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CHAKRA NOIR

***** for CHAKRA NOIR
Review STEVE SHEPPARD of One World Music Radio

Die Kompositionen auf CHAKRA NOIR sind eine Weiterführung der LALITA-Hymnen.
Geschliffene Sitarphrasen, eingebettet in warme Klangflächen mit leisem hypnotischem Beat unterlegt, führen in innere Räume, von denen aus man nach innen gehen kann.

***** for CHAKRA NOIR
Review STEVE SHEPPARD of One World Music Radio

Not just a good album, this is breath-taking I had been intrigued to hear the latest Al Gromer Khan album; I had heard rumours that this would be his best work for many years; I can confirm now that is a rumour no more, this is not just a good album from the master, this is truly a masterpiece.
Starting with the powerful, A Simple World with Flowers, we begin the transportation of our senses to an inner realm of a blissful ambience you will never wish to leave. This track has a real sense of movement and growth contained within; this world of flowers seems to be a musical portal within which we must travel to explore further, one that will reveal a wonderful landscape of tones and harmonics.
There is a latent sense of light Jazz in the next piece called Degrees of Tenderness; the added bird sound gave a whole new level of dimension of sight and sound. AGK’s sitar reigns supreme here and the back drop created by some dreamy keyboards, really resonates with great charm and style.
We find ourselves at one of the most delightful tracks on the album and through Shedding Light you will be more than pleased to float along with a composition that has a real feeling of letting go. I listened to this album twice this afternoon and on both occasions, at this juncture, I felt a gentle sensation of release and peace.
The title track is always the best opportunity a musician will have to make his or her statement about the project. Chakra Noir has got to be one of the most prolific pieces of ambient music I have heard for some time, using keyboards and the Sitar to its maximum purpose, the creation literally evokes a dream state when listened to, the vocalisations are almost ethereal and the real sense of inner calm at this point of the album is incredible.
It’s pretty much always summer here in Cyprus, so taking a few moments out to drift in what has got to be one of the most cinematic and harmonious tracks I have ever heard from AGK was glorious. The melody here from Khan was truly beautiful in every sense of the word, the track is called A Summer Tale, and I would urge you to listen to this one repeatedly, its one of the finest examples of modern day ambient music you ever likely to listen to.
Adya Shakti is with us, the goddess of creation, she is wise and brave and AGK has once again created something so deeply moving here, the back drop of incredible ambience is steeped in ancient times and with each twist and turn of the masters composition, we have been gifted a truly sensual arrangement that reveals the inner wisdom inside us all.
Dear reader and listener, by the time you have reached the middle section of the album, which is exactly where we are right now, I can guarantee that the level of inner contentment and peace you will be feeling will be utterly blissful, in fact one of our presenters is with me right now and meditating whilst I listen and write this review.
Through the piece Tan & Maroon, you have indeed have a perfect chance to go deeper within, this is pure ambient, this is a silky sonic journey of total class, with some subtle percussion and a caressing Sitar, AGK manifests for you an exquisitely enchanting arrangement that will resonate with the mind and bring tranquillity to the body.
Im Nu, has a different character about its construction, there was a feeling of waking up from a long journey here for me, this extremely smooth composition has also a taste of freshness about it, but one has to really listen to this piece many times over to enjoy all the delicate little musical nuances to be found within, this one is a real treat.
The Train and the Crow intrigued me, there was an almost American energy about this track for me, and perhaps it is my association with Native American culture and animal totems like the Crow, it could also be the style of AGK’s Sitar here, manifesting a western ambience and through the music we could easily picture the black winged shape perched upon the funnel of an old worn out train, on lines that are rusted over, bringing me in a sense of ambience of a realm where the world has clearly moved on.
Now one of my favourite compositions off the album is the one coming right now dear reader, it’s called Rose of All Days; I have not heard anything so haunting since Ghosts by Llewellyn, anything so vast and moving since The Seventh Wave by Nigel Shaw. The Rose of all Days in my opinion is one of Al Gromer Khans finest compositions ever; I just wished it had been 8 minutes long instead of 4!
A slight energy shift gives us an equally charming offering, called The King’s Companion, once more AGK has crafted something utterly sublime, the hovering keyboards gives us that perfect sense of deep ambience, while the Sitar in an moment of complete revere, seem to express an unmistakeable charismatic sense of class allure.
So let’s dive deep into the last track off the album called Into Blue. The tempo is just slightly elevated for us here as we come to the end of the release and once more that sense of movement can be found, but in a gentle calming way that gives us a sense of confidence.
The rumours were right, this is the best work from Al Gromer Khan for some time, as a writer and a fan I am elated, we have an album here that has been created by a musician that knows this business inside and out, a true veteran of the ambient music genre and to show us an absolute work of sheer genius like this, at this stage of his career, is not only breath-taking, its simply magnificent, so run out and purchase this release straight away. Chakra Noir is not just a good album; it has raised the bar for all ambient musicians in this genre, a mile high.
Al Gromer Khan's photo.

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