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Portamento - The Portal


Started Topics :  1
Posts :  41
Posted : Oct 7, 2011 19:11:50
Portamento - The Portal
Cronomi Records

White Dwarf 8:42
48 Hours 8:06
The Portal 8:08
Monkshroom 8:41
Injected Spawn 8:17
Biosphere 9:24
Vitamin E 7:57
A Grain Of Sand 7:34
Controlled Experiment 9:12

Greetings, ladies and gentlemen. I have the up-most pleasure presenting you all the latest creation from Cronomi records, the goa label that keeps on giving and having quality over quantity. The label that other labels should take some notes from in a few regards. For example, I've found out that they actually push their artists with their creations, they want to release something that is very special and try to keep the quality as high as possible. Obviously, it's not all bad that artists don't get constructive criticism, since there are plenty of good releases out there, but it helps tremendously, especially since it seems the popular sound has gotten quite stale recently and there is a lack of depth and darkness in the music. There are finally enough artists for something new, progression and evolution is what should be pushed forwards and those are the aims of Cronomi records. I don't know if I can share any ideas I've heard from one of the managers of the label, but needless to say, they are something that haven't really been even thought about and definitely should be.

Earlier this year Cronomi records released a wonderful goatrance compilation "Erta Alé" ( review - ) that brought back the spirit of old school with almost every single track. They sounded refined, deep, darker and most importantly, psychedelic. Someone said goatrance with a psytrance edge, that's right, but not the psytrance we've all come to know and hate/love with the full-on basslines and predictable effects and melodies, or lack thereof. No, but they successfully incorporated the psychedelicness, atmosphere and a tad mechanical sound that they had in the old days. Sure, there is still room to grow, but it's a huge step in the right direction. All I can think of is the analogy of moon-landing, but that's going a bit far. It had a track from an artists called Portamento and when you dig a little information about him, he has seemingly been producing since 1997, but keeping really underground and not having any releases until Cronomi picked him up. Seems like the story of Artha where he had been making music since forever but only had his first release in 2009 from, who else, Cronomi records.

I guess they decided it was now time to release what has been cooking in the oven for so long. Is it a disappointment or another success story that trumps everything other goa labels have managed to offer lately? That is, of course, excluding Dat Mafia Recordings.


White Dwarf
Synths and small acid speckles with a creepy slow male chant interlude us into this world of mystery and wonder. Phat acid leads and metallic tearing lead up to a really twisted, serious and a creepy melody that gets these screaming sharp synths backing it up. A break at 4:37 where the chanting continues and the soundscape suddenly turns really confined, soft like liquid. 5:20 alien sounds emerge bringing with them the softest acid lead at 6:05 that continues to make the whole thing immensely groovy until the mind bending climax. I really find the need to invest into this track to get everything out of it. It's so subtle in what it does and when it climaxes, it should really envelope you into it's lore. Great start to this album, setting up the mood perfectly.

48 Hours
Mysterious and dark jungle atmosphere, animal sounds emerge and a sample about genetics and DNA hollowly in the background. Hi-hats come in to picture, some fine psyfarty acid lead drills onward and a dimm pounding bassline arrives. Some more nasty acid work starts to go higher and higher. A dark melody arrives at 1:44 and the track is finally really taking you with it. Such dark alien atmosphere. At 2:10 there such a nicely timed and placed acid lead arrives that makes the track groovy as hell. 2:40 the track starts to expand the soundscape with a mysterious atmosphere that reeks of evil. A break comes and at 3:34 we have the most brilliant subtle thing "You have forty eight hours" que acid - That is such a goddamn nice touch. It's things like those that just make you appreciate the fact how deep and refined everything on this album is. 4:18 Pleiadian sounds emerge! The whole atmosphere is immensely groovy, dark, maddening and alien. The track keeps on pounding with growling distorted acid coupled with sharp synths, immense atmosphere and hypnotic soft acid leads that has such a nice contrast on the other layers. It never really climaxes but if you let yourself get lost in it, it will surely be just like a climax multiple times. Fantastic.

