Regular Price: $16.98
Online Sale Price! $5.00
In 2009, Projekt released Atlan in a Jewel Box. This is the 2011 Digipak reissue.
Le Serpent Rouge ~ SALE $5
Trance to the Sun
Spiders, Aether & Rain ~ SALE $5
phantoms ~ SALE $5
Journey of One 2-CD
Atlan has its roots in the ceremonial: ritualism, shamanism, butoh. Master Tuvan throat singer Soriah teams up with prolific soundscaper Ashkelon Sain to create a totally breathtaking album. Soriah conjures up a haunting sonic otherworld, drifting, dreamy, a rumbling, whirring ambient dronescape, thick with natural timbre and dense with subtle overtones. The eleven tracks employ a host of Central Asian ethnic stringed instruments alongside atmospheric synths and hypnotic hand percussion to form a simmering backdrop for Soriah's mesmerizing vocals intoned in the ancient Aztec language of Nahuatl.
Detailed album description Aquarius Records: "Totally breathtaking. Soriah conjures up a haunting sonic otherworld, drifting, dreamy, menacing and malefic, a rumbling, whirring dark ambient dronescape, thick with natural timbre and dense with subtle overtones. A deft mash up intertwined with various vocals, sometimes crooning, alien and operatic, but more often an impossibly low-end rumble, a dense and deep Tuvan style throat singing, buzzing and multilayered, more like some strange long stringed instrument than a human voice. Crumbling and corrosive, but at the same time soothing and ethereal."
Atlan has its roots in the ceremonial: ritualism, shamanism, butoh. Master Tuvan throat singer Soriah has teamed with prolific soundscaper Ashkelon Sain to create a masterwork of epic celestial elegance. The eleven tracks employ a host of Central Asian ethnic stringed instruments alongside atmospheric synths and hypnotic hand percussion to form a simmering backdrop for Soriah's mesmerizing vocals.
Soriah has extensively trained in traditional Tuvan throat singing. Most recently, he was honored as the Third Place winner in the International Symposium of Khoomei Competition, and "Best Foreigner" in the 2008 Ustuu-Khooree World Music Festival in Tuva, where the form originated.
As much as the complex underpinnings of Soriah's music reach back to Central Asia, he traces his cultural roots to his father's homeland of Mexico. Soriah's explorations of Mexico's cities, wilderness, and eclectic indigenous traditions - as well as his extensive Tuvan travels and musical studies there - have deeply influenced his pan-cultural ethos. Soriah's interest in contemporary expression through animism and shamanism, and particular fascination with the Aztec mysteries has all substantially informed the material found on Atlan. Of the album's lyric tracks, five are intoned in the ancient Aztec language of Nahuatl, while two others are interpretations of traditional Tuvan chants.
Producer/instrumentalist Ashkelon has crafted the album's sound with a seamless, ambient quality, harkening equally to the symphonic and the etherealesque. Arranged in spellbinding tempo, the tracks vary in structure from linear, North Indian styled ragas to rhythmic, esoteric songs to multilayered walls of ambient beauty, all the while retaining an unwavering sense of spiritualism and timelessness.
Atlan is a ritualistic sound adventure. You emerge from a listen with your head swaddled in a pre-linguistic fever dream. Vocals and whispers collide and chase each other through the mix and just when you start to feel comfortable or certain of the terrain, another movement begins and you're back in the mist. With closed eyes, envision vast steppes illuminated by firelight, or rain falling in deep space, or vanished civilizations - ancient and mysterious yet curiously modern.
:::Soriah::: The Portland musician and ritual artist known as Soriah (a.k.a. Enrique Ugalde) first came into being more than 10 years ago. His unique vision has evolved to draw equally from performance and musical traditions both modern and ancient--- raga, shamanism, the revisionist arts of electro-acoustics, noise, butoh, and free improvisation. Through costume, movement and meditation Soriah evokes an otherworld of profound mystical import. Though the settings for his performances have ranged from arenas, concert halls and churches to swamps, caves, tree tops and even an abandoned nuclear reactor, his project carries its own sense of place and time, which transcend the concrete world.
The previous recorded works of Soriah include numerous limited edition hand made CDs, as well as two full length albums released by Beta-Lactam Ring Records entitled Chao-Organica in A Minor and Ofrendas De Luz A Los Muertos. Atlan is Soriah's third retail release.
