New Age Unicorn Crystal Balls: Descriptive Beyond Belief.
Is it just us or are there a lot of junior bedroom laptoppers channeling something between Enya and the love theme from Titanic just now?
Beautiful enough but bang to rights Enya in the middle 8. Busted, Mr Wallpaper. And you are guilty too Oliver Tank.
For us, if there is one bin in any record store that is guaranteed to FUCK YOU OFF (!) it’s that one called “New Age”. Sometimes it comes with some other really annoying title like “Nu-Conciousness” or “Spiritual” or “Third Eye” or some other quasi-cosmic nonsense. And every album in it looks like shit (both design and content wise). Here is one album from that bin that’s almost guaranteed to make you reach for the submachine gun.
Sorry to be haters but that’s just the way we feel. We don’t need “sound medicine” (whatever that is), I don’t care what you listen to whilst doing that Hot Yoga thing and “serenity” just makes me think of this scene from “The Castle” and as for the Relaxation Company – that sort of makes you yearn for major record companies to come back in and save you with “real pop”.
So it Is with some disgust that we report to you that New Age music is sneakily becoming cool.
Starting with the brilliant compilation of the “jazz flute” mood music of IASOS which needs no other introduction than this image -
but if you get past this and try it out, it turns out not to be (just) post-hippy drivel (despite the artists brilliantly vomit inducing introduction here) but a sort of synth ecstacy that clearly would have Daft Punk & Air in “virgin suicidal” raptures.
Or you could try this psych-synth fest – from the appropriately New Age-ily named Dolphins Into The Future (you have to ask what did dolphins do to deserve their association with all things new age – we have posted on dolphin rage before and they just aren’t that mellow people)
it will hardly surprise you to find this is listened to on the Chris Robinson Brotherhood
head shop tour bus…
Trippy, but it features on Balearic Ibiza mix tapes too.
Or this one from the vaults of Japan and featuring new age wizard Keitaro on synths -
Far East Travelling band on a mellow conga fuelled post krautrock synth trip out. Phew! But it kind of dances! Thanks to our man Montero for finding this gem.
Maybe even better is this private press new age compilation of music made by really strange people who really make for a liner note worth reading -
But which touches a sort of mellow cosmic spot. There’s a strange fascination to be had going from track to track and realising its not utterly awful. Buy it and share the joy.
And that compilation in turn introduces us to the tuned percussion meanderings of Laraaji, whose “cosmic tape experiments” are at once psychobabble and a bit of a jam at once -
As if to prove that there is a fine line, Laraaji has made an album with Brian Eno (Ambient 3: Day of Radiance) and also contributed to the brilliant FRKWYS series that gave us last years brilliant Sun Araw/ Congos collaboration which was an album of the year. Here he is from that one with Blues Control on a dubby trip of a thing called “Awakening Day”
If you throw in about half of this brilliant “Influences on French Electronic Music” compilation from our friends at Because, there is starting to be a slight feeling of acceptance based primarily on open eared digging.
And then add in the awesome Seahawks mix we recently featured and we are all the way there – the mix even has a rather funkily cool track by the above ridiculed Steven Halpern to show he’s not all bad.
Alas I cannot excuse the fact that there is a Laraaji track called Unicorns In Paradise (?!)
Which still makes us reach for the shotgun and/or laugh at this scene simultaneously, but we have to admit we are rehabilitating. Or is it that we’re going mentally soft in our old age?