RA – Unearthly (Altar Records)




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Review for this album:

So unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have probably heard of RA, the goa trance project by Christer Borge-Lunde and at various times Lars Lind. 4 years since the release of 9th, RA is back to impart some light, wisdom, and laughter once again only this time it’s not goa trance, but rather a collection of ambient, downtempo, and chilled out goa grooves. Of course this isn’t particularly something new as RA has released a hand full of songs like this, one of my personal favorites being Light Receiver off of 9th. However, I can honestly say I have never heard anything like Unearthly before in my life. So where to begin?

“Faith is to believe what we do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what we believe.

Floating Shrine of Inanna – This track serves as an intro of sorts with wonderful vocals provided by Christer’s sister (I love saying that) Marthe who will make another appearance in the next track. Some nice little percussion work and strings set the mood for this album and it may come as a little surprise. Unearthly is very light, uplifting, and positive unlike some of RA’s darker heavier goa trance. I get the sense that the storm of the previous albums have passed and we are left with a heavenly blue sky with the shining sun warming your heart, even as winter approaches for us in the northern hemisphere.

Rain No Water – Once again, Christer’s sister helps out on this jaw droppingly gorgeous ambient piece. Guitar sounds, filtered pads, and strings make this one a standout track for me. It dips in and out of melancholic, yet euphoric moments.

Ascend – Is it December 21, 2012 yet? If this is what we get to listen to when we ascend, then bring on the end of the world because this song is full of bliss. This song is also one of a number on this album with a four to the floor beat, but there is absolutely nothing heavy about it. The rhythm is as light as a feather.

Shift – “To jump across space and travel in time…” Arguably we are back in familiar territory here with eastern melodies and trippy soundscapes. This is more like the RA we know and love. The best part of the song comes around the 6 minute mark when the bass line starts shifting around and the originally developed melodies start changing ever so slightly.

Lifethread (Serene mix) – So yea, this is a downtempo version of Lifethread from Shaltu released earlier this year. It’s amazing how when you break up the beat and slow the tempo down all the intricacies of the various melodies become this dense subtle explosion of little sounds. Highly creative stuff, nicely done.

Lightspark – Can the vibe get any more positive? This song has a little more pace to it once again shifting back to a dance beat. For some reason I feel like it would be really easy to call something like Lightspark cheesy but as the whole theme of this album seems to be about faith and believing in the unbelievable, I find it difficult to not just give in to the positivity this song creates. Even a cynic like me has a soft spot that likes to be tickled once in a while.

Unearthly – This one more of less continues the vibe of the previous song but mixes in some tension filled arpeggios underneath soft piano like melodies here and there. The chord progressions later on in the song are just so blissful. I’ve never heard an artist capture quite the mood this album does. I have a hard time describing it. At times it sounds like video game music but it holds such hope or maybe empathy.

Celestial Slice – The final song on here is more downtempo with acoustic guitar thrown in and a simple yet effective clap/snare on every other beat. I could listen to this song all day long, what a way to finish off a brilliant album.

Unearthly is one of the most genuinely exciting albums I’ve heard in a while and it lies in part due to Christer’s insistence on creating layers upon layers with loads of harmonies. It doesn’t always work perfectly, it’s a somewhat flawed very human album, but I think that was really the point of Unearthly. If To Sirius and 9th are the spirit channelings of the 6th density being known as RA, then Unearthly is RA himself.

Review by John , taken from here


About altarrecords

Music is not what we do, It's who we are. We hope that our releases will light up your life and bring joy to those around you.
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