Maiia – Shakti

Maiia - Shakti, album review by Frank “DJ Shoom”, PsyChill Channel Digitally Imported Radio Maiia, the Russian based project of Alla Vagner, returns with her second full length album Shakti on Ovnimoon Records. Having known her for a few years now, its been a pleasant ride listening through her evolution as an artist. Her first release was the EP Forest Magick on Namaha Records, followed by her debut full length album Sacred Knowledge Of Ancient Civilizations on Altar Records. She is accompanied by cello artist Galina Schetinina, flutes from Yury Kaplya, and guitar by Mikhail Finogenov. Shakti starts off with Winter Sun (featuring Zero Cult) and starts off with an orchestral feel that flows into a deep step beat. An epic track that opens the tone of the album very well. Spring is Coming, continues with the beautiful cello and brings in some hints of a female vocal in the wind. A synth drives the sound to soaring heights, and the flute that comes in near the end tops off the track. Stirring Autumn Sky is the third track of the album, and begins like being in a forest clearing by the campfire. Flute work fades away and drums and synth drive the track into an uptempo kick. Mystery slows things down with dreamy pads but kicks it up with a dub heavy bass synth. The melody floats on top with a techy pattern but an organic feel. A very nice break down brings it back heavy. Trip to Innerself is definitely a track that makes me think Maiia. Reminds me of Ancient Tribe (Instrumental Mix) from her debut album, but sounds more deep, and mature. A stand out track on the album, with good layers and feel. The guitar pushes this one to the next level. If she was to release a single on the album, this would be it! Summer Tale continues right where Trip to Innerself stopped. An energy driven psychedelic ride with high world/ethnic music influence. Again the guitar and and cello are amazing contributions to the track. Space Travel beings deep and melancholy, the echoing sounds of the cello that have been heard through out the album really take a stand here. Less energy than the previous few tracks, Space Travel lets the mind wander around dramatic soundscapes. Dharma once again brings out the dramatic sound of Shakti. With a searing synth that rides over the percussion, it has more of the psychedelic chill sound. A nice bell type sound later in the track keep it interesting. Fly Away, My Sadness...(Album version) closes out the album with an epic scope similar to the first track. We have come full circle within this world of orchestral psychill from Maiia. The beat is slower than the rest of the CD, but tweaks out a synth that is pure psychedelic. The percussion, cello, flute and atmosphere put the album to rest and leaves your ears satisfied. Favorites: 1, 4, 5, 6, 9 Maiia's second album Shakti is a great piece that features a dramatic orchestral vibe that helps fill the sound imagery at every turn. The addition of the cello and flute offer a unique sound. The percussion and drums are quick and clean, and guitar in a few of the tracks offer fast paced basslines that help give an uplifting feel. This album is Maiia's best offering yet, and I am sure there will be much more to come. Frank “DJ Shoom”, PsyChill Channel Digitally Imported Radio