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