These months Frenchies rule the beats and they have plenty to offer even though not that much reaches the world as the music scene is rather dominated by the Anglo - American industry. Meanwhile the French enjoyed themselves in their own niche so to speak, and they did rather well. Today's artist, is one of the Godfathers of the genre, alongside artist like Hallucinogen, Astral Projection, todays act with releases on labels like TIP Records, Blue Room Released and Dragonfly Records are the creators of the true Goa Trance sound from back in the days but he's been involved in more great acts today however it's about the birth of Goa beats here today.. ....... N'joy
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Total Eclipse is a psychedelic trance band founded in 1992 by Stéphane Holweck, Serge Souque and Loïc Van Pouckein France with the first remaining the sole member in present day. Their first tracks appeared on a few compilations in 1993, and by 1994 they had a few singles out with Dragonfly Records and T.I.P. Records. Their first full length album Delta Aquarids and the double CD Violent Relaxation were released in 1995 and 1996 respectively, both with Blue Room Released.
Frenchman Stephane Holweck started his music career in 1976, when he joined Hungarian Peter Ogi (O.G.I.) as bass player. OGI signed a deal with Malcolm McLaren, so they moved to London, UK. In the early 80's, he played with several South London rock bands, and started jamming with Youth who had just left Killing Joke, and they formed their own group called Brilliant. They both played the bass and were boosted by the drumming of Big Paul. The group recorded various singles and got charted in the independent charts. They were also joined by Jimmy Cauty, who lived in the same house as Stephane. Ben Watkins joined them in 1983 to play keyboards on a tour.
In 1984, Stephane created another band called Fresh, with Brandon Beal and Muff O'Donnell. In 1985 they recorded Bobby's Boys "Bobby Can't Dance". An electro single which involved Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese. They went to New York to record an album, but the collaboration stopped when the record company closed down. In 1989 he made a band with Ben Watkins called Electrotete, which was a 100% electronic based music project. They recorded singles for various labels and the project was dedicated to make party music, sending the tracks to Goa, India via the French DJ Yayo TBE and Fred KNK.
In 1992 Ben and Stef formed Juno Reactor and released the album Transmissions on Nova Mute. They also involved themselves in the art world when they recorded a live experimental ambient soundtrack to accompany the sculptural installation of Norma Fletcher (later released as the Luciana album). Slowly Stef slowed down his work relationship with Ben, but he was still participating on the albums Beyond The Infinite, Bible Of Dreams and Shango. Juno Reactor created music that was featured in the blockbuster movie Matrix Reloaded, including a 13-minute track during a car scene (Mona Lisa OverDrive) on which Holweck collaborated with Ben Watkins and cinematic composer Don Davis. He has also collaborated with Youth (Killing Joke) since the beginning of his career, as well as other well-known names in he genre, among them Simon Posford (Hallucinogen, Shpongle) and Raja Ram (Shpongle, 1200 Mics) on the album Mystery of the Yeti (1996).
In the meantime, to escape the intensity of working with Juno Reactor, Stef linked up with Serge Souque in Paris at a TBE party on the famous Delo Barge. They wrote two tracks and recorded them in Youth's Butterfly Studios under the name Total Eclipse. Soon after, Loic Vanpoucke joined the band. From there they built their studio in Serge’s hometown Bordeaux. They became one of the true core originators of the genre we today refer to as goa trance. While they never received the same amount of attention as the likes of Hallucinogen or Astral Projection, they are just as influential, to say the least. They were making highly melodic tracks as far back as 1992, and have quite a few classics tucked under their belt, from the milestone tunes "Aliens" and "Waiting For A New Life", to "Blade Runner", Chaotic Circus", "Free Lemonade", "Partycles" and probably half a dozen more I've forgot. Also not to be forgotten is their input in the Mystery Of The Yeti supergroup, which had a huge overall impact on the future sound and development of ambient music. Total Eclipse's 1995 debut album, Delta Aquarids may sound somewhat dated today, but still remains a foundation stone in the genre, but it is their sophmore release, the marvellous double CD from 1996, intitled Violent Relaxation where the trio really shone through, and brought what is in my opinion one of the absolute pinnacles of the old school goa/psy trance movement, and merits its place on the top shelf of every serious fan of trance music!
Unfortunately, with the premature demise of the old school, the group's magic started to wear out as well. Still, 1999 saw the trio surprisingly release a downtempo-breakish album called Access Denied. The original purists were immediately disappointed and turned their heads away, but they sure missed out on a lot! It seems that the french producers, being dissatisfied with the direction trance music was pursuing, decided to chose a path hard to follow, and stayed true, so to speak. The album itself crossed many genres, blending the unblendable, and sounding like little else out on the market at that time. Total Eclipse were probably trying once again to bring new and fresh stuff to the table, just as they did some years back. Unfortunately, very few listeners understood, and shortly after, sided by the departure Serge Souque (he can today be found as one of the three members in The Good, The Bad & The Ugly project),
Total Eclipse released Update Files (2004) and Stephane has continued Total Eclipse as a solo effort since around 2005 and released Tales of the Shaman (2010). Holweck continues to perform around the world, playing at events and festivals in Brazil, Hungary, Portugal, Japan, Turkey, France, and the US.
