Posts Tagged ‘Laaraji’

Laaraji & Lyghte – Celestial Realms

In the past few years Laraaji has gone from something of a tightly traded name among New Age heads, experimental aficionados and yoga practitioners to a roundly celebrated artist with a wealth of material seeping back out into the reissue world. With entries into RVNG’s FRKWYS series and a collaboration with Brian Eno and Bill Laswell, he’s not light on stature, but it seems the current hunger for respite has driven the master of the zither further out into the light. There are plenty of points of entry for the curious among a catalog that’s decades deep, and none are more appropriate than his 1986 album with longtime collaborator Jonathan Goodman, aka Lyghte.

The original version of Celestial Realms was released to tape by New Age label Spirit Music, and it gets an upgrade here via Telephone Explosion’s brand-new offshoot Morning Trip. The album is two side-long tracks that delve deep into meditative trance. Lyghte provides the hypnotic bedrock that pins this to the mind – wavering and low, like the slow lap of a river. He leaves the sparkle to his foil Laraaji, who dazzles atop the drones with his Zither, bells, and guitars that predict the coming of Sun Araw’s psychedelic wobble long at a time when Stallones was more into silly putty than psilocybin.

The album is perfect not only for fans of vintage drone or New Age, but for those captivated by the dropout knockouts of more recent times – Emeralds, Kevin Drumm, Stars of the Lid fan take note and listen deep. It’s a great inaugural release for the fledgling label and perks my interest to see when Morning Trip goes from here. Whether you’re already scooping up the new and old issues from this NY legend or just want to unwind, a copy of Celestial Realms might be just the trick to block out the constant clatter of 2019.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Laraaji & Sun Araw

Before some of the fragmented free jazz seeped into Cameron Stallones’ work, Sun Araw was an odds on guarantee to be the perfect pairing with summer. He’d nailed a certain element of humid listlessness that felt oppressive and glittering and like the air around you was vibrating at a frequency just a few decimal points off from your own. After taking to the road with experimental zither master Laaraji, he’s back in the zone; dripping sound from the stalagmite imagination of pudding melted landscapes and feeling every bit the time shifted master of slow motion psych drift. The record is comprised of four pieces that are part pre-written and part improvisation and the artists play off of one another in a way that feels sublimely intertwined.

The tracks float and quiver, find rhythm at the river and then seep out in disjointed dance with Laaraji calling spirituals over the top. In the hands of lesser folks it could be a total mess, but they bounce ideas back and forth with liquid ease. The record marks the first installment of Superior Viaducts new imprint W.25TH, their first offerings that aren’t reissues. Seems that, much like RVNG’s FRKWYS series, its focused on collaborations and this is a great tip off to what’s to come.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments