MUSIC REVIEWS
By Jim Brenholts

 

 

Frank Klare
Moods
2005
Groove Unlimited
www.groove.nl
www.frank-klare.de
Moods is an extremely cool concept CD from a rather surprising source. Groove Unlimited is a huge electronic music label and distributor located in the Netherlands. As a label, they specialize in Berlin, analog and sequencer- driven electronica. Frank Klare designed and created this CD specifically for use in the healing arts. He declares it in his liner notes.

“The moods are:
Alpha Moods, for relaxation and meditation,
Beta Moods, for stimulation and animation,
Theta Moods, for deep meditation, trance and dreams.”

They are also the three tracks on the disc, clocking in at 32' 20", 35' 35" and 9' 47" respectively.

Frank has a solid grasp on his goals and the skills to take his listeners with him. These forays into the various levels and states of consciousness are not subtle at all. Frank’s atmospheres and sound designs incorporate electronic overtones that grab listeners and take control.

Alpha Moods sets the base for the journey. Frank uses a spiraling synth and long sequences to seduce and sedate his listeners into casual states of being. It is a relaxing but not numbing place. It is pleasant and segues nicely to the next level.

Beta Moods uses synthesized nature sounds to provoke and evoke positive emotional responses. Frank builds his atmospheres slowly and deliberately. The imagery is similar to the surf on a desolate beach. The waves roll in, picking up speed and strength as they approach. Instead of crashing they merely collapse at the break point and become part of the next waves. Thus the buildup is continuous and there is no climax. The process energizes the soul.

Frank also states that he used no “Brain Sync Research” frequencies in constructing this CD. Those frequencies are extremely cool and very effective, there is no need for them on this disc.

Theta Moods has enough going for it that the BSR would be overkill. This is laid back and laid out atmospheric minimalism at its finest! Listeners will go into their zones — deep listeners to the nth degree. The experimental sounds add nice edges that prevent the journey from becoming maudlin.

This disc has as much positive energy as any other and comes with the highest recommendation. The good folks at Groove have outdone themselves. (If you order the disc, please mention this magazine and review. Kees Aerts and Ron Boots, the owners, are good friends of mine and would appreciate the comments.)


Jim Cole
Godspace
2002
Spectral Spiral Musical
www.spectralvoices.com
Jim Cole is an amazing man! Embarrassed as he might be by that statement, there is not a better way to describe him.

His vocation in the social services affords him frequent opportunities to enhance his spirituality. His talent as an overtone vocalist allows him to share that spirituality in the form of euphoric ambience.

Godspace is a wonderful creation that comes straight from Jim’s heart. This is absolutely a work of art and a labor born of love, hope, peace and joy — a God space, indeed.

Jim has structured this set as a 74-minute symphony in three movements with each movement having three parts. To quote the liner notes — “Jim’s vocals are the only sound source on this recording. The processing used was reverb and looping which was done on the fly.” It sounds like synths and processors abound but it is pure and simple euphoric singing.

Track one is Astral. Its three parts are Perseverance, Rapt Bliss and Wandering Through Star Fields. This is a glorious piece of elegant space music that sends chills down the spine. The titles and subtitles say it all.

Light Shines in Your Heart is a special track. The three subtitles are A Wishing Thing, Pendent Hope and So You Know I’m with You.  Jim tells the story best.

“(This track) is dedicated to my daughter, Emily, who, at age four, gave me a pendent she made of paper, tiny seashells, sequins, rainbow marker colors and such. She had sensed that i was feeling blue one night before a gig so she handed me her treasure. I asked her what it was and she replied, ‘It’s a wishing thing .... When you wish for things light shines in your heart so you know I’m with you.’ I wore it that night and many times since.” (If you are not just a little choked up and/or smiling right now, you might need some help. Check some of the resources in this magazine and let me know.)

Transformations closes the set with Thanatos, Breathing into Life and Deliquescent Being. It features more rapturous ambience and delicious atmospheres. It is the perfect coda to a perfect disc.

