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.
When people walk it like they talk it you can’t go wrong giving them room to do their thing. These Aussie new-agers are the real deal and nothing like a Saturday Night Live skit. The heart they put into their mantra music is the real deal that you can tell isn’t a cash grab. Lovingly, calming music that weaves its spell around you, this is the kind of stuff to give you a welcome break from the daily stresses that pile up so clandestinely you don’t realize that a heart attack is just a few heartbeats away. This is the next best thing to being able to get away from it all…NOW!
New age keyboard ace Bernward Koch is the kind of cat that you can always give your ears and mind a nice coffee break with as his gentle works are a great place to hide away for a full album or just a track here and there. This set collects thirteen signature compositions from the tunesmith, each with its own flavor and style that still manage to hold together as a whole. Solid adult alternative listening from the musician that helped write the book on contemporary instrumental music. Well done throughout.
A new age/very lite jazz set that puts motion into motion, this impressionistic outing sonically captures various forms of motion in flight nicely. Very much the kind of music that aids mellowing out, Steiner’s music goes places other than in circles and this is music that won’t embarrass you when it bleeds out of your headphones as you walk through a thicket of hipsters. Well done throughout with extra points for inherent thought and composition.