Ariel Kalma's warm new age tones conveyed more depth and precision than your average artist working towards ambient bliss. His work combined multiple disciplines that jarred and modulated otherwise still life soundscapes -- jazz and poetry were often present, as well as his constant, sustained electronic work. 'An Evolutionary Music' shows his purposely anonymous and ambiguous music upfront.
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As spiritually enriching as his unusual name suggests, this is a very beautiful anthology of tracks from the proto-new-age legend that is Ariel Kalma. RVNG seem to be doing an enviable job of unearthing some of the most pre-eminent performers of progressive synthesizer and horizontalist ambient world music and this guy, whose stunning 'Osmose' is rarely off my record deck, is surely one of the most treasured. His work during the 70s is, quite simply, incredibly important to lovers of esoteric spiritual synth music and will leave you with a massive helpless grin and a notable dearth of tension in your muscular system come the climax of any journey you take with him.
After a period playing in rock bands culminating in a spiritual awakening whilst in India circa the early 70's, this nomadic French saxophonist apparently learnt circular breathing techniques under the tutelage of a snake charmer and subsequently found his heady vocal mantras blended well with the primitive electronic delay techniques discovered through his experimental tinkering with the highly regarded ReVox tape machines. Many tracks here are blended together from ingredients such as tentative, trippy keyboard melodies with pulsating kosmische drones, field recordings and samples from the most exotic climes, brilliantly hypnotic percussive rhythms, both organic and electronic. A few pieces blatantly bear the influence of Indian ragas or the very finest jazz. Some tracks sound, cosmetically, so so serene but also, beneath, quite busily insistent and very faintly jarring yet not in a remotely uncomfortable way. Out of Khaos comes Kalm(a). Like tropical fever as zen-state.
Ariel's work of this period was often extremely psychedelic but, of course, in a blissfully unaware fashion. This wasn't made for you daft drug-faced hermans to stick on just to complement your bong-trip. It was recorded as a form of personal expression, an incidentally massively therapeutic expression at that. I really adore it when I can't find anything at fault with a music. Ariel Kalma's quite varied body of work traverses the pioneering experiments of such acts as White Noise, Cluster, Don Cherry, Terry Riley, Roberto Cacciapaglia and so many other fine electronic visionaries. There is also a huge devotion in part to Eastern ethnic musics with warm organic tribal rhythms and some magical examples of transcendental glossolalia; I'd happily sit there in a state of tantric ecstacy all day with this remarkable collection. Peace and respect to this great man.
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- An Evolutionary Music (Original Recordings: 1972 - 1979) by Ariel Kalma
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