::: Ashkelon Sain in his own words ::: I am a consummate recording artist, music producer and composer. From 1993-2001 I led the critically acclaimed Darkwave band Trance to the Sun, and more recently I performed as a member of the Portland psych-goth group Submarine Fleet. Through the past two decades I have participated in extensive collaborations with other artists I deem unique and intriguing, among them Scarlet Slipping, Cinema Strange, Dead Fly Ensemble, Claire Voyant, and most recently, Soriah.
My interest lies in creating high-quality musical recordings that echo landmasses, oceans, rivers and phormations. Through the use of soaring melodies, hypnotic rhythms, and chilling chords, I strive to render music that transcends the space and time of its creation: a music that succeeds in exuding a feeling of insistent otherworldliness.
The most recent releases to feature my work have been: Trance to the Sun: Spiders, Aether & Rain (Projekt Records, 2007) Submarine Fleet: A Very Strange Sight in the Distance (BSL Recordings, 2007) Deadfly Ensemble: An Entire Wardrobe of Doubt and Uncertainty (Trisol Music, 2006)
Soriah, aka Enrique Ugalde, is of Mexican descent on his father's side, and is trained in Tuvan throat singing, winning competitions in this vocal style held in Tuva. On this collaboration with Ashkelon Sain of Trance to the Sun, Soriah combines Mexican and Tuvan/Central Asian influences by performing Tuvan style throat singing in the Aztec language Nahuatl. The music itself is a moving, absorbing blend of world music and atmospheric soundscaping, combining a whole host of exotic instruments such as igil, byzaanchy, doshpulur, shruti box and clay flute (all played by Soriah) with Ashkelon Sain's contributions of modern instrumentation such as synth, drums, guitar and sampling. The chanting and drumming have a shamanistic feel, the consciousness-altering quality of the music also being found in the ambient electronic additions.
Anyone already familiar with Tuvan throat singing will recognize the 'overtone' style heard here in Xopancuicatl, Borbak, and briefly in a few other tracks, in which one voice splits into two, with one of the vocal sounds having more in common with a musical instrument such as a flute rather than anything most people would imagine the human voice to be capable of. As well as the Nahuatl lyrics, Soriah also sings two pieces in Tuvan, namely Borbak and the truly excellent Morguul, which whilst having an electronic drone in the background sounds on the whole like authentic world music and includes some effective use of percussion and a bowed stringed instrument.
Impressive stuff - would like to hear more from Soriah.
On his third full-length release Soriah is joined by the ever prolific Ashkelon Sain, memorable from his many years heading Trance to the Sun. Sain’s fondness for oversaturated hallucinatory soundscapes and drizzly shoegaze guitar is perfectly complimented by Soriah’s multi-timbred throat singing. While certainly not imitators, comparisons to Dead Can Dance would not be inappropriate. Both groups paint their psychoacoustic masterpieces from a similar palette using voice, tribal percussion, keyboards and stringed instruments from around the world. Furthermore Soriah’s ability to hold multiple pitches simultaneously adds new depth and freshness to a musical formula already tried and true. Singing in the ancient Aztec language of Nahuatl his voice is resonant with a beauty that pays homage to his ancestral homeland of Mexico. All of these factors blend together quite naturally and make for a unique listening experience.
The pacing of the 11 songs on this disc is perfect. I feel like a drunken sailor on a boat drifting amongst starry archipelagos when I listen. Lulled into a benevolent somnolence I gently rise and fall with waves of sound that continuously crash and crest. The first song, “Yoallicuicatl,” establishes the general mood with thickly bowed strings buzzing a sonorous melody over the top of an undulating keyboard. It serves to create a sacred listening space by cleansing any obstructive energy left lingering from previous stereo sessions. The second track kicks off with the bells and hand drums that are present throughout the disc in various rhythmic combinations. The meditative percussion forms a backbone of sonic entrainment that Soriah weaves his vocal sorcery around. Deeply emotive, his voice lets out long wavering cries and deep bellows that are both transcendent and ominous. I would be curious to know what his lyrics translate into, but without that knowledge I am free to listen more closely to the subtleties within his often multi-tracked voice.
