/ Interspecies Communication

Lucky People Center is an obscure Swedish media collective active throughout the 1990s. They are perhaps most known for their film International (presently available for viewing on YouTube), but they also made several interesting releases in a variety of styles. This particular album is an eclectic jumble, meandering from chill out and ambient techno to…

Soft Ballet / Forms: Remix For Ordinary People

This is an obscure compilation of remixes for Soft Ballet, a Japanese electro pop band by some of the finest names in IDM, electro, and downbeat techno. Autechre, Carl Craig, Plaid, and Global Communication appear here with intriguing and unusual interpretations of the original source material, but I’d like to highlight Greg Hunter’s ambiguously-credited U…

/ Feeling Weird

Formed by Graham Wood and Raja Ram, The Infinity Project were true pioneers, laying down some of the earliest sounds that are recognizably and unequivocally Goa trance. TIP were frequently joined in the studio by a list of contributors that reads like the Who’s Who of early Goa trance: Nick Barber (Doof), Simon Posford (Hallucinogen),…

VA / Nataraja 1

The debut compilation from POF Music (an acronym derived from “Product of France”) was a respectable effort but it hasn’t aged as well as some other entries on this list. In terms of style these selections consistently emphasize the more upbeat and melodic side of the emerging Goa trance sound, with soft, pulsating rhythms and…

/ Leftism

Leftfield established themselves as one of the leading producers of progressive house before branching out and experimenting with breakbeat rhythms on their widely-acclaimed debut album, Leftism. Despite jumping between genres and embracing an eclectic set of influences there’s nothing overly daring or experimental to be found here, a quality that probably contributed to its mainstream…

/ Exit Planet Dust

Exit Planet Dust might not be the most compelling album from The Chemical Brothers, legendary acid house and breakbeat manipulators from the UK, but it has aged nicely, even accounting for nostalgia. Despite tempos trending toward the low end, this album still packs a punch, as the brothers work it out with brawny beats, clever…

/ Delta Aquarids

The debut album from Total Eclipse, a French triumvirate formed by Stephane Holweck, Serge Souque, and Loïc Van Poucke, is one of the finest products of the golden age of Goa trance. Every song exudes their signature sound but there’s an incredible variety of moods explored across this uniformly excellent album. From dark and menacing…

Drome / Dromed

Dromed is a deep dive into downbeat, dub techno, IDM, chill out, and ambient produced by Bernd Friedmann , also known as Nonplace Urban Field. Although diverse in style and approach, the album is united by an emphasis on intricate details and darkly mysterious atmospheres. Some of the strongest tracks sound like forays into softly-whispered…

/ Furnace

Download began as an outgrowth of the infamous Canadian industrial band Skinny Puppy. Furnace, their debut album, was released as the group was being torn apart by creative differences and personal tragedy; band member Dwayne R. Goettel died of an overdose shortly after primary recording was complete. Against the backdrop of this bleak origin story…

/ There Will Be No Armageddon

Union Jack is a UK trance act formed by Simon Berry (Art of Trance) and Claudio Giussani (Terra Ferma). Their debut full-length album gathers up several of their peak-time dream trance hits as well as an assortment of downbeat and chill out tunes. The production style is quite simplistic and not particularly detailed, but there…

/ The Juggeling Alchemists Under the Black Light

I’ve never been much of a fan of Etnica’s debut album—most of it sounded too tinny and insubstantial for my liking—but the deluxe re-issue on DAT Records in 2018 made me reconsider my long-held view that this album isn’t very good. Even though it was rapidly eclipsed by Alien Protein (1996) and especially I.F.O. (1997,…

/ Mystical Experiences

Before Shpongle there was The Infinity Project’s Mystical Experiences, a full-length exploration of realms of sound that would eventually become “psychill”. Although ambient and downtempo electronic music was nothing new, seldom before had it been expressed in such a multi-dimensional fashion, with the sounds of galloping horses and samples about objects drifting through outer space…

Paradise Connection / Paradise Connection

Boris Blenn’s only full-length release as Paradise Connection features an assortment of analog sound experiments spanning an enormous tempo range. Much of the album dwells at the deeper end of trance, with simplistic arrangements that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on the ambient techno labels of the early 1990s. Highlights include the euphoric 160…

/ Dance for the Celestial Beings

Hypnotic, tribal, and richly atmospheric, this pioneering techno-trance album from Danish producer Kristian Thinning remains one of the classics of the genre. There is an alluring softness to this album, a haunting sense of mystery that keeps me coming back year after year. Sampled chants, drums, and instrumentation give this album a worldly feel (ages…

VA / The First Orbit

The First Orbit is the debut full-length release from Planet Rhythm Records, originally founded in Sweden in 1994. Gathered here is a solid collection of hard trance and fast, upbeat techno, most of which had already been released on vinyl. The track listing might seem unfamiliar at first—but behind these projects are some of the…

/ Forever After

Koxbox’s debut album Forever After is a beguiling collection of space age techno and psychedelic trance that transcends time. From the very second the needle drops on Point of No Return we are cast into the void between worlds, drifting on waves of warm bass and dazzled by alien melodies. There isn’t a weak track…

VA / Accidental Occidentalism

Here we have an extremely rare compilation absolutely stacked with classics from some of the biggest names in Goa trance. Transwave appears here with two of their best, Cycles of Life and Rezwalker; Pleiadians provide three solid tracks (including their eponymous debut), of which Boarding Pass to Balangan is the highlight; while Rainbow Spirit (Boris…

Indoor / Progressive Trance

Indoor was an early Israeli trance project uniting Avi Algranati (AKA Space Cat), Ofer Dikovsky (Oforia), and Marko Goren (most famously part of Tandu). Progressive Trance, their only major release, captures an innocence and naivety seldom heard in the genre today. Although the production quality is raw and the arrangements are often uneven this album…

From Earth Orbit: Introduction

Welcome to From Earth Orbit, a newly launched blog organized around my activities in the electronic music scene. My intention is to pick up where I left off with my old blog, Ektoplazm, which evolved into a music distribution portal and record label group in 2008. Prior to that I had been sharing my mixes,…

/ Mountain Calling

Deep, sultry house and smooth progressive vibes define this set performed live at an outdoor event in the mountains on the edge of Taipei on June 17th, 2018. It was a half hour hike into the steamy, throbbing jungle to reach the site, a small patch of angled ground on a bare ridge-line with a…