Total Eclipse has remixed tracks by some well-known artists including Anne Clark, Gong, Juno Reactor, Jungle High, 1200 Mics, and Prana. Their extensive discography includes tracks released on Blue Room, TIP, Dragonfly, Twisted Records, Avatar Records, Solstice, Wagram, Sony Music, Phonokol, Eye Q Records, 3D Vision, and Nova Tekk.
Around 2001, Stephane, together with Michio Baba (who also collaborated on the Total Eclipse album Update Files), laid the foundations for the chill-out collective Digital Mystery Tour, with mainly Stephane Holweck as the stearing artist, who brings in various artists to form their music. The group line up can vary from track to track, but usually consist of Florian Seriot (Torés), Michio Baba (from Japan) and Loïc Van Poucke (Total Eclipse). Based in France, they deliver ambient, dub and downbeat music. DMT have released two albums Digital Mystery Tour in 2001 and 4 years later D.M.T Express both well received albums.
Stephane Holweck continues touring around the world and creating new projects such as Terraformers and Toxic Engine, exploring many different music styles.
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The first album by one of the Godfathers of the genre. Alongside artist like Hallucinogen, Astral Projection, Man With No Name and The Infinity Project, Total Eclipse with releases on labels like TIP Records, Blue Room Released and Dragonfly Records are the creators of the true Goa Trance sound from back in the days.
Delta Aquarids contains eleven tracks which today sound a bit dated unfortunately, but one has to appreciate the quality of these tracks. Amongst the best tracks some highlights are Free Lemonade, Le Lotus Bleu, Can’t Do That, The Crucible and Blade Runner. Tracks are simple in texture when compared especially to their second album “Violent Relaxation” in 1996; but all tracks are nice, and each track has that unmistakeable Total Eclipse sound.
Surprisingly this album lacks their best track ever, the 1994 “Waiting For A New Life”, which is also the second release on the legendary TIP Records. This track is almost 10 minutes long so two tracks would have had to be left out from this album for it to fit. This album though contains a lot of tracks which weren't released elsewhere so leaving the mentioned track out was probably the right move.
Luckily this album has been reissued in 2005 on Inpsyde Media so it’s easily availaible. Don’t let it go away. If you don’t have it, buy it now. Delta Aquarids is one of the highlights of the genre. To point that like a majority of Blue Room Released releases artwork is horrible but don’t let that put you off.
Total Eclipse - Delta Aquarids ( flac 488mb)
01 Hit And Run 6:12
02 Blade Runner 8:11
03 Age Of Reason 7:25
04 Free Lemonade 5:49
05 Ms Frankenstein 7:50
06 The Crucible 7:02
07 Le Lotus Bleu 7:51
08 Bad Data 5:22
09 Can't Do That 8:09
10 Nautilus 6:36
11 Δ9 4:14
Total Eclipse - Delta Aquarids (ogg 179mb)
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These garcons francaises were on some other shit back then, top drawer goa trance material teaching the rest how it is to be done! The harmony is there non stop, the psychedelic rock guitar riffs which were notable on their debut are toned down in favor of some of the most blissfull and emotional old school melodies. Dance to classics like The Furnace, Chaotic Circus, Pulsar Glitch or Area 51 until you drop dead or trip to each and any of these gargantuan tunes while chilling on your sofa, the effect and rawness of these numbers should be felt either way.
The second CD provides some mid tempo goa trance tracks in the same vein as Tandu's classic New Aura. You know, not the slow, crawling ambient, but that smooth, hypnotic stuff with just enough bass and kick to keep you awake, while drifting away like whales in the darkness. What the second part of "Violent Relaxation" has in store for the listeners is some of the sweetest and touching goan soundscapes ever created.
The melodies are powerful, memorable, pick any which one you want and it's bound to get stuck in your head like... forever! Pick any kick, bass line, sound effect or mood these tracks portray and astonishment is guaranteed! Hearing a Total Eclipse live circa '95-'97 must have been an out of this world experience.
"Violent Relaxation" is the french trio polishing, cutting 'n' sharpening that diamond to guarantee and secure its timeless value and eternal status as a prime example others will forever be measured against. A true masterpiece.
Total Eclipse - Violent Relaxation 1 (flac 438mb)
101 Virtual Terminal Energised 7:21
102 Area 51 7:39
103 The Furnace 9:02
104 Teknophobia 8:16
105 Chaotic Circus 7:46
106 Absolute Zero 7:45
107 Pulsar Glitch 7:42
108 Space Clinic 7:29
109 Blue Galaxie 8:24
Total Eclipse - Violent Relaxation 1 (ogg 175mb)
Total Eclipse - Violent Relaxation 2 ( flac 355mb)
201 Espanolizer 10:30
202 The Pendulum 9:40
203 Black Body Radiation 8:16
204 Diamond Ring Effect 9:54
205 Time Drops 7:28
206 51 Pegasus 8:11
207 Gravity Mirage 8:51
Total Eclipse - Violent Relaxation 2 (ogg 154mb)
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