Al Gromer Khan | Chakra Noir

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Chakra Noir

by Al Gromer Khan

Genre: New Age: Ambient
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. A Simple World with Flowers
5:16 $0.99
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2. Degrees of Tenderness
4:30 $0.99
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3. Shedding Light
5:55 $0.99
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4. Chakra Noir
5:25 $0.99
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5. A Summer Tale
5:31 $0.99
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6. Adya Shakti
3:04 $0.99
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7. Tan & Maroon
5:16 $0.99
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8. IM NU
5:32 $0.99
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9. The Train and the Crow
3:47 $0.99
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10. Rose of All My Days
4:03 $0.99
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11. The King's Companion
5:44 $0.99
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12. Into Blue
6:40 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
The music on CHAKRA NOIR is a follow-up of the album ‘LALITA’.
Refined Sitar phrases embedded in warm soundscapes underlaid with quiet hypnotic beat, leading into inner rooms , from which you can go inside .

Notes and REVIEWS by Chris Spector Midwest Record and Author Hypnagogue

After working on it for seven months, of composing, experimenting, playing, and mixing CHAKRA NOIR (twelve tracks) is released.
CHAKRA NOIR operates on the cutting edge of song and ambient. When I say ´song´ I mean quotes and fragments of melody. These, together with spectral audio colours, create essential structures.
When I say ´ambient´ I mean a music that enhances silence, not blankets it. And even though CHAKRA NOIR contains song-like pieces, these are abstract musical forms and not pop songs. And by their condensed nature will have a specific effect on the listener.Those with ears will hear.

Review by Chris Spector – Midwest Record 30th April 2016
RASA
AL GROMER KHAN/Chakra Noir: The relentlessly interesting Khan does not make ragas and meditation music appropriate for your dentist's office. He's more like a Hemingway working with strings instead of a typewriter crafting dense, multi layered sonic vignettes that jostle, provoke and create an environment where something pulling you forward keeps leading you on. Assured music aimed directly at the center of your mind, this is what you listen to if your commitment to self awareness goes deeper than buying a new pair of yoga pants. Well done.


https://hypnagogue.net/2016/10/05/al-gromer-khan-chakra-noir/

Author: Hypnagogue
Al Gromer Khan, Chakra Noir
October 5, 2016 Hypnagogue

I can always count on Al Gromer Khan to provide me with slinky, sultry, Middle Eastern-inspired grooves, and I get plenty of them, along with nice touches of jazz and more, on the excellent release Chakra Noir. There’s a great variety of styles at play here, all based around Khan’s signature sitar, keeping the album fresh and interesting the whole way through. We open in the dreamy, mystic space of “A Simple World with Flowers,” with smoky chants, light piano, and an ending that fades to wisps. Then Khan surprises us with that light jazz flair on “Degrees of Tenderness.” Listen to the shush of brushed drums, the rolling voice of the keys, and the slack-and-slide tone of the sitar. It has a definite small-combo feel, plus you get some chirping accent sounds that are either field recordings or a neat trick on strings. (Either way, nice touch.) The jazz vibe comes in again on “A Summer Tale,” mostly through the shuffle and snap of the drums. Again, Khan slows the pace down, keeps things quiet, and sets you gently rocking to his groove. “Rose of All My Days” adds a laid-back and turned-down beat to long pads and more of the gorgeous voice of the sitar for one of the most enveloping tracks on the album. The long pauses between sitar phrasings feels contemplative, like Khan is considering and formulating his next moment before playing. “Adya Shakti” moves into a folk-music space, leading with acoustic guitar over a very quiet backdrop. The sitar feels in spots like a slide guitar, a soulful tone drawn from the strings. It’s a short piece, but very engaging. “IM NU” sounds like Khan went for a walk with Enya to talk about music. Built around a clipped vocal sample and slowly paced chords, this is an ear-tickler of a track with an undeniable hook. It mostly loops back around on itself, with new elements laced in here and there. I like the track a lot, but feel like it could have been shorter for what it has to say.

Chakra Noir is the third release I’ve reviewed from Al Gromer Khan (his back catalog is impressively deep) and each new step has gotten better and better. This is a confident, relaxing, and firmly engaging album that bends the artist’s signature core around differing styles and makes them all work. Each new tune has something fresh to offer while staying true to the spirit of the music overall. The spidery lines of Khan’s beloved Eastern music always make it feel sensual and mysterious, but he’s ready to play with the sound and bring it into other schools of thought. That alone makes his music worth listening to. You think it will be one thing, because you see a sitar, and then Khan skillfully guides you elsewhere—and you quite gladly follow along. It’s been suggested by other reviewers that this album may represent Khan at his absolute best. I find it hard to disagree, and strongly suggest you take this trip. A superb release from a masterful artist.

