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On 6/8/2021 at 5:44 PM, RTP said:

Cleaned up the trash. Sorry if anything meaningful went with it, but I didn't feel, that it would do the topic much good if I left it here...

Thanks for pointing it out.

This exactly :)

cheers

So specially my posts were trash?

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On 6/13/2021 at 1:11 PM, psytones said:

:D jah man coming up ive just been too busy pimpin', and hiking mountains with my dog. Speaking of your point, same goes for the Suntrip 50th release And the Aion name copyright info-dilemma. *my head is on it*. Anyway, way the go filling this review topic even more up with unrelated text to the music. When I do make the short review I hope you'll edit yours here and have it say (to the Admin) DELETE ME. I'll do the same. Ps. Notice how i removed my offtopic stuff from my originaø post? .. Btw. My heart hurts reading how much astralprotrction apologiezed for writing His honest opinion review of the album. He should not have to so strongly apologize for it .. Which reminds me of my saying, "tastes are like asses, they are divided and usually they stink". 

no one asked astralP to apologize...stand behind your opinion! Again its his fault and not mine.

Donate his apoligy and your pittyness to africa, children can at least eat it there. it was just a discussion and if yo loose against me it does not mean that i am the bad guy. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

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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+

 

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I haven’t heard the album yet. But I did notice a couple of years ago when checking on spotify what new music Artifact303 had made. That he did indeed seem to have made some Full-On or perhaps Progressive tracks? So that could explain the fusion of styles you noticed on this album Jon Cocco? :)

I personally don’t mind people experimenting with styles. But can at the same time understand, that it might be not be everyone’s cup of tea. Certainly if one approaches this album, and expects it to be  more of a continuation of were Back To Space left of. I think some trancey elements can be a nice thing. I’ll come back with some reflections when I find the focus to listen through the album. 

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On 7/26/2021 at 7:42 PM, Jon Cocco said:

Well I don't mean to crash the party but I'm less impressed with this album,

Hehe. :lol:

No problem. Some critical voices are missing here. ;) As I said before i am not a big fan of the current goa, maybe since the second album of Median Project.

A big benefit goes to the great production quality, mixdown sounds very clean. But maybe at the end it can be the problem, that its sound to perfect, to digital, i think. And at the end with the formualic, generic melodies it bores me. Musically, it doesn't bother me at all. It seems Goa nowaday is reduced of cliche and typical elements.

What do you mean with club trance? Uplifting trance? Talla 2XLC? :lol:
The closeness to psytrance and fullon is right, i think. Both i dont like (anymore).

 

On 7/27/2021 at 1:03 AM, AstralSphinx said:

That he did indeed seem to have made some Full-On or perhaps Progressive tracks? So that could explain the fusion of styles you noticed on this album Jon Cocco?

Instead of experiment with elements of Progressive and Full On its for me more interessting to experiment with genres outside of the psy scene: techno, breaks, house and so on. :)

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On 7/29/2021 at 11:55 PM, GhostOnAcid said:

Hehe. :lol:

No problem. Some critical voices are missing here. ;) As I said before i am not a big fan of the current goa, maybe since the second album of Median Project.

A big benefit goes to the great production quality, mixdown sounds very clean. But maybe at the end it can be the problem, that its sound to perfect, to digital, i think. And at the end with the formualic, generic melodies it bores me. Musically, it doesn't bother me at all. It seems Goa nowaday is reduced of cliche and typical elements.

What do you mean with club trance? Uplifting trance? Talla 2XLC? :lol:
The closeness to psytrance and fullon is right, i think. Both i dont like (anymore).

 

Instead of experiment with elements of Progressive and Full On its for me more interessting to experiment with genres outside of the psy scene: techno, breaks, house and so on. :)

Well it’s a cycle that repeats, for some artists. We can compare with Astral Projection as a good example, since they have touch points with Artifact303 stylewise. They went from Goa Trance to more of a Full-On vibe. And then probably back again. There are other variants as well, people who made Goa, and will not produce it again. 

And as you mention, there are countless of styles and genres to explore. There’s no need to feel stuck in anything. :) 

Whatever the case on this album. I will always respect any artists creative integrity, to do whatever inspires them. One thing is certain, it must be difficult to satisfy what people want. If you’re stuck and don’t evolve stylewise, people will complain. If you deviate too much from your debut album. Well guess what. ;) 

And I expect that some Goa Trance artists will move onto Techno as well. That’s also full cycle, since it all began to some extent with Techno and Acid. When I listen a bit too much to Goa I get bored too. Happens every month, sometimes I don’t even listen to it for a year or something. But it’s always nice to come back with fresh ears. That’s what I think I will do with this album. :) 

Btw I like the track name: Solar Warden, it’s a nice piece of Ufology mythos/conspiracy theory.   I love that stuff. :D 

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