“Through sound you can smell daffodils, by smelling orchids you can hear sound” Laraaji offered with a chuckle and a smile after his deeply uplifting recent in-store set at Turntable Lab. As the story goes, sometime in the late 70s, Laraaji was playing zither in Washington Square Park, and closed his eyes to allow himself to slip into a meditative trance while playing (side note - could you imagine closing your eyes in Washington Square Park for more than 5 seconds today, let alone in the 70s?). When he was finished performing, he opened his eyes and found a note placed before him that read: ‘Dear sir, kindly excuse this impromptu piece of message, I was wondering if you would be interested in talking about participating in a recording project I am doing, signed: Brian Eno.’ Thus began a series of recordings of Laraaji’s transcendental new age music that is just as moving today as it was 30 years ago. Laraaji’s remarkable zither textures and Eno’s sound treatments were released as the third installment in Eno’s Ambient series - long before ambient music was considered an actual genre or carried any of the baggage it does today. The fast, pulsating textures found on the A side (labeled only “Dance” 1 through 3) stray from what most people would place on the spectrum of ambient music by today’s standards (a testament to the ripe experimentalism of the time, when faster, busier tempos could be considered meditative). The outstanding B side (“Meditation” 1 and 2) mirrors the vibe of earlier entries in the Ambient series, with Laraaji’s zither struck more gently and more sparsely, with very little discernible rhythm and Eno’s 3D sound treatments closer to touch than on the A side. This 180g vinyl pressing (with CD included) is housed in a deluxe gatefold sleeve containing the transcript of an intimate conversation between Laraaji and Light In The Attic’s Pat Thomas about the album’s creation. Recommended.
- vinyl repress
- extensive liner notes
- gatefold sleeve
- CD included
- music label: Glitterbeat 2017
reviewed by hannibal chew 10/2017