ASURA – Renaissance Album Review
Written by Pepo on July 15, 2023
Charles Farewell, also known as ASURA, has just released his new album “Renaissance” on July 7th, 2023. The album is available for download on his Bandcamp profile, and I hope that many of you will get it.
We had the privilege of listening to it well before the official release. Charles kindly sent us the album exclusively to listen, test, and provide feedback. The truth is, we’ve listened to the album over 150 (update on 15th July 2023) times at Trance-Energy Radio HQ, and we’re not exaggerating. We truly immersed ourselves in it, playing it repeatedly every single day. It captivated us completely, and each time we reached the end of the last track, it left us craving for more, prompting us to hit the replay button.
The album can be described as a blend of chill-out, psychedelic, and various other genres. It defies categorization, as neither “psy” nor “chill out” fully captures its essence. To us, the album represents the pure essence of TRANCE, beyond its usual musical genre definition.
In chill-out psychedelic music, you will often find dreamy melodies, ethereal textures, and atmospheric effects that create a sense of immersion and exploration. The music tends to have a slower tempo, allowing the listener to unwind and enter a state of tranquility. It often incorporates intricate layers of instrumentation, such as synthesizers, guitars, flutes, and ethnic instruments, which add depth and richness to the overall sound.
For many, trance music is defined by specific BPMs, keys, and technical terms, but we have never been fond of such limitations. In our opinion, TRANCE music is a genre that transports you on a transcendental journey, to different dimensions, experiences, and sounds, leading you to new destinations previously unknown to you.
ASURA, in fact, transcends the limitations of both the trance and chill-out psychedelic genres as described above. Charles Farewell, the artist behind ASURA, has consistently showcased his unique imprint, creating his own distinct world and genre. His music cannot be confined to a specific classification since he operates without boundaries in his creative process. ASURA has cultivated a devoted fan base known as “Asuraians,” and we can refer to his genre as “Asuraian” music—an amalgamation of personal experiences and emotions. This is precisely why listeners feel a deep connection with his music, making it their own. It is no surprise that ASURA has amassed tens of thousands of dedicated fans, many of whom are die-hard followers.
We highly encourage you to follow ASURA‘s social media platforms, particularly his official Facebook page, as he recently experienced a hacking incident that resulted in the loss of all his previous likes.
“Renaissance” by ASURA is precisely that kind of album. It not only transports you to new visions of life and dimensions but also tells a compelling story. It depicts the journey of life, from birth and the first steps, the innocence of childhood, the growth and experiences that shape our uncharted future, to illness and death, ultimately culminating in the afterlife. Each person’s journey entails ups and downs, being burned and rising like a phoenix from the ashes, experiencing resurrection, and moving forward until the last breath in this physical world, pondering the imaginary question of “what comes after death?”
We also asked Charles to share some insights into the album, in addition to our own review. We’ve compiled everything into a single article, which you’ll find below. We firmly believe that everyone should experience this majestic album, as it offers more than just a listening experience—it provides a true journey. It’s a must-have for any personal collection.
“Ouvre les Yeux” or “Open Your Eyes” begins with delicate piano notes, reminiscent of a sunrise, followed by beats that make you feel like walking or even going for a morning run (for those who do). It represents the start of a new day, a new era. It’s time to open your eyes, look to the future, explore beyond, and search for what lies ahead.
This chill-out track sets the tone for the entire album, giving the impression that the album carries deep personal meaning. It conveys special messages that resonate with each listener in a unique way. Each person can have a different experience while listening to the album, understanding it differently or being in a distinct mood. The album serves as an open-source of sensations.
ASURA‘s word: OUVRE LES YEUX – As dawn breaks upon the world, a new life awakens, Like a newborn opening its eyes for the first time. Open your eyes to the wonders of each day,to the promises of a future filled with endless possibilities.
“Starchild” is undoubtedly a more psytrance-oriented track that can be played in various settings. Whether it’s at a festival, club, or any other venue with a DJ, it is sure to make an impact. The psytrance elements in this track are not overpowering, and it is filled with captivating sounds and melodic elements. With each listen, you’ll discover something new, as it is a highly intricate composition. We recommend listening to it multiple times to fully grasp its complexity. “Starchild” is not your typical psytrance track; rather, it is an uplifting journey that takes you through the chapters of a lifetime story that all of us can relate to, with its ups and downs. The track speaks to the inner child within each of us, emphasizing that we are all children of the stars, composed of stardust. We have the power to radiate and share light, as well as to receive illumination. The brighter we shine, the brighter our lives become. Our actions, words, and feelings impact those around us, creating a ripple effect. This concept aligns with Newton’s third law: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Regardless of genre, disabilities, religion, beliefs, and so on, we are all Starchildren!
