Ganja Beats – Paradise & Tranquillity (Organic Records 2005) CD

DeathPosture

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Ganja Beats – Paradise & Tranquillity



Hi-res: front + back

Artist: Ganja Beats (UK)
Title: Paradise & Tranquillity
Format: CD (jewel case)
Label: Organic Records (UK)
Cat. #: ORGCD0101
Distribution: Arabesque
Date: 27 June 2005

Track listing:

01. 06’15†Mystical Experience
02. 06’04†Herbalised
03. 06’25†Space Is High
04. 05’52†The Sacred Dub Vibe
05. 06’45†Utopia
06. 06’02†Roots Of The Ganges
07. 05’16†Herb Is Good
08. 06’07†Rhythm Of Dub
09. 05’11†Internal Energy
10. 06’35†The Gift
11. 06’35†The Lost Forest
12. 05’53†Sister Bliss
13. 07’16†Deep Tranquillity (Bonus Track)

.m3u-playlist: http://tinyurl.com/8te8y (all tracks)

Review:

Requiem for Jake.

UK-based Organic Records are out with their 10th CD-release… After the Tsunami Benefit compilation and the brilliant Invasion From Hyperspace compilation, it’s time to chill out for a bit… Time for some peace and tranquillity… Ganja Beats is Jake Stephenson who sadly passed away recently at the age of 42 after suffering an epilepsy attack. Jake was a very dedicated and productive producer – among the most productive ever! He was the man behind the Kinetix Recordings label and his production aliases included Shamanic Tribes On Acid, 3rd Eye, Alien Mutation, Bass Meditation and countless others… He was also a member of the groups Optica, Optic Eye and Crystal Moon with Matt Hillier of Ishq… This album was completed short before he died… (R.I.P.)

Let me take you thru the tracks…

#01: Mystical Experience
“Rastaman dub vibration! Heavy dub sensation…†Jake Stephenson is collaborating with Jon Sharp here. And the vocals are by rastaman Micheal Neganah… This is laidback, spliffy dub… Puff, puff giiiiiiiive! It’s kinda boring though – not really my style and the samples annoy me…

#02: Herbalised
Things pick up here… It’s still very laidback dub, but we get some floating melodies now, to spice things up a little… Oh, and the breakdown is nice and chilled… But yeah – focus is still on da herb as the title suggests… Decent track!

#03: Space Is High
Right, now we’re getting somewhere… This is much more my cuppa java… We start out with floating, beatless spacy ambient… An icy-cold sensation at first, but soon the ice is melted by the warmth of the subtle dubby vibes… And gone are the annoying rasta-samples… I totally dig this… I wish it was longer.. ;o)

#04: The Sacred Dub Vibe
As the title suggests we’re back in dub territory now… It starts off chilled and organic – dripping water and digital birds… And soon a lazy dub vibe is introduced carrying us towards some sacred location… A very dreamy, pensive, soothing track here… Nice!

#05: Utopia
Let’s dig deeper… The dubby vibes are practically gone here, and we’re left with a deep, cold ambient piece with just a few beats left to keep you awake… The intro is very cool: Synth experimentation mixed with – silence! Later on we get a little more action, but we’re still in ambient territory… A very different track, but I like it!

#06: Roots Of The Ganges
Yeah – we’re in India now… As the title suggests! Think a stripped down, lo-fi version of East Of The River Ganges – and you’ve pretty much got it… This is ethno-dub with oddly misplaced melodies… Weird to say the least! I’m not sure what to make of this… Parts of it are really good, others are too naïve for my taste… Decent track!

#07: Herb Is Good
“Herb is a plant. I mean, herb is good for everything!†Jake Stephenson is joined by Jon Sharp again and we back to the reggae-rasta samples… This is hard-core dub with annoying voice-samples and an even more annoying organ-melody… An unfortunate combo to say the least… Sorry, I don’t like it at all…

#08: Rhythm Of Dub
We continue down the same path here, though this time with vocals by Micheal Neganah – and they are less annoying… This is still hard-core dub with rich reggae influences – with nifty little melodies to balance things out… The experimental bridge is very cool… Very well executed fusion music here… I like it!

