Psynews / November, 2010
It has got a sticker on it that says ‘infused with the twilight sound of Scandinavia and mysticism of Goa trance. Ready to travel north?’ Sounds good, doesn’t it? First of all: long songs! I like long songs as it often indicates that the artists has a lot to ”say” in a song and that he takes his time to let a song develop. Let’s see.
Track 1: Reach Escape Velocity
It starts with a deep and atmospheric sound. A great atmosphere, the background noises are amazing! Then there come some great high-pitched harp or piano melodies that remind me of Procs’s Lonely Land of Tada a lot. The song develops and new layers come and go, and it gets more complex as the structure develops, getting an atmosphere filled with tension. I hear those old fire alarms with a lot of reverb on them, or are there horns being blown – I cannot tell, but it gets an organic ‘alarm-phaze-feeling’ going. So in short, very organic, complex psychedelic sounds with gentle light-as-a-feather Scandinavian melodies that ‘go up’ in the atmosphere. Nice song, certainly!
Track 2: Congratulations (Crawl Into My Mouth)
Same deep, organic Scando sound. A sample of a child saying ”congratulations” seeps by. More twisted sounds than in the first song and the tension is now less alarming. This song goes more in the direction of Derango’s style with al the twisted forest sounds. The sounds are all messed up – they make a complex swamp of organic sounds and dramatic (maybe slightly out of tune?) melodies. So, this one is also a great song!
Track 3: 30 Cycles
More or less same sound as the previous two. This song changes in form several times throughout the song, I do not know how to explain it, it is what KoxBox does all the time on Dragon Tales: constantly changing the form of the song. This song is not as extreme as KoxBox but it gives me that same feeling a bit. I really notice a continuum here between melody and sound effects with a lot of the sounds placed somewhere in the middle between a melody and a strange organic sound effect – great! This is also something that reminds me of KoxBox! Then, there is also some breakbeat-like playing around here – not much but just enough to make that chaotic feeling going. The kick changes several times so just when you forgot where it was, there it recaptures your attention by coming back…different (another kick sound I presume). The work with the melodies (what you can call melodies, of course) here is great, how they interact with the atmosphere and how they create that strange dramatic feeling… This track is already a favourite!
Track 4: Unexpecting The Expected
Nice title! This song is really nice, too. It is more goa tranceish than the first ones. The goa tranceish melody comes in during the second part of the track, so the first part is more of the ‘expecting part’, I guess. The end reminds me of dark goa trance like Cydonia or UX, only slightly more twisted and scando-sounding. Some influence from Battle of the Future Buddhas too, I guess. It certainly becomes more tranceish than the first songs. But then the next song comes.
Track 5: Moving Hills Barefoot
This is a strange one! It combines elements from both ends of the scope of Psytrance that I enjoy. Let me explain. It has that same vibe going on as the first song, that forestish scando-beat with all the effects and atmosphere. But there is a very very tranceish melody on top of it. It sounds really odd in my ears. The melody could be from a Man With No Name trance track or California Sunshine or something. But that combined with the rest of the song, which is really dark, hard, and driving, creates a really strange mix. In my ears they do not go together at all… But maybe I will get used to it… Some of the songs I disliked the most in the past have become favourites now so let us see. It is certainly the most experimental song on this album, I think.
Track 6: Ablaze (Time Leap Mix)
Well, after being surprised by ‘trance elements’ in track 5 this track begins and in my opinion this is a goa trance track. It is a dark, atmospheric and acidic goa trance track. So there are a lot of acid melodies and I love those, it is what got me into this music so: hell yeah! Nice song! It is comparable with songs of Syb Unity Nettwerk – I think only less straight-forward and less of those cinematic melodies, like those of Cydonia. There are some good dark melodies here and some of them remind me of a song but I cannot figure out which….
Track 7: Rapide Ou Plus Lent
The slowest song of the upbeat tracks. More groovy than the rest but as atmospheric as all the other songs. Some acidic melodies here as well. More emotional than the last song. I feel strange combinations in this song, like in track 5, but here they do not bother me. Original sounds, I think! Good song!
Track 8: Space Between Spaces
I always look forward to the slow one on dark albums and this one is worth looking forward too! The beginning reminds me of Weird Wondering Wood Worlds by Purosurpo. This is what you get when a forest artist makes ambient/chill sounds. Awesome! I think that the forest style is THE psytrance that is closest to ambient – the two music styles are about atmosphere and sound structure, in my humble opinion! And you hear that this guy can make good atmospheres! Organic sounds of the forest combined with mystical, slow melodies and pads. Some acid sounds come in and then the song takes on more of a dub style, and it gets really cinematic towards the end! Grrrreaat track!
