Al Gromer Khan | Lalita

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Lalita

by Al Gromer Khan

Lalita - The Eternal Feminine Hymns to the Cosmic Goddess LALITA ! Refined Sitar phrases embedded in warm soundscapes with quiet hypnotic beat underlaid , leading into inner rooms , from which you can go inside . The Spirit of Yoga
Genre: New Age: Ambient
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Tears At the Paisley
2:20 $0.99
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2. On Golden Boat
4:22 $0.99
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3. Flower Child in Clearing
3:48 $0.99
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4. Ahira
2:59 $0.99
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5. All of This and More
3:24 $0.99
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6. Lalita (The Eternal Feminine)
5:08 $0.99
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7. Elvis Went to Durgapur
5:26 $0.99
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8. The Pilgrim and the Crow
4:05 $0.99
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9. Less
4:17 $0.99
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10. Lancron
2:39 $0.99
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11. Bhim Strats
3:50 $0.99
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12. Wanting Nothing
10:15 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
review written by Chris Spector - Midwest Record
AL GROMER KHAN/Lalita: When Khan first e-mailed me that his ‘paisley’ record was on the way, I was expecting some kind of hippie, dippy, trippy stuff and was interested in seeing what the old pro had up his sleeve. Spoiler alert: this isn’t some throw back to all night jams at the Fillmore. With a promo package that spells out his long time journey through Indian music and how he’s recently gone deep into the culture to divine the meaning behind the message, the whole thing becomes a wild adventure. Actually a spiritual music set, don’t come around here if you’re looking for the Beau Brummell’s wearing Nehru jackets. Atmospherically ambient and mind blowing at the same time this is what they must have really been talking about back in the day when they said you needed music to feed your head. Wild stuff without any groovy trappings. Check it out.

LALITA by Gromer Khan Review
Written by Steve Sheppard

Lalita is the latest work from the master musician Al Gromer Khan, here he takes us back to his memories of Paisley, clothing and otherwise, the energies of the hippie movement and a blissful state of trance through music, that opens up pathways to altered states of musical reality, all can be found here and more.
I have always been moved by the sheer creative ambience that Gromer Khan creates with his music and the musician is at it again, gifting us a track of mystic proportions on a piece called Tears of Paisley, the beat is smooth and sensual, the Sitar of course is as usual, the pen with which Gromer Khan creates this stunning illustrative musical narrative.
The hand claps on track two add a level of musical cleverness to the piece; it’s called On Golden Boat. The production quality of this track and the whole album is amazing, there is a great depth in the sound, almost like a moving wall of musical imagery, and the deep percussive beat, creates a heartbeat to the composition that has a modern progressive flow to it.
The beauty in a name of a title can sometimes project an energy of perception and on the track Flower Child in the Clearing, we have here a rare moment of a song so descriptive and trance like, it’s a joy to listen to, I was just slightly too young to really sample the era of the hippie, but Gromer Khan sums it up perfectly in this song, his lyrics and the sensitive female replies here, create a real golden summer day revisited in the haze of the 60’s.
Ahira is up next dear reader, another sumptuous stereophonic trance like moment of true peace in music, listen to the delicacy of this pretty composition, feel the very sense of gentleness as the electronic waves of sound; calmly pull you back and forth.
We all have moments, that we can relate to a certain piece of music to, this happened to me whilst bathing in the tones of the piece called, All of this and More. The hazy day had begun to wane, birds had just started to make their way home on the wing, evenings cloak of warm love started to surround the horizon and I sat in the realm of this track and enjoyed it in the same way that I enjoyed Eno’s Arc of Doves, many years ago, this is a composition so very well performed and composed, I would call it sublime genius.
There is much that Al Gromer Khan says about Lalita and about its conception, which in retrospect is a rather good word to use, but please visit the artist’s website, www.algromerkhan.com and allow the master artist to explain further. On this piece called Lalita – The Eternal Feminine, we have a track that I would consider to be an almost dark ambient composition, one that creates a real sense of mystery and imagination for us the listeners, the deep level of electronic wizardry here is quite stunning and the Sitar so passionately played by Gromer Khan, that it creates with ease some of his finest work to date.
As you will now know dear reader, Al Gromer Khan is not one to shy away from a song titles description and with the intriguingly named, Elvis went to Durgapur, we have a deceptive composition that doesn’t rock, but rolls with such ecstasy, there is a little of Monsoon Point here, an earlier work of Gromer Khans that I am still in love with, the soft, but mesmerising tones are complemented by the vocalisations that create for me an added ethereal dimension to the composition, this in a word is, supreme.
We have now travelled deep into the inner sanctum of Al Gromer Khan’s latest release, Lolita. At this point you dear reader will come across an arrangement called the Pilgrim and the Crow, I am in awe of the originality of these exquisite pieces, the moving build and progression on this piece is undeniably deep and abstract, the electronic effects here are quite spell binding, making this track a must listen again too piece, the subtleties of Al Gromer Khan, the composer, is one of true sensitive brilliance.
As a writer I found, Less perfect, I shall use this piece among others to help me to construct work, I need ambience and inspiration, but sometimes I need Less, that is a slightly tenuous link to the name of the next track of the same name, but Less the track, gives me and you that short moment on the beach of nowhere, to compose ourselves, or just float on the waves of intent for a few short moments, before moving on again.
Moving on and into a composition called, Lancron, deep male vocals usher us into this dimension, a realm of trance and dance, of subtle percussive beats, of resonating harmonies. This is a short form arrangement that will lift the spirits and allow you dear listener, to enjoy a moment reverie.
So now we move onwards to our last but one piece, called Bhim Strats. Here Gromer Khan manifests an almost metronomic styled composition that almost seems to move in and out of time at certain segments. This is a brilliantly composed piece, which has been created with reverence and love.
We finish Lalita with the final track, Wanting Nothing. Dear Reader you now have a gift of ultra-happiness, because you have 10 minutes of utter ambience to delve into and submerge your physical state into a place of atmospheric heaven. Here is a composition of keyboards and electronica, so filled with peace and harmony it will leave you in an oasis of calmness and tranquillity and you can’t get better than that.
Lalita is inspirational, through this piece you are seeing the work of a true musical muse in operation and as such I recommend this album whole heartedly to anyone who likes real music created with heart, peace and love.
Rating: ***** Excellent