#09: Internal Energy
More rastaman lyrics here – alongside a deeeeeeeeep dubby beat… We also get some synth experimentation and a few melodies… Unfortunately it doesn’t mix too well… I tend to skip this track!

#10: The Gift
Ahh – much better now… The dubby bass and the floating soundscapes are now accompanied by a pretty sweet rhythm section + dreamy female moaning… It may sound cheesy, but it’s not. It’s all very nicely done and this is a very likeable track…

#11: The Lost Forest
More floating ambient here… Some bird action in the intro… Later on we get some lazy percussion… I especially like the tribal part… Yeah, this is very forest-like… Jungle-downbeat… Sweet track – but too damn short!

#12: Sister Bliss
This is, hands down, the best track on this album… Beautifully crafted ambient music that will send you straight to dreamland… The soothing vocals here are by Jayne Stephenson, and I’m guessing its Jake’s sister (hence the title…)!?… High quality, floating ambient here… With a flute line nothing short of perfection… Very well done! Only gripe is that this track is too short…

#13: Deep Tranquillity (Bonus Track)
This last bonus track here is also floating ambient – thankfully! Virtually beatless, this is one of the deepest, most dreamy tracks here… Running water, high-pitched xylophones, soft filters and atmospheric soundscapes… Designed to put you to sleep… And it works… What a great bonus track… Zzzzzzzzzz….

Well, I’m not sure what to think of this album… I know that dub, reggae and ambient are closely related, but to be honest I really don’t like the reggae tracks here… They seem to get somewhat in the way of the much better ambient/chill-out tracks… I know that this was Jake’s style, and I hope he doesn’t turn in his grave when I write this… But to conclude, I don’t really like half of this album… But the other half is extremely nice! What a complex!

So you could say that beautiful ambient tracks make up for the less good tracks here… And I’ll even admit that the reggae tracks might even serve their purpose when under the influence… But for me right now, I’ll skip ‘em… I’m sorry to see Jake leave this Earth so early – I hope he’s at a better place right now hanging out with Bob Marley & Curt Cobain… He’s made some great stuff in the past, and at least half of this album is very sweet… Obviously I’ll recommend this to fans of both ambient/chill-out and dub – and if you’re also into reggae you will not want to miss this album… I’m putting this up on my shelf next to Kukan-Dub-Lagan’s Life Is Nice released on Candyflip in 2004… If you liked that, you’ll love this… Enjoy!

Favourites: 3, 4, 5, 8, 10(!), 11, 12(!!), 13(!)

DeathPosture


External links:
Organic Records: http://www.organicrecords.net
Saiko Sounds: http://tinyurl.com/bm4sr
TranceShop: http://tinyurl.com/bx8nz
Amboworld: http://tinyurl.com/7qg92
Beatspace: http://tinyurl.com/e3cq5
Psyshop: http://tinyurl.com/c7cm7
Wirikuta: http://tinyurl.com/7btrz
Ajuca: http://tinyurl.com/9mgdx
Wakyo: http://tinyurl.com/9p7lu
Chaos: http://tinyurl.com/cwu6c
Juno: http://tinyurl.com/dlqbl
 

Chris Organic

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I think so!

I think Death Posture's review was a bit harsh, probably cos he doesnt like dub that much. Well, fact is this has been one of our best CDs and interest is still very strong in it, so PPPPPPPPPppppppppphhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh :Smile3: (That was Jake by the way)
 

Red five

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Ganja Beats – Paradise & Tranquillity (Organic Records 2005) CD

i like this album so much it's actually annoying.

the dub ones are the best ones DP, you're just too much of a white boy:ibiggrin: *joke*

seriously, this album has served me well in the backrooms and chill tents so far this year, and i find something else i like each time i play it.

but hey, it's all about horses for courses.
 

JohnM

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Ganja Beats – Paradise & Tranquillity (Organic Records 2005) CD

I think my review for Upfront was little more positive - but then again I am partial to a bit of dub - so its horse for course as the saying goes..

