Etnica ‎– Tribute / Astral Way



Tribute 8:13
Astral Way 8:01


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March 29, 2014
referencing Tribute / Astral Way, 12", BR010

This is Goa at its absolute best. It is hard to imagine a better ep. Both tracks are notable for having a very subtle rhythm section that maintains a regular beat, but somehow shifts subtly so that the beat does not become boring or predictable. This is especially the case with "Tribute" during which the beat is often implicit, and then brings the roof down when it kicks in. The bass line in this track is particularly hypnotic and addictive because it is quite subtle and difficult to get a grip on. Fantastic stuff, rates with "Triptonite" as amongst the best early tracks of the scene. ~*~


June 20, 2010
referencing Tribute / Astral Way, 12", BR010

Tribute is one of the many reasons as to why many old schoolers hold Etnica so high up. Not in vein is it considered as one of the fundamental pillars of the goa trance genre. With amazing arrangement, it sounds as though the bass line was changing every few bars, until the memorable lead kicks in at the three minute mark. Unlike the original Tribute (To Goa) tune, this version is approximately one minute shorter. Where the earlier cut had a sixty second melodic passage from the 05:05 point onwards, this vinyl version edits out that whole part and basically just jumps to the main lead again. Great cut nonetheless, simple, with only a handful of layers, but all of them quite memorable. The lead melody is one of the most distinct old school pieces I know of. While not as complex as many of their later work, let alone their output under the Pleiadians moniker, Etnica had a clever, expedient way of crafting melodies you'd hardly forget.

Astral Way, while not as uptempo, is one of their vintage contributions to the genre as well. Slowly crawling, deep, twisted and spiralling effects and sounds morph, grow and prepare the turf for the lead to sweep the competition under the rug. I mean, listen to this track from 03:40 onwards - that melody is proto goa trance. Period. Scarse in sounds, but all of them perfectly placed, keeping you busy until that one, killer melody gets at you. Seriously, Etnica had a specific talent, especially one for composition, difficult to explain or teach. Their expertise in harmony and arrangement was barely ever managed and outperformed by other artists, and the facility with which they churned out one classic piece after the other was equalled only maybe by other old school legends such as early Astral Projection, Transwave, Total Eclipse or Chi A.D.

Whenever I listen to this 12", I ask myself if numerous Johnny-come-latelies producers of goa trance ever heard of this release? They sure could use and apply some of Etnica's handiness in order to solidify their own craftsmanship, which more often than not relies on quantity and shuffling sequences as though they were attempting to randomize a deck of playing cards, rather than shift attention to detail and quality. It's not a critic and a gun barrel pointed in anyone's direction, but if you listen to Etnica's tracks like the the ones on this vinyl, plus other gems like Full On and Chemical Trance, I think you'll catch my drift. Regardless, this is a classic, and I know few old school heads without it.