Inner Trip is the alias of Iranian musician Saman N. and Initiate acts as his sophomore release. Initiate avoids the curse of the follow-up that many artists seem to struggle with, largely due to the deeply personal vision that exists inside the music. Every piece of music ever composed could be said to be a personal expression, and yet ambient and experimental music seems to shine a particularly piercing light that is able to reach the soul. Inner Trip’s personal touch over Initiate sets it apart from other releases; this is his music and his history, opening up as it does a rejuvenating honesty and a quickly established trust between both the artist and the listener.
Inner Trip takes a voyage deep within ourselves, as each piece delves deeply inside our own circular thoughts and the immense labyrinth of the mind. The music is designed to kindle our own search for inner peace, and it resounds effectively as the initiation to the process. With Inner Trip taking us by the hand, our deepening meditation is in very safe hands. Safe is a very dangerous word for musicians, yet there is a reassurance of coming back to what we know; we may have been here before, or in a world similar to this somewhere long ago in our past, a place that is vaguely recalled and yet strangely distant on remembering.
Nine pieces of music reach out from nine different regions around the globe. Not only does this make for a varied listen, it’s also an opportunity for Inner Trip to release his musical wings and mentally explore the continents inside ourselves; far reaching regions free of invisible borders that blossom into the music, in his use of trumpet, piano, light drone and bubble-wrapped synth. Although the soundscapes are mainly ambient, they are always roving and never seem to remain in one place. Taking in electronica, ambient and modern classical influences, all of the elements merge beautifully and sink in calmly with no friction present between them. In this sense, it is not just the musical tones that become personal; it becomes a statement that perhaps we do not need any borders around our planet or around ourselves, that we are all the same, sharing the same consciousness. The personal edge to the recording hovers delicately over the music, with track titles reflecting an inner peace, such as “Reincarnation”, “Maya” and “Third Eye”, along with the album opener that is appropriately named after the year of his birth, 1984.
A touch of the oriental breathes through the opening piece, “Wot 84”, perfumed with cool padded synths and a spacious, middle eastern influenced melody. The opener begins our trip through the continents of the East, and then perhaps settles in his home country of Iran. Clearing a space, the music echoes off our inner caverns in spacious, repetitious waves. As the record progresses, it becomes clear that the ambient landscapes explored in the music not only set foot on the physical globe; they are continents of the mind. All of the tracks contain a feel of place that could be one or many, and as such it escapes any real barriers of classification. The spherical aspect of the music’s voyage also represents the circle of life, too. Reincarnation, rebirth and the search for deeper meanings flood through not only in the track titles, but through ponderous, smoky tones and chants; surely, there must be more to what we perceive than that of our limited senses. At times, deceptively eerie intervals play out semitones apart, and Inner Trip’s husky vocals add a gritty, weighted anchor that has seen its fair share of stormy weather.
The tribal sprinklings of peppered percussion that enter later on may also be heard echoing inside our own mental jungles; dense, mysterious and always masking a dangerous threat upon finding a thought that perhaps shouldn’t be nestled away. The sound of the sea inhales and exhales in its endless tidal flow alongside vibrating synths, and this ensures a rich visual and aural experience, chilled nicely. “The Waves of Infinity” slows everything down as we spiral into the depths of the very soul. It is at this point that the music peels away its electronic shell and the ambient textures can be appreciated for who they really are. This is the meditative cove we were searching for, as the crystal clear water echoes halos of light off stone washed walls in the highest state of tranquility.
Although predominantly an instrumental record, the addition of Inner Trip’s vocals on two out of the nine pieces adds even more of a personal print on the music; the physical voice is the closest music can get to its original source. For music as peaceful and inviting as Initiate to radiate out of a country that is constantly on the verge of international isolation, so used to unfavourable coverage in the eyes of the West, is a sure fire sign that music releases all negative perceptions that may still be present in cultures around the world. Initiate bleeds honesty and courage. Really, there are no borders. There are only those that we choose to blockade around ourselves. Music such as this, and the country that it arises from, can change hearts and minds. What better medium than music to lead the way towards peace? Although it may be a personal voyage, we are never passengers. Whatever thoughts arise from Inner Trip’s music, the imagery may likely be shared by all, as one consciousness. Initiate can change perceptions; it may be that this young musician is the ignition that is so needed. (James Catchpole)
Release Date: September 17