“Morguul” is exemplary of the albums overall ekstasis. The percussion reminds me of a hard spring rain pattering on a rooftop, while Soriah’s voice rings and vibrates in long ululating drones. The violin adds bright touches of gaiety and fills me with optimism. “Borbak” however is darker, earthy and chthonic. A high pitched insect like whistle whirrs and murmurs in the background, slightly rising and falling, mimicking within the microstructure of the song what the album does a whole. The closing “Amo Cahuit” is similarly foreboding. With crunchy strains of distorted guitar echoing as if out of a cave, a sibilant hiss that howls like the wind, and a menacing swell of deep bass amidst the softly tinkling bells it easily raises the hairs on the back of my neck. Soriah and Sain show high caliber and precision in their artistry and Atlan, full of grace and nuance, will be a keynote in my ever evolving musical rotation for quite some time. - Justin Patrick
Compared to the previous Soriah release, the approach has become somewhat different, and through its cooperation with dronescape musician Ashkelon Sain this new release despite its one element of darkwave/drone wave trance music sounds in fact lighter, while musically it is less intense, the concentration inside a shamanic atmosphere background is much more to the fore, and has impressive moments penetrating with the vocal ranges and effects and inner concentration into the listener’s direction, being able at certain points to reach his emotions and has certain effects on him too, especially on the title track, and specifically where the keyboards are not too much filling up spaces and moods along with a few acoustic instruments. The approach on this album can be compared to certain other shamanic singer releases, and I’m sure will also appeal to people with a more new age/alternative mood interest who do not want to have too difficult new experiences that still refers to something beyond their usual perspectives.
In the meanwhile, Soriah in 2008 had participated as a Tuvan singer from Portland in an International Symposium of Khoomei Competition, where he was awarded a third place, while travelling to Tuva he there also received the 2008 Ustuu-Khorree World Music Festival award for “Best Foreigner.” In this album five tracks were sung in the ancient Aztec language of Nahuatl, while two others are interpretations of traditional Tuvan chants. Traditional violin/picking instruments and such (Soriah) were combined with acoustic trance rhythms and darker dronewaves on keyboards, which last element works like a carpet for a semi-dream state. The songs are real and have their inner powers and they express themselves in an environment where the listener can easily adapts himself into it.
I hope one day I will be able to experience the voice with backgrounds live one day. Soriah also has a good eye for fitting suitable impressive costumes.
"Atlan" opens mysteriously and stunningly with instrumental and buzzing stringed performance entitled "Yoallicuicatl", great overture! Then follows "Cehui", brilliantly merging electronics, tribals and Soriah's voice magics into a composition that is, for me, one of many highlights and ultimate classic ready for Hall Of Fame induction!!! Muchas gracias, amigos!!! "Tonacayotica" is again dominated by Soriah's voice, where raw vocals interfere with whispering ones, and gentle mid-paced tribal rhythms and relaxing trancey tempos, all together perfectly boiled and balanced. Shorter "Temictli Atlan" is painted with strings and washes. "Citlalpol" is another instrumental piece, based around solo performances on bowed stringed instruments, have no idea which of them exactly are used, however, they sound highly expressive. Later the texture becomes more layered and active. "Xopancuicatl" is the most active, but very light composition with tranquilly melodious tempos spiced by voice wizardry of Soriah. Truly mesmerizing effect due to amazingly collided warm atmospherics, crispy rhythms and raw voice, another top notch contribution elegantly blending the past and the future!!!
Title track "Atlan" belongs to deeply mysterious and ritualistic compositions on the album showcasing the power and mastery of Soriah's throat singing (one of the traditional Tuvan chants). A true shamanistic listening experience at its finest!!! But it all goes even beyond, "Morguul" is one of the highly active pieces where rhythms, melodies and voices create a truly unique blend that can be described as kind of "western tribal ritual ceremony". Man, this is really unbelievable and absolutely phenomenal!!! And the end is not here yet... "Borbak" gets much deeper with tranquilly floating atmosonics, significant flutes and whistles and deeply evocative voices, another giant on this journey! Instrumental "Tona Atoyaatl", that keeps on slower and darker route, with enormously imaginative crying bowed fiddle strings (igil or byzaanchy?), is as much graceful as its predecessor!
And just the same can be said about the closing 12+ minutes hypnotizing opus "Amo Cahuit", the darkest droning piece on this 76-minute long pure blissful sacred inner journey!!! Soriah and Ashkelon Sain are true shamans, with "Atlan" at the very top of their virtuosity. Even if sounding totally different with their own, distinctive soundscaping and voice, I think late Jorge Reyes would be really proud to hear and see these guys. Yes, if you have a chance to catch them live, don't miss them, extraordinary lifetime sonic and visual experience guaranteed!!! Last but not least, new "Eztica" album is scheduled for release in October 2011 on Projekt. Now the question is how Soriah and Ashkelon Sain can top "Atlan"...? I will tell you in few months. Until then once again, muchas gracias, Maestros, for taking me on this wonderfully rich, breathtaking and unforgettable sonic exploration!!! -Richard Gürtler