September 21, 2017

Instrumental Ambient Review: DLAIVISION-Sign of Us

Release Date: December 5, 2016
Label: 2016 DLAERS

The first track on DLAIVISION’s debut album Sign of Us gave my ears the proceed with caution notice. I found out quite quickly that was a false alarm. As the timeless saying goes - you cannot judge a book by its cover, you need to open it and look through the pages!

The change I experienced happened very quickly. I took pause because I do understand why any artist wants to open the curtain to their album with some bounce and energy.

“Dreams” kicks things off with quick moving electronica dance beats.  In some cases, depending on the way it is mixed, and the amount of changes a track like this goes through, I either find a groove I like or I don’t. I decided I was not interested in hearing more of that and as I went from track to track, I heard many changes and strokes of diversity. It was an amazing change of mood and thought patterns for me. That is exactly how it all started, so wait if you happen to feel the same way for some reason, you need to keep listening. This recording just keeps getting better and better. I have learned over the years to keep and open heart and my mind will follow. It works.

As this album progressed I could appreciate the all-around talent DLAIVISION has. Dlaivison Ribamares Silva was a musical child prodigy that appreciated classical, prog, electronica and many different technologies. Bending and molding technology is not easy. Taking cold, inanimate digital electronics and making it sing for you is real talent. And an appreciation for that talent was just kicked up a few notches after hearing this music!
There are many great tracks but the one that just swept me away and picked me up off my feet was “Amazon.” The artist cleverly interspersed sounds of the incredible Amazon jungle and made the track a visual masterpiece of sound. As a matter of fact, his website is quite beautiful and engaging as well. Check out Amazon here http://www.signofus.com/en/amazon.html

This is soundtrack music, whether it be film, a visit to the planetarium exploring the stars above or just an audio cinematic experience that is uplifting and awe inspiring…you cannot help but walk away reenergized and a feeling of positive surrounding your aura.

Sign of Us is an ultra-cool listening experience that offers a visual one to go along with it. I love the music, the concept, and the beauty and simple presentation of the website. It all fits together nicely. Someone in Hollywood needs to discover this man now.

I could not go wrong hearing music that reminded me of Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk etc. If you gave Beethoven or Bach a synthesizer this is what it would probably sound like.
The first thing you will want to do after hearing this is turn someone else on to it and that is exactly what every recording artist wants to hear.

Produced and composed by Dlaivison Ribamares Silva
Instruments used in the tracks of Sign of Us:
Synthesizers: Roland SH 201 and Memory Moog.
Plugins: Ominisphere, EDNA, Kontakt, Liberis, CineSamples, Komplete, Battery.

4/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
September 21, 2017
Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:
01. Dreams
02. The Wind's Valse
03. Belle   
04. Calyx   
05. Horizons
06. Heroes
07. Angels
08. Amazon   
09. Sinus
10. The Journey


September 14, 2017

World-Rock-Celtic Review: Blackmore's Night-To The Moon And Back-20 Years And Beyond...

Release Date: August 11, 2017
Label: Minstrel Hall Music

I have been listening to Ritchie Blackmore play guitar since the 70s. He was always one of my favorites and so were his bands Deep Purple and Rainbow. I believe he made even more prolific music after moving on from DP.  Rainbow was an amazing project with a string of great albums, and the beginning of his change in direction. So, what happened after that? If you are a fan you know the answer.

It is hard to believe that this much time has already passed.  To The Moon And Back-20 Years And Beyond… is the quintessential career retrospective for the band.  The 2 CDs are comprised of 26 tracks, bonus tracks, recent versions of older tracks and a bonus video.

You get the whole package, all the goodies wrapped up in a nice tight little package. And if you are a big fan that owns all the releases, it helps you appreciate the band’s accomplishments even more. It is also a reminder of how much great music this amazing group of musicians have produced over two decades. And that does not include several tasty DVD sets.

Great players like Blackmore have always surrounded themselves with a stellar supporting cast and this band is no exception. And yes, they are unique in a typically watered down repetitive pop hit culture. They are and always will be light years ahead of that curve. That is the very reason I was attracted to them so strongly, and of course all the previously mentioned reasons. 

