Ashaneen takes it a step further this time out as he continues his path of taking traditional new age into the future. The electronics are all there, the soundscapes are all there, but this time you get the real feeling of them turning into actual starscapes with an undercurrent that defines the limitlessness of outer space. Clearly music for escape, (and it’s understandable wanting to escape earth’s bounds these days), but when you take this trip, you’ll know you can come back from it.
Forest Bathing is an ancient Japanese ritual of walking in the forest and bathing in the resonance nature gives off that they believe rejuvenate the body and ward off disease. This various artists collection, which stretches back to those at the birth of the label 30 plus years ago, is music for walking the in the woods and giving your mind a rest. These tracks were dandy in their original incarnations, and they work well here as a repurposed whole.
“OM” is regarded to be the first sound in the universe, and within this newest release from Sayama all the instruments here are tuned to that frequency. This is thought to be the wave length to which you need to tune your heart radio in order to “connect” with the Supreme Being. Those thoughts are too big for most of us to deal with, but since Sayama has made other healing arts records for Real Music, we’ll defer to one who can back-up their thoughts cogently and knowingly.
If you are unfamiliar with his work in the past, the title can be misleading. The Haiku Project is Danish piano man Henrik Hytteballe, who does most of the heavy lifting himself making gently rolling compositions that have a little augmentation in the background. Great music for use in healing arts or for simply relaxing to, this cat knows how to make the most of “less-is-more” and lets your mind fill in any of the white space it wants — or not. Solid stuff for the genre, enjoyable in its deceptive simplicity, this set works best when you just sit back and let it wash over you.
While yoga and surfing inspired this new age guitar man, his playing reminds me of instrumental work from Richard Thompson in his Sufi period. It was smoking stuff then and this new side to it is smoking now. You can hear the sincere hippie in Haugen’s soul as this almost sounds like waves breaking in Malibu or Marin County. High minded, sitting down guitar music without an egghead edge, this is great stuff for people looking for a much needed audio getaway. Well done.