There is a culturally and perhaps spiritually bonded link between electronic dance music and what could be called most generally ‘the feminine divine’. In subgenres more oriented to trance and EDM, the vocal sample or progression is almost always uttered by a woman, unlike the variously-sexed divas of house; if divinity is invoked, it is less often a biblical God than some Gaia-derivative. Radiant Love’s fifth release, Goddess Within by the Montreal-based producer Maara, steps into this lineage stretching from Magna Mater to disco queen – Maara’s articulation of the feminine divine, however, is often off-hand, ringing at once sincere and deeply cheeky.
The double-side is summed up by the first track’s title, 'Goddess Within (Give It To Me Daddy)', which starts right off with a pumping bassline, carbonated synths, and a repeating sample speaking ‘goddess’ – what trance dreams are made of. What places these tracks especially in the realm of dream are Maara’s washes of delay, reverb and pan, drawing out melodies and textures into trails, clouds, blurs. The sonic fields are decentered, but driving and floor-ready regardless. 'Mommy’s In Trouble' follows up with a set of cleverly phased hi-hats and a swung kick drum. It’s a buildup we’re hearing, although one wouldn’t know until a sample asks us matter of factly, ‘Notice what you’re feeling. Are you calm?’ and the bass swings back in.
The B-side begins softer, with the wide pads of 'Plum Plum Paradise' eventually dropping into a downtempo break. The percussion is muted, and what gives the track its body is a shifting terrain of sample (‘Allow yourself inside, the time and space right now’), gurgling synth note, windchime and whisper. Goddess Within’s final track, 'Lezzies In A Jacuzzi' picks up the pace again, with a porny bass-throb, insistent hi-hats and a vocal fragment looping the word ‘amor’. This is exactly the kind of sound that would have me thinking on the dancefloor, Is she actually saying ‘amor’? Quickly