Brand new recordings by the legendary electronic mystic will be released this autumn – an epic double album, Bring On The Sun, preceded by a meditative drone work, Sun Gong. Listen to an excerpt here:
2013 was a pivotal year for Laraaji’s music. After a well-received collaboration with Blues Control in 2011 on the RVNG label, he saw one of his tracks included on Light In The Attic’s overview of private press new age music, I Am The Center, and an extensive reissue campaign by the All Saints label including the first ever career-spanning retrospective of Laraaji: Celestial Music 1978 – 2011.
Those titles were the start of a wider resurgence in interest in Laraaji’s music, and since then he has toured extensively in the US and Europe and Australia, had his work compiled or reissued by other labels, including Glitterbeat (the classic Brian Eno collaboration Ambient 3: Day Of Radiance), Superior Viaduct, Stones Throw and Soul Jazz Records. In many ways it has felt like Laraaji’s time has finally come, with music that was over-looked at the time (including several titles that were self-released on cassette and only sold on the sidewalks of New York City) chiming with listeners digging into other unearthed treasures such as Alice Coltrane’s Ashram Tapes from the 80s or Arthur Russell’s sublime downtown pop experiments.
Whilst gratified to see his older music re-discovered and appreciated by a new generation of fans, Laraaji has been increasingly keen in recent years to throw a spotlight on his contemporary music, which is in continuum with the hypnotic cosmic ambience he has always made but honed via his immersive live shows, deep listening sessions, and appearances at cutting edge music festivals such as Unsound and Moogfest. To that end he spent some time in Gary’s Electric Studio in Brooklyn, NY in August 2016 with engineer Davey Jewell (Flaming Lips/Peaking Lights). Nine hours of extended jams were edited and mixed in Los Angeles by Carlos Niño (Leaving Records), the preferred results forming two distinct but complimentary albums.
First up will be a limited clear vinyl drop of two long-form drone pieces exploring the microtonal possibilities of a hammered gong processed through various electronic effects, each taking up a single side of vinyl, as Sun Gong.
This will be followed two weeks later by the more varied main album, Bring On The Sun, which will be issued as an 8-track double vinyl LP, and also as a double CD set, with the Bring On The Sun tracks on the first disc, and the Sun Gong tracks on the second disc. Bring On The Sun is a carefully programmed listening experience showcasing the breadth of ‘Laraaji mussic’, moving between sun-dappled tone float, rhythmic autoharp workouts and his more song-based tracks with consummate ease.
Laraaji comments: “Celestial music improvisation flows through my intuitive imagination. I feel my way through these spontaneous music and song compositions. They are gifts revealed by my undoing the ribbons of no longer essential thinking. As these ribbons fall away the gift of my authentic life, love and creative expression opens bathed through and through by a most timeless inner sunlight.”
Laraaji and Carlos will be touring together in Europe in November. Prior to that Laraaji will be in the UK for End Of The Road Festival and an intimate London launch show.
- Sun Gong No.1
- Sun Gong No.2
Bring On The Sun
- Harmonica Drone
- Reborn In Virginia
- Open The Gift
- Ocean Flow Zither
22 Jul – US, Good Shepherd Chapel, Seattle, WA – http://laraaji.brownpapertickets.com/
29 Jul – US, The Lab, San Francisco, CA – http://www.thelab.org/projects/2017/7/29/laraaji-with-arji-oceananda-in-the-zone
01 Sep – UK, End Of The Road Festival, Wiltshire – http://endoftheroadfestival.com/artist/laraaji/
02 Sep – UK, Tin Tabernacle, London – https://www.songkick.com/store/events/30771414