My review of "Lalita" CD by Al Gromer Khan

German virtuoso instrumentalist, sitarist and composer Al Gromer Khan has released during the middle of March 2015 through Rasa Music his newest album entitled "Lalita", focusing on The Eternal Feminine and its significance in music. 4-panel digipak nicely displays this theme with its rather plain cover design.

Shorter intro, "Tears At The Paisley", with its hauntingly infectious laid-back rhythm immediately sets the atmosphere, which is meticulously magnified by Al's narration and sitar subtleties counterpointed with ambiguous female choirs. The next piece, "On Golden Boat", keeps on the tranquilizing path, where gentle rhythms are bridged with voice fragments, chants, clapping sounds and sitar traceries. Uniquely scented and seductively nuanced!!! "Flower Child In Clearing" attracts by Al's expressively embracing lyricism (featuring words from the poem "Wake" by Timothy Allen) diverged with responding fragile female voice and distant chants of, I believe, Ute Gromer. Additional spectacle of sitar, guitar and piano patterns coalesces with fluttering beats. "Ahira" excels in stringed curlicue delicacy occasionally amalgamated with Al's voice and Ute's chant. A truly peculiar listening experience!!! "All Of This And More" swiftly fills the air with graceful soothingness, where misty monochromatic reverberations hang above strikingly splendorous piano nostalgia. The magic continues with the title composition, "Lalita-The Eternal Feminine", which masterfully blends richly fragranced sitar bravura with rhythmic delicacies at a leisurely pace. The next composition, "Elvis Went To Durgapur", is as much challenging as its title. Exceptionally enveloping serenity at the beginning transports the listener into an aural paradise of exquisite elegance, later fastidiously augmented by orientally scented vocal/chant magnificence. Deeply contemplative travelogue awaits here!!! A Hall of Fame composition!!! "The Pilgrim And The Crow" is another strongly unique, slow paced piece conjugating bizarre drifts and effects, sitar, tabla and string expressions with chants and voice fractions. "Less" dives into more enigmatic terrains, where isolated drone mindscapes ride atop acoustic contemplativeness, ranging from piercing through ear-tickling to balmy. "Lancron" is brief, but richly traversing escapade, where quieter, meditative passages contrast with eccentrically emerging lively arrangements. "Bhim Strats" attracts with an array of luminously warm sounds painting a truly mesmerizing circles temporarily enhanced by Al's chants. "Wanting Nothing", with 10-plus minutes length by far the longest piece, unveils with remote static drone safely guarding above occasional piano subtlety crossed with warmly cascading cinematic washes and puncturing sitar swells. Sublimely expansive and amorphously immersing, yet astonishingly fragmented finale!!!

