Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sol Tek: Lightscapes I

A Music to stimulate the imagination and nourish the soul

A minor masterpiece (with the emphasis on masterpiece) Soltek’s Lightscapes One makes a great entrance with the ear opener Eye of the World. Just say for the initiated the answer to the riddle of the title Eye of the World, is that Consciousness is the Eye of the World, and that eye of the world is “our” consciousness, that is the ants, humans, tigers, angels and polar bears-all of us living here together. EOTW opens with a brief interlude of paradise-like music suggesting that we are in a garden, but a friendly male voice suddenly announces “ready,set,go” perhaps suggesting that in this half-tech half nature environment there is work to do to get back to the garden. In this track the Sol Tek collective unleashes a cascade of brilliantly funky death ray synth bursts accompanied by a loping beat that shuffles onward to the segue into the next track.

Belimira is a return to the original paradisial waters surrounding the listener with a pure light that feels like love, a faint pulse in the background sounds like a tender heart beating, and the mood is exalted. Evoking the feeling of an infinite space opening and opening under the passionate care of a sustained state of grace, this piece produces a great sense of content in the listener, making it an ideal choice for a cool-down section of a yoga or movement class.

Miracle, positions itself on the cutting edge of deep space voyage and in the space it constructs seems to be gently pulling us through an exotic planetarium based on galaxies infinitely remote from us. Is it a planetarium or are we really in space? Echoing Major Tom type voices talk back to one another in an understated secret code. Lovely sincere music with a fragile delicate bubbling pulse.

Suddenly, with the next composition Elysium, we have soft landed but our souls are still getting hard stretched towards higher worlds because of all the deep space we’ve traversed. Not to worry the chords of paradise are back to support us on the next phase of our search. Sol Tek has a superb mastery of the right chordal voice at the right time and how to make more with less is not just a description of their music, it is a rigorous aesthetic. Also throughout this track and a few others there are sweet chittering sounds that could be birds, or bird song manipulations-whatever it is after a while you just fall into the relaxed bed of the music-it is so damn good.

Heavenly Observatory opens with a small group of high pitched strings played in a twinkly style, Gregorian chanting monks far, far deep in the mix propelled by a trap kit locomotive sound ride the sweetly ascending synth chords up and up a slowly, lazily evolving sense of well being rises up like a giant bubble rising from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Eventually the solid trap kit locomotive sound comes back to drive the track to an epic funk space climax.

Chinese Dream takes us on a pleasant amble up a beautiful mountain road, the way is easy, it has just rained, but the road is not muddy and the sun is quickly brushing away clouds to better reveal its radiance. Young Chinese boys shout to drive the oxen with their brilliantly clanking cowbells into the brightly lit road, but soon all gives way to the beautiful radiance of the Sun as the masterful synth chords roll the train home.

A solid album in every dimension Lightscapes One will brighten up any yoga studio or individual yoga practice session.

written by Phil Jefferson: Portland, OR

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