1981 debut album by new age pioneer JD Emmanuel.
Texan musician JD Emmanuel’s career story is, in a way, a story about how the passion of fans can make a difference; about a gifted musician whose music may have been lost to the ages had it not been for the efforts of a new generation of vintage electronic and new age music enthusiasts and collectors.
The tale begins in 2005 when young music journalist, collector and record label owner Douglas Mcgowan stumbled on several dusty boxes of two JD Emmanuel vinyl albums – several hundred of them, all still sealed – at a discount book and record store in North Dallas, Texas. (The composer explains: “When we moved back to Houston in 1988, I left several cartons of them in my attic because I could not even give them away. The new house owner apparently found them and sold them to the bookstore.”) The vintage of both albums – early 1980’s – immediately caught Mcgowan’s attention, as he was a big fan of early private issue new age music. He purchased 50 copies and took them back to the West Coast where they found eager buyers via a local collector’s email newsletter. This discovery set in motion a chain of events that led to a series of critically acclaimed album re-issues and, in 2010, J D Emmanuel’s return to recording and performing again.
The majority of JD Emmanuel’s studio recordings date from the 1980’s, when new age music in America was still an indie scene and corporate interests were yet to hijack the genre. Whether you call his albums new age or not, the meditative vibe, spiritual underpinnings and self-releasing are all hallmarks of the genre in its original form. Yet his cyclic, organ-based music is so very different from most of his contemporaries of that era. Back in 1970 he was was deeply impressed by his first taste of classical minimalism when he heard American minimalist composers Terry Riley and Steve Reich. As he recently told e-zine Ricochet: “Terry Riley’s ‘A Rainbow in Curved Air’ and Steve Reich’s ‘Violin Phase’ totally defined where I wanted to go in music. But it took me another ten years to discover how to develop my own style.” Prior to creating his own work, he was also immersed in modern jazz and long-form rock jams, attracted to their improvisational basis and ability to lull the listener into deeper states of consciousness.
Minimalism and improvisation, then, became the foundations of his art, and the evocation of trance-like states his goal. In 1980, with his newly acquired Crumar Traveler-1 organ, analog synths, guitar and various effects, he began building a body of warm, melodic, usually stripped-back ambient trance with a certain mystical vibe that’s difficult to put into words. On Rain Forest Music he builds gentle, short cycles of notes into floating clouds of sound, mostly improvising around single chords. The “minimalism” in his music lies not in repetitive patterns that barely change – the extreme end of classical minimalism – but more in the spare arrangements. There’s also an open, loving optimism to the melodies that has obvious appeal to new age listeners.
Originally designed to enhance relaxation and meditation, as a background for massage or for counseling to help a person relax and open up faster. The original publishing of the LP in 1981 was through the generous support of Bob and Frances Pennington. Album cover is from an original water color created especially for the LP in 1981 by a local, Houston artist, Molly Khan. The sunrise photo was taken one morning in Virginia Beach, VA, during the 70s.
Imagine being on a cliff overlooking the ocean. It is early morning. As the sun breaks the water you begin moving to the rhythm of the music and ocean.
Just in time for the 20th birthday of his label Hospital Productions, Dominick Fernow released his first release under his techno alias Vatican Shadow on Ostgut Ton, following the last year of his Berghain residency and joining the Ostgut Booking Agency with his Vatican and Prurient projects.
The Cocteau Twins / This Mortal Coil-evocative, beat-free, opening play “They Deserve Death,” as well as the two collateral club / dancefloor-friendly tracks “Rubbish Of The Floodwaters” and “Weapons Inspection” are in dialogue with each other The tape processing technique, which laid the basis of Vatican’s first performances using analog hardware and minimalistic MIDI dissection. Produced in Los Angeles with Josh Eustis, Vatican Shadows’ Rubbish Of The Floodwaters EP is a picture of where the project began, and where the journey goes.
A special focus lies on this EP on the artwork, a work from the Softex series by Berlin-based photographer Christian Vagt . With Softex, Vagt documents the refugee camp of the same name, located on an industrial road near Thessaloniki. Vagt’s photography of Softex’s pervasive, yet transparent fence expands Vatican Shadows Recontextualization of quotations from news media, military and religious contexts, from the vinyl record vinyl becomes a mixed media art object, the Vags motif from Softex with Vatican Shadows concept of the media communication lock united.
One of NewYork based experimental artist Fred Welton Warmsley iii FKA Lee Bannon many monikers, Dedekind Cut (pronounced “Ded-da-kend Cut”) draws out the dark calm of Coil, in the guise a modern approach to Noise, New Age and Ambient music.
Under the moniker Shed, René Pawlowitz has published three highly ambitious albums in which he defines his work more and more as his own way of musical narration; The Final Experiment is definitely the temporary highlight of this evolution. It establishes Shed conclusively as one of the most interesting and substantial active electronic music artists. It carries a vibe that links Shed to other boundary breaking artists, such as Ryuichi Sakamoto, Brian Eno, and Carsten Nicolai. However, Shed has found a way to develop a highly individual way of communicating electronic music that is self-sufficient. The Last Experiment is a mostly homogeneous piece of work, a meditation where the stylistic confusion seems less important than the musical statement that it represents.
