Feb 8, 2015

Sundaze 1506

Hello, not sure if todays's icelandic artist was aware that choosing the moniker Yagya would place him right into the Hindu mix of doing religious business....

Yagyas -The Spiritual Solution of Wordly Problems
The word "Yagya" (also written as Yajna and Yagna) literally means fire sacrifice, however it is basically a name of whole ritual in which Mantras for a particular purposes in high quantity are recited, Hawan (fire sacrifice) is done, Vedic Stotras (Prayers) are chanted and Gods, Goddesses and Planets are worshipped to reach you benefit for the purpose that is sworn on your name. "The various types of yagyas - expounded by the Vedas - connect the individual with the entire process of cosmic evolution. Yagyas thus have various levels of influence from the grossest to the subtlest states of creation, but always pointing towards the ultimate goal of the human evolution, to God-consciousness." - Maharishi. So yagyas (yagnas or yajnas) are like this, they keep us on the real evolutionary path. Lucky are the people who live the fullness of life in total harmony, and in satisfaction.

Aðalsteinn Guðmundsson, a laptop ambient producer and computer science junkie from Iceland, has been involved with electronic music since the early '90s. Apart from his alias as Yagya, Guðmundsson has also operated as Plastik and half of the duo Sanosol. He creates his music on computer with figures like Brian Eno, Philip Glass, Maurizio, and Wolfgang Voigt providing inspiration. Like a lot of his peers and influences, Guðmundsson aims to compose material that sounds as organic and as free-flowing as possible... ......N'joy

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Yagya aka Aðalsteinn Guðmundsson is an Icelandic producer who crafts atmospheres influenced by the likes of Gas, Philip Glass, Basic Channel and Brian Eno in a sound of its own. Five years after its release it’s still is an album that I’ve played endlessly, bought on CD, Vinyl, and even played on my radio show countless of times. So what is it about Yagya that makes his music so appealing to fans of dub-techno, electronica or ambient ? Yagya concentrates on the softer side of music and avoids heavy rhythms, it’s been dubbed dub-techno, but that genre is truly too narrow minded for Yagya as his music feels almost effortless as it could’ve been composed by a classical musician, not just a knob twiddler. You will be astonished by the sensuality, feeling of depth, the sense of detail, and emotion of Yagya. Like Basic Channel and Wolfgang Voight, Yagya is a master in creating music that is not from this world. All the different layers in his music, the moods, the atmospheres and the hypnotizing beats will put you in a dreamlike state and persuade you in a gentle way not to push the stop button.

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The reliance upon imagery, track listings, and labels is par for the course with the largely vocal-free fields of electronic dance music. The Rhythm of Snow, the debut of Iceland-based producer Aalsteinn Gumundsson's alias as Yagya, is no exception, but the artwork might throw a few people off with its sharp angles and glassy effects of gray and black snowflakes (however attractive it is). The cold, sterile atmosphere that the physical package projects is unfortunate because there's a comfort in these productions, plainly named "Snowflake 1" through "Snowflake 10," that relate more to the good feelings associated with snow (jumping in a bank with a thick snowsuit) rather than the bad ones (shoveling, frostbite). Come to think of it, the label could be a little misleading as well. The soft synthetic beats, the maximal minimalism of the billowy textures, and the overall delicate touch are probably better suited for the Kompakt label than Force Inc. Akin to Kompakt's self-coined and curated pop ambient movement, Gumundsson's productions are easy on the ear and hold a deceptively catchy nature to them, completely avoiding the feel of some academic exercise. Compared to an obvious influence like Wolfgang Voigt, the granddaddy of this quasi-movement, Gumundsson is relatively liberal with the alterations he makes to the foundation of each track, twisting textures and folding them into each other with bewildering results. Beats are present throughout, ranging from a hollow tap to a racing pulse to a becalmed chug, with the latter being the most utilized. It's indeed a daunting task to take the record on in whole, but like any great ambient techno record, it leaves the impression of having no beginning and no end.

Yagya - Rhythm Of Snow  (flac 389mb)

01 SnowFlake 1 7:28
02 SnowFlake 2 6:20
03 SnowFlake 3 7:52
04 SnowFlake 4 6:10
05 SnowFlake 5 6:51
06 SnowFlake 6 9:15
07 SnowFlake 7 8:53
08 SnowFlake 8 8:59
09 SnowFlake 9 9:34
10 SnowFlake 10 6:39

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Sending Orbs signed and released a this album by Yagya, known previously for the critically acclaimed and now highly sought after Rhythm of Snow album. With Sending Orbs employing a great talent like Jeroen Advocaat to provide the artwork, not to mention the complete re-skinning of the website itself each new release, it is no wonder that the music they release becomes inexorably tied to the sleeve art. Advocaat is able to effortlessly conjure imaginary worlds with a particular flavor that matches the music perfectly and now, for Will I Dream During the Process?, an epic oceanic world inspired by Greek legend and myth.

