Al Gromer Khan
For me, it is always a pleasure when I hear of a new Al Gromer Khan release, this means
another huge slice of ambience is about to embed itself into my life, and that
can never be a bad thing, in this instance Al
Gromer Khan has brought to us, a wonderful vast realm of art now known to
us all as Ambient Religion.
For me, ambient music is a journey to a place, a structure,
something exterior from my world, and the opportunity to sit in the present and
observe the now and to feel the flow of the energy around me; here the artist
has manifested nine ambient constructs, and each of these pictures are a unique
art form each to their own.
The opening piece is thoroughly Al Gromer Khan territory and called Esprit D’escalier, music for the afterthought perhaps, the artist’s
trusty sitar wends its way smoothly through this inner dimension of
tranquillity, and perhaps giving a moment of
pause to each and every listener in the most ambient of ways.
Al Gromer Khan has created many structures of
ambience, many temples of meditative peace, and on Lichtblau we have another such example of mastery, the softness of
the synths and delicacy of the arrangement are indeed a whole new world to
enjoy, each and every steady footfall within this track alone will find an
all-purpose sanctuary for any willing and open minded listener.
For me one of the key elements of ambient music is that
hovering sense of timelessness, we can find that in the composition Avec Bilaka an arrangement that seems
to float on a summer breeze, caught by the wind, and coalescing into a new form
with each moment passed; light percussion, soft synth pads and a drift down a
road less travelled can be found here.
As we near the middle part of the album, we are gifted a real
treat with the piece Console. Al Gromer Khan for me is one of the
legends in this style of ambience, and within this track there is an emptiness
that is filled by musical expression, there is a gateway to a dimension that is
in-between the tick and tock of the normally unrelenting clock.
The tone and timbre of the beloved sitar of the artist greet our arrival at this next piece entitled Morgenstern, the ethereal vocalisations
added such a depth to the proceedings, here is a short-form musical narrative
that introduces us to a world of ambience that proves not everything that is a
concept of the genre, needs to be over 30 minutes long.
Carl-Zeiss-Jena is not a track I expected, but one
gratefully received, I had not forgotten the East German football team who made
such a name for themselves in the 60’s, a memory palace of a piece, beautiful
vocals paint a haunting vibe to the arrangement, in a track that seems to touch
the very scrapbook of time tone and days glorious, but passed.
We now move to the deep part of our musical reservoir, one so
vast and all-encompassing, and one that would turn out to be my personal
favourite pieces off the release, also a very unusual one, in that it contains
natural sounds within its construct. Novene
is a masterful opus of an almost dark ambience that would have gone down really
well in Stephen Kings Dark Tower
movie; it is a fluent composition with such a wonderfully layered ambience, and
probably one of the finest examples of this style of music I have heard for
The swirling keyboards create mist filled layers on this next
offering, our penultimate composition called A Room for H.G, it also partly reminds me of the sense of
anticipation that the UK’s Kevin Kendle
once built within his offering Night Blue
Horizon, but here Al Gromer Khan
manifests twists and turns of creativity with each passing minute, in one of
the most artistic pieces off the release.
We now arrive at the concluding track of the album; the
energy levels are slightly raised here to bring us, a final parting gift, one
called Station Break. The light
percussive ethic is added to by the artists blissful sitar, and we are gifted a
composition that will draw to an end yet another sublime album by one of the
all-time masters of the ambient music genre.
Ambient Religion by Al Gromer Khan is a release that illustrates the absolute reality
of the ambient music genre; we have space, a place, room to wander musically within,
and a pristine delicacy that creates for each and every listener a musical
sanctuary of choice. Ambient Religion
by Al Gromer Khan is a release that
has been brought together through a personal exploration of locational spaces,
and persona places, and is an absolute must for those who wish to delve deeper
into their own calmer moments of musical reality.