Al Gromer Khan with his guests, which include except already mentioned Al's wife Ute, also Peter Maunu (guitar noises), Suman Sarkar (tabla) and Emin Corrado (sound treatment), delivers on "Lalita" a truly exceptional piece of music showcasing intricate instrumentation with some of the most unique scents. Sure, as a listener, you need to be fully devoted to these, beyond the ordinary explorations, but as soon you discover these long lasting perfumes, just follow them, because these truly enthralling soundworlds reveal all the magic. And as always they are complemented with spirit, dedication, refinement and exquisiteness!!!

Richard Gürtler (May 01, 2015, Bratislava, Slovakia)

Lalita - The Paisley Music of Al Gromer Khan

When I first became aware of the happiness that occurs when listening to music I started my search. Blindly at first, consciously and more systematically later. I had always been looking for the trance-state. It has taken me thirty or more years to get behind it, this hermetic trance music. Through this process I found what was known in India for many thousand years: the Bhava state - and that God is a woman. And that She has been around since time immemorial, and that signifiers of Her magnificence can be found in music.

The Paisley figure is shaped like a womb, and like a tear. Vilayat Khan showed me the power of the feminine aspect in music, and how it can take you inward, to secret places. His melodic and refined sitar alaapas were shaped like a tear. And how could it be otherwise: after a few minutes of him having started his music, tears would to come to my eyes. The Paisley pattern is a textile design that originates in Kashmir, India. Well, it doesn´t really originate there - actually it comes from Persia and was called Boteh, for the Mughals were ardent worshippers of Persian culture. It was them who brought it to India.

Even though I have practiced Indian music for some decades now, my interest in Indian culture is not of the general type. There are many aspects of Indian culture that are irrelevant to me, like Ravi Shankar and the self-assertive ways he represents. Like I said, it was Vilayat Khan who touched the nerve – an acupuncture spot as it were, when I was twenty. He reared within me the idea that one should create something of beauty in whatever situation one finds oneself in. I found this to be of significance. Whichever situation Vilayat found himself in during his improvisations, he would find something of heart-aching beauty there – The Venus Principle.

An why is Paisley Music ambient music?, and a hermetic trance music? As teenagers we wanted to save the world. We were hippies and we wore Paisley shirts and scarves. And we soon found that for changing the world you´ve got to start at home. Design your astrological Fourth House, your habitat, congenial to your ideals, society will follow. (You can change circumstances if you want to, start a revolution if you´re so inclined – and if you don´t mind if things turn into their opposites, or that they are ten times worse afterwards.) And even though Ute and myself consider ourselves to be of a future tribe, we connect with hippie period, and certain other Paisley periods of the past - a specific type of nostalgia. For instance when bankers and lawyers still wore silk Paisley bow ties and still did their job well, provided a service and got paid for it instead of sucking society dry in an inhuman and power-crazy manner as they do today.

In fashion Paisley kept coming and going since the 19th century when Queen Victoria, a fairly simple woman, thought how brilliant it would call herself Empress of India. Yes, a sense of nostalgia is always there in Paisley music; it recalls times when things were slow and refinement and complexity made themselves apparent if you´d contemplated it for a time. For example it has taken more than forty years to get my sitar to actually talking to me – and now she is talking, in a clear but subtle voice. And the voice is that of a woman or a young girl. It sort of changes - but it is always female.

