In 'Far Go' an ambience is being created. It is the music you know – however here it takes place in a destilled form, on another plane. In order for the moods to remain contemplative and to avoid for them to become mere sentimental projections, a veiled language is being used. Slow pieces where structure is sparse, lead into the timeless zone: the Breathing out Principle. With the sustained note FAR GO dwells in spaces and reminiscences, and at the same time carries them forward to a music of the future. More aspects of this album may appear futuristic rather than traditional – beauty beats tradition anytime anyway. The aim is not to enforce upon the listener so much pre-fixed structure, rather allow him to spend some time in exquisitely comfortable rooms: the “Palate Cleansing Effect”, as Brian Eno puts it. As with perfume, the effect increases with the reduced application – therefore ambient music works best at low volume.
AGK Winter 2013
Chris Spector - MIDWEST RECORD:
AL GROMER KHAN/Far Go: Anybody that's recently, reluctantly been forced to add stretching and breathing exercises to their daily chore list will immediately be glad to hear the latest pioneering work by new age pioneer Khan as he takes ambient to new levels of the game (something you probably didn't think possible) and moves healing music to different realms. As any newbie to stretching and breathing exercise that gets flummoxed by how much harder it is than it looks to get it right (yeah, I know, doing something is better than not doing anything at all), this low key, low impact musical crutch is just what you need to make it go better. Sure, it's no replacement for anyone that likes EDM, but you can bet if a big enough check comes around, you'll hear this sped up, chopped and channeled into the next Deadmau5 wannabe mix. For now, go with the flow, especially if this is something you need, it‘s on the new age/ambient money throughout..
Review RJ Lanan: The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
If ever there was an album of cross genre music, then Al Gromer Khan's latest offering, Far Go, is it. He takes ethnic and electronic elements and blends them into a world fusion-spiced-with-jazz recording that is difficult to describe, but I'll give it a try. He suggests that you listen to the music indirectly, while doing something else and just let the it soak in at a subliminal level. Not possible for a reviewer. We take on a more direct ear approach. Al Gromer Khan was born in Germany, but his wanderings took him to India where he discovered the magic of the sitar. Khan is a child of the sixties and as experimentation was our anthem, he explored the many possibilities of the music world. Eventually, he found the right combination of ethnic, electronic, and ambient music for which he is now famous.
I knew this would be an extraordinary recording just by listening to the first cut, Jasmine Blossom Day. If there is one thing they know about in India, it is how to celebrate. More than a billion people cannot be wrong. The tune starts off mildly, almost like space music, but the sitar brings in down to earth and the sense of floatation begins, a phenomena that is prevalent on many of the tracks.
Ethereal voice and shimmering sitar pay tribute to the Master of the Sitar on the track Procession for Valayat Khan. There is a surprisingly strong electronic background drone on the tune. Valayat Khan was born into a family of sitar masters that can trace their roots to the 16th century. Al Gromer Khan’s homage is masterful in that it brings together two worlds that could not be any more different; the ancient world of the sitar and the present world of the ambient instrument, the synthesizer. Somehow it just works.
If you were traveling from west to east in Europe during the last millennium, your journey would take you through Byzantium or Constantinople. There you would find a stronghold of walls that encompassed untold beauty, architecture and wealth of knowledge. In a song that is longer than eight minutes, we get to travel to that wonder and float above the city and see all that and more to the delight of the senses. This is one of my many favorites on the album. I replayed it many times.
A Strange Kind of Peace is a re-release from a previous album, but it is my first time hearing it and I was enthralled throughout the piece. It is a simple tune made up of a long, drawn out background drone with soothing, transparent notes drifting around in the melody.
There is a dark, almost ominous tune on the album called Black Raga. The sitar notes are, literally, bent around the melody and the percussion is foreboding. I liked it as it added a shadowy balance to the recording against the other lighter-than-air tunes that dominated it.
There is a real jazz influence in the introduction to the tune, I Walk Everywhere. Then, even though it still has sitar and electronic as the base, it seems to turn into a contemporary tune. To me the music symbolizes a vignette where the scene has a feel of movement, ever forward and ever changing. This could be the theme song to any adventure, even if it is just in the mind's eye.
I have to admit that I played this album twice daily for a week while a drove to the job site 40 minutes away from my home. There were a number of days when I arrived without remembering the trip, but I did remember the music. So use this spectacular album with caution. Daydreaming is unavoidable. This album bridges many worlds and I was very surprised at how it did it seamlessly. Highly recommended.
