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Xenomorph "Negative Time" EP


DoktorG

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Xenomorph Negative Time 2023

Suntrip Records 

 

Negative Time 8:20

Danger On The High Seas 8:27

Lost In An Old Junkyard (Tow Hook Mix) 8:08

 

First up a complaint - I wish Suntrip would use vinyl mailers with corner protection and a STRONG box - this is the third order that has arrived with battered corners. Still, the vinyl plays with rich, warm, powerful bass from Tim Schuldt's mastering for 45rpm. 

 

Mark Petrick is Xenomorph, the first horror trance or darkpsy act. I wonder who had the guts to play out Cassandra's Nightmare (Koyote Records, 1998) in the late 90s? Oh boy, there may well have been some E'd up or acidified hands-in-the-air ravers chundering in the loos if someone put on any of the tracks from this album or the 12" that accompanied it. Sure, there were also UX, Orichalcum and the Deviant, Cydonia, and Planet Ben back then, but they didn't go for the jugular in the gothic fashion of Xenomorph. Influenced by metal, industrial, darkwave, classical, film, he was a unique artist and that is invariably inspiring. How many artists have the distinction of inaugurating a whole genre? 

 

"Negative Time" features midrange 303 fluttering and weaving, and then a simple 5 note melody towards the end. Nice subtle track and quite mellow for Xenomorph, verging on progressive. It reminds me of a lesser-known track called "Inner Spirits", a once off collaboration between Mark Petrick and Dominic Sangeet (not to be confused with DJ Sangeet) on Organic Records in 1998. Both tracks are quite chilled, but have an epic quality from spiralling melodies that culminate in an uplifting explosion towards the end. Petrick can easily do Goa bliss, though he is not at his most original doing so.   

"Danger on the High Seas" is darker, featuring a chewy bassline, and reminds me of Xenomorph's brief incarnation as the Brighton Trash Department, which was a short-lived collaboration with Dara Lee of Koyote Records. Brighton Trash Department did one 12" in 1998, featuring the awesome track "Costa del Goa" which is a dark sea shanty featuring a wonderful spoken word sample. "Costa del Goa" summons a spectral shipwreck through swirling mist and features clanky, twinkling sounds building to a massive minor key melody. "Danger on the High Seas" is nearly as atmospheric, which is saying something. It achieves this by similar salty sea dog samples, but also by carefully chosen sinister synth sprinkles. As "Costa del Goa" has it: "this is some spooky shit we got here".

"Lost In An Old Junkyard (Tow Hook Mix)" is my favourite track on the ep. This track has such a great industrial rhythm section with the metallic percussion and foursquare beats that Xenomorph is well known for. Then sulky bass moog creeps in stealthily. Then the eerie treble melody rains from an empty sky. Then comes the haunting ghostly acid. Moody voodoo from the master. 

 

So there we have it: another devastatingly great dark Goa trance production by the ever-reliable Xenomorph. It is a wonder that Mark Petrick continues to make great tracks that barely glance at fashion ("fashion is something so hideous that we need to change it every six months" Oscar Wilde). He just continues in the forever-now of timeless trance. For me, this is apparent not only in the notion of "negative time", but also in the uncompromisingly uncanny Xenomorph sound - any of these tracks could have been on Xenomorph's first album. Don't you go changing now Mark, y'hear. ~*~

 

PS - I would be keen to hear about people's favourite Xenomorph tracks. I would include the aforementioned "Costa del Goa", "Antimatter", and "Dying Sun", but my favourite may be "Malkuth Temple" (not that I've ever heard a less than very good Xenomorph track). 

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big xenomorph fan over here, i like all his stuff, he has made three different albums (i always like that artists don't repeat themself) that are very good

new songs sound good, just as his other suntrip work on various albums

exicted for the new album, finally happening this year

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14 hours ago, Kriestof said:

big xenomorph fan over here, i like all his stuff, he has made three different albums (i always like that artists don't repeat themself) that are very good

new songs sound good, just as his other suntrip work on various albums

exicted for the new album, finally happening this year

Great news that there is a new album on the way; if it is anything like this ep it is going to be good. 

As you point out Kriestof, the three albums he has done are differently themed: Cassandra's Nightmare is cinematic horror, I would describe Qlippoth as spirit possession, and Demogoguery of the Obscurants is the conspiracy theory album. What is constant is not only the creepy gothic darkness, not only Xenomorph's ability to conjure clear feelings and images in the imagination, but also the strong minor key melodies (perhaps it might be true that "the devil has the best tunes"?).

Even if you don't like darkpsy, like the one commentator on the first album who described it as "painful to listen to", it still has its place in the darkest hour before the dawn in the all-night trance dance ritual. ~*~

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3 hours ago, DoktorG said:

Great news that there is a new album on the way; if it is anything like this ep it is going to be good. 

As you point out Kriestof, the three albums he has done are differently themed: Cassandra's Nightmare is cinematic horror, I would describe Qlippoth as spirit possession, and Demogoguery of the Obscurants is the conspiracy theory album. What is constant is not only the creepy gothic darkness, not only Xenomorph's ability to conjure clear feelings and images in the imagination, but also the strong minor key melodies (perhaps it might be true that "the devil has the best tunes"?).

Even if you don't like darkpsy, like the one commentator on the first album who described as "painful to listen to", it still has its place in the darkest hour before the dawn in the all-night trance dance ritual. ~*~

 

qlippoth was an album that i had to listen to a lot before i liked it, it's for me his most dark and strange work, but i love it now

cassandra is an absolutely dark old school goa trance classic, one of the best

and a lot of people i now they all say that Demogoguery is a commercial album (vocals, guitar, melodies) but i don't agree, it's a very special album in the psytrance history, i like the artwork, the lyrics, the atmosphere,...not very psychedelic, but very interesting

xenomorph is one of the lonely acts from the 90's that didn't change his sound (full on beat,  stupid climaxes,...), so he could play on festivals for bigger audiences

i have seen him live performing  ten years ago or something like that with a leather dress on, and people (so called open minded hippies) were nagging about his clothes and look, never understood that, that people at a psy party were talking negative about someones appereance

 

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12 minutes ago, Kriestof said:

 

 

qlippoth was an album that i had to listen to a lot before i liked it, it's for me his most dark and strange work, but i love it now

cassandra is an absolutely dark old school goa trance classic, one of the best

and a lot of people i now they all say that Demogoguery is a commercial album (vocals, guitar, melodies) but i don't agree, it's a very special album in the psytrance history, i like the artwork, the lyrics, the atmosphere,...not very psychedelic, but very interesting

xenomorph is one of the lonely acts from the 90's that didn't change his sound (full on beat,  stupid climaxes,...), so he could play on festivals for bigger audiences

i have seen him live performing  ten years ago or something like that with a leather dress on, and people (so called open minded hippies) were nagging about his clothes and look, never understood that, that people at a psy party were talking negative about someones appereance

 

You make an excellent point about the power of the herd mind Kriestof. I too have experienced a disappointing level of fashion bitchiness at trance parties - leaving aside appearance, one I remember so clearly had everyone marching like zombies staring at the "superstar" djs and if you didn't "dance" in the same way people would look nastily at you. To be fair, plenty of other parties have been happily wilder and freer. I have my own theories about this, but if you are interested check out "Dunbar's number", which is fascinating scientific research into the human brain and herd mentality. 

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i know the dunbar number theory and that new research say that it can be more that 150 people,,,,but i think 150 people his too much

 i believe it is less than that, i also don't believe in good functioning communities, but thats another discussion

 

on topic:

good concept and titel for a xenomorph album, 'the dunbar number theory'

 

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