Tuesday, October 2, 2012

New Age Music That's Better Than You Might Think

A good book can take your imagination to foreign lands as you turn the pages, but music instantly transports you. New age music, as a genre, has the reputation for being kind of "out there" already. Well, prepare to set your stereotypes aside. We recently purchased some new age albums that might end up rocking your world and have you singing their praises, here's a couple of our recent recommendations:

MC Yogi's album, Pilgrimage, released in 2012 is best listened to LOUD. Yes, really. The album is a surprising mix of hip hop, ambient Indian street noise samples, ecstatic horn sections and vocals spouting the stories of Hindu philosophy in a style referred to as Bhajan (devotional song). Think of this as good music for a road trip adventure, a sweaty workout or even a dance party with kids. The lyrics are friendly and the rhythms are smooth. The entire album takes me back to traveling through India, where Bollywood beats blare out of car windows, and mix with the sounds of street vendors hollering about chai, which layer over live marching bands and stray dogs barking. Pilgrimage packs all that in and more!

One River: Music for Sacred Movement might be on the opposite end of the new age music spectrum, without being predicable or boring. This music is the perfect soundtrack to a healing massage, a hot bath, a yoga practice or even a focused meditation. I selected this after enjoying some of Benji Wertheimer's kirtan recordings with the band Shantala. My prior experience of his work has been much more upbeat and energetic in nature. However, in this collection of songs he collaborates with fellow percussionist, John de Kant, to make a serene landscape of expansive sounds that almost puts me to sleep. That's a compliment! Other contributors on the album include Wah!, flute master Steve Gorn, violinist/vocalist Jahnavi Harrison, and the sweet vocals of Heather Wertheimer. Play this when you're looking for a sweet journey inward through authentic music made with that intention in mind.

No comments: