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Maat Lander - Maat Lander / Sounds Of New Soma - Split Album CD (album) cover


Maat Lander


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.08 | 5 ratings

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Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
3 stars Even though this is listed as an album by the band Maat Lander, it is actually a split album with the first 3 tracks by Maat Lander and the last 3 tracks by Sounds of New Soma, the first band being a Psychedelic/Space Rock band while the latter is a Progressive Electronic project, and both bands are listed in Prog Archives.

The band Maat Lander is a collaboration in and of itself, between guitarist Ilya Lipkin and Ark and Ivan Fedotov. The trio is from Russia, and first met while performing on stage with the Fedotov brothers in the band "Vespero" with Lipkin (The Re- Stoned) playing in a special appearance with them. The started working together through the internet and in the process created new songs and this new project released their first album in 2015. For the "Split-Album", Ilya (guitars, Fx, mixing), Ark (synth, Fx) and Ivan (drums, drum machines) remain as the original trio.

"Matt's Way" (6:50) bases itself with a repeating guitar riff, staccato synth patterns and very active drumming. After a while, a rousing guitar solo and effects take the music into space rock territory creating a trance-like atmosphere, but with enough activity in the guitar to keep your attention from wandering too far. The music backs off a bit, generates another foundation with pulsating percussion that generates tension while the guitar plays fuzzy chords and atmospheric tones while the synth plays looping patterns underneath. The music wanders along quite nicely creating a loose sound that generates a few great guitar solos. "Volga Dream" (8:57) comes in more dreamlike and atmospheric. The music is more spatial this time, with airy sounds swirling around loose guitar improvisations and light percussion. All the while, the synths create the usual space effects. This track meanders on for quite some time with only a few minor changes, but becoming more direct and interesting around the last minute and ending just as it starts getting good. "Lunar Module" (6:11) is even looser than the previous track, at first, taking it's sweet time to get going, but finally kicks into a solid beat with heavy guitar layers playing against each other well into the 2nd minute. All of this becomes further solidified as one of the guitar lines takes over the main melodic aspect, the drums settle into a regular beat, and the synths continue their whirling and spinning effects.

Sounds of New Soma is the name of the other band that takes up the 2nd half of this split album. This progressive electronic band from Germany was founded in 2013 by Alexander Djelassi (guitar, bass, synth, effects) and Dirk Raupach (synthesizer, effects). Since 2014, they have released four studio albums, and offer us a taste of their more experimental style in the last three tracks on "Split-Album".

"Auf Fahrt" (5:50) (translates loosely to on-ramp) shows you immediately the very noticeable difference in the styles of the two bands, this time, as the genre designation suggests, much more electronic sounding, sparse and minimal, with outbursts of heavily processed sounds, bent waves and minimal percussive noises. The music is more sustained and approaches an avant- garde style. A drone carries on as the basis for the track as a synthesizer plays in the foreground and whirling noises come and go. "Radweg ins Gluck" (5:20) (loosely translates to lucky path) starts with another drone, but it soon moves on while a suspended synth loop plays behind a synth-piano/guitar line. The music is quite simple and has a feeling of floating or suspension. "Ab Fahrt" (5:43) (departure) has a harsher and more intense feeling to it. Fuzzy percussion underlies a throbbing bass line and warbling effects, all of it with a sharper feel than the previous tracks. Electronic percussion provides a feeling of movement while the music provides more of a soundscape than anything else.

The two bands feature two different styles that have some similarities to them in that they are wandering and mostly improvisational, yet one has definite ties to space rock while the other is more of a psychedelic, non-melodic electronic style. You can definitely tell the difference in their styles. However, the music really never develops much on either side from the norms of both genres. In other words, there is nothing new and interesting here, and there is definitely nothing that is memorable when all is said and done. The music is all just "ok", average improvisations that fall under two sub-genres, but there seems to be nothing here among these 6 tracks that would really entice me to explore the music of either project any further. It's all good, but that is pretty much it. Even lovers of both styles of music will be hard pressed to find anything really exciting here.

TCat | 3/5 |


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