This band plays music that takes you back in time, way back, hundreds of years. Blackmore and his mates offer up a lively combination of world, rock and Celtic music that would tickle any music lovers fancy. The musicianship is impeccable and his wife, the beautiful Candace Night, has the voice of an angel. That all combines for a stunning combination of sounds and visions of days gone by, when the knights of the round table ruled in ancient castles (where by the way they like to play concerts) and Robin Hood was stealing from the greedy rich to give to the poor. 

The band dresses up in period clothing and their audience members are glad to oblige. A concert from Blackmore’s Night (which I have attended) is something special. It’s like being serenaded at the Renaissance Fair by some of the greatest musicians in the world. It truly is a multi-dimensional experience that you need to experience at least once. Listening to the music will give you a good idea of what to expect. It is carefree, relaxed and sometimes their music just plain rocks. That is fine with me when Blackmore pulls out that white electric guitar and gives it a workout.

When you are finished listening to To The Moon And Back-20 Years And Beyond… it will feel like the title was a good description of the uplifting this music can give you. If you have not heard this music this it is a great starter set. If you are fan like me, you will love it without question.


5/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
September 14, 2017
Founder of:

Review Provided By Write A Music Review

Tracks:

Disc One:
 
01. Shadow of the Moon
  02. Spirit of the Sea
  03. Renaissance Faire
  04. Play Minstrel Play
  05. Under a Violet Moon
  06. Spanish Nights
  07. Fires at Midnight
  08. Ghost of a Rose
  09. Cartouche
  10. Village Lanterne
  11. The Circle
  12. 25 Years
 13. Dandelion Wine
 14. Home Again (Live)

 
Disc Two:
  

  15. I Surrender (Bonus Track)
  16. Moonlight Shadow (2017 Version)
  17. Somewhere Over the Sea (2017 Version)
  18. Writing on the Wall (2017 Version)
  19. Coming Home (2017 Version)
  20. Ghost of John (Bonus Track)
  21. Minstrel Hall
 



September 12, 2017

New Age Instrumental Review: Will Ackerman, Fiona Joy, Lawrence Blatt, Jeff Oster-FLOW

Release Date: October 6, 2017
Label: LMB Music

Sit back and let the music FLOW. That statement could not be supported in a more creative way than on this recording. Four accomplished musicians got together to create something very special.

Will Ackerman, Fiona Joy, Lawrence Blatt and Jeff Oster, all well know names in the new age music industry, combined their skills and experience to produce 11 tracks of outstanding instrumental music. There are several other contributors as well to make this entire effort a reality.

I think what I enjoyed the most about listening to FLOW was how that title fit so well. This is eclectic and very tastefully done. Because of the blend of musicians contributing to this project you get a little bit of all of them, and the end result becomes greater than the sum of its parts. A team effort if you will, is what makes this music so different from track to track.

If it’s Will Ackerman or Tom Eaton’s guitar and the production values they bring to the table or Jeff Oster’s gorgeous trumpet or flugelhorn calling out for an answer, this music beckons you to partake in the experience.  And Tony Levin, the most incredible and diverse bass player on the planet, is on the recording. He has become the resident bass player at Imaginary Road Studios, and god knows how he does it with all his other projects and live appearances on his schedule. All of the people involved seem to be in an endless cycle of creativity that has blessed us all for several years now.

The beauty of FLOW is the fact that individuals that have perfected their own sound and created their own legacy and styles have compromised that individuality to become one unit.  This is a unit that has a spiritual connection and purpose that is undeniable.

If you listen, feel and absorb the FLOW, you will come to your own understanding of what was accomplished on this album. Let the river of sounds and textures take you away for a while, I can guarantee you will be back for a second trip down the stream.

Note: You can have the rare opportunity to see all of these artists together at Carnegie Hall on October 6th! Tickets Here.

5/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
September 12, 2017
Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks: 
01. Arrival
02. Whisper Me This
03. Flow
04. Free Ascent
05. Waiting for Sunshine
06. Waters Gather
07. And the Sky Was
08. A Night In Nocelle
09. Tenth Life
10. Rest Now My Friend
11. For Rosita & Giovanni

 


September 8, 2017

New Age Review: Deepak Chopra, Kabir Segal, Paul Avgerinos-Home- Where Everyone Is Welcome

Release Date: August 29, 2017
Label: Grand Central Publishing
We face changing times and different movements all over our planet. I do not believe that we have to suffer to get the end result of what we all need. Music is the universal healer and voice of the people. Home- Where Everyone Is Welcome offers many different aspects of a listening experience. You will hear good music with a sincere message.

