earth-nation-terra-incognita

- Terra Incognita

Earth Nation is one of many projects from the prolific German trance and ambient producer Ralf Hildenbeutel. Although guitarist Marcus Deml is credited on most Earth Nation tunes from the same era, this album appears to feature only Ralf’s solo productions under this guise. If you’re already familiar with the Eye Q Records sound you…

eternal-basement-nerv

- Nerv

Formed in 1994 by Austrian producer Michael Kohlbecker and Pascal Mollin (who later left the project), Eternal Basement achieved some notoriety with the release of Taking Place in You on Sven Väth’s legendary Harthouse imprint. This full-length follow-up features several fast-paced tracks in the hard trance style popular at the time, but the bulk of…

speedy-j-g-spot

- G Spot

Jochem Paap explores the more atmospheric side of ambient techno on G Spot, his sophomore album. Clocking in at just over an hour in length, this album is book-ended by a pair of fantastic techno-trance hybrids: the sublime Ping Pong (which wouldn’t sound out of place in an old school Goa trance set); and the…

fluke-oto

- Oto

Fluke were among the biggest names in UK progressive house in the early 1990s. As with their compatriots Leftfield and Underworld they began branching out into more radio-friendly breakbeat and trip hop as the middle of the decade approached. Oto (Greek for “ear”) is a rather brief album that captures them in transition. Bullet is…

aural-float-introspectives

Aural Float - Introspectives

Aural Float was formed in 1994 by Gabriel Le Mar, Pascal F.E.O.S., and Alex Azary to explore the deeper end of electronic dance music. On Introspectives, their debut, they combine elements of ambient, electro, and dub techno to create sublime and hypnotic soundscapes that seem to go on forever. Indeed, this album only contains five…

synaesthesia-embody

- Embody

Canadian industrial pioneers Bill Leeb and Rhys Fulber, better known as Front Line Assembly, quietly released several albums under the name Synaesthesia in the mid-90s. With this side project they turned their attention to dark ambient and glacial chill out, picking up where they had left off with Delerium, which was rebranded as a radio-friendly…

code-the-architect

Code - The Architect

This smooth and highly-refined album features an unusual blend of ambient techno, deep trance, and electro-industrial pop produced by Code, an obscure quartet from the UK. There is an obvious human touch to these compositions, and what vocals can be heard here are often whispered and always unobtrusive. The group cedes considerable airtime to the…

va-platipus-records-vol-2

VA - Platipus Records: Volume Two

The second label compilation from UK dream trance pioneers Platipus Records is absolutely packed with classic tunes. All of these were previously released on vinyl but it’s great to find them in one place. Man With No Name provides the biggest highlight with his epic remix of Octopus, and Simon Berry’s many contributions (seven in…

hallucinogen-twisted

- Twisted

Twisted sent seismic shockwaves throughout the scene when it was released on Dragonfly Records, and its many-layered lysergic soundscapes continue to dazzle and bewilder listeners today. Although Simon Posford’s timeless debut album is renowned for being one of the darker examples of Goa trance circa 1995 there are many moments of sheer unadulterated euphoria, often…

banco-de-gaia-last-train-to-lhasa

- Last Train to Lhasa

Last Train to Lhasa is perhaps the most ambitious album in Banco de Gaia’s extensive discography. The original release was a double-CD, but there are many other versions floating around, including the definitive 20th Anniversary Edition released on four discs in 2015. So what have we here? Ambient techno meets world music, essentially. It is…