Jump to content

Tsotsi
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • 4 months later...
On 7/29/2021 at 3:55 PM, GhostOnAcid said:

What do you mean with club trance? Uplifting trance? Talla 2XLC? :lol:

Club Trance = Uplifting in the sense of sounding contrived, formulaic, more typical and conventional (not taking risks or allowing for greater innovation as a whole to distinguish itself) trance.

PS:  Sorry for the late reply GhostOnAcid. I was locked out of my account for some time, felt inspired after a while to create the new password when I had more free time and saw your response. I've been immersed in post-production for a film I'm editing.

Some of my other thoughts...

Some of the album is less conventional and shares influences to his previous work. And IMO he went too Full On here at times, though there's some great yet there's some track(s) and moments of tracks mentioned throughout the tread. Regarding going too Full On as some have said, my suggestion is to split the difference.

Also I'd consider the general consensus- tracks people really like vs don't like or like less, with make adjustments for the next album.

I love Unidentified and I really like Astral Traveler's second, especially third act, Summer Storm, Solar Wardenand Secret Spaces are good too IMO.

I just don't want to see this artist turn into another Full On commercial (by the numbers, predictable and typical sounding a la  Talamasca. It's important to be mindful of one's inspiration for growth, expanded growth and development(!), imagination and standards for greatness. I get what sells and we also seem to agree (generally speaking) on what's catchier whereas some tracks have split consensus. He's still producing music that's entertaining, fun,  and engaging thankfully, if not as consistently for as many in the more imaginative Goa realm, and that's fine to some degree if it's good!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...
On 7/26/2021 at 7:42 PM, Jon Cocco said:

jdqcve9c47z61.jpeg.86477bb3b73fb31e8ac1fd295ac72249.jpeg

Well I don't mean to crash the party but I'm less impressed with this album, and I'm not going to hesitate to point out what I think is great (and not great) about it. I agree there's some great (excellent / superb) work, and I'd never call this a bad or average album. Almost any track will work on dance floors, though some are much stronger than others and I say keep to your winning horses. Let go of the routine and capitalize on your greatest marbles! That's what establishes super albums and I often intend my reviews to double as feedback, though like you all I'm sharing my honest, open thoughts. That said--

1.  Apex begins with a digitized synth, and a plesent albeit simplistic in structure and arrangement Goa sound that is easily topped, thanks to a superior synth at 1:48 >>> my favourite part. So far, so good... that is until 2:55 where the track gets repetitive. An interlude soon arrives, igniting the second albeit repetitive synthetic part, and it's here that the music grows conventional, inspired. The music improves at 5:00 but just for a moment until the artist transitions the music one final time.. It's not the change I was hoping. I'd describe the next 3-4 minutes as a Full On Club Trance. Ahhhh!!!!! It's so TYPICAL sounding and completely takes me out of the song. Actually it's not until the FINAL MINUTE that a healthier balance of Goa and Trance return to the cool feel earlier in the fifth minute. This track could have been great, but it chooses to take an extremely LAXY, FORMULAIC approach. Apex starts promising before devolving into formulaic, typical-sounding Club Trance where it completely loses my interest.  C

2.  Astral Traveler is a big improvement from before. This track has a heart and soul that I didn't see at first, and is my wife's favourite song on the album due to the terrific ending! The first third is a bit similar sounding (predictable/routine arrangement >>> could have been better). The development into ACT 2 is very nice thanks to ambient notes, Goa elements, catchier synths, and more. Also, ACT 3 is incredibly euphoric, warm, and uplifting in a positive way! Improved sound/melody work, FEELS (!!!), multiple key changes providing storytelling and substance is just part of it. Although it took an ACT to warm up where we were going (ACT 1 could have been stronger in that regard), the song beautiful, well done! I find this so much more enjoyable and engaging than Apex, and sadly, the one track that follows.  B+ / A-

