INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
Uncut FEBRUARY 2018 - by Jason Anderson
LARAAJI: VISION SONGS VOLUME 1
Ecstatic New Age curio now available outside of yoga retreats
It was Brian Eno who first noticed Laraaji's connection to higher planes when he met the musician more prosaically known as Edward Larry Gordon busking with his zither in New York in the late 1970s. Laraaji's contribution to Eno's pioneering Ambient series, 1980's Day Of Radiance, remains his best-known work, but due to the recent surge of interest in New Age, there's now an abundance of new and archival music by the enigmatic, usually orange-clad US composer, thereby fostering a deeper understanding of his ecstatic sounds. Previously available in a run of one hundred cassettes sold largely at yoga retreats in 1984 and now rescued from obscurity by the Numero Group, Vision Songs is principally comprised of Laraaji cheerfully talk-singing a variety of koan-like utterances ("Tomorrow is much too far away and yesterday, was it ever here?") or crooning wordlessly over bright keyboard melodies and simple drum patterns courtesy of his Casio synth. "Channeled from the sky" by its blissed-out creator, the resulting synthesis of gospel, ambient and proto freak folk is as beguiling as it is idiosyncratic. Hearing it is surely the most joy-inducing thing you could do short of attending one of his laughter meditation workshops.
Extras: 6/10 - New liner notes by Laraaji