Andrei Oliver Brasovean aka “ATMA” from Transylvania, Romania is one of the pioneers of psychedelic music in Eastern Europe. His latest album “Beyond good and evil” brings us a correlation between the new fresh and well known “psy” sound with the good old full-on touch filled emotions and soul a.k.a. the “goa” sound. Let us see what Atma has to say:
(T1)“First here was darkness….” Starting of with the most elastic and groovy bass line that I’ve heard lately. We are off and taken by the intelligent percussion play, every sound in its own place, adding to the hype but a bit too early though. The “doof” in this song is nominal, which makes me quite happy compared with most of the psy releases this year. This piece has an uplifting touch as the melodies and the sound effects engage in the background. We are at the break and waiting for the euphoria to kick in but instead we have emotional, happy, nostalgic Goa sounds just layering with the rest of the song. There isn’t any “Full-on” mega drive, the groove just continues. For sure in this song the story lies beneath but a few people would understand the meaning of it. A great morning groovy track.. Nice and melancholically we go to the level were life flourishes and everybody are happy (T2). The kick and bass correlation is tuned to perfectness, as the deep ethno elements stroll in the background taking us deeper into the dance floor wondering if this kind of music will make us dance… and the answer is well known . Effects and synth lines are everywhere, some soaked reverb blending into each other and making a rich warm sound thus proving that a lot of experience is behind this, making you search the meaning of the PSY philosophy. It gets aggressive as the piano stabs fly around making the repetitive atmospheric force a decisive factor. The vocal pads are just layering with the rest of the sounds which we cannot hear unless we concentrate and listen very carefully. The stop is abruptly which is not dj friendly at all. The lords of the rings movie was a great inspiration for a lot of artists as well as Atma(T3). The bass has the elastic feeling again, which indicates great eq and compression techniques. Delayed sounds come along with the airy strings and choirs which make you just float but the piano stays a bit longer flying around before the hypnotizing moment with the massive goa melody comes making frenzy on the dance floor deep into the forest. Interesting snare drumming before it stops unexpectedly again. This could be problematic if the dj doesn’t know the tracks well. Nevertheless nice one!. Psycholicious! We are at the middle of this fairy tale and I reckon we got lost somewhere in the wastelands (T4). The 3 note changing bass, along with the swooshes which are grinding, twisted and relentless are witnessing the evil that has spread all around. Interesting beeps and bleeps perfectly fitting into the darkest part of the night while the sky is still reddish and the people are green. Not too heavy for the brain but not even too cheesy. Atma has managed to maintain a fair level of psychedelics this time, again showing us that he is the grand master of it. The big break is followed by a massive melody and… here we go again, the build up is hitting strong but this time I just can’t stop nodding my head. A bit of acid sound won’t do us no harm, and again the dynamics are lowered to the minimum so we can get a hold of ourselves from the “big bang” of dark textures and some rough edges, until we are off again. Great track! No time to wait (T5). We are uplifted as high as we can be not wasting even a moment, because time is precious especially when it flies very fast. And that’s the recipe here. Applying a full on groove with ravish synths and a BPM as high as 147. The background effects, electronic stabs and chords deployed in the wider spectrum of sounds raise the power above average adding to the overall morning feeling for this track. Flangers, vocoders, filters, all properly routed and blended soulfully into the 4/4 ongoing kick/bass combo masquerading the imperfectness of the human kind and making this piece soul catching. Lowering the BPMs here won’t do any harm it might even boost the groove. A penetrating emotional tune. The students are enjoying the ride also. The soul Reaver know the best how to extract souls from their physical body and gain more energy.(T6) The stabs here are too “epic” for my taste as the overall feeling of this song. Maybe the philosophy is good but we should lighten down with the cheese a bit, don’ get me wrong the kick/ bass combo and the percussions are perfect as usual but I somehow can’t dig the story on this one. The atmosphere is mostly nightish, but it makes for a good transition to the morning for the 7th track (T7). All layers are in the right place, just the right amount of groove to get your hips moving. Flying around, the interesting melody presents superb filter skills which make you feel the “distance” in it. After the short break a crying pad is here and the ride just continues slowly but surely, followed by a funky piano stabs. The layers are added one in a while one after another in an edgy and darkish manner in the middle end of this song but nothing special so far. I prefer drier songs without fewer melodies. We are coming near to the end of our trip sensing it with the clean and subtle sounds (T8). Atma knows what he does and builds down the album in the right way. Again the song uses the same recipe as the previous ones but it has the sad touch heralding the grand finale of our journey. Again it’s too ravy and epic for my liking. Some people lose their faith because heaven shows them too little, but how many people lose the faith because heaven shows them too much”(T9). A reverbed snare makes its way through, followed by tons of beautiful percussions, crispy hats and all kinds of low and hi drum sequences. The sound here is not that much massive which makes this song good. It builds up nicely and we have a nice break finishing with the modified beat and lasting to the end definitely showing us that this will be the last told story in this book of fantasies.