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Various - Materia Musica, AJACD009
Review, Written by Paul, Morpheusmusic

Extensive tranquil psychill compilation. Synthetic strains, soft washes and ambient textures laid out in delicate layers rippled with arpeggio patterns work in conjunction with a variety of relaxing downtempo beats. The sound is strongly electronic - there are a few embellishments - spoken voices, ethnic samples, female vocalising - but the main thrust of the sound is one of lush synthesiser tones, digital effects and attractive keyboard phrases. The album has quite a spacey approach in places, drifting and floatational rather than acidic or heavily tribal. At some points on the first disc the music becomes almost abstract - light freeform arrangements with fragile rhythms, touches of tone falling like gentle sunshine interwoven with subtle breezes of movement - very peaceful, transportational.

Golden global symbols twinkle across the panels of this package lifted slightly above pale galactic filaments. The lettering stark in antique gothic font carrying the same bright sparkle as the imagery. On the reverse and inside we find the tracks listed - the inner list accompanied by brief credits. A generous list of thanks foots the inside double panel spread.

This latest presentation from Ajana Records comes as a two CD package - the first disc "contains tracks that are more atmospheric music, made for home listening ... while the second contains tracks that have a more uplifting style" more danceable. Many of the names appearing on the twenty one tracks here will be instantly familiar to chill fans - Capsula, Chronos, Kick Bong - others are newer upcoming artists. This is one for listeners that prefer something on the less beat driven end of the spectrum, certainly the chilled beats are there, lazily driving the music, but there is something of a late night sleepiness to this collection. In general the compositions are mid length - running up to around the ten minute mark.

Chill/worldbeat/ambient/electronica info hub


Track by Track:

Disc 1

Relapxych.00 - Pharmaceptic (Edit 1)
A convergence of harmonic ambient layers passes softly as ephemeral cloudwork, shifting fronts between the idyllic and the eerie. This opener track expresses a certain duality in atmospheric music, shifting the poles of mood changing sounds in a slow, yet regular oscillation, taking your mind to distant places both above and below.

Senzar - The Red Water
This triptastic pieces offers up a hearty slice of spooky chilout beats consisting of eclectic, experimental percusssion, dissonant electric chords and sounds from midnight fens and boglands. Scary voice samples kick in at just the right time to grab your attention and raise some hairs, providing perfect atmosphere for nocturnal summertime outdoor happenings.

Electrypnose - Eternal Sunset
Undulating and metamorphosing electronic arpeggios make up the meat of this chiller, and in true Electrypnose style, there is plenty of sonic wildlife in the bacground for you to enjoy as the drums and rhythm propel you along. highly spaced out and faintly on an optimistic note, in short "Sunset" is a vehicle through an astral audioverse safari.

Ovnimoon - Magical Visions
Deep male Middle Eastern mantras, familiar yet no less emotive in an entirely different sonic context, lead us through the curtain of guitar and squishy synth sound inspired ambient track. Touches of deep, dubby bass and harmonic vox pads are layerd on thickly and form a superb binding agent for these masterful electrostrings sounds.

A-Kara - Evil Shamans
The name is misleading, while primal and heavily tribal this track does feel, not a hint of sonic malevolence can be heard in these waves. Relaxing, filterd drums beat away a steady rhythm for sawwed synth pads and woodwinds to build themselves upon. This track has plenty of shamanistic quality albeit serene and uplifting.

Khooman - Dakhara
This track represents the soundtrack to an inimical alien ecology. Familiar sounds are incorporated into strange musical contexts. The results are audio bliss your ears will enjoy. Cascading chimes, woody reeds and vocal drones perforate effects-laden synthm permutations all to a soft drum beat that makes you feel both at home and far removed.

Xerxes - One-Oh-Three
This dubby track takes you on a lazy journey atop the slippery terrain of rich, pitch-glided bass. Heady clouds of thick synth fog fill out a highly original and enjoyable flute solo that precipitates tears of musical joy throughout the chillspace. Overall a great progression from formless audio primordialism to highly refined beats and tones.

A.I.A. - Signals & Systems
Sitars, harmonic percussion, and what must be the song of humpback whales from outer space drape around a filtered two step dub beat. Softly squared arpeggios add a bit of retro flavor as phaser-laden effects and layers drift along with the grace of a warm front. Eventually the myriad layers congeal into a chariot ferrying you from your mortal coil.

