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Beyond Dreams - Pathways to Deep Relaxation by Hennie Bekker
- posted by Renee Gelpi on 3/4/2017
formerly Galaxie-Stingray
Even though I have known Hennie from the begginning of his legendary recording career, this album is now on the top of my listening stack. His music has successfully explored everything from his S. African roots to his home in Canada. Relaxing has been the byword for most of his tunes. This album, Beyond Dreams, harks back to his beautfully soothing early work and the music is indeed new age in the truest sense- beautiful, soothing and realxing.
Rating: Excellent
Leaving Terra Firma by Stephen Peppos
- posted by Candice Michelle on 3/2/2017
Stephen Peppos - Leaving Terra Firma
Stephen Peppos is a composer and multi-instrumentalist whose fifth album, Leaving Terra Firma, explores a variety of atmospheric sonic terrain. Comprised of thirteen compositions spanning seventy-two minutes, the compositions herein range from classic new age to cosmic space and electronic-ambient music, which are often imprinted with unique touches of eclecticism.

Washy synthesizers and muffled piano droplets open the subtly sweeping and melodic title track, “Leaving Terra Firma”, bearing all the classic hallmarks of cosmic new age music. The comparatively more ambient, “Magnetic Fields”, follows next with slowly metamorphosing chords and deeply immersive tones. Here, both electronic and organic textures create a slightly foreboding and cavernous soundscape full of vaporous swells and subterranean sounds, which impart an esoteric sense of mystery. “Vita Secundom Vita” ensues with a gentle pulse and harpsichord effect, which are soon followed by distant thundering percussion. One of my favorite pieces on the album, it possesses a distinctly medieval or renaissance flair that incorporates ambient-chamber musical elements, while imparting an earthy yet ethereal quality that seemingly eludes to a mysterious and fantastical voyage. Following up this number is “Everlast”, a celestial, classical-tinged composition that recalls the music of Aeoliah and Constance Demby. Bathed in an immersive glow of distant angelic choirs, streams of light seemingly slip in and out of this most heavenly, peaceful passage of gossamer tones and textures. Moving on to “Sea of Joy”, this especially gorgeous composition aptly conveys the watery depths of the ocean. Expansive washes of synths move along a gently rolling undercurrent, as radiant, shimmering tones seem to mimic the sun’s rays illuminating a beautiful undersea kingdom. Picking things up a few notches is the equally mesmerizing, “Transulence”, which possesses a more ambient-chill vibe. Guided by a light trance rhythm, this euphoric number imparts a feeling of flying high above the sea. The tenth track, “Amor Dei”, is an especially majestic sounding piece that features Seay on vocals, which are given a cosmically ethereal and processed effect. Comprised of synthesizers, strings and symphonic percussion, this piece recalls that of an epic fantasy movie depicting magical creatures in a land of enchantment. Closing out the album is a thirteenth bonus track that clocks in a just over two minutes. Aptly titled “Cold But Warm Peace”, its whimsical, crystalline soundscape seemingly paints a picture of an ice castle hidden among a snow forest.

A thoroughly rewarding album that bears subtle similarities throughout to the music of Aeoliah, Constance Demby and even Vangelis, Leaving Terra Firma is sure to appeal to a wide range of both classic new age and ambient-space music fans! ~Candice Michelle (
Rating: Excellent
Mystic's Nine by Dyan Garris
- posted by Steve Sheppard on 2/28/2017
Classic new age at its best
Want something to brighten up your day and get you off to a flying start? Then you need to go no further than listen to Mystic’s Nine by Dyan Garris. From the very opening foray, the musician will have you hooked with the up-tempo nature of the first piece which is also the title track; there is a delicious vibrancy about this composition that you will utterly adore.
The natural sounds that connect us are simply delightful on the piece Mystic Sea, it floats with a majestic quality all around us, and here on this composition one can literally feel the pure energy of love caressing you in what is a powerful, yet pleasing arrangement.
The positivity behind this album is obvious, but now let your very senses take more, within this song by Dyan called Muse’s Gift. So allow your troubles to drift away, and just bathe in this moment of harmonic bliss.
From the gentle nature of the last offering we now come across a far more rhythmic and pulsating piece simply called Mystical. It’s as if the horn is calling us to a gathering, perhaps of mystics from many dimensions? Musically this track has a wonderful syncopation and tempo, one that creates a lush sense of movement.
I hope dear reader you’re enjoying this latest journey through the realms of Dyan Garris and her album Mystic’s Nine. We now approach the half-way point of the release and find an interesting composition called Mystic Kiss, you have also arrived at my personal favourite off the collection as well. What a beautiful composition this is, the chimes are warm and create a friendly atmosphere, while the keyboards manifest such an ambient soundscape, one could get lost in here for hours.
On Heaven’s Gate there is a real sense of the angelic realms crafted into this divine offering, this is classic new age music that will pull you back in time to symphonic greats like Mike Rowland, and even perhaps a little 2002 can be found in here as well.
The cleverness in creating an album is to know when to change speed and tempo and still carry the listeners with you along the journey, on Cloud 9 Dyan Garris does just that, and even though the pace of the composition is vastly different from the last track, she still maintains a creative warm sense of peace, in an arrangement that will literally have you floating on Cloud 9.
The vocal talents of the artist are used once more in the song The Mist. There are times when we all find ourselves within the mist of confusion, but here Garris offers us a piece of music containing a message of determination. As a singer myself, I can share with you that her vocal range, especially on this song, is very impressive indeed.
OK, now time to head off East on 9th and once more through the medium of music we are on our way again. The percussion on this track is perfect and whist giving us a feeling of movement, it doesn’t over power the keyboards crafting narrative and structure, this also happens to be one of my other favourites, the chords and construction seem to evolve a wonderful reality of a journey that must be taken.
Now we’re here, let’s ease back as we arrive at the penultimate song from the album called Aquamarine. This used to be one of my favourite crystals back in the day, and here we have a really light and almost childlike offering of a composition. It’s simple, but honest style would make this arrangement a perfect tune to play during meditation or relaxation sessions.
So as we arrive at the very last port of called for us on our musical sojourn with Dyan Garris dear reader, we are gifted one more track to enjoy called Water for the Soul, and what a charming way to leave the album indeed. Here Garris leaves us with a short form piece that creates its own ambience along the way, and leaving us, the chilled listener, with a real sense of a warm calmness from a musical journey most happily and willingly travelled.
Mystic’s Nine as an album will take you back to the classic era of superb and well-crafted New Age music; it’s a release that will be guaranteed to get your day off to a good start. Lovingly produced and performed, Mystic’s Nine is one of those albums every household should have, Dyan Garris should be proud of this manifestation of positivity and sensitivity, it’s a mix really hard to achieve, but done so very admirably by the artist.
Rating: Excellent
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