Deepak Chopra, Kabir Segal, Paul Avgerinos came together to produce music and an accompanying book with poems to give us hope for world peace and equality for all. This is a reminder of who we are, one people, one earth with one future.
 
Home- Where Everyone Is Welcome is the one musical project this year that everyone needs to absorb on every level. Physical, emotional and mental, the three elements that make us the sentient beings that populate our planet - that is the core of what this all means to each individual listener.

The old saying “Home is where I hang my hat” no longer resonates with our populace. Our great country became what it is through the hard work of immigrants and I think it is safe to say that anyone that plants their feet on American soil is because of an immigrant. Today we must be more aware of what goes on around us and we must unite to protect our country’s sovereignty. This can be accomplished in an intelligent and respectable manner. I will leave it at that and any political beliefs out of this because this is about music and poems. There are two specific art forms merging with this project to give us one cause to celebrate.

Everyone deserves a chance for a better life, to live their dreams freely and with the support of their loved ones and country speaking in one voice. I believe this but we must make sure we still have a place where a democratic government is in place to give everyone that opportunity. 

Home is where everyone is welcome, it is more than a word or an idea it is a spiritual place that comforts and allows growth through a special listening experience. Home is where the heart is and some amazing musical experiences that resist being put in box. This is a project that stands alone with significant importance to all human beings that walk the face of this earth. It is all here, great music, words and poems with depth and good cause. This will have impact upon anyone that is willing to experience it.

5/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
September 8, 2017
Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:
 
01. Home
02. Border
03. Survivor
04. Queen
05. River
06. Whisper  
07. Compass
08. Candle
09. Father
10. Orbit
11. Beyond
12. Infinity

 

August 25, 2017

Instrumental New Age Review: Lynn Trudeau-Shifting Sands

Release Date: May 19, 2017
Label: Independent

Add caption
Shifting Sands is Lynn Trudeau’s 4th proper release. 

Instrumental New Age and Contemporary Instrumental has been intersecting for quite some time now. In fact, it is getting hard to tell where the differences are at times. One of the clear differences from my musical listening experiences is a clear cut classical influence. 

Although you will hear Shifting Sands, or ever-changing tempos if you will, in this music, there is a clearly defined line drawn. That invisible line is the one that new age and classical cross over and then merge into one. 

Lynn Trudeau’s music does exactly that. The challenge is to tell a story in each song with one solitary instrument. How that is exactly accomplished is beyond my comprehension. I can say unmistakably that she is able to get the job done on the 11 tracks presented here.

The other factor that is a key is how to keep a listener’s attention with the simplicity of one instrument. For my pleasure, this is what I find attractive about a recording such as this. I do enjoy a wide array of music that features one instrument accentuated by many others as well but I do like to switch things up. I am here to tell you that this music and presentation is perfect just the way it is.

Shifting Sands is an album that remains true the artist and her intent. Without traveling off course, she tells her story through her fingers and it is translated by the ivory keys most beautifully.  This is music to contemplate with, relax or meditate…basically at any time of the day or night it can be enjoyed. It serves many purposes but mainly it is a healing listening experience that must be experienced to be fully appreciated.

4/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
August 25, 2017
Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks: 
01.Lost in Familiar Surroundings
02.Shifting Sands
03. Warm Embrace
04.Dance of the Unknown
05.Looking to Lowman
06.Travel Me Home
07.Life at Four
08.To Breathe at Last
09.The Last Mile
10.Oasis
11.Whispers of Hope

 

August 21, 2017

New Age Instrumental Review: Richard Dillon-Irish Mist

Release Date: July 11, 2017
Label: Independent

My introduction to Richard Dillon was the 2014 release The Land of Nod and Lullabies for The Listless. I covered it in April of this year and I did not expect to have another opportunity to hear this music so soon. I of course welcome that experience.