Grains of Sound - Meridian
Music of this genre need not be always happy and gleeful. In fact, some of the best tracks touch upon some of the darker human emotions, and in so doing sink your mind deep into your spiritual core. "Grains" falls into that category, with lonely hand drums, somber mystical chanting and sound waves which subtly cause you to mentally breathe along with them.

Chronos - Spiral Clouds
This track is hyperbolic to its predecessor. Expert manipulation of vocal samples accompany a groovy, eclectic beat. Aboriginal woodwinds writhe in the backgrounds of synths that feel elastic and nomadic. This track exemplifies the sort of highly organic electronica that people take heart to, melding soulful analog with the precise nature of the digital into a superb audio duality.

Disc 2

Unstable Elements - Escape (Intro)
More like telepathic communication than traditional music, the ethereal tones of "Escape" are just what your brain needs to open its doors to the previously imperceptable and appreciate the message that is to come.

Capsula - Salviation
This track has so much to offer its audience. Syncopated high hats tap out eclectic, off-kilter rhythms while echoed, bittersweet melodies arrange themselves atop a thick bass substratum. Harmonic layers preach nonverbal sermons of acceptance and forgiveness, and the shear delight is an edgy gated groove adding extra octane to the dancefloor.

Chronos - Solar Movement (Paleolithic Edit)
Picking up the tempo with a hearty breakbeat, "Solar" is chock full of chunky, pneumatic electro-mayhem hammering out gliding melodies. A quasi-Gothic fusion of styles, from Transylvanian organ to gritty synth rhythms make this one a great kick start to a groovy playlistbest enjoyed on your feet at maximum wattage.

Kane and Echoside - Thoughtless
Hugh all that mental chatter for a moment and let Echoside and Kane take you where you know you want to go. Chunky beats square off against a hungry bassline chomping unseen at your heels. Indian tablas coerce a human snake dance out of the audience as thick layers of bubbly sound effects roll in low and ominous as a monsoon thunderhead.

Kickbong - Vague à L'âme
Spaced out harmonic alignments build up sad, sultry moods according to a minimal wood-block breakbeat. Sexy female vocals play off of a key-keeping dub bassline. Orbitally oscillating synths tap out leads which fill out the sensually sad and longingly desirous mood of this expertly arranged but of musical art.

Dagas- Green Moss
This sleek dubstep track puts a little spring into your step. Pitch bent santerns percolate atop simplistically groovy bass/snare duo befoure launching into a full-blown percussive groover, and the electronic elements are rich and full. Expect to see scenes of undulating navels and heady hookah scents shortly after "Green" makes waves on the playlist.

Zoe Wheelingz - Synthetic River
This tribal track is an assortment of rapidly changing sounds and effects making the most out of key switching and pitch manipulation to induce the urge to groove. To assign moods to the way this music feels would be an injustice; "River" would simply be too far out there, were it not for grounding, soothing keys and lyrics peppered with silver flute.

Ovnimoon vs Dagas - Southern Wind
Picking up the tempo a notch, Ovnimoon and Dagas make a second appearance on this compilation with asyncopated bass groove laden with clicky plucks and twisted synths. Bubbly pads and gated arpeggios switch gears in both directions which lend to some great tension-release moments which all great music should inspire to incorporate.

Yestegan chaY - Unleaded
Part ancient Egyptian, part interstellar mothership, "Unleaded" features a charmer of a synth flute and a bassline carved out of granite. A variety of instruments compose quite an ensemble for this dubstep track that's unlike any other. With influences spanning both time zones and decades, this music makes the most out of subtlety and space.

Zonetura - Unreal
A Carribean-esque steel xylophone melody patters out a unique intro to an imaginative track so rife with childish innocence, it's actually a little bit disturbing. With analog-sounding grooves and bass this rich, you'd think nothing else is needed, but there are plenty of surprises to be enjoyed in these sounds, electronica in a style all its own.

Unstable Elements - Seasons
This double album of downtempo goodness ends with a masterpiece minimalistic in nature with the intricately manipulate percussion being the resounding exception. No two hits seem alike as this musical fabric changes in stitch with the collodially thick bassline being the near-only constant; all layers build and build into ten minuteaudio odyssey.

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