Showing posts with label Raphael Groten. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Raphael Groten. Show all posts

World New Age Review: Raphael Groten-Potential

Release Date: September 1, 2021

Label:  ‎Independent

Website

Raphael 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

Tracks:
01. Wander         
02. Potential         
03. Great Spirit        
04. Within        
05. Care         
06. Melt         
07. River's Edge     
08. Pause         
09. Percolate         
10. Call         
11. Aft         
12. Bear Cave        
13. Release        
14. Twin Eagle 



Instrumental Acoustic Review: Raphael Groten-Star Lullaby

Release Date: June 1, 2019
Label: Indie

I first heard an album from Raphael Groten in 2015 covering Journey Home. So now with 4 years between albums, we have a double-disc set to make up for the lost time. The new release is titled Star Lullaby. 29 tracks comprise his latest recording. 

Star Lullaby on disc 1 is all original solo guitar music produced at Imaginary Road Studios with Will Ackerman and Tom Eaton. Disc 2 includes the same songs but with featured musicians Michael Manring, Eugene Friesen, Ron Korb, Charlie Bisharat, Jeff Haynes, Noah Wilding, and Will Ackerman.  This will provide each individual listener the opportunity to hear all tracks as they were meant to be heard with the guitar and then another opportunity to hear it all with instruments added. You will have the chance to compare and contrast each song, but most of all come to appreciate what a true artisan Raphael is with his six-string.

The picking and plucking of the acoustic guitar can create many soundscapes, textures, colors, and images. This is where the artist succeeds in seemingly effortless fashion. Certainly, it sounds very smooth as he transitions from one song to the next but surely this is not an easy thing to accomplish. Making your guitar the only instrument, then filling in all the spaces with the right tones and rhythms, must be a task. And then thinking of adding many other instruments and where to put them properly in a composition is another challenge. What you never have is a window into the process and obstacles one can run into on such an ambitious undertaking. That must have been more of a challenge from a production point than cutting the first disc with just guitar.

On the second disc, Raphael was very smart and made sure his guitar remained the main instrument. This does not take away from the added instrumentation. The artist commented: To be clear, the tracklist is the same for both discs, except Disc 2 which has a 15th track: “Star Lullaby” (vocals). (Which by the way, is very good).

Truly, my inspiration for the double CD came early on in production. As I began to overdub the featured musicians (which was thrilling!), I realized that while I expanded the sound for my fans, I also wanted to maintain their capacity to be able to listen to just the solo guitar

 I think that puts it all into proper perspective for the artist and for the listeners.

With that said, I found the additional instruments a benefit to the tracks, particularly with Michael Manring's distinctive bass style and tone.  The natural partnership of bass and six-string guitars are very evident when listening to these tracks. I also think because the guitar is acoustic, it allows the other instruments to shine and accompany Raphael in the most complimentary way possible. The beauty and simplicity of the first disc are very enjoyable and will be appreciated by guitar fans and those of easy listening or relaxation music. The same applies to the second disc but what you get is more layers of sound without any compromise from any one instrument, it all blends together beautifully.

There is just so much to enjoy on Star Lullaby that it would seem unfair to site any one track as a standout because they all are, it’s as simple as that. This is quite a treat for the ears and senses and the contrasts and variety are superb.


Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
June 1, 2019

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:

Disc 1: Solo Guitar
 
1.  dawn
2.  waking
3.  mindfulness
4.  guidance
5.  levity
6.  star lullaby
7.  gratitude
8.  meditation
9.  compassion
10. opening
11. fledgling
12. eclipse
13. trust
14. prayer


Disc 2: Featured Musicians
 
1.  dawn
2.  waking
3.  mindfulness
4.  guidance
5.  levity
6.  star lullaby
7.  gratitude
8.  meditation
9.  compassion
10. opening
11. fledgling
12. eclipse
13. trust
14. prayer
15. star lullaby (vocals)


 

Instrumental New Age Reviews:Raphael Groten-Journey Home

Release Date: July, 17, 2015
Label: Silent Wing Records

Raphael Groten takes the six string acoustic guitar and turns it into a magic wand on his recent release Journey Home. 

The first track I had the pleasure hearing from this talented man was “Sweetness,” which is included here and it was also a featured track on our Rate The Tracks site.

This album gets in touch with our natural surroundings and with the most important element, the giver of life and water. “Black River,” “Waves” and “Ebb and Flow” (the ebb and flow of life?) are three that will push you in the right direction or downstream if you will. Music, water, all-encompassing nature, this is life and everything in existence.
Groten has complete command of his instrument. As he becomes one with nature so he does with his guitar. This music soothes the soul and calms the frazzled nerves. It is so simplistic and straightforward that it becomes easy to assimilate and picture each title in your mind’s eye. One has to be quiet internally to meditate and center and this music serves the same purpose if you let it.

Also the four sequential “Journey” tracks serve a higher purpose. As you take in nature and all its beauty it is a journey with facets and twists and turns like the imaginary river you are walking along or just sitting peacefully by. The first is “Journey Home: Awakening” followed by Breath, Echoes and then Arrival to the destination you seek.
It all makes perfect sense and is pieced together with logic and purpose. If you really listen to the singularity of Groten’s guitar it will all come together for you. It certainly did for me and when I listened and looked at all the track titles and how they progressed it was like putting on a perfect set of new shoes. 

I really enjoyed every track on this recording, however I listed the key tracks for their significance in title, besides the fact that they were all stellar compositions of beauty and grace.

Raphael Groten chose the right people to work with that would understand his music. Will Ackerman is a fine guitar player and producer himself so it is not hard to imagine why this project turned out so well.

Journey Home can hold different meanings for everyone but I know one thing for certain, if you like solo acoustic guitar music you will love this album! It is perfect just the way it is.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Sweetness, Journey Home: Awakening, Ebb & Flow

Tracks: 
01. Sweetness
02. Black River
03. Waves
04. Journey Home: Awakening
05. Journey Home: Breath
06. Journey Home: Echoes
07. Journey Home: Arrival
08. Ebb & Flow
09. Grandpa's Hands
10. Rest
12. Truth
13. Be
14. Sweetness Reprise


Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck- New Age Music Reviews Founder
January 14, 2016
Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews