“It’s been a long time in the making.” “Why did they wait so long?” “Whyfor the terribly long silence?”
Yes, reviews around here have been thin and slow (the opposite of thick and fast) lately and perhaps this is the reason. The whole world was waiting for Avi and Lior to dust out their old kit, connect it to their new kit, and create something with such lovely, delightful abandon as this.
It doesn’t move things forward, but then that’s not the point. There are slices of newness, particularly the slices of post-Tiesto high-end thrustings the sort of which one expects with anything even partially attached to psytrance these days, but they’re executed deftly — the peak, disappearance and return of Overbloody Flood is a delightfully saccharine bit of gumgrinding.
If you think of what Astral Projection were always good at, it’s those soaring melodies (check), the pulsing bass (check) and a deep kickdrum that they can’t leave alone. All are present and correct here, and the effortless execution with which they spray out trademark Astral interpretations of fuzzy old memories is wonderful.
If anything, their remixes are better when they’re holding back a little. X-Dream’s Rain flows perfectly well, while The Infinity Project’s Feeling Weird feels lumbered down with too many ideas and distractions. Never afraid to use three layers when one would have sufficed, this is part of Astral Projection’s charm but it does mean that if you’ve been reconnecting with your old music collection, this album is going to sit at the fluffy end of it.
The money shot, of course, was always going to be the remix of Hallucinogen’s LSD, and it’s pleasant but lacking. The early stages promise much, but after those intertwining melody lines do their thing, it brings in a flirtatiously discordant bassline before thrusting you up into the air, devoid of subtlety or nuance, at which point the track ends and you’re left dangling, puzzled, and feeling gravitated to the loft to retrieve your old DAT collection.
There’s a strong sense of nostalgia here, betrayed even in the cover art: a shot of Anjuna, or Vagator, or Samothraki, or Wherever, with palm trees symbolising our younger selves and the noise of iPhones and commutes and bloody minimal depicted as trail lines across the front of our memories of what times used to be like. Possibly.
But to bemoan this would be missing the point. Goa Classics Remixed sounds and feels like a project long in the works, developed and tweaked with and experimented upon over time; given that it could so easily have been harried to completion, the dedication and love with which this has been created is something truly special.
It’s not new, it’s not groundbreaking, and it’s not going to change the world. But it never set out to. What it does is entertains, and puts one back in the frame of mind of “them good old days.” In a world where we silently tolerate a constant barrage of crimes against music, these guys should be heroes.
- Release Date: 12/2014