Review Summary: Organika is an extremely well-executed venture into the genre of psybient, and fans of the style aren't likely to be disappointed.
The genre of Psychedelic Ambient has always been very much two sided. When done correctly, the musicians involved are successful at creating a beautifully vivid sonic environment, while using raw instrumentation mixed with technical electronic wankery to create a sound that is both unique and pleasant to listen to. When done incorrectly, the music produced ends up sounding pretentious and cheesy. This album is definitely the former case, and manages to stand out among the frankly few others in its field.
The Peaking Goddess Collective is a four piece group from Switzerland, and they specialize in the ethnic psybient music akin to Shpongle and Ott. Their sound usually consists of downtempo eastern-styled beats, with deep bass lines and much use of flutes and classical guitar, with acid-fried vocal samples and various percussive instruments. It is clear that this particular collective take their music very seriously, as they often tour to various festivals and parties around the world and play long and extravagant sets, and the four members all seem to be involved equally at every show. This record is their first full-length release, and the music contained within certainly lives up to the title and cover of the album.
Atmosphere can be a challenging thing to master, and this album certainly has a very engrossing quality to it. The bass is very prominent and repetitive throughout, and accompanies the various high-frequency drips and splashy sound effects nicely. As mentioned before, there is a lot of guitar and flute incorporated into this groups sound, more than most other instruments in fact. The guitar riffs range from clean, delay-ridden loops, to slightly distorted and reverberated lead segments. The forefront nature of the guitar in the mix is a compellingly fresh twist to the genre, and the flute solos that accent these guitar parts are quite exquisite. The Peaking Goddess Collective has quite successfully fulfilled the primary requirements to music in this particular realm, and with very high marks.
The main issue that is likely to be plaguing many expectations at this point is the fact that the music does in fact sound very similar to Shpongle. The comparisons are admittedly hard to ignore, and this is a very valid argument, as the foundation of the music is essentially the same. The primary differences are that there is a more focused direction toward chill-out in this album. The variation of instruments admittedly isn't quite as vast as the musical repertoire of Shpongle either. I believe that these differences ultimately help the group in the long run however. The genre and style is still pretty clearly the same, but the group has just enough flair and twists in the formula to both be considered a high quality alternative to the music of Simon Posford and co, and a unique spin on psybient in general.
I would highly recommend this release to anyone who enjoys the genre of psybient, who is looking for a near-musical match to the likes of Shpongle, and who all-around digs delightfully trippy music. Chances are, you won’t be disappointed.