Inner Trip' is the solo project of Saman N (born 1984, graphic artist and musician) formed in 2011. Saman lives in Iran. With his debut album "Somewhere Near The Pulse" he has overcome the prejudice and made a good start on his musical journey. The album received good response from listeners & music writers.
Inner Trip continues the journey with his sophomore album. Nine pieces from nine different lands of music make the second album of Inner Trip which entitled "Initiate". In a closer view, the album is based on electronic and ambient atmosphere with some touches of oriental music. Although there are two songs with vocals, "Initiate" is almost an instrumental album.
Saman says "Inner Trip's dough, imagination and dream, have a bold role on my music. Each track has a deal with my inner fantastic world." Initiate might be the right choice to discover what lies beneath.
Inner Trip makes a hauntingly sad album with 'Initiate'. No light it is let in through its almost unnerving sense of clam. Much of this is nearly pure ambient. This is atmospheric music at its most intense. Over the course of the album it becomes more and more despondent. Hardly any hope filters into its dark vision. In those few times of loudness or intensity it only reinforces this sense of hopelessness. A case could be made for cinematic music due to its subdued qualities for these pieces whisper. A lack of hard beats adds to this feeling as well.
The album start with a pinging rhythm before it builds up into an enormous piece. Some of these pieces are extremely minimal. ‘Maya’ barely has a pulse; it lingers as a quiet moody track. On the absolute opposite side of this is the track ‘Reincarnation’ which gets extremely loud (in comparison to the rest of the album). Watch the volume levels on this particular track as it almost shocks with its sheer burst of energy. For me the lower-key songs are fascinating. As he removes more and more elements leaving behind mere ghosts of song this is when it gets extremely interesting. Minimalism is all over the album. At the end comes the longest piece ‘The Waves of Infinity’ which is quite an elegant piece. Here he keeps it subdued and near-silent. Occasional swells appear out of the otherwise calm sea of sound.
Overall this is a sad album. The quiet adds to the downbeat mood. It is rather gorgeous in its quietness.
A Closer Listen / James Catchpole
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.
MRU / Vanessa Baker
Less than a year after Somewhere Near the Pulse, Inner Trip has completed his second album, Initiate. The nine tracks are largely ambient, with a hint of an electronic and modern classical sound thrown in for variety.
The Iranian artist, also known for his graphic art as Saman N, admits to taking inspiration from cinematic soundtracks. While the influence is noticeable as the narrative flow and heavy reliance on piano recall a certain familiarity, Inner Trip’s sound goes beyond cliché, exploring a musical identity that is all his own.
He claims to have gone deep inside himself for the production of Initiate, trying to ignore outside influences as much as possible. As a result, the tone of the album is very dreamy and visual, calling to the mind soothing, ethereal images of grand, scenic landscapes from around the globe. Each song comes from a different location, bringing listeners on a journey to far away lands without ever leaving the comfort of their own minds. Two of the tracks feature soft yet strong vocals that perfectly complement the natural instrumental sounds they’re paired with.
Whether you’re searching for background music for a romantic dinner or a relaxing bubble bath, or just want something to unwind to, Inner Trip provides the perfect soundtrack. This album really does inspire listeners to take a trip within themselves toward clam and inner peace.
Sound Shock / Calum Robson
Formed just last year, Iranian musician and graphic artist Saman N inked a deal with Fluttery Records and released debut album ’Somewhere Near The Pulse’ in December 2011. Less than a year later, the one-man electronic project known as Inner Trip has given us another inspirational album. ‘Initiate’ is a voyage into a colourful abyss; a well-dug attempt to burrow deep in the mind’s psyche.
It’s very effective too and that’s because Inner Trip is jammed with luscious overlapping melodies, refined by a clear production and effective mixing to make for essential headphone listening. New sounds flit in and out of the mix to completely overwhelm the brain and ultimately induce a relaxing yet profound inner trip. Gentle synth and piano is contrasted with temporary fluctuations of eerie, entrancing and ecstatic electronic sections to intensively massage eardrums and build a unique atmosphere.
Saman’s ambition is evident; to create cloud-destined ambience that never grounds itself until the final note finishes. And he succeeds in keeping the listener anywhere but reality. Inner Trip’s electronic diversity ensures this with a sound made up of strange samplings, symphonic strings, classical choir, psychedelic utterances and even featuring instrumentation from clarinet, mandolin and piano. There are dark vocals on occasion too – the trippy effects, strange beats and punches of psych electronica on ‘Consciousness’ are accompanied by deep vocals steeped in a curiously lulling dread and given an almost spoken word quality.
Any fan of Ulver’s experimental exploits will appreciate the ambient electronics of the project and it’s surely only a matter of time before this talented musician is appreciated on a wider scale. Assume relaxed position on the recliner chair, burn the incense, initiate ‘Initiate’, lock your eyes shut and begin.
Caleidoscoop / Jan Willem Broek
The Fluttery Records steadily continue delivering great music from around the world, mostly in the postrock corner. 28 year old Saman N., a musician and graphic designer from Iran (Tehran), who makes electronic music with his musical vehicle Inner Trip. His goal here is giving you a new imaginary soundtrack. Last year, he made his debut with his wonderful CD Somewhere Near The Pulse containing his extraordinarily original compositions in which crossovers of neoclassical, ambient, electronica and trip come together.
In his new album Initiate, the neoclassical splendor with breathtaking (electronic) orchestrations here is beautifully complemented by the glitchy electronics, piano parts, gently pulsating beats, field recordings, dark vocals and beautiful samples of soprano and chorus. The music goes regularly to the bone, very beautiful. Breathtaking, isolationist music where you imagine yourself on wintry landscapes full of beautiful, moving images.
You get the cinematic music of Phylr, the chilling music of the dark and Heinali, postrock of Labradford (just listen to "Consciousness"). There are also influences from Massive Attack, Gargle, Olan Mill, Craig Armstrong, Clint Mansell and Pleq found in this intimate music. Saman creates a mysterious magical reality that you just totally go dreaming. An overwhelming sequel to the already strong debut. Grand!