Triple LP version. Includes CD. Comes with a 24-page booklet in a hardcover book. In the body of work of Cologne artist Wolfgang Voigt – who, like few others, has informed, shaped and influenced the world of electronic music with countless different projects since the early 1990s – Gas stands out in particular, a saturnine sound cosmos based on heavily condensed classic sequences. Even after nearly 20 years, the sound of Gas doesn’t seem to have lost any of its luster, as shown by the commanding success of Kompakt’s fall 2016 re-release of the essential back catalogue as a box set (KOM 370LP). The overwhelming feedback from a loyal international fan community and worldwide media outlets attests once again to the sheer timelessness of Gas. Which is why it will feel like hardly a day has passed since the release of the last official album Pop nearly two decades ago in 2000, when Wolfgang Voigt resumes this specific creative path with the upcoming new full-length Narkopop. Even in the here and now, the unmistakable vibe of Gas immediately hits home, taking the listener on an otherworldly journey with the very first sounds, drawing them into an impervious sonic thicket, down to the depths of rapture and reverie. From wafts of dense symphonic mist emerges a floating and whirling feeling of weightlessness, before the listener steps into an eerily beautiful forest of fantasy, pulled in by the allure of a narcotic bass drum. While earlier Gas tracks were often based on the hypnotic effects of looping techniques, the ten new pieces on Narkopop unfold their magic in a more entwined manner, sometimes with the sonic might of an entire philharmonic orchestra, at times subtle and fragile. A main characteristic of Voigt’s oeuvre, the coalescence of seemingly contradictory stylistic aspects such as harmonious and atonal, concrete and abstract, light and heavy, near and far is also a decisive feature of Narkopop. In accordance with the transgressive spirit of his collective work, Voigt carries the aesthetic conceptions of his music over to the realm of the visual. Based on his abstract forest pictures, the Gas artwork addresses Voigt’s artistic affinity to romanticism and the forest as a place of yearning. For the first time, a closer look at the cover of Narkopop reveals signs of architectural fragments which hint at another, maybe parallel world behind Voigt’s forest. Truth is the prettiest illusion.
The second of six albums issued under the title Everywhere At The End Of Time, The Caretaker’s fictional first person account of life with early onset dementia, takes a more wistful tack as our protagonist gradually realizes that all is not well and begins to rummage deeper into the recesses of his memory, masking emotions of grief, loss, fear, and uncertainty by deeper dwelling in the recesses of a decaying mind. As The Caretaker’s short term memory functions begin to more rapidly erode, the loop-based punctuation of previous installments begin to subtly unravel, leading his mind to drift off and ponder fuller segments of tea dance strings and horns which appear uncannily more inviting, seductive, and now even more tangible than the abbreviated reels of earlier editions. Loop points wilt away in autumnal greys and russet rustles as new information becomes more difficult to process, back pedaling down memory lane toward an opaque smudge of half-forgotten/remembered spaces, places and un/familiar faces which provide more comfort and clarity than the world around him. It feels strange to recommend undergoing this experience, albeit in such an impressionistic and detached manner, but it somehow feels like a conversely enlightening one for these strange, disingenuous and unpredictable end times that we inhabit right now.
Palto Flats and We Release Whatever The Fuck We Want Records present the highly-anticipated reissue of Japanese percussionist Midori Takada’s sought after and timeless ambient/minimal album Through The Looking Glass, originally released in 1983 by RCA Japan. Considered a holy grail of Japanese music by many, Through The Looking Glass is Midori Takada’s first solo endeavor, a captivating four-song suite capturing her deep quests into traditional African and Asian percussive language and exploring contemplative ambient sounds with an admirably precise use of marimba. The result is alternatively ethereal and vibrant, always precise and mesmerizing, and makes for an atmospheric masterpiece and an unparalleled sonic and spiritual experience. Midori Takada is a composer, multi-percussionist, and theater artist renowned in Japanese vanguard circles.
Following the reissues of Brother Ah’s three studio albums in 2016, Manufactured Recordings is proud to present Divine Music, a collection of three unreleased albums from this jazz visionary: The Sea (1978), Mediation (1981), and Searching (1985). Moving from rich spiritual jazz to more meditative ambience, Divine Music further explores Brother Ah’s unique sound and musical vision. Released as a 5xLP box set, a 3xCD package, and digitally, Divine Music includes an extensive interview with Brother Ah by Pitchfork and Resident Advisor contributor Andy Beta. Recommended for fans of Laraaji, Alice Coltrane, Terry Riley, Brian Eno, Popul Vuh, and the recent new age renaissance.
The first ever repress of this Klaus Weiss musical masterpiece. And it’s the first of the all new Trunk library series that is a coming this way. Time Signals is an incredible thing on many levels and for many reasons, and you will not find an original without a mortgage. It’s classic German experimental sounds and rhythms that only Klaus can really get away with, and over the years cues have turned up all over infamous hardcore porn as well as sports programming and maybe some sinister wildlife documentaries too. This is electronic, rhythmic, peculiar, and will make your brain hurt at times.
A limited vinyl edition featuring Ramleh’s side of the classic split-album “A Return To Slavery” album. Backed by “The Hand Of Glory” EP material. Cut by Matt Colton at Alchemy, London for full effect. Reissued March 2017 on Harbringer Sound.