Goa Variations Album Reviews
It’s always nice to hear kind words from strangers about your work. I’ve recently received four reviews for my new album, Goa Variations. Here are some highlights, click the links for the full articles:
“Andrew D. Meyer evokes a circular hypnotic concept on the psychedelic odes of “Goa Variations”. The color bursts forth from these compositions giving them a lush, summery glow.”
““Goa Variations” shows off Andrew D. Meyer’s seemingly eternal work in a way that gives it a dreamy, otherworldly presence.”
Next up, a review from Matthew Bailey:
“Goa Variations” is the latest EP from soprano saxophonist / composer Andrew D. Meyer. Previously, I mentioned his collaborative work on the EXCELLENT 4-suite jazz EP “Awake!” from jazz guitarist Jake Eddy. On this 5-track project however, he handles everything on his own, relying on his trusty soprano saxophone, Korg Volca and Korg Minilogue synthesizers, and his hands (more on that in a bit) to craft some genuinely mesmerizing, psychedelic trance music. As stated on Andrew’s website, “Goa Variations” was inspired by the early works of minimal music pioneers Terry Riley, Steve Reich and Phillip Glass, the latter who composed arguably one of the most influential film scores for the 1985 biopic “Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters”. Andrew takes certain techniques from their minimalist production playbooks (like repetition and short musical phrases) and applies them to the synth-based electronic sound effects, droning basslines and saxophone riffs embodied in this EP. The theme of repetition is even noticeable in the track listing, with its titles “Goa Variation I, II, III, IV and V”. And at first glance, you might think this EP contains five versions of the same song, similar to album singles with remixes from different producers or DJs. What we do get are five compositions which may not explicitly reference a melody or musical phrase from each other (with the exception of a particular track) but embody a consistent vibe throughout the project’s runtime. The vibe I got from it personally was the feeling of being in a new place (in this case, Goa, the Indian state whose trance sub-genre clearly inspired this EP), having my mind stimulated through different activities, and undergoing a range of emotions from uncertainty and concern to euphoria and peace. The EP kicks off with “Goa Variation I”, a panoramic, 10 minute-long, mid-tempo soundscape complete with house-like synths, moody sax riffs and hand percussion interwoven and bookended into the track. “Goa Variation II” has the sonic feel of a 80s sci-fi movie soundtrack, with its retro synths, dramatic sax melodies, buzzing drones and overall nocturnal tone. The following track is my favourite on this EP, thanks to its dancehall-inspired bassline (the much-lauded Playground Riddim came to mind), rhythmic handclaps, upbeat sax riffs and sci-fi sound effects. You can almost imagine this song playing in some neon-lit nightclub with Andrew at center stage. On “Goa Variation IV”, the upbeat vibe of the previous track transitions to a slower, meditative one with its spacey sound effects, bluesy sax and gentle, meandering pace. The theme of repetition returns on “Goa Variation V” where, over a climactic, near-transcendental instrumental, we hear slightly slower interpolations of the sax riff and synths from the second variation and the hand clap melody and synths of the first variation. Overall, I found myself enjoying “Goa Variations” way more than I expected. The one-man production behind this EP is quite impressive, and his ability to craft mentally and emotionally captivating trance instrumentals, whilst incorporating his signature soprano sax, is nothing short of admirable. If you’re a fan of electronic, jazz, trance and/or chill-out music, or if you need your mind musically stimulated for roughly 40 minutes, I highly recommend giving this EP a listen!
OVERALL RATING: 4 out of 5 stars.
“…Meyer creates an interestingly minimalistic sound that just seems to pull you in.”
Finally, a review from the German Publication, She-Wolf. The translation is a bit wonky through Google, but you can link to the original German language review below.
“Here Andrew D. Meyer proves not only his craft on his instrument, but with incredible creativity creates a very idiosyncratic sound cosmos that transports the listener into a kind of parallel world. Not only that the listener of sophisticated music is offered a playfully flawless album here, no Goa Variations also surprises with an interesting sound design that Andrew Mayer not only portrays as an excellent composer and musician, but also as a capable sound designer.”