Irish Mist is contemporary new age instrumental with a Celtic theme weaved in the fabric of its musical output. Richard plays elegantly and with an underlying current of passion that is recognized by this listener. You would never recognize that when you just “hear” the music however there is more to it. The music carries with it emotional substance and purpose. Without words, it steadily enters your consciousness and travels to the heart and then into your soul.

Inside the music are stories interpreted through this talented man’s fingers. The most prolific example is the life and times of an Irish immigrant toiling away “Into the Mines” to feed his family. The song echoes of the past and the violin enters the track almost weeping, asking for relief as the ivory keys beckon it again and again. The song bends your heart strings as you envision the hard and dangerous work of men in the mines. 

This is the kind of picturesque movie that flickers inside your head while you listening to a tale that comes alive in the music. That is not an easy thing to accomplish, and to do it with such impact and feeling is what makes it so real. That is what great music should do, move you, push you to a state of consciousness and introspection. A place that cannot be reached when laser focused by your work or by the events of a day.

Call it what you will - new age, instrumental, contemporary, classical or meditation, this is chicken soup for the soul music. If you have the inkling or the need to listen to something spiritual and relaxing and soothing, well then, this is your ticket to all those moods in one sitting. 

Irish Mist intersects with culture, history and the psyche of a human mind and then sets it free. 

4/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
August 21, 2017
Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:
 

01. Irish Mist
02. Mother Ireland
03. Smiles
04. My Bed Is a Boat
05. Shadows on the Wall
06. Freckles
07. Dancing on the Light
08. Dying of the Light
09. A Different Time a Different Place
10. Skye Boat
11. Into the Mines
12. Wild Mountain Thyme
13. Mother's Eyes
14. The Long Goodbye
15. Deidres Dance


August 9, 2017

Instrumental New Age Review: Holland Phillips-Under A Second Moon

Release Date: August 25, 2017
Label: Ageless Records

Around the same time last year, I got some music in from Holland Phillips. I had the pleasure of hearing and reviewing his Circles of 8 recording.

It is now 2017 and Under A Second Moon is getting set to arrive on our doorsteps.  Where Holland began his first journey he now continues, well in fact he never stopped. He just kept creating and recording. Again, he decided to concentrate on harmonics and vibrations. The results are superlative once again!

The production values are top notch and the use of keyboards and synths are brilliantly utilized by this creative maestro. Holland is not only a musician but an author as well. This is an outlet, a place where anyone can escape to. If its fantasy or real, or just a space in time to occupy for you to recharge your batteries, it is available through this music.

Each track seemingly blends into the next, gently beckoning your soul to participate in this atmosphere of sounds, textures and wonderlands of the mind. And most importantly it belongs to you the listener. Here is your chance to create your own little slice of heaven through music.

I believe Holland is an excellent composer, a multi-talented artist that can paint a picture visually with either words in a book or through his fingers into the instruments he uses.
I found Under A Second Moon to be a very pleasant listening experience and just as enjoyable as last year’s offering.  This a coloring book for the soul, the music are your crayons and you are the book. The title track was the one song that cemented the concept and meaning of this project for me, it colored my heart and mind. Adding the saxophone (Paul Christensen) was the finishing touch. And this was at the midpoint of the recording and I was already thinking that it could not get much better. That track was hard to top however the consistency and quality of the music held up as the stories weaved their spell throughout each succeeding track.

Each track was a different shade or color, a variation of moods that danced with the music. It all made me feel invigorated, joyous and glad to be alive. I do not always feel that way so once the magic of music casts its spell and it won me over again. Interesting enough “Long Way Home,” reminded me of early progressive rock or even band’s like Tangerine Dream and Kraftwerk. I would really like to hear more of that style on the next album.

Thanks again for the trip far away from stress and worry Holland, your creative genius soothes my soul and wets my appetite for your next project.

4/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
August 9, 2017
Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:
01. Out of the Frying Pan
02. Taking the Road Not Taken
03. A Moment in Time
04. Possibly Maybe
05. Under a Second Moon
06. Love Comes Gently
07. Long Way Home
08. Deepening Skies
09. Looking Back
10. It Comes to This       
11. Fairytale Nights