Rating: Excellent Excellent
- reviewed by RJ Lannan on 10/25/2013
***** Richard Gurtler
A journey to tranquilly mesmerizing realms of rare beauty!!!
"Far Go" is the newest album by famous German composer, sitar virtuoso and novel writer Al Gromer Khan. Released at March 1st, 2013 through RASA Music, Al's own label, as limited edition of 100 copies. It's packaged in nice digipak (design by Ramona Popa) with beautiful painting by Ghulam Ali Khan, a prolific painter in Mughal Delhi in the first half of the 19th century.
Pristine sitar strings wrapped in hissy clouds open "Jasmin Blossom Day" and hover on the wings of tranquilly drifting aerials. This, rather shorter composition reveals all the sublime beauty of exotically scented soundscapes. Very nice intro!!! "Procession For Vilayat Khan (Study In Raga Gujari Todi)" is a tribute to India's famous sitar player Vilayat Khan. It masterfully bridges expressive, ear-tickling sitar sounds with gorgeously soulful tabla playing, heavenly chants, additional spoken words and background drone blankets. "Gambhira (The Inscrutable)" remains in quieter, mildly percussive terrains with few sharper sitar essences. Female chants along with other voices lead "Procession For Hb". Pensive sitar and deliberate percussions excel as well on the fore, while colored on the background by assorted hissing sounds and sparsely meandering atmozones. "Constantinople (A Deja Vu)" is invaded by distant, static drone, gorgeously divine chants and occasionally emerging warm string-infused fragments. 9-minute, strongly meditative sonic splendor!!! The next piece, "The Nawab Astride ... (Study In Raga Ahir Bhairav)", displayed by the cover image, is merging sitar, tabla (tabla samples by Suman Sarkar), female chants and serene far-off drifts. Hauntingly calm and unique!!! "Urbanicum (Excerpt)" is more droning, quite minimal, with few gently swirling tinkles, while the following cut, "A Strange Kind Of Peace", keeps its meditative backing drone path, expansive, panoramic and immersing, but flavored here and there by some small, soothingly arising motifs. Deep sound contemplation, a journey to tranquilly mesmerizing realms of rare beauty!!! "Black Raga (Study In Raga Malkauns)" dives straightly into mysteriously exotic terrains with intermingling sharp, heavily scented sitar texture and deep sounding tabla expressions. Sinister clouds of voice-like drone ride atop. "Three Kings" are sculpted by serenely sweeping washes, crystalline tinkles, spoken words (by Al's wife Ute) and chants, sporadic calm sitar passage and distant, slowed down heartbeat. Sublimely relieving and exceptionally embracing piece of music!!! "Forêt Diplomatique" is most likely the shorter version of the track from "Forêt Diplomatique" CD (released in 2011). Rather monotonous drone with French spoken vocals (again by Ute), infrequent sitar and remote heartbeat create a quite minimalistic and mysterious feel, exquisitely distinctive, when delicately coalescing ancient with future. Awesome!!! "I Walk Everywhere... (Study In Tantric Jazz)" closes the journey with jazzy, chillout ingredients thrown in. Again a truly unique blend featuring also sitar wizardry and warmly inviting, cinematic uptempos.
"Far Go" is absolutely adventurous ride offering to each listener wealthy palette of atmospheres with filigree instrumentation, where soul, passion and dedication are always exhibited. If you are searching for ambient soundscapes with long lasting oriental fragrance, this is the name you can always bet on. Al Gromer Khan is elite performer and his extensive discography offers a lot of sonic jewels!!! They are not that far away as you might think...
Richard Gürtler (Nov 2, 2013, Bratislava, Slovakia)
Far Go By Al Gromer Khan
Written By Steve Sheppard
I first came into contact with the work of Al Gromer Khan in 2003 on a Reiki First Degree course that I was attending. The teacher used his album Monsoon Point for our attunements and since that day onwards, I have played that very album relentlessly. Then came a search for more work from the ambient master and thus, I came across Tantra Electronica.
My love of all things Ambient stemmed from Eno’s essential masterpiece Music for Airports and as
such I am very particular as to what I listen to from this genre. I have always respected Gromer
Khans work since those early days and was honoured to be asked to review Far Go.
For those who are into the genre of ambient music to the same level as I am, you will be utterly
delighted to add Far Go into your collection. It is a work of stunning quality, a form of trans-
dimensional music that will literally ease you into the cracks of the inner element, with a delicate
simplicity and with a motherly comforting caress of a warm summer’s afternoon in July.
