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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ambient Excellence, 15 Nov 2013
By 
OMG! It's got a plug! (Winchester) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: I Am The Center: Private Issue New Age In America - 1950-1990 (Audio CD)
This is beautifully conceived compilation of American New Age music by Light in the Attic Records. It's a world away from the mass produced and marketed New Age music of the eighties and nineties. This is pure and authentic ambient music made by artists who lived and breathed the New Age lifestyle long before most people even knew such a lifestyle existed.

Although there are a few better known artists from the genre represented here, much of the music is taken from privately recorded and pressed vinyl and cassettes and, taken as a whole, it just washes over the listener and has a genuine calming and relaxing effect. There's an array of instruments used, with many of the earliest tracks featuring harp, piano and woodwind, progressing to electronic instrumentation with extended synth and bass notes that have a drone like quality to them. There are occasional sound effects (birds singing, waterfalls, etc) but they're authentic and not just used as a gimmick.

The CDs are housed in a gatefold cardboard sleeve with a superb booklet featuring notes on all of the artists and archive photos. The combined playing time of both discs is 132 minutes. Given the quality of some of the sources of many of the tracks, the sound is excellent and has been digitally re-mastered at 24 bit / 96 kHz. Recommended to anyone with an interest in ambient sounds.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the "New Age" appellation, 9 Nov 2013
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This review is from: I Am The Center: Private Issue New Age In America - 1950-1990 (Audio CD)
Try to circumscribe the cheesy "New Age" ascription of the sub-title as it does no justice to the extraordinary music in this collection. Only gripe is the poor sleeve design, and the brown and beige booklet. Why didn't Light in the Attic employ a serious graphic designer to work with Gilbert Williams?
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful & Calming but thankfully not too sweet, 8 Nov 2013
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This review is from: I Am The Center: Private Issue New Age In America - 1950-1990 (Audio CD)
Most excellant packaging containing a very informative booklet providing solid information and respect to the brilliant pioneering artists within. The music has both depth and integrity as well as being very useful late at night to relax to. Its not too saccharine though. Congratulations to 'Light in the Attic' for another well thought out and loving compilation.

If you have even the remotest interest in the power of music to heal then I highly recommend this compilation of recordings. It comes under New Age but I like to also look at it as music that grounds you and lets you fly a bit at the same time.

Wonderful

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5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous well thought out collection., 19 Jan 2014
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K. Fegradoe (Devon,England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: I Am The Center: Private Issue New Age In America - 1950-1990 (Audio CD)
A really beautiful collection of music that seems to illustrate a real sense of honesty and gentility towards the listener and the music itself. I've been listening to mostly modern ambient music for a long time and this album has brought a good few names to my attention and has re-ignited my passion for those names I already knew. The album really shows a sensitivity towards the subject of New Age music (which has such a stereotype attached to it nowadays) that makes you remember/realise the raw beauty of some of these early works; a sense of grandeur exploration and experimentation comes through from the pieces, and of course it has it's effects on you.

Contradicting a previous reviewers comments about the sleeve design (albeit it is cheesy and retains the New Age stereotype aesthetic), I personally really like it. It has been a while since I have bought a CD that someone has obviously cared a lot about, the booklet is well produced and very interesting and the whole package is rather nicely designed. I imagine the Vinyl edition is lovely to hold.

Anyhow, I would highly recommend this one, for journeys, for introspection, for meditation, for sleep......But most importantly, because there are some damn fine pieces of music collected here, that should be noticed and listened to with intent, once again.
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