Available from CD Baby.


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Reviews


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Steve Sheppard, 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.
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Serge Kozlovsky / http://sergekozlovsky.com

Writings by Serge Kozlovsky
The only music is worth to hear,
That enhances silence

What is the “Chakra Noir” album about? It is really difficult to answer this seemingly simple question. These compositions are abstract musical structures that capture your soul and guide your mind to start an exciting journey toward the silence.

The “silence” is the first key word for this album. It stands behind the music, it envelops you and shows you a path to the unknown. This trip is not safe and many dangers may be waiting for you, but if you have some courage, you can afford this experience and you won’t be disappointed because the inexpressible beauty awaits you on the path.

The “beauty” is the second key word for the album “Chakra Noir”. It is hidden in the music of Al Gromer Khan who is one of the most significant musical magicians of our present world. And I used these words not by accident because his music has the special handwriting.

The “awakening” is the third key word of the newest album of Al Gromer Khan. You listen to these ambient musical structures. You feel as the silence little by little overfills you and you suddenly find yourself in the very center of your inner being. And you realize your most innermost dreams.

I’d like to return to musical features of the album “Chakra Noir” for a while. The strong flavor of eastern music is felt in the compositions of the album. Sitar solos of the artist are like the strings of the soul. Besides, the music Al Gromer Khan is filled by numerous subtle nuances and you have to listen to this album attentively. And one wants to repeat it time and again - an inexpressible beauty contained in every note of this music. So, the sound design of the newest album of Al Gromer Khan is truly perfect.

“Chakra Noir” is one of the most beautiful albums which I’ve listened to for the past time. And it is one of the most unusual albums. You cannot confuse the unique style of Al Gromer Khan with anybody else.

“Chakra Noir” is the work of a mature master who knows what to say to his listeners. If you want to wake up your mind, the album “Chakra Noir” you must have in your musical library.

But maybe most important thing is – listen to this music, drift with it and let your mind and soul be opened for this endless world. The infinity is waiting for you. It has been waiting for you for a very long time in this world…
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Candice Michelle

Review from JourneyscapesRadio.com
Al Gromer Khan is German-born author, sitar player and award-winning composer who’s released a number of albums over the years, which span ambient, electronica and world fusion styles of music. Released on the Rasa Music label, “Chakra Noir” is essentially an ambient recording comprised of twelve compositions, which incorporate both Indian sitar and exotic percussion, as these elements are woven among intriguing electronic textures to create an overall freeform soundscape of understated elegance.

“A Simple World with Flowers” opens with muted and swathing percussion, as gentle sitar notes float among a metamorphosing and minimal soundscape of earthily warm layers, breezy “ahhs” and subtle textures. Setting the mood for the rest of the album, the compositions possess a characteristically ‘low-fi’ nature, which lend themselves to understated melodies of gently evolving aural patterns. Continuing in this mode is “Degrees of Tenderness”, as it moves into drier territory with its twangy sitar, whistling effects and swishing beat that seem to collectively imbue the piece with a desert-like atmosphere. “Shedding Light” follows next with its muted rhythms, spacious notes and gently repeating guitar loop amidst beguiling suspended chords. One of my favorite pieces on the album, it perfectly exemplifies the often haunting and versatile backdrops that easily lend themselves to any number of visual and environmental interpretations. The title track, “Chakra Noir”, is another strong highlight that includes both sitar and female vocal snippets over a clicking, muffled beat. Here, delicate sparkling timbres provide a hazy ethereal quality to a composition that seems to move throughout the dimly-lit halls of some mysterious chamber. “Rose of All My Days” is another enchanting piece defined by shadowy tonal mists and an understated rhythm, which eventually concludes with gentle and dreamy sitar.