At this time of change, from the age of devotion to that of emancipation, rebellion – and systems instead of belief systems, most phenomena in society and art have become male dominated, with all types of competitive self-assertion in the outer world. Go and get it! You can do it! Realize your goals, coaching, marketing. This is when religion turns into its opposite. Today´s masculine manifestations correspond with the Age of Aquarius: male or/and androgynous and rebellious, in contrast to the Age of Pisces, the one we have left behind. The basic motivation of the latter was devotion: a filigree postcard, a sentimental projection of The Divine. And that, too, is Her will.

By the way, and let it be known, that I am a passionate advocate for equal pay and opportunity for women.

Even yoga and Buddhism, originally disciplines of keeping still and shutting the fuck up have now become means of self-assertion and jumping about: We got to go forward! (No you don´t). Yes we can! (No you can´t). Even “feminism” has turned out to be a male and over-achieving extroverted pursuit, albeit with a female mask. Women aspired freedom, fought and bashed men for that freedom … and became like men. And those who want to see society divided for their own purposes looked on in secret satisfaction when families were destroyed. Men AND women are now paying taxes, instead of only the men.

Her supreme illusion – from Lalita to Nabokov´s Lolita to the ancient wise witch with her toothless laugher. Consider this: you can achieve only that which you can imagine, and that which you can imagine will most certainly be Her divine will … and Her divine illusion. So much for freedom.

In my art I succumb to the feminine almost totally, in letting Her make all decisions. That means a minimum of structure, as not to hinder Her influence. It also points towards an emotional approach rather than a rational plan. Technically speaking I follow the overtones from layers of sound, and let them – plus certain deja-vus and subtle reminiscences – decide upon all the rest, like structure and harmony. And by tracing overtones, certain things become manifest. Things I could never have thought of, or achieved, by willpower. No way. Sometimes She puts an extra beat in, or an extra note, one that disturbs the pre-conceived idea of structured harmony or rhythm: a mistake, one could say. But I keep it; after all, this is art, and only She owns the natural monopoly for perfection. She loves rhythms based on three or six beat cycles, but she is only truly happy when she is united with Her lover, who loves rhythms of four and eight beat cycles . The Two become One, four beats get layered with 3, and the dance becomes blissful and African. And have you noticed how most African music is based on a beat that intertwines three and four beats? It makes the rhythm hover and float, charging itself energetically, instead of wearing you down.

Everything that is manifest in the universe is controlled by the Great Goddess. For anyone who ventures out, going after a set goal, it is Her who decides the outcome. Only those worship Her whom She allows to worship Her. And there is only one sin that She doesn´t forgive: trying to rival with Her. And there is nothing worse than Her wrath, once unleashed. Sometimes I return to melodic places in the past, places where the heart once opened, and then I make new yogurt from leftovers. No matter, I never wanted – or could – control the muse. I never actually “made” music – always found music. I never wanted to “study” music at university – it seemed sinful to raise Her veil.

Certain tape worm compositions like “After The Crash”, “The Paisley Handicap”, or “The Ahir Ornaments” came to me about 20 years ago. Still haven´t the faintest where they had come from. I simply took what She had kept available for me. This always turned out better than anything one could dream up or construct. To me, anyway. So I simply set the stage for Her. Merely tried to empty the room, polish the floor. For Her to find accommodation. Bowing to Her wishes, singing paeans to Her praise, one could make manifest Her deceptively and iridescently changing ways.

And how the darkness makes light precious – and how down rather than up can be beautiful! And The Night. And keeping The Secret. Worshipping the void, not that which surrounds it. From “Cunt” all life comes, and all life returns to it. “Cunt” stems from Kunda. Kundalini - The Serpent Power. From Cunti, the Oriental Great Goddess. She suggests. She hides and seduces. She hints. But She remains forever behind the veil. Ah, but Testosterone wants to and will always end up worshipping that which surrounds it, instead of The Hole; that is its folly. The Great Principle means that Her Emptiness is held in high esteem. But today I am writing about The Hole, not the flesh! This is about the tea, not the cup. And even though the cup and the tea cohabit the closest proximity, the cup cannot know the tea. Haven´t we seen enough flesh, enough beautiful cups? Unless these hold the life-giving content, how can the soul survive? Haven´t we seen enough technical perfection and virtuosity, enough artists crafting ornaments? Ah, but once these stop serving a higher purpose, all is lost.

