When I learned that André Benjamin, the famous André 3000 of the excellent band Outkast, was doing new-age after a far too long lull (17 years!), I pouted. Oh yeah?! The mountain gives birth to a mouse. And I procrastinated before discovering this probable Lipton soup mix to give a hint of flavour to the floating bath. I finally dipped my toes in, and here’s the verdict, a little late in the day. This album is certainly ambient and soaring, built on a minimum of harmonic variations spread out over modular synthesizers, matched by percussion and wooden flute melodies or an electronic kid’s patent tailor-made for the soloist. But… it’s fucking good! These compositions will appeal to all fans of musical mantras, 6 out of 10 of which range in length from 10 minutes 15 seconds to 17 minutes 11 seconds. In the tradition of Jon Hassell’s ambient jazz and the saxophonistic prayers of the late Pharoah Sanders, we never tire of meditating on these soul-jazz-inspired motifs, reminiscent of oriental maqams or Indian ragas designed to purify the mind.
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