Jim is one of the best and a true gentleman. He is also a master of his craft. This disc comes with strong recommendations.


Life in Balance
Deeper
2002
LIB Music
www.lifeinbalancemusic.com
Steve Sciuli and Ami Sciuli are Life in Balance. They create deep healing soundworlds using quartz crystal bowls, shakuhachi and bonsuri flutes, tingsha, bells and subtle percussion. (Some of the flute music is processed and some is acoustic.) Deeper is their second CD. Deep listening sessions with this album demand candles, incense and subtle lighting.

(This review also requires my personal first person approach as Steve and Ami are good friends of mine.

I first heard this CD in early 2002 when i was convalescing from two heart attacks and the depression that came with facing my own mortality. I picked it up at a local New Age shop. To my pleasant surprise, I learned that they were local (Pittsburgh) to me and would be opening for Robert Rich at his first Pittsburgh concert.

I listened and I was floored! This music took me to unprecedented levels of serenity and bliss. Nothing does that for me like the overtone properties of the singing bowls. These atmospheres and textures are mysterious, mystical and magical. Simply and succinctly — they move me!)

There are dozens of CD’s that approach — and even equal — this caliber of healing prowess. There are none that surpass it.



Jim Cole
The Way Beyond
2003
Spectral Spiral Music
www.spectralvoices.com
In 2002, Jim Cole and Matthias Grassow collaborated on The Last Bright Light. It was a huge success and featured both musicians on overtone vocals. The Way Beyond is a set of vocal loops that Jim created for that CD. Some of them appear as he presented them; others are remixed; none are processed or manipulated beyond simple reverb and looping.

This is space music as it was meant to be — simple, elegant and inspired. Jim’s voice is a remarkable instrument. He achieves singular beauty with the ease of — well — singing. He uses chant syllables and drones to effect deep atmospheres with organic textures and divine timbres.

It is very difficult to find the correct words without becoming maudlin or effusive. The textures and timbres bring the music to life and give it a third dimension. It becomes music to see and the visions are bright and vivid. They swirl around the listening space and caress with warmth and grace.

To make the experience completely user-friendly, Jim chose to number instead of name the tracks. Thus, the adventures belong to the listeners with no preconceived notions or suggestions.
This is a great CD! Jim’s talent is often approached and equaled but never eclipsed.


Jonathan Goldman and Sarah Benson
Holy Harmony
2002
Spirit Music
www.healingsounds.com
Jonathan Goldman is the consummate professional when it comes to researching and transforming his ideas and knowledge to music. His cognition seems to go deeper into the abstract than most. His visionary messages and spiritual interfaces are — at times — on the edge of human comprehension. It is as if he is tapped into a higher state of being.

Holy Harmony, recorded with Sarah Benson, is one of his best CD’s and one of his most monumental achievements. The years of research, divine intervention, deep intuition and hard work have revealed some deep secrets to Jonathan. He has summarized that into a booklet that accompanies the disc. It is filled with some very deep intellectual, spiritual, emotional and religious lessons, lore and knowledge.

The basics, without getting too far into it, are the electromagnetic frequencies of the Bible and the true name of Jesus as determined by the original Hebrew alphabet. (It had no vowels.) The CD contains one long-form (72 minutes) composition. Jonathan and Sarah use tuning forks of the nine frequencies of the Healing Code of the Bible and a choral chant of YHSVH — an ancient name for Christ. The chant uses the pronunciation of those letters from the Hebrew alphabet — Yod, Hey, Shin, Vav, Hey. It is mesmerizing, deep, moving and fulfilling. It is difficult to listen to this without feeling intense gratitude and inspiration.

Some folks will find Jonathan’s writings too heavy-handed and/or too far out in left field. Others might take them a bit too seriously and go overboard. It might be best to temper it with some disbelief, some validity and some poetic license. Wherever the adventurer falls, this much is certain — the music is the message and the message is in the music.


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