With the emphasis on melody, and trying to bring refinement to that melody – as Vilayat Khan did – I purposely operate at the cutting edge of ambient and song. Melodic fragments are meant to raise a certain amount of youthful excitement. But I also want to provide the ambience, the resting space, before and after melody. It is a good thing that by the means of electronic devices one can now mould and shape “dirty” sound samples in order to create a specific set of overtones into which to set Paisley-shaped sitar phrases.

Even though I have studied and practiced Indian classical music for over 40 years and give concerts of classical music, I always aimed at a way out of the hermetic universe of Indian classical music. How to lead Indian classical music into an abstraction, into a universal field? I always wanted a subtle contemporary style, away from the brainless “tour de force” display (as Stephen Hill once called it) of virtuosity that much sitar music has become today. “He is the best sitar player now, he can play this Jhalla three times faster!” Indian sitar music with its technical perfection, speed, and vain display of showmanship has now become an outward symbol of the schizophrenia and the inferiority complex that Indian culture is going through. I always wanted to tell a story on my sitar, wanted to tell my story, not that of some Indian master musicians from the 19th century. Mine was a story of church bells in the distance, about honest upright folk tunes that contain the secret formula, the subtle refinement. I wanted to tell about telegraph wires singing in deep winter. In this respect Paisley music became a type of distilled world music, one where tonal spectral colours linger in corners of rooms (preferably from speakers, not head phones). But let there be no mistake: this is contemplative music, music for meditation, not entertainment. Entertainment is for the very young. Sound is for the mature soul.

When I spoke of “Music for Meditation” I never meant that listeners should meditate while listening. Meditation is exercise, practice, work, not leisure. And Yoga is yoke, and until you bear the yoke for a time, only then you may enjoy the union. And music is music is music. And music with a feminine motivation at the core seduces and lures one in to a place of euphoria. If it doesn´t, well, then you´ll just have to come back another time, or perhaps it is not for you. The Soul isn´t dead, it just ran and hid from the noisy, the cold and technical world - imagined and ruled by eight to twelve year old boys that have closed in on us. The task was to preserve remnants from the age of devotion. No, not to keep them in a museum, but to make them available for those who are born with a notch up in terms of sensitive, to provide solace for them. I always wanted to design rooms. Spaces you could enter, to feel calm and reflect in – and from there go inward.

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Reviews


to write a review

Richard Gurtler

Enthralling soundworlds reveal all the magic!!!
German virtuoso instrumentalist, sitarist and composer Al Gromer Khan has released during the middle of March 2015 through Rasa Music his newest album entitled "Lalita", focusing on The Eternal Feminine and its significance in music. 4-panel digipak nicely displays this theme with its rather plain cover design.

Shorter intro, "Tears At The Paisley", with its hauntingly infectious laid-back rhythm immediately sets the atmosphere, which is meticulously magnified by Al's narration and sitar subtleties counterpointed with ambiguous female choirs. The next piece, "On Golden Boat", keeps on the tranquilizing path, where gentle rhythms are bridged with voice fragments, chants, clapping sounds and sitar traceries. Uniquely scented and seductively nuanced!!! "Flower Child In Clearing" attracts by Al's expressively embracing lyricism (featuring words from the poem "Wake" by Timothy Allen) diverged with responding fragile female voice and distant chants of, I believe, Ute Gromer. Additional spectacle of sitar, guitar and piano patterns coalesces with fluttering beats. "Ahira" excels in stringed curlicue delicacy occasionally amalgamated with Al's voice and Ute's chant. A truly peculiar listening experience!!! "All Of This And More" swiftly fills the air with graceful soothingness, where misty monochromatic reverberations hang above strikingly splendorous piano nostalgia. The magic continues with the title composition, "Lalita-The Eternal Feminine", which masterfully blends richly fragranced sitar bravura with rhythmic delicacies at a leisurely pace. The next composition, "Elvis Went To Durgapur", is as much challenging as its title. Exceptionally enveloping serenity at the beginning transports the listener into an aural paradise of exquisite elegance, later fastidiously augmented by orientally scented vocal/chant magnificence. Deeply contemplative travelogue awaits here!!! A Hall of Fame composition!!! "The Pilgrim And The Crow" is another strongly unique, slow paced piece conjugating bizarre drifts and effects, sitar, tabla and string expressions with chants and voice fractions. "Less" dives into more enigmatic terrains, where isolated drone mindscapes ride atop acoustic contemplativeness, ranging from piercing through ear-tickling to balmy. "Lancron" is brief, but richly traversing escapade, where quieter, meditative passages contrast with eccentrically emerging lively arrangements. "Bhim Strats" attracts with an array of luminously warm sounds painting a truly mesmerizing circles temporarily enhanced by Al's chants. "Wanting Nothing", with 10-plus minutes length by far the longest piece, unveils with remote static drone safely guarding above occasional piano subtlety crossed with warmly cascading cinematic washes and puncturing sitar swells. Sublimely expansive and amorphously immersing, yet astonishingly fragmented finale!!!