“Wind and Thunder” kicks off the album perfectly, opening with multiplied choral pads (something of a staple on the album) that extremely slowly fade up from nothingness, building to a crescendo as they are slowly joined by further strings, bursts of scything electronics, a driving, thudding beat and rolling layers of FX. “Choose” takes up the mantle in a similar but more powerful and driving way, pelted by rain, warmed by rising humidity and driven by more pumping beats and salt shaker hi-hats. These themes are then repeated throughout much of the album. Will I Dream During the Process? is heady and intoxicating, awash with close atmospheres and panoramic coastal and undersea vistas that ensnare the senses. It’s hard not to be dazed or even hypnotized by many of the pieces here, the aptly titled “We Lose Ourselves” seemingly designed to achieve precisely this objective with it’s swooning, perfumed pads accompanied by the gentle singing of a nearby siren.

All this glorious ambient excess is all well and good, but the miasma of sweeping choral samples, roiling waves of foamy FX and wind-swept, vaporous pads can become almost suffocating in the large doses prescribed here. What also quickly becomes apparent is the materials unsuitability to headphones as a listening medium; Yagya’s soundstage is huge, designed to transport the listener to the realms of the gods. Consequently, this material benefits enormously from being heard through speakers to fully realize the scale of the album’s all-encompassing soundscapes.
That said, some of the pieces here are simply exquisite regardless of playback medium. The deeply melancholy “A very long daydream” combines hissing energies and blasts of pressurized steam with stratospheric strings and choral washes and a muffled, heartbeat like bass rhythm. The closing track “When they stood, they let down their wings” is a perfect example of the personification of tranquility the album strives to achieve: glorious, sun-drenched pads and washes beam prismatic colours through the spray of waterfalls onto shimmering, crystal wind-chimes before slowly fading and giving way to warm rhythmic undercurrents that play the album to its conclusion.

Yagya - Will I Dream During The Process  (flac  474mb)

01 Wind And Thunder 6:43
02 Choose 8:16
03 As It Is 6:43
04 But If These Words Are Heard 7:39
05 We Lose Ourselves 8:05
06 Their Blood Is Black And Yellow 7:13
07 Like The Noise Of Great Waters 7:49
08 Change 7:29
09 A Very Long Daydream 7:05
10 When They Stood, They Let Down Their Wings 6:50

Yagya - Will I Dream During The Process DeepChord Redesigns  (flac  373mb)

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Like the previous two releases, it will be most difficult to track down a physical copy of Yagya’s third album "Rigning" (Icelandic for "raining"), although it’s still digitally available through the label’s own official download site E-Orbs. Nonetheless, the smooth dub/techno ambient making up this recording is a very nice thumbs-up, offering a dreamy, sensitive and emotional sonic ride throughout. Yagya, aka Aalstein Gumundsson, sophisticately implements some great atmospherics and natural sounds (such as rain and thunder) in his spacious, gentle textures along some slow and deliberate beats to accompanying them. It simply breaths its contemplative, soft mourning and relaxing magic beautifully.

Yagya counts down with the simple nightscape of "Rigning Einn": frogs whistling to each other, which slowly fades as the melody ripples onto the surface, and into the "Rigning Tvö," which gets into silghtly darker territory, like a evening storm in a thick forest (this gloom will be reprised at the start of "Rigning Sex"). The beats don't come until "Rigning Þrjú," but what stands out the most is the increased use of background sounds, particularly rain sounds, though he branches out, like with the submerged crowd voices on "Rigning Fimm" and "Rigning Níu." A crisper drum grounds "Rigning Sjö," which is about as fast as this album will get, since it's much more interested in a meditation than movement, and sure enough, "Rigning Tíu" wraps things up on a pure ambient float. Just lovely.

Yagya - Rigning  (flac  337mb)

01 Rigning Einn 6:03
02 Rigning Tvö 6:39
03 Rigning Þrjú 7:02
04 Rigning Fjórir 3:12
05 Rigning Fimm 6:40
06 Rigning Sex 6:52
07 Rigning Sjö 6:39
08 Rigning Átta 5:30
09 Rigning Níu 6:29
10 Rigning Tíu 7:43

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Anonymous said...

Any chance of a re-up on these?

floodwatch said...

Kindly requesting a re-up of these, thanks!

Cass said...

Looking forward to listening to the 2nd album later in the day...

Regards & thanks!

floodwatch said...

Rho, thanks for these!

However, the "Will I Dream" link is the DeepChord Redesigns release... any chance for the original album?

Cheers, thanks again

Rho said...

OOPS looks like a slight oversight but hey Deepchords remix is chill too, anyway you can have both now..N Joy

Anonymous said...

I have enjoyed this loopy trip that sort of reminds me of The Field's albums.

Neither the link for the album Yagya - Rigning is working nor for Yagya - Rhythm Of Snow. I know you reuploaded it in May 2018, so I don't want to ask you to reupload it again now because the previous request is not one year old.

Maybe in half a year I can ask!

The Spaniard.