Perhaps what makes “Chakra Noir” most curiously appealing is the album’s oddly-timed melodic and rhythmic signatures. Al Gromer Khan seems to have taken a rather improvisational approach in crafting these compositions, generally forgoing overtly predictable melodies in favor of more fluid and subtle sound structures. Vaporous tones evolve into variably ambiguous forms throughout their echoing passages, which can perhaps be best likened to that of watching passing clouds as they morph with continuity into variously familiar shapes. Especially well-suited for late-night listening, “Chakra Noir” is an alluring and innovative album that will likely find most appeal among fans of ambient and minimal music as well as experimental world fusion!
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Richard Gurtler

Electro-acoustic brilliance melts with awe-inspiring invention!!!
"Chakra Noir", the newest album by iconic German instrumentalist, sitarist and composer Al Gromer Khan is out since April 2016 on his Rasa Music label. Again packaged in rather simple, but elegant 4-panel digipak. After deep sonic meditations on "Day Of The Beloved", released at the beginning of 2016, the Maestro shifts his filigree soundsculpting into mesmerizingly illuminating and exceptionally textured transcultural sonic paradise. Enter these nectarous realms now!!!

5-minute "A Simple World With Flowers" reveals with ethereal chants of, I believe Al's wife Ute, supported by laid-back percussive downtempos, serpentine drones and sitar piquancy. A truly ear-tickling potpourri awaits here, which gorgeously interacts with its title. The next composition, "Degrees Of Tenderness", embodies placid, balmily enveloping jazzy influenced patterns with pellucid strings of sitar. Chirping subtleties along with intangible glimpses of bells paint contemplative images, then clandestinely metamorphosing into calmly evanescing monochromatic drone horizons. "Shedding Light" shifts into subtly enigmatic expanses, soothingly nuanced and guarded by elusive choirs, and reinforced by stringed poetic lyricism. The title track, "Chakra Noir", clocks to 5 and a half minutes, actually most of the compositions are hanging around 5 minutes in length. Mysterious zones are permeated by Ute's voice fragments, glistening rumbles, sitar curlicues, titillating chimes and ephemeral choirs. Pristine, crystalline, minimal, yet richly scented. "A Summer Tale" delves into more drifting sceneries counterpointed with translucently tantalizing sitar. Celestial choir-like washes and leisure, jazz-driven tempos sneak in as well. "Adya Shakti", with 3 minutes the shortest piece on "Chakra Noir", immediately attracts with gorgeously poignant acoustic guitar, meticulously embraced by gossamery halcyon zones and pervaded by expressive sitar transiency. Encircling beauty!!! "Tan & Maroon" keeps on evocative path, melting variety of strings like acoustic guitar, sitar, cello or viola..., ranging from enchantingly warm to sinuously weeping, with hypnotically sculpted percussive beats, temporary bell diaphanousness and glancing piano solitudes. Another sonic splendor!!! "Im Nu" blends masterfully assortment of heavenly choirs and voice fragments with intricately helixing undulations and mellowly insistent melodic patterns. Exquisitely ambrosial composition!!! "The Train And The Crow" returns to flamboyantly colored terrains, where thrillingly crafted and distinctively fragranced instrumentation, perfectly evoking an adventurous railway journey, cleverly melts with western-influenced ambient soundscaping. An utterly gorgeous piece, where South Asian perfumes spectacularly bridge with the Wild West magic of abandoned ghost towns. Wow, this was a truly unexpected sonic exploration!!! "Rose Of All My Days", as displayed by its title, remains in calmer, poetic territories, where occasional spicy sitar tapestries coalesce with captivatingly immersing laid-backness and airy cinematic blankets. Eloquent violin announces "The King's Companion", gentle strings emerge as well along with piano glimpses. Scenic passages inconspicuously awake too and commingle with beautifully tearful bowed strings, sensuous sitar embellishments and rattling traceries. Transmuting, cascading, meandering, drifting... "Into Blue", with 6:38 the longest piece on the album, closes this strikingly magnificent ride with euphorically colored texture, which moves surreptitiously through different twists and nuances, always fascinatingly perfumed with sitar, tabla or harmonica passages, and sporadic whispers, no matter if exotic or again with strikingly distinguishing infusion of the Southwestern heat haze. A virtuoso conclusion!!!

61-minute "Chakra Noir" is utterly extraordinary recording by Al Gromer Khan, showcasing on one side his traditional insignias with long lasting perfumes, but this time stirringly amalgamated with strikingly unique and blazingly imaginative arrangements shifting this album into a brand new level, where electro-acoustic brilliance melts with awe-inspiring invention. I believe this is another huge achievement in Al Gromer Khan's stellar musical career that spans five decades. A truly special listening adventure awaits when exploring "Chakra Noir", don't miss it!!!

Richard Gürtler (Aug 07, 2016, Bratislava, Slovakia)
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