So a good album! Although I have only given it 3 spins, I think I will listen to it a lot in the future. There is a lot of detail embedded in this album, certainly in the first songs. It is a good album and I feel excited thinking about how it will sound in the future. For now, I will give it 8.5/10.
Psynews / December, 2010
Now I don’t usually go for Darkpsy. As I have mentioned before, a lot of it sounds noisy to my ears, with no discernable melody or direction. All the standard blah blah blah. The obvious exceptions being Derango and Loke. This has always disappointed me because like goa, I think this genre of music has the ability to tell some great stories. Devil’s Mind Records specializes in darkness, and have brought you 2 Silent Horror albums as well as the much ballyhooed Ka-Sol & Battle of the Future Buddha teamup. I haven’t heard any of those, but the review above has me interested. Kiriyama is Alex Örtegren and he is the co-founder and owner of the label. Starting with the cover, it appeals to me.The title makes you think of outerspace, but the picture is of a forest. Meeting of the two worlds? Perhaps an alien craft of evil beings landed in the Swedish forest? I am an avid hiker going up and down mountains and into forests. Although I have been to Sweden, it was only Gothenburg and I didn’t make it to the dark pixie forest. The image looks like a place here in Virginia (actually it is the highest point) called Mt. Rogers. So already I feel like I connect with the album as I think I have been there. Well, as Eudaimonia mentioned, it has a sticker on it that says, ”infused with the twilight sound of Scandinavia and mysticism of Goa trance. Ready to travel north?” Where the hell do I sign up?
Reach Escape Velocity- He comes out with the title track first, so he has some confidence. This one oozes liquid effects and begins with a frenzy. The horror movie strings are loud but are just part of the frightening mix. Synths wobble and waver, and then we are under attack as an alert horn sounds. Driving and intense.
Congratulations (Crawl into my Mouth)- ”Crawl into my mouth. I don’t think I can fit. Sure you can, just go one leg at a time.”
First of all love the title. Cyber madness greets the ears with eerie melodies twinkling on high. A spooky childs voice reverberates ”Congratulations” as if we made it to the slaughterhouse. It rumbles with deep bass indicative of the genre and the juicyness of the effects cannot be overstated. Tangibly delicious! Scary pads pile on and when the sample arrives it fits perfectly. Awesome!
30 Cycles- Cyber gurgling gives way to electronic banshees as they swirl above. Again the bass rumbles with force as evil bleeps and blops crawl from the abyss. Out of the madness a melody grows louder with synthesized voices. This is so…liquid and organic. What’s great is that it is darkness, with layers, and groovy at the same time. Very well done.
Unexpecting The Expected- This beast lumbers out of the computer graveyard with various clicks and whirs with a sinister intent. It dribbles and screeches with atmosphere, as leads wail their detuned lament. Most assuredly dark, but also so deeply layered. The last third increases in intensity as a goa melody flourishes.
Moving Hills Barefoot- Slow steady heartbeat bass as a melody snakes just out of view. The melody is nice but the bass rumbles with anger. These two don’t seem to go together. Is it a dark track of a light one? More experimental I think.
Ablaze (Time Leap Mix)- Delicious goa goodness at almost 11 minutes! UX proved that goa can be dark and a page was ripped from his book. Very rhythmic with eerie, scratchy effects just to let you know that you haven’t strayed too far from the darkness. Listen to that growl! Remember the opening scene music in Blade when all the dancers are in a meat locker they think is a club? Sounds like that. More layers thicken the track and it becomes a driving force. This is another one that has a few twists and turns with great weaving of layers.
Rapide ou Plus Lent- With a goa melody right off the bat the track has a groove to envy. The high balances the low, as the goa adventure continues. Not overbearing, but enough to show he has the talent. Very hypnotic as leads wail and melodies fly by. Whereas the other tracks had melodies in them, this one is constructed around them. As it breaks down, it resurfaces, growling. There are so many changes and the track is so deep you don’t stand a chance. A dark goa treat for the most sinister. So damn good.
Space Within Spaces- A darkspy downtempo track? Am I dreaming? This is slow, alien and spooky. The beginning is so evil and fluid. A delicate melody walks gingerly above evil choirs as a bug would traverse a body of water on small feet. The pads make me think of the Himalayas as it chugs along. A new melody rises from the dark and this is the perfect ending to what has been an eye opening experience. More darkpsy artists should produce downtempo numbers.