----------

Ganja Beats was one of the many guises of the multi talented Jake Stephenson who sadly passed away earlier this year. His releases over the last decade under such names as Shamanic Tribe on Acid and Optic Eye and covered cosmic to goa to new age to dub. ‘Paradise & Tranquility’, as you might imagine, very much falls into the ambient dub category, providing a heady mix of submarine bass and tranquil ambience with a sprinkle of deep rhythms. Its sound goes back a lot further than many of today’s chill out artists with clear nods to Lee Scratch Perry and King Tubby and 80s electro dubber Adrian Sherwood (especially “Herb is Good” ), as well as dub ambient pioneers like the Orb. There’s actually only a few heavy dub tracks, but it’s the use of space that’s so telling in its debt to classic dub, even on very pastoral tracks like ‘The Lost Forest’. With a name like Ganja Beats, you know pretty much what to expect and yes, in a very good way, it does exactly what it says on the (stash) tin. JM
 

digifrog

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I still would like Organic to reissue the 1st Ganja Beats album. I think originally it was released on Kinetix. :iyes: But it would be nice.
 

Chris Organic

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Cheers everyone for da positive vibes.

About re-issuing that 1st album (which came out on Kinetix btw... KINXCD15)... well a nice idea but probably not gonna happen, as 1st there's the licensing blablabla, and secondly Jake's family have decided to let things rest, so to speak. They may put out their own 'best of' in aid of epilepsy research, but I think that's it for Jakes output... "Floating In Rainbow Bubbles" on psymed 2 will be his last release.
 

shpiral

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Ganja Beats – Paradise & Tranquillity (Organic Records 2005) CD

I love this album a great deal, especially tracks 3,4 and 5 which are just so special. I would like to get hold of the first album, (I didn't know there was one). Definately one of my favourites from last year, there are just so many lovely tunes on this. Nice to see such postive feedback, even if Mr. Death Posture wasn't so keen on it!
 

duballstar

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i listened to the smaples the other day and it remided me of early festival explorations into the guilfin ambient lounge where i most likey actually saw jake playing some of his earlier stuff.... this is lined up for my next ambient purchase... can't get enough reggae and dub so i don't really know how this slipped under my radar first time round.... :Smile3:
 

duballstar

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Well I've finally got it and I'm definately not dissapointed - it's right up my street! Thanks for the quick delivery Chris and cheers for the heads up Matt... :Smile3:

I really like the way Jake's style translates into downtempo music - where in Shamanic Tribes he really went all out, he's a lot more reserved here and there's a lot more space for the bass, harmonies and noises to fuse together into some pretty lush soundscapes. I love the way the rootsy dub, upbeat floaty dub and uber mellow ambient tracks play off each other.

All in all it's a really relaxing album with good progression and plenty of variety which I'm sure is going to get many more spins - well worth the buy! :icool:
 

digifrog

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Ganja Beats – Paradise & Tranquillity (Organic Records 2005) CD

The first album is also recommended. Slighly more roots than P & T, but still definately Jakes touches are true to form.

It is still on sale at Jakes website KINETIX, now run by friend and colleague Jon Sharpe.
 

Chris Organic

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Hey there Duballstar

thanks for the cool feedback. Personally I find myself listening to more and more of Jake's music when I'm chiling at home. Apart from the first GB album, also check out the Alien Mutation and Crystal Moon stuff... lovely deep chill and with a great timeless quality.
 

Aphasia

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i love this album....just like all his stuff. And to think that jake introduced his music to me personally through his cd stall...but didnt tell me it was him for ages!

really nice to chill to....and smoke to!
 

Chris Organic

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yup, that'd be just like Jake, an impressively modest man.

Wa utterly amazing at his funeral, just how many people he knew and how many of them had turned out to pay their respects. We were all pointing at each other and saying "Ah! So he knew you too!"
 

digifrog

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Some of you obviously priveleged and lucky enough to have met him. I would have liked to say a few words to him in person too.

I've been wanting to do a tribute write up on Wikipedia, but information is scant and seemingly difficult to get hold of.

Aye, Jakes stuff with Matt Hillier is great and will always remind me of hazy,lazy summer days of the '90's. And as they still get played will remind me of future hazy summer days too.


God Bless Jake, an inspiration and a true pioneering artist.

:Smile3:
 

Chris Organic

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Well well well. Jake's family have now approached me, and kindly asked me to compile an anthology of Jake's chill -out music, together with some potentially unreleased music....

will be interesting to see what comes of it

[note to Col: Feel free to edit your own posts; leave mine alone, thanks. BTW you misspelled Approached]
 
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