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Hundreds and hundreds of ambient music albums have been released this year, but only one album has been released by an elite rapper with a 13-times platinum record under his belt. In the 16 years since Outkast’s tectonic-shifting hiatus, fans of the duo André 3000 have been clamoring for the star to deliver something more than just the occasional guest knockout verse. Instead, he followed his arrow as an itinerant bohemian nomad playing the flute in airports, cafes, sidewalks and yoga classes. his first album, New blue sun It is the full bloom of his middle-aged slide into gentle drones and simple reed work. Fans have been justifiably wary of the album bearing the label “Warning: No Bars” and song titles such as “I Swear, I Really Wanted to Make a Rap Album But That’s Just the Way the Wind Blown This Time.” Fortunately, Andre 3000’s 87-minute musical epic is a gorgeous, ultra-contemporary prismatic scent of fresh incense.
New blue sun It also represents a culmination in a decade-long crescendo of the New Age revival. In early 2010, the tastemaker relaunched brands such as Numero Group, Light in the Attic and Rvng Intl. He began reissuing American new age music in the private press, freeing the once-derided genre from its reputation as a crystal-and-wind-breath and repositioning it as an American folk tradition brimming with DIY energy. Labels like Empire of Signs and Switzerland’s WRWTFWW have turned their attention to revitalizing Japan’s more invasive, electronic-oriented music, which you might be able to hear at New blue sunMore artificial moments. Alanis Morissette, Moby, 6Luck, Sufjan Stevens and even actor Jeff Bridges have had varying degrees of success with therapeutic music over the past few years.
For this part, New blue sun It’s mostly a piece with prolific Los Angeles cassette label Leaving Records, an imprint that also exists at the intersection of ambient, new age, jazz, and improvisational and experimental electronic music. Much of the departing roster—Matthew David, Carlos Nino, Dentoni Parks, and VCR—are on hand to assist and compliment Andre’s melodies, expanding his digital cycling flute curls into an orgy of swelling cymbals and spacey sparkles.
Despite the link to the press materials New blue sun To the organic simplicity of laraga and Alice Coltrane’s soulful jazz, it’s actually more like the dreamy, almost organic “Fourth World” music of composers like Jon Hassell and Steve Roach: imagined landscapes where cosmic electronics gleefully intertwine with various shakers, reeds and rainsticks. Andre’s “Digital Reed Machine” evokes the exotic, late-’80s Valley sound worlds of Japanese composers like Yoshio Ojima—not quite real, not quite fake, and quite astonishing. New blue sun It is by no means impatient or minimal. Instead, Andre’s crew works together like a dynamic live band handling soft tones and gentle moods whether riding the groove (“That Night in Hawaii…”), or swelling in cascades of happy chaos (“BuyPoloDisorder’s Daughter…”). Or create rainforests of sound (“Ants for you…”). Our conductor has a sinuous movement that dances in rhythmic bursts while his fellow players explode, mature and sparkle. All these moving parts mean that it is not exactly the most immersive environment for those seeking About “soothing” or “healing” music. However, when approached as a producer of a basement jazz group or an underground electronic band, New blue sun She is an absolute delight.
New blue sun Not the best surround recording you’ll hear in 2023. It’s minor when placed next to Tim Hecker’s confrontational flow No highsThe Subtle Weakness of Ryuichi Sakamoto 12and the pastoral areas of Takashi Kokubo and Andrea Esperti Music for the cosmic garden Or Loscil/Lawrence English’s enveloping warmth Air colours. but, New blue sun It is likely to be Just Surrounding record many people Do We hear it’s 2023, and it’s great that this energetic and opulent album is a hit. Just as with the game-changing rap group, André 3000 is back playing Pied Piper, and the world of sound awaits those who follow him with open ears and open minds.
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