Does everything you know about new age music come from Enya and Yanni? On October 29, Light in the Attic Records will be offering an excellent overview of some of the genre's treasures with the compilation I Am the Center: Private Issue New Age Music in America, 1950-1990.
The collection avoids big-budget commercial new age in favour of more humble, experimental treasures. An announcement explains, "New age, at its best, is a reverberation of psychedelic music, and great by any standard. This is analog, handmade music communicating soul and spirit, often done on limited means and without commercial potential, self-published and self-distributed. Before it became big business and devolved into the spaced out elevator music we know and loathe today, this was the real thing."
Among the notable inclusions here are Iasos, Brian Eno cohort Laraaji, J D Emmanuel, and Gail Laughton's "Pompeii, 76 A.D." (which was in Blade Runner). The album includes two unreleased tracks and seven previously exclusive to cassette, with the songs remastered from the original source.
The 20 songs are spread across two CDs or three LPs, with notes by producer Douglas McGowan and paintings by Gilbert Williams. The first 150 vinyl pre-orders can get a limited edition copy on clear vinyl. It's available here.
Below, listen to Laraaji's beautifully immersive "Unicorns in Paradise," which appears here in excerpted form.
I Am the Center: Private Issue New Age Music in America, 1950-1990:
1. Gurdjieff / de Hartmann - "The Struggle of The Magicians Part Three"
2. Gail Laughton - "Pompeii 76 A.D."
3. Nesta Kerin Crain - "Gongs in the Rain"
4. Wilburn Burchette - "Witch's Will"
5. Iasos - "Formentera Sunset Clouds"
6. Steven Halpern - "Seventh Chakra Keynote B (Violet)"
7. Joel Andrews - "Seraphic Borealis"
8. Constance Demby - "Om Mani Padme Hum"
9. Daniel Emmanuel - "Arabian Fantasy"
10. Don Slepian - "Awakening (excerpt)"
11. Laraaji - "Unicorns in Paradise (excerpt)"
12. Peter Davison - "Glide V"
13. Joanna Brouk - "Lifting Off"
14. Michael Stearns - "As the Earth Kissed the Moon (excerpt)"
15. Aeoliah - "Tien Fu: Heaven's Gate (excerpt)"
16. Daniel Kobialka - "Blue Spirals"
17. Larkin - "Two Souls Dance"
18. Judith Tripp - "Li Sun"
19. Mark Banning - "Lunar Eclipse (excerpt)"
20. Alice Damon - "Waterfall Winds"