New age, drone, psychedelic, psyambient, space music, environmental, meditation
Upper Astral, Thom Brennan, Deuter, Steve Halpern, David Parsons, Michael Stearns, David Naegele, Emerald Web, J D Emmanuel & more.
93 min, 89 min, 69 min, 59 min
Compiled & mixed by Mike G at Rubycon Sound, Feb-June 2015
Forget everything you've heard about new age music.
Clear your mind, and let the lesson begin.
In 2013, during my visit to California for the Hearts Of Space Ambicon festival, I met a guy named Douglas Mcgowan at Stephen Hill's house. Almost a generation younger than me, Douglas had a passion that I found curious for his age: vintage new age music. He was visiting as part of his research for what eventually became the outstanding compilation album I Am The Center: Private Label New Age Music in America (1950-1990), one of AMG's Best Albums of 2013.
Upon returning to Australia, I rekindled my somewhat guilty love affair with this much maligned sub-genre and began collecting and digging anew. Some of the music had never really left me - I was still listening to early albums by the likes of David Parsons, Iasos, Aeoliah, Michael Stearns and Don Robertson and played them occasionally in my sets. But I also unearthed music that was completely new to me, such as the Valley Of The Sun label and gifted artists such as Upper Astral and Karl Schaffner. I was unsurprised to discover that much vintage new age is still out of print. That music is available today only on 2nd-hand cassettes or CDs, or via digital rips uploaded to the internet by passionate fans.
As the I Am The Center album has shown, new age music's early years - mainly the 70's and 80's - are well worth revisiting. The genre's apparent goal - its overt appeal to consciousness expansion though music - has always been both its strength and weakness, but when it's good I believe it's as good as any ambient music, anywhere. Before it morphed into a commercial genre for relaxation muzak and awful instrumental pop confections, new age was a reverberation of psychedelic music. It was true psyambient.
And that's what you'll hear in my New Age Archaeology mix series.
Some of the artists from the genre's formative years still make quality music today, such as New Zealander David Parsons and Texan musician J D Emmanuel. A number of recent tracks by such artists also appear in these mixes.
So, Namaste - the light within me honours the light with you. I hope you enjoy.