Label: IndependentRaphael Groten has taken the next step in his evolution as a musical artist with Potential. He is calling this transformation of sound world medicine groove. It is unlike anything I have heard from the talented six-string maestro. Having covered two previous releases, I can honestly say he going in the right direction to reach his full Potential as an all-encompassing artisan.
The title track typifies his groove and it surely is world medicine for the soul. He normally creates instrumental works however “Great Spirit” includes some very affecting vocals and instrumentation. And there are several more tracks with vocals that are quite good as well.
Spirituality and strength are found with one look at the cover art. The wolf is the natural hunter and believes in the pack mentality or teamwork as we would see it as humans. I think the cover says more than meets the eye and for one to explore and discover the multitudes of sounds and meanings, you must absorb the fourteen tracks on offer.
As it is noted on the artist homepage - Potential is broad and dynamic, offering guitar to ukulele, percussion to gong, bamboo flute to kalimba, hand pan to a chorus of voices.
This is a fine encapsulation of what awaits your senses - audibly, spiritually, and physically. They are the equation for a very distinct sound and the journey you will embark upon. Audible is the beginning to engage your sensory perception, which then transforms into a spiritual essence and hence an overall sense of well-being on the physical level. From my own listening perspective, I was able to get in touch with the oneness of the music, in the sense that we are all connected to nature, the animals, the innate spirituality of all of that. This can be a prolific experience for many seeking such things and something fresh and full of amazing original energy that you can associate within and outside of yourself.
Of great significance is that Raphael composed, arranged, performed, produced, and engineered all the music in his newly established Humming Bird Studio. This is a great accomplishment. When you consider the multitude of instruments employed on this recording, it is quite impressive. The end result is superlative music that you will find enchanting and mesmerizing. I am sure many listeners will utilize it for relaxing and meditation as well.
Potential digs down deep into the soul of this artist and you can reach in and feel it, grasp it, hold it for your own, and take every advantage of the peace and joy it brings with one solitary listen. Tracks like “Melt” have a strong tribal feeling with the steady drumbeat and repetitive phrases that felt like they held great significance to anyone in touch with the ancient cultures that depended on the land and its creatures to survive. In the same frame of reference, that type of individual or group held each of those aspects of life with great respect. This is something we have lost over time that we desperately need before we can get started to find our way beyond the healing and renewal stages. It is time for us all to reach our full Potential as sentient beings. Music like this reminds us all of what direction we need to go.
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
September 1, 2021
03. Great Spirit
07. River's Edge
12. Bear Cave
14. Twin Eagle