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BEATTOPIA

by William Hancock.

Category

meditate

Matt Coldrick – Music for a Busy Head, Vol. 1. 

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“Hard-dance Goes Soft with Deep Ambient Re-release”.

Matt Coldrick has a colourful past, having been part of a popular psychedelic trance act ‘Green Nuns of the Revolution‘ with Dick Trevor and Neil Cowley. This unit was formed in 1994 and still performs in various forms today. Coldrick has also released music under the moniker ‘Pan Electric‘, at one stage collaborating with the ambient heavy-weight producer Ishq.

After developing an interest in vibrational healing and sound therapies, Coldrick produced Music for a Busy Head, Volume 1. Seven tracks written to correspond with the seven chakras of the human body or etherically,  the seven colours of the visible light spectrum. “It helps me get to sleep” he states.

Designed for deep relaxation, all of tracks sit below 65 beats per minute with each written in a key that corresponds to the vibration of an energy centre within the human body. Listening to the album from start to finish will assist one in entering a semi-conscious state, where the bodies natural repair systems can kick in for some deep self healing. Through changes in the timbre, volume, note, resonance and key of the tracks, Coldrick carries us into the realms of deep-ambient sound healing.

First released in 2001 on the Absolute Ambient record label, the album has been unavailable for several years. The present re-release is under the  Pink Lizard Music banner.

Deeply relaxing, well composed and highly produced this meditation masterpiece is a must in any spiritual warriors quiver.

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Zen Connection 3 – One World Music.

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“Old Classic Deserves Recognition for Ageing Timelessly”.

Here’s an oldie but a goodie. Zen Connection 3. Part three of a four part series compiled by DJ Leigh Wood of Sydney based One World Music. Classic Downtempo Electronica. Released in late 2004, this little gem sports two discs of the good stuff. The name celebrates and reflects Sunyata, the state defined in Mahayana Buddhism as the emptiness associated with skilfully disentangling oneself from the unsatisfactoriness of life. It means potentiality. The present is pregnant with potential. Through untangling ourselves we allow this potentiality to arise. Listening to this little beauty seems to be a step along the path towards this place or more accurately, state-of-mind.

The discs are aptly titled Left Turn and Right Turn. Disc one (Left) meanders through a journey of top downbeat artists that include The Christophe Goze Project, Nitin Sawhney and Jon Hopkins, finishing with a beautiful rendition of a Hindu Spiritual classic Ganapati Om by Donna De Lory (Eastern Sun Remix).

Turning Right leads us into tracks from Kaya Project, Prem Joshua (Mangalam sits in an 80 bpm groove superbly), Ott and the Banzai Republic featuring Natacha Atlas before finishing where we started with a reprise of Devotion No.1 by the Loop Guru.

Where the first disc tends to relax and unwind, the general tempo of the second is noticeably quicker. Perfect for relaxing or entertaining, the double disc seems almost perfectly designed for afternoon drinks leading into a quiet dinner party. The first disc for the drinks and the second for the cooking.

The decidedly obvious spin of World Music on the publication is a real asset. With instrumental sounds from across the globe and producers located across the planet this album is not only the middle path of downtempo but brings into balance the duality that is east and west, unifying it in a very enjoyable way.

The sign of any great album is timelessness. Still listening to it years later. Still enjoying. Still available. Still here.

Another Fine Day – A Good Place To Be.

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“Another Cult-Classic From Solo Downtempo Producer Finds It’s Place”.

21 years after Another Fine Days’ Tom Green released the ambient-dub, cult-classic Life Before Land, he returns with a fresh basting of ambient-jazz styling in their latest release A Good Place To Be, out now on Interchill.

Fusing natural soundscapes with jazz, percussion and a smattering of instrumental electronica, the ambient and downtempo styles embraced in A Good Place To Be provide the listener with a captivating journey into the realms of natural music and sound. Birds and insects blend with jazz infused keyboards, ambient percussive punctuations, atmospheric synth pads and halting time signatures. Covering a spectrum of musical styles and genres this album doesn’t fit into any narrow slots, with synthetic and natural sounds and music creating a collage of sonic artwork across the board.

Greens’ colourful and varied past is apparent in the composition of this album. Rising from a post-punk outfit in the late seventies, blending with outfits including Baka Beyond, The Orb and Natacha Atlas and writing screen music for the likes of the BBC through his music production company Apollo Music, he contributes regularly to quality music libraries for Universal Music, EMI Production Music and Accorder Music. Tom also dabbles in various unique side projects including an ambient commission released in 2012 called Music For Tai Chi and a composition designed for installation in a new MRI scanner complex at the Royal Infirmary in Bristol, UK; Music For MRI Scanners.

Track 2 on the album A Good Place To Be, called And Dream of Seals blends affected bird calls with melodic keyboards and mallet percussion to create atmospherics that sit delicately over a bed of subtle beats, set back in the mix. Rising to an excited cacophony of oscillators supplying the playful seals in a wash of percussive waters, this downtempo creation is topped by an icing of electronic synthesis.

Enfolded is an ambient piece, wrapping the listener in temperate washes of electronic waves created using progressively arranged atmospheric synth pads, punctuated quietly yet powerfully with almost a hint of angelic brass in the wind.

From Tiny Acorns embraces Eastern-influenced strings and mallets in a percussive melody lifted by a bed of progressive, oscillator-effected beats. Atmospheric pads complete the palette as the track rises to the rhythmically melodic crescendo of a string-infused summit, all while the beats track nicely through the piece.

The influence of World Music on A Good Place To Be should not be overlooked. Subtle yet distinct, the instrument selection and devices used in the composition reflect a global connection transcending cultural boundaries and merging into a cohesively international blend of sound. Greens background producing with the likes of Abdul Tee Jay and his side project Newanderthal clearly influence this albums creation and its Remixes.

Even at these early stages of release, Another Fine Days’ new album A Good Place To Be obviously has the heavyweight staying power to become another cult classic in the lighter and more delicate styles of the ambient and downtempo music genres.

by William S. Hancock.

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