3.  Dreamland is typical and formulaic, routine sounding CLUB TRANCE (the fuck??!) with a touch of Goa so slight in the middle that I hardly cared for fear the last act would undue ACT 2 via Apex. The overall sound and direction here is so predictable, with a very been-there / done-that feel throughout. The song offers nothing new, as if the label requested a more commercial, by-the-numbers dance number. Just why??! This artist is so much more creative, intelligent, and talented than this! I can't help but feel the desperation to appeal to a wider audience, preferably not in a redundant way. People like fun, danceable tracks that don't sound like stereo typical Club Trance! I acknowledge the very catchy, little echoed beeping melody accent in the last minute. Where was that the whole time? Aside from that, Dreamland is generic, Full on Club Trance and the most commercial sounding track I've ever heard from Artifact303.  C-

4.  Solar Warden has some very catchy sound/melody (Goa-Trance) work in ACT 2. Unfortunately, the overall structure and arrangement of ACT 3 reverts back to a less pure Goa sound a la Trance-friendly motions. I wish the artist committed and further developed the purer, melody-licious tunes of ACT 2 into ACT 3.  B-

5. Unidentified stands out as a favorite to me. It has a smart, catchy tune that gets stuck in my head (so simple, works wonders!) and is wildly danceable. ACT 2 could have been stronger, more fun and memorable. It's not bad by any means, and I realize you don't want the lead to grow tiresome, but at least make ACT 2 more interesting and engaging (is my constructive feedback). The in-my-face main synth in the 4th into 5th minute felt routine, repetitive, and formulaic compared to everything else. Fortunately, the artist brings back the best part back with added growth and development in ACT 3, and I'm hooked all over again. Honestly ACT 2 could have been shorter (tighter in that sense) and ACT 3 with its wonderful growth and signature synth star return could have been meatier, a little longer, but what are you going to do? This is a strong Trancey dance number despite a weaker ACT 2. It's shows that-- however simple, one can make a fantastic track with the right sounds, mixing, and arrangement (ingredients). Well done!  A- A

6. Summer Storm begins fresh, zippy and quite Goa-esque! It reminds me of one of Artifact303's best tracks-- Leviathan Dance after the second minute. That nighttime sound is so sleek and sexy. Then at around 3:30 the music sounds juvenile with its sound effects and beat. Get that out of there and replace it with something powerful! The part that soon follows is far catchier and the Goa rhythm develops into something more intense, rhythmic, and psychedelic. Cue climactic lead and this is doing things right despite the somewhat simplistic arrangement. I like the edgy Goa sound in ACT 3, as it incorporates some of the sleek, sexy feel from ACT 1.  At this point I'm confused because this album can't seem to make up its mind with whether it wants to sound contrived, repetitive, and afraid to take risks, or create and develop greatness onto of greatness.  B+

7. Open Your Eyes is sleek. It covers less ground, with fewer ideas, ACT 1 grows too similar sounding to me despite it being fairly catchy in sound. A new technologic synth improves ACT 2 followed by more variety, though a more elegant/tasty synth could have complimented the more aggressive, rough synths, approach. The song climaxes towards the end with an energetic, strong synths, though again, I find the arrangement, sound selection and overall direction repetitive and lacking to what we've come to go-- WOW, that's catchy and different! This gets predictable towards the end (arrangement, complimentary elements-wise), but it'll certainly be effective on dance floors.  B

8. Secret Space starts great. Early on is exciting and the ambient notes convey feels, helping to flesh out a story. Although the excitement / ACT 1 seems to run out of steam, the song is pushed up by a healthy ACT 2 that develops the music. I can't predict where the music is going unlike numerous prior tracks and I love that, even if the artist repeats some elements with greater rhythm and complimentary ingredients, e.g., a Pleiadian synth that skips and is soon accentuated by clear, piano-esque notes, playing a distinct melody that enhances the complexity of the whole. For the album's emphasis on Trance-friendly style, this is a strong track!  B+ / A-

9. The Devine Plan is a fairly progressive, gentle, uplifting morning Trance number. The song is peaceful and the conscious aware samples attract me. Having said that, it's a bit formulaic, contrived sounding via sounds, arrangement, and overall direction. Still it's not bad but not as memorable as it could have been. ACT 3 is very nice, providing a warmer (euphoric) climax. The song's grown on me despite being fairly structurally/sound-wise predictable and risk-free like much of the album. I do appreciate the non-banger approach though after the previous four digits  B- / B