The Portal
Tiny acid farts floating around and a really 303-heavy bassline ramming forward. A sci-fi sample that sets off the kick. Suddenly this really awesome, alien sounding effect that sounds crystallic and metallic yet still organic that leaves us too soon. Melody starts to grow, acid fart effects galore(!!!). Growling acid adds up to it all and keeps injecting itself, evolving into more of a precise 303 sound until when the melody that arrives starts spinning the world. It sounds so twisted, serious and dark! The evolution of the track progresses even more, keeping a steady pace and then the melody climaxes whilst having the 303 groove your brain out. Break comes and sci-fi samples once again. A while later suddenly turns the track into a pure old school goa-fest where the melody is serious yet unserious and it sounds trippy fun and playful. Awesome effects and subtle melodies lead up to an eventual climax that you makes you relish the old school type sound. Fantastic track. I just love the acid fart nuances in the texturing. Just works so daymn well. Wonderful work yet again.

Again a wonderfully detailed intro with lots of little effects going on and about whilst having an awesome sample about something transcendental. A blasting bassline, acid leads and a mixed sample of monk chanting. Just incredible richness in the texturing, it's so dense in effects but it's never too much, and then the melody arrives at 1:47 and boy what a melody it is. Twisted, knob-raped echoing raw growly acid that is incredibly hypnotizing. At 3:07 a new melody in the true spirit of SHAKTA and everything 90's! There is no question about it, I would have said this is old school Shakta melody if someone had asked and I didn't know better. That groovy acid is just wonderfully awesomely old schooly spiritedly greatnessly awesome. Yes that sentence is not actually grammatically correct, but I don't care. The track keeps going in that spirit and then 5:08 just does such a fantastic hypnotizing part that you can't but to dance to. The big melody comes back at the end and sends us off of this wonder called Monkshroom with a an outro full of interesting effects and sounds. This is what I call psychedelic goatrance alá 90's but with an updated sound. Utterly fantastic job, once again! I'm sure many old schoolers will find some real joy here.

Injected Spawn
A start off at what seems to be a spacecraft. Mysterious alien sounds and an ooming melody. A huge hypnotizing bassline that will make you stomp no matter what. Growling acid, soft acid, precise acid, quirky alien effects, sharp synths and somewhat melancholic melodies with awesome sample going "they were designed to die". At 3:50 there is a brilliant segment where the acid just takes you in, spirals hypnotically around your head. There's also a brilliant explosive climax at 5:50 that gets crazier and crazier, tornado like. Another winner.

Track title seems fitting, feels like you start off on a landscape not of this world. "biosphere ... life support" sample setting up the mood well. Reverbed growling leads,acid and a dark pure old schoolish goa bassline. Track feels to progress like a strong wind current with sweeping pads at 4:42 there is a part that sounds like something from Darshan's debut album. Fascinating and rich visual power. Afterward come really awesome sharp metallic growling leads and the twisted melody comes back more powerful than ever and continues till the end nicely with having a really sweet climax at 8:00 where it suddenly just tornadoes. Probably my least favourite track as it is kind-of stale most of the time, but it still has it's moments.

Vitamin E
Again a filled to the brim intro with sci-fi electronics style sounds for a change. "Engine, engine, engine" "el- elbow" and some flipping psychedelic melodies and sounds. 1:18 kicks of such an awesome hi-hat and also rest of the track with circling spiraling melodies, growling acid, wet dribbles. 2:13 strips off layers and the twisted melody comes back with this high pitch melody in the background giving it a nice harmony at 3:45 there is another slow down where the texturing and atmosphere is being let sink in while boiling up the next segment with rattling samples and awesome brooding evil melodies. The melody from beginning comes back at 6:10 and keeps going on strongly till the end and outro. Good track, though I wished the last segment had a third melody going on for a change of pace.

