Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Karmic Dreams By BlueMonk & Michael Whalen


Karmic Dreams


BlueMonk & Michael Whalen

Written by

Steve Sheppard


Fresh from his success with his chart topping solo album Sacred Spaces, Michael Whalen has team up with flute master BlueMonk to bring us a sublime new album of utter multi-instrumental fluency entitled Karmic Dreams.

This album has been literally born out of the pandemic that rages across the globe, and Michael Whalen’s infection by the Covid 19 virus was met with an unexpected series of compositions electronically from flute supremo BlueMonk, ones that would gift us eventually one of the most inspiring and spiritual albums I have heard for many years.

This coalescence of genius starts with the vibrant opener The Secret Garden, there can be nothing more important that the opening track of an album, and here on this piece the symbiotic partnership with Michael Whalen’s keyboard mastery, and the skill set of BlueMonk on flute, is felt to the max in a starting offering that is a perfect scene setter.

The Way of the Samurai is our next musical doorway, this amazing composition is one that I could have sat in for an eternity, colourful visions of temples in the forest, mist topped mountains and a lone Samurai in a meditative pose can all be found here, in what would be one of my personal favourite offerings from the album.

The chimes call us into the clearing where we will find the artists performing the next arrangement entitled Cherry Blossoms. The sonic backdrop created by Michael Whalen is mournful, but in a meditative way, and the flute performance by BlueMonk is one of the most superior presentations I have heard for eons with ease.

With great care and respect we now move into the second half of the album, and as we do so we come across a charming musical narrative entitled Moon Scape.  Michael Whalen’s sublime sensitivity and his crafted skill of knowing just what it needed next is so evident here. Layer upon layer of soothing musical tone can be found within this realm, textured keyboards and the distant refrains drift from a mystical flute, all of this creative magic can be found right here.

A percussive wall seems to shift our musical consciousness with the first refrains of this new arrangement called The Trance. The vast and resonating vibrations lift us into a whole new musical dimension. Now this symbiotic partnership is in full flight across a myriad of harmonious avenues. This offering contains that deep sense of character and reverberation that we all desire to find within our music, and as such, a masterful performance can be found here from the duo.

We now find ourselves at the penultimate composition off the album and Boundless Love has the symphonic gestures and flute mastery that will caress your very soul. I have been looking for a track that I can meditate to and deliberate on the workings of my heart centre, and I can now state that thanks to Boundless Love that quest has been successful. This is one of the most emotive and powerfully moving pieces I have heard for a long, long time, and a true stand out song off the release with ease.

I have sadly come to the last track off the album, and it is with a heavy heart that I have to leave this release of outstanding natural beauty; however the good news is, I have one more track to utterly revel in before my departure has to be made, and it is the title header Karmic Dreams.  This fine combination of Michael Whalen and BlueMonk seals the deal with this parting gift, one filled with a sense of happiness of completion, and an awareness that all will be well in the world again.

Karmic Dreams by BlueMonk & Michael Whalen in my view is one of the best albums I have heard across all genres for decades, it has a beautiful sense of balance, a mystical floating perspective, in-depth musical nuances that are simply irresistible, and flute and keyboard performances that will move you to the very core of your being. Karmic Dreams by BlueMonk & Michael Whalen is an album that you must have in your life at all costs; it is the musical panacea that cures all ills.

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