Album, Single and EP Reviews



  Shamanic Verse by Ethan James Startzman

Shamanic Verse cover art

Artist: Ethan James Startzman
Title: Shamanic Verse
Catalogue Number: Subexotic Records
Review Format: Download
Release Year: 2022

I don’t normally read press releases. After all, a press release is just an advert that doesn’t have to meet any particular advertisement standards but, as I knew not of Ethan James Startzman, I had to start somewhere before writing words of wisdom on his album “Shamanic Verse”.

Unfortunately, there were far too many big words in the press release that weren’t even included in my big book of words to drop into exam answers and thus impress any college lecturer who had previously regarded me as a feckless moron. So, without further ado, onwards to the music. Is this album a work borne of pretension or does it have the spiritual power that its title would suggest?

I can’t say that I felt closer to God whilst listening to this album and, even with the artificial intimacy that headphones bring, I didn’t actually drop into anything resembling a trance of enlightenment. That said, there was indeed something curiously hypnotic about these extended soundtrack cues that seemed to pull electronic tonalities that had fallen from some forbidden planet and scrupulously reassembled them into a rigidly sequenced, and entirely wordless, structure.

Like some games soundtrack that has been to college and subsequently been thrown out for non-conformance, the tracks on “Shamanic Verse” use fractured melodies ,odd scraping samples and looped synthetic sounds to create sonically drawn images of something that is not quite in the here and now yet isn’t a million light years away from what you might have been expecting. It’s the Krell deal…

The album is available on vinyl from Subexotic Records.
Review Date: November 4 2022