Various Artists - I Am The Center: Private Issue New Age In America, 1950-1990 3LP
For new age, at its best, is a reverberation of psychedelic music, and great by any standard. This is analog, handmade music communicating soul and spirit, often done on limited means and without commercial potential, self-published and self-distributed. Before it became big business and devolved into the spaced out elevator music we know and loathe today, this was the real thing.
From mathematical musical algorithms to airport murder mysteries to Henry Mancini and Bugs Bunny, the connections to mainstream culture run in curious directions. (Did you know, for instance, that a track from the first modern private press new age album is featured on the Blade Runner soundtrack? It’s called Pompeii, 76 A.D., and we’ve got it here.)
"I Am The Center" is a knowing, but never cynical overview that invites listeners at last to the mainspring of a misunderstood genre’s greatest lights. Many of the biggest names are present — Iasos, inter-dimentional channeler of “paradise music”; Laraaji, discovered by Brian Eno playing for spare change in Washington Square Park; and the recently famous JD Emmanuel, icon to a new generation of drone, ambient, noise musicians. Call it what you will — before it was anything else, it was new age.
Lovingly conceived and lavishly presented, "I Am The Center" features stunning paintings by the legendary visual artist Gilbert Williams, and liner notes by producer Douglas Mcgowan.
1. The Struggle of the Magicians, Part Three [Georges Ivanovitch Gurdjieff and Thomas De Hartmann]
2. Pompeii 76 A.D. [Gail Laughton]
3. Gongs in the Rain [Nester Karin Crain]
4. Witch's Will [Wilburn Burchette]
5. Formentera Sunset Clouds [Iasos]
6. Seventh Chakra Keynote B (Violet) [Steven Halpbern]
7. Seraphic Borealis [Joel Andrews]
8. Om Mani Padme Hum [Constance Demby]
9. Arabian Fantasy [Daniel Emmanuel]
10. Awakening (Excerpt) [Don Slepian]
11. Unicorns in Paradise [Laraaji]
12. Glide V [Peter Davidson]
13. Lifting Off [Joanna Brouk]
14. As the Earth Kissed the Moon (Excerpt) [Michael Stearns]
15. Tien Fu: Heaven's Gate (Excerpt) [Aeoliah]
16. Blue Spirals [Daniel Kobialka]
17. Two Souls Dance [Larkin]
18. Li Sun [Judith Tripp]
19. Lunar Eclipse [Mark Banning]
20. Waterfall Winds [Alice Damon]
About this product: this repress is on 3x clear yellow vinyl, housed in a slipcase w/ 3 tip-on jackets and a 20-page book (featuring interviews and rare photos). Includes an MP3 download code.