes a more chilled uptempo track than the previous hyper-energetic outings. Stylewise it reminds me a bit of California Sunshine - Green Sky. Very hypnotic and dreamy, something like a fusion between Goa Trance and Dream Trance. This notion is accentuated by the arpeggiated piano layer which appears in the beginning and the end of the track. This type of track is a wise choice for saying goodbye, and landing after an eventful journey.

This ending track could also work really well to open a set or a playlist. Really nice build/progression in it for that purpose as well.

The artwork for this album is also very peculiar and interesting, it looks a bit like Angels Trumpets. :) With some cute hummingbirds sipping its nectar. Alluding perhaps to the mysterious world of entheogenic plants. At the same time these flowers almost look like some type of tivoli tents with the flower stamens resembling illuminated lamps underneat. These bothanical fantasy creatures have bird-like features. Somekind of hybrids or flowers and birds? The flower to the left looks as if the hummingbirds have been caught and are now a permanent fixture connected to it. And appear like a tivoli carousel for kids, all aligned in a circle. There’s also a band of smaller lamps hanging between the flowers. I can’t find any info on Discogs as to who the artist behind this artwork is. It’s very psychedelic and imaginative.

Edited by AstralSphinx
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