Wow. So vivid. I have been waiting so long for this. Such a rich picture with numerous layers that tell a great tale. The first half is darkness with some melodies and the 2nd is melodies with darkness. It’s liquid, it’s alien, it’s an evil ride through the mind of the most psychotic killer. But oh yeah, he is from another galaxy and he cannot be stopped; stuff of your worst nightmares. With an incredible amount of detail in all of the tracks one listen does not do this album justice. There is an evil sprite around every corner, and he is hungry. I always said that effects can make a break a track and this guy takes full advantage in his storytelling. Add to that fact that melodies are all over this thing and we have one dynamite release. Like long tracks? Get used to them because that’s all you will find here. It works well because he needs that time to unravel all the complexities in each song. Also, they are slightly mixed so they flow into each other keeping the vibe going. Bottom line, this is a truly enjoyable voyage into the mystic, combining the mystery of the dark forest with the melodies and light of goa. If this is the direction of Darkpsy then I am fully committed. I was totally floored by this and I highly recommend it. People need to give this more attention.
Revolve Magazine / January, 2011
Kicking off with an atmospheric, dark (Ed: forest trance) number almost 12 minutes long, which as it progresses introduces an increasing amount of goatrance-like influences into the mix. This mixture of sounds sets the foundations for what the listener can expect. An ever increasing degree of goatrance-like sounds, which as the album progresses shifts into becoming the dominant sound. For the sixth track in what is a pretty solid album, there is even evidence of influences from classic goa artists such as G.N.O.T.R. Overall, this release would likely appeal to those who are predominantly Goatrance fans but who also enjoy the occasional darker / more Scandanavian forest releases too.
Psynews / February, 2011
Kiriyama is an electronic project of Swedish artist Alex Örtegren, more precisely producing mind-bending subliminal forest dark psytrance the signals of which are not limited to earthly stratosphere but abound far and beyond into the unknown depths of deep transdimensional outer space.
Now to the review which most you who have heard the album are eagerly awaiting. Reach Escape Velocity is not your standard cookie-cutter trance that you can pigeon hole into a specific genre. It is deliciously psychedelic bringing, folding various elements, the first and foremost which spring to mind is melodic GOA, encompassing in its melodic wake hypnotic mind-splitting dark psychedelic forest. Not ”I am going to beat your braincells to 4X4 pulp with inaccessible sounds so you have no option but to call it killer, mind-splitting”; Alex has a totally different method to his madness, he will start almost in a sombre haunting ambient fashion and will slowly and patiently build a series of complex, labyrinthine webs that interlink in no uncertain fashion but at the same time leave you gasping and amazed at how they come together and then withdraw not letting you the listener get a complete hold of what his exact intentions are, like a painter who is in absolutely no hurry to compromise his artistic expression, totally absorbed in giving his audience as much of an experience that he had in weaving the strokes on his digital canvas. Never once do you sense any hurry or jarry overtones to spook the listener out of his trance, which is pretty apparent since none of the tracks are less than nine minutes with immense twilight eerie potential to boot! There is a calm composed inner peace that this music exudes while being exactly what it intends to be, twisted forest melodic GOA to the core!
So yes all in all a very patient and valiant effort from Alex, who took almost four years to get these sublime moments of magic together, has paid off very well. This album seeks to push the envelope of the stereotype that has been cast around DMR to an area from where it can broaden its repertoire of albums to come. Listeners of this genre will be pleasantly surprised by this album I believe because, I reiterate again, it is not your standard dark psychedelic forest trance. This is ‘melodic’ stuff that breathes, grows and becomes you and takes you places you would not mind taking a short trip to, meant for those hours where there is not too much action on the dancefloor but for those who are in the thick of things, take my word for it, you will exchange glances, shimmer in the glow of the frequencies and sounds that envelop and surround like a warm embrace and you will know the time has come to reach escape velocity and revel in the enchantment and fascination that will hit you like a meteor shower. Unexpected The Expected and Moving Hills Barefoot are my picks from the album and the latter is where this album takes a divine u-turn of sorts just at the point where it was exactly needed, a perfect track for bringing in the morning hours.
Kudos to Alex once again and I urge all you forest freaks to check this one out. One of the top albums of last year in my opinion.
