My recent excursions into micro-niche internet and mp3 genre classification have taken me several left turns deep into the realms of the unlistenable, and I have found myself lost in the miasma that is known as "New Age"
Some of these jams are bananas! Most clock in at over 30 min. (take that iPod shuffle!) and I'll be damned if I didn't actually find quite a bit of it to be very familiar to my ears. This music is insideous, we have all been listening to it forever! I present you with a selection of essential artefacts from this much reviled and oft-misunderstood area of psycho-kinetic aural meditation aids and Syntonic Research Technologies. Lie back, get comfortable, put your spread legs into the air and make guttoral whinnying noises. Prepare to be transported.

  Let us begin with a dusty gem entitled "Hypnogogic Sound/Vibration Tape". Can we simply call this Proto-Avant-Noise? While William Bennet dabbles in re-processed audience feedback at Tate Modern with intent towards neuro-linguistic programming, these guys have been front-line and centre since 1982!  Comes off a little bit like Hair Police, or maybe early Sewer Election, but wierder than anything from either New Age or Power Electronics all together.

"Does exactly as it says on the tin"

 Next up we pay a visit to the Synth Wizards who use Technology to transport us with Song and Science through our journey into Wonder. A Transendental Inter-stellar flight to gallaxies far beyond, yet only as far away as the centre of your mind. Ray Lynch's "The Oh of Pleasure" is arguably the most well known new age track ever recorded, a best seller, and instantly recognizable. no collection of new age music would be considered to even be begun without it.

Set The Controls For The Heart of The Sun

Typical New Age recording studio
Other analogue synth Relaxercises in Deep Listening:- Starmusic & Rainbow Dome Music. I like how they have to shove the word "music" into every title just in case you become so heightened you forget? Both of these discs totally "rock" and by "rock" I mean those little stones with runes painted on that they sell in the "impulse-buy" section of the new-age bookstore.
Don Slepian, good with computers
Pictured here is Don Slepian, and below is the jacket for his cassette "Sea of Bliss" Don does a nice job of blending calming nature sounds with fairly ham-handed analogue synth noodlings. Like a positive affirmation washed in cheap production values and tape degradation. This guy is a bit of a Pro-Am favorite in a genre that blurs the line between "Professional" and "Amateur" an accomplishment in itself.

hot item on the collector's market

Where would we be without some ambient field recordings? This is a selection of the ORIGINAL "Environments" series of Induced Meditation Platters. DO NOT be fooled by any of the about a million cheap imitaions. This is the genuine article, and all others fall short of the mark.

All you need is right here

lots of wack-o reading with this one folks

OK, we cannot neglect the cults! Hundreds of quasi-religious faith-healers and sham gurus imagine the ultimate glory for themselves and pull out the swami-rock-star routine every season. What better way to win over the masses than with 45 min.+ sonorous chantings laid over some of the most vapid synth breakdowns ever committed to disc? One listen to Iasos here & I'm totally SOLD

IASOS channeling Gem & The Holograms

Stupifying album art

Yes, that is Carlos Santana seated at the right.


pranic fire?

 For my last selection of new-age essentials I offer to you a 5 disc set of ambient noise, NASA's own "Symphony of The Planets" Recordings from deep space captured by The Voyager Space Mission. It consists of recordings made by Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 as they passed by the various planets and moons of our solar system. Although sound as we perceive it cannot travel in the vacuum of space, each planet and moon emits its own electromagnetic "signature" that can be picked up by the right instruments, and those emanations can be converted into sound and recorded onto compact discs for your listening enjoyment. Truly, this is the Music of The Spheres.

I hope NASA put some of thier deep space recordings from voyager 1 onto the record (pictured) they included inside Voyager 2. Wouldn't that be sooooo meta?!?
These are but a few, tips of a majestic iceberg on an eternal sea of calm. If you must learn more about the wisdom of the ancients, and know all that is within, hop on over to CRYSTAL VIBRATIONS and have a boo. Its where I stole all these albums from, dude seems to have a pretty good handle on all this new age shit. Imagine Clouds!

Burt Mustin Superstar!

No doubt you are familiar with this man's face. He is legendary character actor Burt Mustin, who created the role of "Gus The Fireman" on Leave It To Beaver in the Fifties. He also appeared on countless other television programs such as The Andy Griffith Show, All In The Family, and Austin DWI.

Here he is giving a piece of his mind to Archie Bunker
Seems like this guy was never actually young. He made a niche for himself playing the type of world-wise old-timer who could infuriate fools while dispensing old-fashioned down-home pearls of wisdom.

Here he is pissing off Fred Sanford

He always brought a special something to the shows he made cameos on, a one of a kind. It has long been argued that his one appearance on the car accident lawyer show Austin DWI was the only memorable moment on an otherwise terrible franchise. He gets involved with the titular Houston criminal attorney when the old boy needs the services of a DWI attorney after crashing his car drunk and inadvertently exposing an international diamond smuggling syndicate. Never were the adventures of criminal lawyers so well complimented by his bumbling geriatric lampooning!

He left some pretty big (orthopedic) shoes to fill, and, as the creators of Houston criminal attorney; Austin DWI will surely attest, he will be sadly missed.