10. Wisdom Bringers is pleasant, harmless. It has a nice sound, beat, a touch of ethnic/world influence. The artist could have closed things with a stronger downtempo track, or one more akin to the Goa style more prevalent in BACK TO SPACE, but he took a risk here to include this, as it is unexpected and different-- and hey, at least he didn't put it in the middle of the album a la debut! The song isn't bad. It's not that memorable either and sounds like it would maybe be better suited on a downtempo compilation. Decent, fairly good overall. I believe he can make stronger, more imaginative, fun/entertaining down (and mid) tempo ones too that better compliment the stylistic vision of the album. That said, it's nice (I enjoy it more without the voices to be honest) and appreciate the slight Psy/Goa touches in the second half.  B-

COONCLUSION

An arguably solid album that is too formulaic (and/or Club Trancey-ish in sound, structure and arrangement at times while maintaining some strong Trance (and Goa influenced Trance) songs and elements, as well as a few super dance-floor bangers to boot. Though friendly for dance floors and almost entirely RISK-FREE, I miss the purer, punchier, less linear Goa approach that BACK TO SPACE had. I really loved the debut album despite some shortcomings-- its few weaker first half (Tracks 2, 3, 4). Similar to the debut, TO THE STARS improves in the second half, though its style, sound, and the way numerous songs are structured and composited (the overall direction) is definitely more mainstream friendly (and predictable sounding at times) for dance floors. There are things-- elements, melodies, moments- almost entire songs I really like/love here (praised above). There are Goa elements/Goa songs(!), and I simply wish the artist didn't limit his mind to more contrived structures, arrangements, and synths at times, as that reduces how expansive, imaginative, and well-- ground-breakingly CATCHY the album could have been while also being fun, danceable, and mainstream friendly! What we have is something good- sometimes great, and occasionally too rudimentary and routine (going through the motions) to my ears and mind. But there's greatness nonetheless including some of the best dance songs I've heard all yar. In the end, it's a bit of a mixed bag. I love strong songs and when I don't land on one, I get bored quick. But oh.. oh.. those moments and tracks I cannot deny. Give it a listen and decide for yourself.

HIGHLIGHTS:  2, 56, 8

B / B+

 

Hello Jon Cocco! It's a delight for me that I have the pleasure to comment on a review of yours, I think this is a first :)

I almost missed this delightful album due to the drama caused by Psychedelic Superbeast. Man, that put me off ... I completely forgot about it - until I finally got shown the beauty by having discovered one of the tracks in @Basilisk's "Saturnine Exapnsion" mix ... there he put the Divine Plan in -- which I discovered after a few hits'n'misses guessing the track from the list -- and that got my attention, because it was my favourite track in that mix. So I checked the album out and found the thread again. Thus, I am now the excavator of this topic ... but it's not that long anyway...

I come to a truly interesting conclusion: I seem to be attracted particularly to the tracks which you find weaker (Apex is an exception - I am with you on that).
Not only it is for my mind easier to follow the more simplistic structure, I also would feel that in the simpler tracks there is more "light" in the air, more uplifting feel and I like that more than the "complexity bonus" of the tracks that you point out as more interesting for you.

I'm a huge, huge fan of Astral Traveler (candidate for best track on album for me), I like Dreamland a very big lot (reminds me of modern Astral Projection), Solar Warden is also very very good for me -- and then my euphoria kinda takes a break, only to return for Divine Plan (second candidate for best track on album for me).

Tracks 5 to 8 are in NO WAY bad, don't get me wrong. They are very good! It's just that on my personal level, I feel more attracted to the aforementioned ones than to the others.

I think I have a somewhat high sensitivity towards these "more goa power" tracks and they tend to contain too much energy for me. Which is why I always approach real oldskool Goa Trance with a certain respect mentally, knowing of its power. My consumption of real old school Goa was and is scarce, in the past I had compilations, not albums ... which facilitated the practice to make breaks between tracks ... and I had the fortunate case to pretty soon drop into that pocket dimension of old progressive, where I have built my mental hideout and where my mind is not exposed to so many sound stimuli :P
Fun fact: the first Filteria album I may have played only twice or three times - once, deeming it too strong ... and then saving it up for migraine attacks (I can guarantee this technique has a profound effect, I can see music in geometric forms and in colours when on a migraine).
So, actually it's GOOD in my perspective that this is a more accessible album than the first by Artifact 303. I personally might probably not have enjoyed it that much if it wasn't. Anyway, maybe my ramblings can contribute to enrich the dialogue and see something positive in the fact that the album may not be as "intense" (?) as you have hoped...?

I also like the tenth track by the way :wub:

Summing up: it's a phenomenal album for me and I LOVE it - albeit maybe not for the same reasons as others on here :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@RTP

I think this albums strong suit is that it mixes the styles up a bit. That variation makes it so that both more hardcore goa heads and those like yourself, who are more in the prog/modern psytrance camp. Can both find something interesting here.

 I think this album finds a good middle ground between classic goa, clubby goa and the slightly proggy/modern psy side of things.

It would be interesting to hear from Artifact303 himself, what his main inspirations and themes were for this album.

:) 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/5/2022 at 11:56 PM, Magus Knight said:

It would be interesting to hear from Artifact303 himself, what his main inspirations and themes were for this album.

:) 

I would like to hear that too!
Maybe @mars or @Global Sect have his contact info and can point him to this thread? That would be  b e a u t i f u l :wub: 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Hi :)

Thanks everyone for the reviews, opinions and your support.

About influence: I enjoy some psyprog and psytrance for their clean modern mixes and productions, so I challenged myself (learned) to do a similar modern production, but also to stay true to "goa trance" as much as possible. I had to find a balance. That's why some tracks have psytrance and psyprog influence.

I could say the motivation and inspiration came from learning new production standards by myself, for myself.

As for the feel of the tracks, as RTP very nicely pointed out, some tracks have a "light" and others a "dark-er" tone/feel. I enjoy and make both styles, depending how I feel in the moment.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@artifact303

Very nice with som background/insight into the process. :) 

Keep experimenting, we look forwards to hearing the results. You have a very good balance of light/dark, older inspirations and newer ones. 

Your music sure has progressed a lot since the Trip To The Sun and The Ancestors era. Nice tracks as well,  obviously not as advanced production-wise compared to your later works.

Btw you always had quite a distinct kick drum, very AP-Dancing Galaxy typeish, or Miranda-ish. Very big and knocky. Do you create your kick drums from scratch?

Cheers! B)

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Magus Knight said:

Do you create your kick drums from scratch?

Yes, I created all kicks carefully with Sonic Academy Kick 2 plugin. Kick and bass are very important for trance IMO, so a lot of care is put in to them.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, artifact303 said:

Yes, I created all kicks carefully with Sonic Academy Kick 2 plugin. Kick and bass are very important for trance IMO, so a lot of care is put in to them.

Thanks! I need to buy this plugin. :) 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/20/2022 at 5:07 PM, artifact303 said:

Hi :)

Thanks everyone for the reviews, opinions and your support.

About influence: I enjoy some psyprog and psytrance for their clean modern mixes and productions, so I challenged myself (learned) to do a similar modern production, but also to stay true to "goa trance" as much as possible. I had to find a balance. That's why some tracks have psytrance and psyprog influence.

I could say the motivation and inspiration came from learning new production standards by myself, for myself.

As for the feel of the tracks, as RTP very nicely pointed out, some tracks have a "light" and others a "dark-er" tone/feel. I enjoy and make both styles, depending how I feel in the moment.

Hi - thanks for stopping by :)

For me personally it's good to hear that you will stay true both to the old school and to the new sound.
It also will be easier for me to recommend this to others than if it was pure old school ... I know purists on here LOVE that old school sound ... but it's more easy to connect people with the other tracks, I would say...

I'll note that kick plugin ... will check it out.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...