Psytones Music Reviews / December, 2011
Swooshing in comes the air with eerie sounds of lust and plums. The haunting shims of things to become and beats of the graveling beast warn a sensation where rolling bass lines and raining acid is to fume the forest of creative splendor where excitement awaits! Tangling in the autumn leaves is where you start to believe. Squeaking worms crawl on the side with laser flipped insects yarning for their entranced trust. This track is about mystery and bewildering without deluding anyone, much. A warning of things to come haunts this track; beauty of the frightened introductional run is where we all shall come undone. 6/6 ScaryShit Psy
For where better to go then into the ray of a sun. We are all meant to shine to somewhere fun without feeling shun. When we the Love the One realize the infused dimensional gong, that we are a part of its tones of cosmic Aum, the pattern of our multiflexible mental sum; then we will see that we are free without the hurtful stung of a deluded shun.. One will be able to speak, to say to you whom are standing there waiting for some answers of Om. This album is about Reaching Escape Velocity, and it is intense, sort of disturbing, subtle and very very good while crawling and wrapping itself around your ultimate being of seeing. And you also get some rebuilding bass lines to revaluationize the shamanic approach of Forest SweedPsy! ..Question still remain; do you dare to crawl into a mouth where you might see your own head trying to hang on? 5/6 Mental Forest Psy
The third track again signals of disturbing brain patterns and restless hallucinations, it is demystifying you, making the growl come up to the surface so that your mind can rest in sure of being brushed off. Have a mental massage; it’s good for you even though it might sort of hurt sometimes. What mental road it paws forward is the inducing sent of free thought and neural sensations that will shake your being into another state of wisdom and trust. As the bass rolls and the flair turns into magical shapes a melodic spur strikes the pineal glance only to lighten up the signals of pleasure and astral thirst while before getting your flight on, you are again pressed down to face and realize some of your fears. But distress not as Kiriyama is behind the wheel, trying to make sure your travel is interesting, real, unreal and immensely beautiful while being snuggled by the forest-shine. 4/6 Forest Psy of confused Weed
When you are unexpecting the expected things may take its toll on you as you are trying to ignore a fact of the expecting ones that you know are to be unexpected. This track is more about the tingling falling sensation of flowering birds crawling on top of hefty clashes of beats and sweeps. Hungry for attention the expected ones are feeling the groove of a suffering moon. Again there is more of the Swedish invention (?) of staggering rebuilding the true experience of shamanic trance and what this state can and will accomplish when all minds are set and infused into one higher state of being. 5/6 Twilight Forest Psy
As the four first tracks are swaggering on the twisted mental side of sonic waves and brain signalizing stems, this fifth track is tightening its flight for you by giving you a cool bass line to ride on and pretty smiling melody lines to float on- flying above and away from your (most properly) irrational fears. This track has deepness like a hurricane while being elegant, chaotic and majestic as a flying butterfly. True bliss this track is, really nice and elevating with phat basses and traces of lovely cheese. 6/6 Goadelic Forestpsy
As the melodic part has had its major introduction in the Reach Escape Velocity adventure, the beat transforms into a more techno vibe feel with Winking synthesis and hard hitting basses in intense flavors. Still we are inside a unionized forest land of crawling insects wrapped in moss, puddles and echoing drops. Really cool the way Kiriyama rides this dragon lodge from styles to sensations without ever forgetting what propulsion power he is manifesting. 5/6 GoaTechno in the Bush
So what acceleration would you like to feel, something faster or slower? We are able to bring you to all the phases you wish, as long as your mind is free and you feel capable of being a co-pilot of your own astral journey. Destination is to be felt, not directly thought. Destination is to be free from your own captive opinion of self forced upon you by yourself and unfortunately, ignorant people around. Feel the sting be the float and see the mental rout. Smiles upon you, always. 4/6 Elevating Mentalism in Pie
After an infused journey through the forest mind with glances to the cosmic Goa sound, Kiriyama brings the pressure down to a relaxing field of stress less feel in 60 BPM. Shimmering roots and electrical cute is humming on its way with luring background noises sharpening the curious ear to hear about the space between spaces. Dubadelic clings of happiness and darkened elevations runs over the plain with flying rotors and peaceful insects like crickets and other strange strings. 5/6 Downhearted Dub of Wonder
Recommendation: This is an awesome album and I love it because it goes from forestry sounds to high Goa vibes while being mentally astral. And as the sticker on the original copy reads; ‘Infused with the twilight sound of Scandinavian and mysticism of Goa trance. Ready to travel north?’ .. I just wish this album was twice as lengthy with more tracks to really fill in the journey presented by kiriyama. This is overall in simple words an album that rides a mental beast filled with scare, eerie fear, rolling basses, beautiful aspects of tingling melodies, sensational floats, hard hitting thumps, nostalgic forms and slowed down relaxations of mystical wonder.
The artwork (by Pelle Nyman) is as expected from Devil’s Mind Rec. absolutely stunning with a real forest flavor and some extra eye candy inside by Alex Povidailo. This release is as other DMR-releases really well thought out with important details for collectors and DJ’s. This album contains a 6 paged booklet (fold it out) with beautiful art photographed by Cina Gustavsson and some writings which for me is really nice, I love these details and that one can read some heartfelt words from the creator of the music himself. It is also included a DJ-slip which is (unfortunately) rare these days and that is definitely something to appreciate!
Overall Score: 5/6