Jasmin Blossom Day is one of the best opening tracks off an ambient album I have heard for years, it retains a tradition that spreads decades, but adds a special almost star bound space texture to its content, my partner has literally just added “This is something I could just listen to all day” need I say more!
Procession for Vilayat creates an abundance of depth within which to dive head long into. Gromer
Khans journey through this genre started back in 1974, and here we see a true master of his trade at work, with sublime Sitar and very delicate vocalizations throughout. This has just made this track and this delightful album even more transcendent.
Gambhira has a darker more sinister feel, but with some very subtle musical nuances, it give this
track an almost journey like feel. The tones raise and fade, a distant sunset upon a hill that lays on
the side of some ancient and hidden pathway, perhaps a valley lost in time and the only map is this album, leading us through each and every twist and turn along the way.
Eno once talked about music between spaces of reality, the very essence of this can be heard on
Procession for Hb. It has a smooth vocal that almost caresses the music, in the way a gentle lover
does with his willing partner and here we are, the willing partner in this sojourn of a moment in
loving time. At 2.20 in on this piece, listen for the beautifully layered synths which draw us in to a far deeper level.
Then during Constantinople, one of my favourite compositions, we are pulled right into this inner
realm of pure ambience. This is Khan at his very best, as he literally creates a soundscape around us. This has to be one of the finest examples of ambient music for years and Gromer Khans ability is now felt here; the ability to take us by the hand and lead us through a world of utterly chilled musical instrumentation. The work on this track reminded me somewhat of the Reiki Hands of Light album by Deuter and like my wife, I too could bath in its ambience for an eternity.
At the half way point we are gifted the track The Nawab Astride. Ah how this reminded me of his
previous albums and the deep percussion works so well with the Sitar, but those angelic harmonies and vocalizations just take this album to a whole new level, this is a composition dear constant listener that will entice you on further.
Indeed further we go; now I have a painting by the brilliant artist Howard Hodgkin in a room in my
house and sometimes if I really wish to get deeper into my music, I will lay there, listen to the tones and gaze at a painting called “Rain” I will watch it dance with the plumes of smoke rising up from my incense stick that burns now in the early winter sunset and I sooth my senses first with Urbanicum, which flows with a courteous distinction, into the wonderful and blissful “A strange Kind Of Peace”.
I can float here for a moment in the magnificence of this composition, its entire spirit is bathed in
the well of ambiance and at this point I urge you dear listener and reader to let yourself be
completely covered by the warm blanket of musical genius created by the master, Al Gromer Khan.
Black Raga, now here is a track filled with some very deep percussion and drum work, having heard a few Raga tracks from one of our presenters Vito Gregoli on his Primordial Sonics album, I was eager to hear this composition. This for me almost had a sense of the blues about it and was the perfect short form composition to lead us into Three Kings.
Once more we must salute and adore Gromer Khan’s ability to switch into the floating pagoda of
radiant ambient personification, with the added German vocals and Sitar within Three Kings, we are once more transported to another plane entirely. The floating synths waver and contort the music into a web of wonder and through this amazing work of art we fly into a world of inner and outer peace, a remarkable arrangement indeed.
For the penultimate track of Far Go, we move to a soothing and very chilled composition entitled
Foret Diplomatique. It is a further walk into the abstract world of ambient music, a further foray into the art form of the master creator Al Gromer Khan. With each tone and note we are now enthralled by what is sheer inner dimensional beauty, the track is the perfect dream-walk into your imagination. This leads us gently into the waiting arms of the last piece called, I Walk Every Where. This is a real harmonic convergence of Jazz and Chill Out meets New Age, Electronica joins the dance and then add a subtle mix of Ambient genius into the mix and you have the perfect serving of a musical delight.
Far Go is an album of stunning quality and ambient perfection, it is an album I personally
recommend and I personally will be playing for many years to come, true masters of music aren’t
created they are made from the very heart and soul of a person’s inner being and the mastermind
that is Al Gromer Khan has the wisdom, knowledge and intellect and musical prowess to bring us,
the seeker of true music and pure ambience, an album like Far Go. I am so pleased to have been able to have brought you my musings on this release and now I intend to allow my senses to get utterly washed away by it once more and I urge you to join me in this bathing of musical brilliance that is the album Far Go by Al Gromer Khan.