Al Gromer Khan with his guests, which include except already mentioned Al's wife Ute, also Peter Maunu (guitar noises), Suman Sarkar (tabla) and Emin Corrado (sound treatment), delivers on "Lalita" a truly exceptional piece of music showcasing intricate instrumentation with some of the most unique scents. Sure, as a listener, you need to be fully devoted to these, beyond the ordinary explorations, but as soon you discover these long lasting perfumes, just follow them, because these truly enthralling soundworlds reveal all the magic. And as always they are complemented with spirit, dedication, refinement and exquisiteness!!!

Richard Gürtler (May 01, 2015, Bratislava, Slovakia)
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One World Music

The quality production on the album is amazing, as always.
Lalita is the latest work from the master musician Al Gromer Khan, here he takes us back to his memories of Paisley, clothing and otherwise, the energies of the hippie movement and a blissful state of trance through music, that opens up pathways to altered states of musical reality, all can be found here and more. The quality production on the album is amazing, as always.
I have always been moved by the sheer creative ambience that Gromer Khan creates with his music and the musician is at it again, gifting us a track of mystic proportions on a piece called Tears of Paisley, with its smooth and sensual beat.
On Golden Boat the added hand claps add that a spark of musical cleverness; there is great depth with a deep percussive beat that creates a heartbeat to the composition.
Flower Child in the Clearing, brings us a song so descriptive and trance like, it’s a joy to listen to, his lyrics and the sensitive female replies here, create a real golden summer day revisited in the haze of the 60’s.
Ahira brings us a moment of true peace in music, listen to the delicacy of this pretty composition, feel the very sense of gentleness as the electronic waves of sound calmly pull you back and forth.
All of this and More is up next, this is a composition so very well performed and composed, I would call it sublime genius.
Lalita – The Eternal Feminine, brings us a track that is an almost dark ambient composition, it creates a real sense of mystery and imagination for us, that it creates with ease some of Gromer Khan’s finest work to date.
Elvis went to Durgapur brings us a deceptive composition that doesn’t rock, but rolls with ecstasy, the soft but mesmerising tones are complemented by the vocalisations that create an added ethereal dimension to the composition, this in a word is, supreme.
We now come across an arrangement called the Pilgrim and the Crow, the moving build and progression on this piece is undeniably deep and abstract, the electronic effects here are quite spell binding, making this track a must listen again too piece.
Less gives you that short moment on the beach of nowhere, to compose ourselves, or just float on the waves of intent for a few short moments, before moving on again.
Lancron is a short form arrangement that will lift the spirits and allow you to enjoy a moment of reverie.
The last but one piece is called Bhim Strats, this is a brilliantly composed piece, which has been created with reverence and love.
We finish with Wanting Nothing, 10 minutes of utter ambience to delve into and submerge your physical state into a place of atmospheric heaven. The music is filled with peace and harmony, leaving you in an oasis of calmness and tranquillity.
Lalita is inspirational, through this piece you are seeing the work of a true musical muse in operation and as such I recommend this album whole heartedly to anyone who likes real music created with heart, peace and love.
Read more...