Showing posts with label World New Age Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label World New Age Reviews. Show all posts

World New Age Review: Raphael Groten-Potential

Release Date: September 1, 2021

Label:  ‎Independent


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

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 

World New Age Review: James Asher and Sandeep Raval-Drum Travel

Release Date: Nov 11, 2014
Label: Starfield Records

James Asher and Sandeep Raval are two incredibly talented men with the gift of knowledge that encompasses a multitude of instruments, mainly percussive so it is no surprise that the title of their recent release is Drum Travel.

There is a bit more to this than just the title Drum Travel. The artists refer to this recording as the Tipi Experience. The image on the cover is a pyramid with a swirling gateway or rhythm portal, as it is referred to on the CD cover, all brought to you by their Global Percussion. If you notice however there is a city on the water that the beautiful image is overlaid on. There is a message here and you are cordially invited to  find the meaning in the music and what is beyond the portal awaiting your discovery. It all makes more sense once you start off on your journey with Asher and Ravel.

These two amazing artisans are assisted by Simon Brewin (bass, guitar, Wit,The Discerning Don) and Carolina Maggio (vocals, charrango, painting, creativity and enthusiasm) and several other talented folks. These gents have a marvelous sense of purpose but also maintain a good sense of humor. After all, James plays a ton of instruments but gets credit for “Kitchen” so I am assuming he provided sustenance in the form of food and drink for his musical warriors whilst recording this endeavor.

Drum Travel is a two CD set comprising 13 tracks on disc one and 7 tracks on disc two, both clocking in at over 70 minutes. The very first track “Fugira” kicks things off in a marvelous way with splendid percussion, amazing rhythmic vocal styling’s (in Italian) and some fluid guitar lines. This music is a worldly blend; there is new age, world, jazz, blues and rock. Everything blends together superbly into a musical melting pot that will bring joy to your soul and aural beauty to your ears.

The instrumental tracks are a literal omnibus of musical delights. When Asher and Raval combine their efforts it’s like a wall of drums that envelopes you. It does not encapsulate you in a power driven sphere and take you away; it is like being swept away by a gentle wave then feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin and the best part is the wave never ends. You can respect the awesome power it commands but feel grateful for the retreat that it affords you into audio bliss.

“Bring on Brasil” is just that, you feel like you have arrived in that beautiful country and are suddenly taking in all the breathtaking landscapes and walking the city streets. It’s like world travel by osmosis. Then to change things again, “Beside The Blues,” delivers the blues and jazz sensations via the right percussion, keyboards and guitar flourishes. To say that this recording offers diversity is an understatement, you simply do not know what is coming next and that is what makes the listen so intriguing.

Chili Pickle Chaser” is a great example of the percussion collaboration of Asher, Raval and friends. It has an interesting name but let me tell you it is nothing but pure excitement that builds as the track plays out. 

“If The Earth Could Speak” is the first track I heard and was so taken with it I featured it on Rate The Tracks and to no surprise it jumped to the #1 position on the charts within a day and it continues to get plays. The title is quite prolific and so is the music. Everything that is good about what these people do when making music comes flowing forth like a river with a definite path to the ocean. It has meaning, beauty and first and foremost touches your spirit in a way that is most memorable.

Now if all of that was not enough they end the set with “On the Outbreath,” which is one minute short of 30 minutes. If there is one song that takes everything to another level it’s this one. There are some amazing creative juices flowing throughout this mix. This time frame made up an entire album in years past yet it is one song out of 20 that make up this implausible gathering of sound, elements and textures that capture your attention and engage your senses.

There is something true and natural about drums particularly when used in such a manner. It calls to you and invites you into their special rhythm portal. Listen, take the journey, you will not have any regrets.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Fugira, Bring on Brasil, If The Earth Could Speak, On the Outbreath

Disc: 1

01. Fugira
02. Takita
03. How it Feels
04. Bring on Brasil
05. Beside the Blues
06. Drums for the Dragon
07. Chili Pickle Chaser
08. Rhythm Network of Sparks
09. Neptune Skank
10. Percussive Kitchen
11. Pappadoms form Persia
12. Breaking Good
13. Seven Veils

Disc: 2

1. African Angel
2. Los Cuentos
3. Hey Wanaina
4. If the Earth Could Speak
5. Accelerando
6. The Great Transition
7. On the Outbreath
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
November 20, 2014
Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews