Monday, May 14, 2012

Zen Lounge/Soulfood and DJ Free

Zen Lounge comes out of the gate kickin’ on all four hooves with a nice up-tempo number called Go Zen, which GOES. A nice steady backbeat drives synth strings and a male vocal sustaining drone takes the listener (or exerciser) on a nice beat driven directed journey.

Marimba notes in the high end with scratch breaks structure segues in the song and close it out to lead to Funky Buddha a nice swirling dream concoction of funky happiness. Funky Buddha would be a track good for a yoga session of standing poses in a flow-maybe a set where maintaining a consistent rhythm and beat is just as important as aspiring to the optimistic exuberance of the track.

The third track Mystico bumps into play with its own style of new sound on the scene funk.  A nice rhythmic push of repeating Indo-Asian voco-samples propels the music listener towards a well-imagined sonic heaven, as elegant string synth work and sweet tabla taps build the groove, great for the sweating, drenched yoga workout.

In Spicy Rice a Miles Davis like trumpet sound drops us into brooding waters for a few seconds before a bouncing soul groove reveals the true positivity of the instrumental.  Soon into the track there is a short drum-based break building on the natural rhythmic twang of the bass player-sounds like shakers, beat samples and a drum kit perfectly balanced-then the elegant major chord driven theme picks up again-Indian vocal breaks, followed by another kicking smooth beat break, major chord theme, slight, slight build, major chord theme, synth return and fadeout.

Collective Groove starts with a spoken word hippie UFO recollection then launches into its real mission: to redeem the known world with a COLLECTIVE GROOVE. Built of organ driven jazz, Fender Rhodes fills, and Herbie Hancock style synths a 70s soul scat singer enters once the main spoken word story is played out as a funk flute player takes the song to its inevitable conclusion, as two other spoken word bits are inserted near the end.

A loping trap kit supported by shakers and a sexy back beat sneak Tiki Lounge onto the aural stage.  Nice building, cascade synth tracks drive the music to sweet ascension after sweet ascension as a finely dialed marimba player plays support in the mid-range tones.

An alto flute comes into the mix midway highlighting this track as a great accompaniment to a final vinyasana flow for a yoga class or for use as the whole exhausted class gets a chance to rest on the floor in Savasana at the end of a long class.

Tao creeps in under the radar with its spy on a mission groove.  Bass and drums kick up the energy element as a sampled Afro-Pop vocalist sings the wordless melody.  Nice xylophone work coordinates the rhythm section.  By far the most rocking’ track on the whole Zen Lounge disc, yet the breaks are all downtempo and the music almost comes to a dead stop at least two times before kicking back into high gear.  These breaks could be used to good advantage to separate certain sections in vinyasana flows.
Green Planet rolls onto stage with a slow sax section groove supported by a rolling Fender Rhodes piano groove. A keening soul singer sings affirmations in the background as the Fender Rhodes player lays down his solo. This track will end any yoga studio session with nice strong support to even the most brutal of classes.

Disco features nice echoey drumbeats that morph into a world of luxurious electric piano tones and a soaring vocalist.  There is a nice kick and intensity to this song and despite its title it sounds absolutely nothing like Disco.

written by YogiTunes contributing editor Phil Jefferson

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