16 May 2012

Iasos - 1978 - Angelic Music

Quality: 4 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4.5 out of 5

We'll send our spirits a little deeper into the aether of transcendental existence with this undeniably early new age effort from Iasos.  Now, I know 'new age' tends to be a bit of a dirty word, especially for us music heads, but this release has the fortune of coming out at magic moment when there genre was pretty much fully formed, but analog synthesizers and tape hiss dirtied up the sound's pristine face a little bit.  This really helps to humanize the music in a way that would end up mostly lost once John Tesh fired up his arsenal of keyboars, spewing them out onto sterile digital gloss.  Not so here: the tones will relax you, and perhaps mystically lobotomize you if you're into that sort of thing, but they also sound like they're oozing out of the misty primordial forest, and not sproinging off of the D.A.T. (anyone remember those?) of a middle-aged L.A. power hipster with sunglasses and a pony tail.  Still, you'd best ignore the cover art, which seems to have come from a Shopping Channel special on crystal angel sculptures.

The tracks are split right into two thirty minute long album sides.  You can care that the track titles are "The Angels of Comfort" and "Angel Play," but knowing that probably doesn't matter for a whole lot as the music's spinning.  The sounds will greet your ears with giant pads of synthetic string sounds and the occasional babbling brook.  My hook for the whole affair was reading the notion that some of those who have had near-death experiences have apparently equated this album with the sounds of moving on.  That's got to make the thing worth a listen in my book.

Once upon a time, I rippity rapped a bit about an older Iasos album on this blog.  Really, I've still got to give that one the distinction of being better, but I'd admit that this one is a little more profound.  Perhaps a touch more mind expanding.  It's straight out of the short, halycon era when 'new age' might have ended up with a place in the lexicon of groovy instead of the dustbin of the Nature Company.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

You might really enjoy the Iasos album entitled 'Wave #2: Elixir' (often just 'Elixir'), which was released in 1983. It is pretty rare now, but it will soon be reissued by Rotifer Cassettes...the same label that reissued the first Iasos album, and the Transmuteo cassette you reviewed in the last entry. I think 'Elixir' is far and away the best mid-period Iasos album.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing all this great music!