Thanks to Sun Ark, this month we managed to get ahold of their recent reissue of healer and composer J. D. Emmanuel’s 1981 opus, Echoes From Ancient Caves. In a nutshell, this is some intensely relaxing synthesizer music; minimal and with an emphasis on loops and ambient drone. Though it makes frequent use of sounds that will be familiar if you know the stable of typical new age flourishes, its minimalism has prevented any sense of datedness and given today’s proclivities, it may sound contemporary to some ears. For the same reason, it is a particularly timely release. As "new age", defined very broadly here, penetrates the popular consciousness deeper and deeper, even if for some people music like this never becomes more than a pleasant background accompaniment to other, it becomes more important to understand that evolving impulse in contemporary music. I was able to allude briefly to the subject in my coverage of Prince Rama last week on Ad Hoc, but it's exciting for me to see Emmanuel coming back into circulation now, particularly given a flurry of complimentary projects I've heard about for the coming year. He was kind enough to offer us the opener from Echoes from Ancient Caves, "Sunrise on a Tibetan Hillside", for premiere, I feel obligated to say the track that follows it is just as good and for different reasons - in spite of anything, this is a deeply varied release, and hopefully we'll be hearing more stuff from Emmanuel as time goes on.
MP3: Daniel Emmanuel - Sunrise on a Tibetan Hillside
Buy the cassette from Sun Ark.