Music Review: Shamanic Love by Astralseid
It’s hard to describe exactly what it is that Astralseid brings to the table as far as the band’s music is concerned. Tribal and otherworldly, the trance-infused tunes on Shamanic Love (2020) evoke thoughts of a more organic Buddha Bar compilation — that is, heavy on the electronic components, but pleasantly light on the spiritualism. Fusing (what appear to be) lyric-less vocals with some seriously world-inspired harmonies, the two person band delivers a unique sound.
“We do not limit ourselves to a single genre or style. We just want to make music we enjoy ourselves. Inspired by all we do and our experiences in life,” state the artists on their website. “Mixing it all into one great pot of joy, love and ecstasy… This project is also a way for us to step outside our own musical comfort-zone, into unknown territory... This is also why we are not creating music of one specific genre, we simply don’t want to put such a limit to what we create.”
On the intro to “Shadow Love,” whether or not the Nordic duo intended it, I can’t help but think of Mongolian throat singing. Coupled with distant and borderline mysterious notes, the track seems ritualistic — as if it’s intended for some sort of journey into human consciousness. It’s interesting, but those of us who have New Age-curious friends have probably heard a variant of this style.
“Skydance'' is more comparable with my taste. With a strong electronic opening, a faster pace, and a good rhythm for dancing, the band offers a more club-appropriate track. Though, it still has Astralseid's signature vocal stylings, courtesy of Gustav Holberg and Rúnahild. Interestingly, the song was initially released in 2018, when the band first formed, and served as their demo. It really feels like something I would hear at someone’s tent at Burning Man.
The last track, “Liberty,” also features a rather slow intro. The trance and electronic components don’t really start until a minute and a half in, and for the remaining eight minutes, it ebbs and flows between light and intermediate beats, with the mouth harp strongly leading the overall sound. Similarly, “Awakening” is also a slow(ish) track that features a bit more expressive vocals. It works well with the overall harmonies on the four-track album.
Note* Album provided for objective review by our partners.