ASURA‘s word: STARCHILD – Once upon a time, there was a child born with a disability, fragile and vulnerable. But this child was surrounded by unconditional love and unwavering protection. His family loved him deeply and did everything possible to provide him with the best.This child was a great source of inspiration for everyone who knew him. His difference was a strength that illuminated those around him. He was like a shining star. Despite the challenges he faced every day, he maintained a radiant smile and contagious joy for life. His fragility was a constant reminder of the beauty of life and the need to care for others. People who crossed his path were touched by his inner strength and his ability to overcome obstacles with grace and determination. This child was a living lesson in courage and perseverance. He showed everyone that difference was not an obstacle, but an opportunity to grow and learn. He taught others to see beyond appearances and appreciate the value of each individual, regardless of their physical or mental abilities.
This child, it was you, my Brother.
“When We Were Tomorrow” resonates deeply with the essence of our inner selves through its heavy bass. It permeates your being, opening up like a radiant light into your soul, propelling you through every step of life. You are never alone, and together we will embark on a journey to uncharted territories, despite the uncertainties of the future. Life is brimming with challenges, and how we face them is a personal choice. Based on this understanding, we have the power to shape our future and create the world we desire. The past exists in the present moment, and with each passing second and every decision we make, we construct the future. Drawing from our accumulated experiences, we are equipped to make decisions that truly matter and shape the future that lies before us. The title itself speaks volumes: “When We Were Tomorrow.” Each word carries profound meaning. “WHEN” evokes memories, taking you down the nostalgic path of reminiscing with someone you hold dear, saying, “Do you remember when…?” and delving into conversations about the past. “WE” signifies a collective bond, encompassing both yourself and someone significant, someone with whom you share a path. “WERE” is intertwined with “WHEN,” while “TOMORROW” represents the future, always beckoning us forward. It encapsulates the time when we were young together, making plans for our shared future—when we were authentic and full of aspirations. We live in the present, always with an eye towards the future. We were tomorrow.
ASURA‘s word: WHEN WE WERE TOMORROW – We were two brothers. / Hand in hand, we walked the path, / With hearts filled with hope, we laughed. / Through the trials, we finded our way, / In each other’s eyes, a brighter day. / Together we faced life’s unknown. / Together, we were tomorrow.
“Candy in the Sky” opens with the soothing sound of sea waves. The waves possess a distinct quality that transports you to a beach setting, yet not just any ordinary beach. The familiar sounds of bugs and the presence of grass around you paint a vivid picture of well-known French beaches, where the sea meets tall shores adorned with grass, continuously sculpting new forms and gradually eroding the land. The waves, like life experiences, shape each coastline uniquely, just as we are all unique in our own way. With closed eyes, the waves, wind, and gentle touch of the sun on your face deliver a psychedelic experience that remains strangely realistic.
ASURA‘s word: CANDY IN THE SKY – It was the time of innocence and laughter, of waves crashing onto the shore, of the wind blowing through our hair. Your body left you alone for a while, and you lived your life like a kite dancing in the sky.
“Metempsychose” takes a darker turn, featuring wicked sounds while maintaining its own ray of light. The entire track is a battle between hard and soft sounds, between darker and lighter notes, between ups and downs. It reflects the perpetual battle between life and death, a battle we face daily with each breath we take. We all experience our own ups and downs, encountering personal struggles, illnesses, and losses. What matters is how we react, how we rise after each fall, and how we continue moving forward. It’s not about the intensity or frequency of our hardships but rather about our resilience and the decisions we make. “Metempsychose” perfectly portrays this battle between dark and light, up and down, life and death. Remember, the outcome is determined by you—who and what you allow into your life. Choose wisely and take steps toward a brighter future.
ASURA‘s word: METEMPSYCHOSE – Then came the dark days, the time of illness, the time of your courageous, dignified, and admirable battle. Between Life and Death, it knocked at your door, but you did not let it in.
“Please Breathe” is perhaps the most haunting and melancholic track on the album. It embodies loss, death, and the darkness that inevitably enters our lives. We have all experienced it, and we know it all too well, aware of the scars it leaves behind. It arrives cruelly, without mercy, like a hurricane, leaving destruction, tears, and sadness in its wake. The heavy beats of this track tear your soul to pieces, resonating with every cell of your body, while the mournful voice amplifies the emotions. Once you let the darkness, the death, seep in, there is nothing you can do. You have lost, and your beloved ones have also experienced loss. “Please Breathe” is akin to a prayer before the inevitable, begging for a struggle to breathe, hoping against hope that you can overcome it… but it’s too late; it has already arrived, and the result is the end. Or is it?
