Al Gromer Khan | Far Go

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New Age: Ambient World: Indian Classical Moods: Instrumental
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Far Go

by Al Gromer Khan

Ambient contemplative
Genre: New Age: Ambient
Release Date: 

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1. Jasmin Blossom Day
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2. Procession for Vilayat Khan (Study in Raga Gujari Todi)
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5:06 $0.99
3. Gambhira (The Inscrutable)
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3:21 $0.99
4. Procession for H B
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5. Constantinople (A Deja Vu)
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6. The Nawab Astride ... (Study in Raga Ahir Bhairav)
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7. Urbanicum (Excerpt)
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8. A Strange Kind of Peace
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9. Black Raga (Study in Raga Malkauns)
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10. Three Kings
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11. Forêt Diplomatique
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12. I Walk Everywhere
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Album Notes
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


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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 faraway as you might think...

Richard Gürtler (Nov 2, 2013, Bratislava, Slovakia)