A Grain Of Sand
Outer spacey intro leading up to a sample "everything is imminent" and then makes the bassline explode. Just brooding power, snarling leads and subtle hihats. The melody comes and it's so immense, hypnotizing, groovy and powerful. Some subtle, yet striking melancholic pads just lift this track insanely high. Incredible sci-fi atmosphere and then the monstrously spiritual and mysterious acid melodies arrive at 1:42 - Holy phuck what the hell is this? Haven't heard this kind of stuff post-2000 at all. Seriously dark, mechanical but organic atmosphere throughout with incredible depth and richness. 2:58 a break comes and lets the atmosphere once again sink in for a while - "everything is imminent" as the sounds begin to come back. 4:15 303 melody arrives and 4:44 the spiritual melody is back and feels more powerful than ever. The way it just flows through your body. To one ear and out the other they say, I'd say they both try to consume every single bit of the aural beauty you're hearing here and using that as a power source for the rest of the body. Fucking wonderful work!

Controlled Experiment
Downtempo? Nah. Acid being spat out as if it were the artifact303 album as so with the atmosphere, just more serious. Growly acid at 1:09 hitting the nerves and, suddenly, goa-trumpets - I really have no idea how else to say it, it's an interesting psychedelic sound though not very serious. At 2:18 MFG style synth work appears and will definitely hoook the listener in it's hypnotizing power. Oh how I wish so many more artists did this too, I adore and miss the MFG sound - Wait a minute, now that I think of it, the whole rest of track sounds like a tribute to MFG. Rattling synths, hypnotizing style, pounding bassline from beginning to the end. Starts a tad abruptly, but when the synths hit at 2:18 everything is forgiven. Awesome ender! Especially for a lover of MFG.

This album is exactly what new school should be doing more. Immersefull, alien, mysterious soundscapes and atmospheres, extremely rich layer texturing, hypnotizing basslines and melodies that aren't happy or just uplifting, but more darker, twisted, interesting and refined. I must say though that this album has apparently mostly been written in the 90s, it's just been reworked and modernized for today's overall sound. So this might as well have been another one of the classics. This album reminds me a little bit of albums like UX - Ultimate Experience and tiny bit like Shakta - Silicon Trip, except, well, it's a complete other style. Characterized best by the somewhat insane use of 303. Sometimes it feels like there's a little bit too much of it! Though it's put to such good use that it's hard to complain.

Aside from that, the main feeling this album leaves is how refined it is. Everything seems thought-out and there aren't layers just to have more layers, but everything feels like it has a purpose. It all adds up and never feels random. The flow of them is just smooth perfection. A couple tracks that weren't as good as the rest and the rest being simply wonderful work. If I had to complain about somethings it might get a little too much for some listeners, as the style doesn't change much, but it will still take plenty of tracks before that might happen and the fact is, imo you really have to invest into getting everything out of it. The Portal doesn't sound too special as a background noise because of the subtlety of it. Also it would have been very interesting to have a downtempo track with this kind of style, but maybe that's for another time. Mastering is perfection, I feel like Colin OOOD should master every single release ever. Just striking sound separation and dynamics with my headphones just like with Erta Alé.

Go buy this thing, it's up there of the highest quality goa and even what psy offers today. This is quality over quantity, by far. Other goa artists should take notes. Cronomi and Portamento, you rock!

Where to get it and samples?

Originally posted at:

Started Topics :  18
Posts :  783
Posted : Oct 10, 2011 13:19
Interesting... this artist was at least once based in Aarhus, Denmark, but is known to very few here. I only know about him because i once bought a synth from him...
It sounds pretty fat and nice 
IsraTrance Junior Member

Started Topics :  13
Posts :  35
Posted : Oct 10, 2011 18:41
thx 4 review mate!!!! we are proud as a label to make this happen!!!
all people who want to buy; pls sent me a pm: too full support the label (you know what I mean)

Mike A

Started Topics :  185
Posts :  3954
Posted : Oct 12, 2011 15:18

On 2011-10-10 13:19, Zoolog wrote:
Interesting... this artist was at least once based in Aarhus, Denmark, but is known to very few here. I only know about him because i once bought a synth from him...
It sounds pretty fat and nice

He is still in Aarhus.
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