Music Review | posted 06.02.2017
Laaraji
Celestial Vibration
Soul Jazz, 2017
Text Tim Caspar Boehme , Translation Julia Frohn
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Editorial
Cover Laaraji - Celestial Vibration

Music with assumed beneficial effects for the listener can easily be accused of exploitation. Either it is being demonized as instrumentalization for an esoteric mission or for an overall self-improvement ideology. Of course, in many cases, it’s not the music’s fault if it has a positive impact on the listener. And in the case of New York based laughter therapist and zither-player Edward Larry Gordon (better known as Laraaji), it’s even more complicated than that. Since having released his debut »Celestial Vibration« in 1978, he’s been getting to the heart of the title’s approach. In short, he passed on »heavenly vibrations« (which his consciousness had allegedly collected by meditating beforehand) through his electronically amplified instruments. In addition, the liner notes on the back cover bore the title »Music’s Healing Force«. Those wanting to bail out due to personal doubts at this moment should feel free to do so. However, they’ll miss a pretty unique experience of, if you like, spiritual ambient-music. It’s important to note that »spiritual« is being used here in the same way as it’s used at renaissance fairs or for house tracks with a certain, well, depth, really. More specifically: the clouds of chords and melodies that Laraaji is piling up, rhythmically mixing up and then passing on, do something to you, no matter if you are sensitive to New Age or not. In other words: Laraaji must have been in an extremely good mood when recording these tracks. It’s the second time that Soul Jazz Records is reissuing these positive vibes. There must be a reason why.

You can find »Celestial Vibration« by Laraaji at hhv.de: LP and CD
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