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Steve Roach, Structures From Silence (30th anniversary Deluxe Remastered Edition)

2014 | Label: Projekt / Entertainment One Distribution

In the past year, New Age music has begun to escape the lamentable late-’80s stereotypes — Harmonic Convergence, crystals, Kenny G — that have long plagued it. Last fall, Light in the Attic released a stellar compilation called I Am the Center that catalogued small-press New Age releases from the ’50s to the ’70s; Warp records reissued Laaraji; All Saints reissued Harold Budd. Articles popped up in Pitchfork and even in the New York Times.

One name conspicuously missing from this mini-renaissance is the California-born/Arizona-based Steve Roach. Much of… more »

Linda Perhacs, The Soul of All Natural Things

2014 | Label: Asthmatic Kitty / SC Distribution

Los Angeles singer-songwriter Linda Perhacs’s debut LP Parallelograms languished in obscurity for decades before being embraced by a new audience around the time of the “freak-folk” mini-craze of the mid ’00s. Modern acolytes including Devendra Banhart, Ramona Gonzalez (aka Nite Jewel) and Julia Holter helped Perhacs reintegrate into musical life, and collaborate on her first offering in 44 years, The Soul of All Natural Things.

On the album, Holter and Gonzalez’s voices blend with Perhacs’s own in intricate mini-choral arrangements. These are sublimated, with the help of cavernous reverb, into a… more »

Iasos, Celestial Soul Portrait

2013 | Label: Numero Group / SC Distribution

With its minimalist sounds and big ideas, New Age music nearly always promises more than it delivers. But whimsical excess is precisely what makes Greek-born, mono-monikered Iasos’s “inter-dimensional” creations more convincing than the average “Hearts of Space” radio spin. Celestial Self Portrait collects Iasos’s greatest hits from the ’70s, when he was translating what he has described as “crystal giggling energy,” as well as other gifts bestowed by angelic cohorts, into spacious sonic architectures.

More is generally more here. The twangy, swooping double-necked slide guitar of “Rainbow Canyon” is much… more »