ASURA‘s word: PLEASE BREATHE – Death has finally entered. You couldn’t push it away this time. You had been fighting for so long. I begged you to breathe, I asked Death to give you a little more time. One last time. She didn’t hear me. She had come to take you for good, and her mournful song mixed with your final breath.
“Life 3” serves as the next chapter after “Please Breathe.” It explores the concept of the end, or perhaps the continuation. There are different opinions and perspectives regarding the question of what comes after death. Different religions and beliefs offer various versions, as diverse as the people on Earth. Through the sound of this track, we embark on a journey, perhaps following the path of someone who has recently passed away. Many religions depict a bridge to a new land, a guiding light, and the presence of our beloved ones waiting for us there. There are no dark sounds here, only lights, relief, and peace. Could this be Paradise? The Promised Land? The destination where each of us goes after life? Or could it represent the transition between our old life and reincarnation? What we know for sure is that we leave behind pain and suffering, ultimately arriving in a new world where we can walk in the light.
ASURA‘s word: LIFE 3 – After death, a passage opens. You were paralyzed, you can walk, now, my Brother, for the first time. A pathway unveils before you, leading towards the Light. You no longer feel any pain. You are weightless. They are calling you. Follow them. They are waiting for you…
“IM” or “Instant Message” presents a viewpoint that we all desire and want to believe in—a message from the afterlife. It is not uncommon for us to search for signs after losing someone dear to us. We often say, “They are watching over me,” when we overcome a difficult situation or achieve a significant milestone. It could be a parent, grandparent, friend, cousin, or, in this case, a brother. Each of us has a beloved individual who has left a profound impact on our lives, someone who has passed away, and we want to believe they are always beside us, watching over us. We yearn for them to send us signs or messages, assuring us of their presence and well-being in their new realm. There is an ancient belief that by keeping the memory of a departed person alive in our minds, we keep them alive through time and space, somehow augmenting their powers. This belief was prevalent in ancient religions, such as Greek or Roman mythology, where the strength of the gods relied on people’s divinization, belief, offerings, and prayers. No one truly disappears as long as we keep them in our thoughts, thinking of them and praying with and for them. We like to imagine that they reside somewhere “up there,” looking out for us, supporting us, and “speaking well” of us. So, is there life after death? If we want there to be, then yes!
ASURA‘s word: IM – This the Instant Message you sent me this morning from your new home.« I am bathed in light. I no longer walk, I soar. I fly. They are all here, gathered to welcome me, to show me the way to the new life that awaits me. I am free and everything is opening up to me. I now know that Death does not exist. For those who love. »
“Brother” serves as the epilogue to the entire album, encapsulating the essence of everything within a single piano key. This chill-out piano track will undoubtedly give you goosebumps, much like the rest of the album. We have played this track the most because, in our opinion, it holds the utmost importance. It embodies the true meaning of TRANCE, beyond its musical genre. Titled “Brother,” it is dedicated to Jean-Michele Jennequin, Charles’ brother who passed away three years ago. Like the entire album, this track encompasses the most sincere sounds of love dedicated to someone we cherish more than life itself—a person who holds immense significance in our existence, a guiding light in the darkness, a lighthouse amidst the Sea of the Unknown. They are the individual with whom we have shared the most crucial experiences of our lives, and we believe they will become our guardian angel in the afterlife. Anyone can be our “Brother”! Let us cherish our loved ones, live our lives, continue our paths with the light in our eyes, and embrace a bright future. Let us each be a “brother” to someone, just as someone has been and continues to be our “brother.”
ASURA‘s word:BROTHER – This album is dedicated to my Brother, Jean-Michel Jennequin, who passed away three years ago, and who has been a constant source of inspiration, courage, and dignity throughout his life. He has given me the unwavering determination to overdo me, rise from my own ashes and compose this album. Renaissance is the story of our lives, and our rebirthes.
The entire album is open to individual interpretations, as it resonates with each listener’s unique life experiences. In this article, we have attempted to provide an explanation and meaning to the album, ensuring that it is listened to in a way that does it justice. Once you grasp the significance of each track and the album as a whole, you will undoubtedly approach it with a fresh perspective, as if seeing it through new eyes. It’s appropriate to say “eyes” because the music has the power to evoke vivid visions of the past, present, and future, allowing you to perceive and deeply feel through the sound.
The album celebrates life in its entirety, encompassing the journey from birth to childhood, addressing real-life issues, confronting death and illness, and contemplating the afterlife. It encapsulates the emotions and experiences we encounter in our daily lives, making it a deeply relatable and authentic work. It establishes a profound connection with us, as if speaking for us and resonating with our own inner thoughts and feelings.
We hope that all of this has sparked your interest and support for ASURA in his career.