Monday, October 26, 2020

PGM 281: Haunted Worlds 6

Another otherworldly mix for Halloween full of darkly ethereal soundscapes!

Artist Name / Track Title / Album Title
Blue Stone / Midnight Tides / Messages
Keith Richie / Chariots of Pumpkins / 2049
The Changelings / Johnny Ether’s Great Escape / Terra Firma
Frore & Shane Morris / Night Rapture / Blood Moon
Enigma / The Die is Cast / The Fall of a Rebel Angel
Christel Veraart / Asterope / Pleiades
Kamarius / Break the Spell / A Gate to Eternity
Lisa Gerrard / Space Weaver / The Silver Tree
Hollan Holmes / Something Wicked This Way Comes / Milestones

Monday, October 19, 2020

PGM 280: Ancient Travelers 4

Another ambient journey into ancient mysteries & lost civilizations!

Artist Name / Track Title / Album Title
Tangerine Dream / Machu Picchu / Machu Picchu
Moai System / Skyline / Coded Memories
Erik Wøllo / The Crossing / Gateway
Jos d’Almeida / Puma Punku / Aether
Forrest Fang / Song of the Wanderer / The Book of Wanderers
Andrew Thomas Wilson / Gamelans of Ubud / Oz: Tales from the Blue Ship
Robert Slap / Voices from the Past / Atlantis Trilogy: Brave New World
Brannan Lane & Robert Carty / Eternal Moments (Pt. 2) / Dream Swirl
Jim Ottaway / Second Sight / When Eternity Touches Time
Mark Dwane / The Pleiadian Paradigm / Paradigm Shift

Monday, October 12, 2020

PGM 279: Balearic Shores

A nautical inspired chill-out mix in the classic style of Café del Mar!

Artist Name / Track Title / Album/EP/Single
Tigerforest / Journeys / Discovery
Jean Mare / Dream Enough (Guitar Chill Mix) / Deep Space
Villa Dayze / Closed / Closed 

OceanLab / On the Beach / Sirens of the Sea
La Estación Del Mar / Radio Sofia / Eclipse
Airstream / Moon Rising (La Guitarra Mix) / Best of Del Mar, Vol. 9
Mission Brown / Embers / Embers
Mark Dorricott & Stan Dart / Seaside / Seaside
Frank Borell / Blue Lagoon (Seaside Mix) / Chill Sunset Maretimo, Vol. 2
Vargo / The Flow (Rising Riddim Mix) / Beauty
Nicholas Gunn / Coast / Pacific Blue
Placidity / Dreaming of Mountains / Dreaming of Mountains
Thomas Lemmer & Andreas Bach / Decrescent Moon / Night Travellers

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Album Review: The Front Porch of Heaven by Kevin Keller

Kevin Keller is an award-winning pianist and electronic music composer who has released numerous albums over the years. Having composed music for film and television, Kevin’s work has been featured in documentaries for the History Channel and received airplay on nationally syndicated radio programs. With musical roots inspired by innovative musical legends like Tangerine Dream, Wendy Carlos, Brian Eno and Harold Budd, Kevin’s own work is often described as ambient chamber music that blends minimalist classical and ambient-electronic styles.

Inspired by the existential and often-asked question, “When we die, where do we go?”, Kevin Keller’s latest album, The Front Porch of Heaven, came to fruition after he underwent open heart surgery. Having the foreknowledge that he’d be close to death – unconscious and without a heartbeat while placed on life support – Kevin returned from the edge of the unknown with the inspiration to compose what is easily his most beautiful set of compositions to date.

Comprised of six instrumental passages spanning just under forty minutes, The Front Porch of Heaven boasts hauntingly affecting soundscapes featuring melodic ambient sequencing, sparse piano notes, shoegaze electric guitar and subtly cinematic strings throughout. Right from the opening piece, we’re gently led through what feels like an endless mirrored corridor, wherein beautiful dreams and sacred memories are projected everywhere by surrounding incandescent light. Warm, organic and flowing, the pieces are mostly propelled along by gently pulsating rhythms, all while evoking feelings throughout of longing, nostalgia and subtle emotional tension.

As a near-death survivor myself, The Front Porch of Heaven not only explores a subject close to home that I can personally relate to, but does so with inexplicably beautiful perfection. While I highly enjoyed Kevin Keller’s previous two albums, Ice Worlds and La Strada, this album goes even deeper emotionally and gets to the heart – both figuratively and literally – of the composer behind the sonic splendor.

Enthusiastically recommended to fans of artists like Tangerine Dream, Patrick O’Hearn, Harold Budd and Robin Guthrie, The Front Porch of Heaven is a beautifully brilliant work that lingers on long after the journey has ended! ~Candice Michelle

Available at Amazon, Bandcamp & iTunes. For more information, please visit the artist's website.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Album Review: Portals by Ben Blackett

One of the best musical discoveries this year hails from recording artist Ben Blackett with his magnificent album Portals. Comprised of 9 compositions spanning approximately 42 minutes, Portals takes the listener on an epic chill-out escapade that seemingly transgresses the boundaries of natural, supernatural and technological realms. Brightly euphoric yet blissfully serene, Portals is atmospherically resplendent and radiant. Processed piano and electric guitar melodies are woven among translucent electronic textures, quasi-gothic choirs, ethereal vocal washes and semi-muffled grooves, which collectively create an overall dreamlike haze. Imparting sights, sounds and sensations of the elements, electricity and energy, the compositions on Portals variably evoke mesmerizing images of the sun, the stars, the rain and the sea.

Highlights include “Last Rays of the Sun” wherein majestically soaring guitar and ascending choral figures are interspersed with exotic vocal touches. Conveying a magical and mythical quality, the piece brings-to-mind that of riding on a Pegasus across a sunlit sky. My absolute favorite is “Quiet Stillness” with its sun-kissed atmosphere and ecstatic mood. Here, swirling tonal layers and encompassing muted rhythms impart feelings of being caressed by warm ocean waves and glistening soft sand, resulting in a gorgeously lush, sensual soundscape. Likewise noteworthy is “Essence” with its chill-trance rhythm underscoring psychedelic patterns of color and light, as well as “Deep Currents” with its ecstatic wordless vocals weaving in-and-out of a colorful waterscape.

A breathtakingly beautiful sonic adventure, the experience of listening to Portals is one that evokes liberating sensations of flying and floating. An absolute must-have album for fans of melodic ambient and chill-out electronica, Portals is sure to evoke feelings of peace, positivity, creativity and freedom! ~Candice Michelle

Available at Amazon, Bandcamp & iTunes.

Monday, September 28, 2020

PGM 278: Starry Seas 2

Another ethereal ambient mix to convey a mythical & nocturnal sea voyage!

Artist Name / Track Title / Album Title
Blue Is Nine / Drawing Me Near / A Pool Appears
Acheloo / Mystical Shadow / Debris of Nostalgia
Serena Gabriel (feat. Steve Roach) / The Gazing Pool / Inanna’s Dream
Forrest Fang / Atlantis / The Book of Wanderers
Jos d’Almeida / Atlantic Mist / Aether
David Helpling / Ascension of the Whales / Rune
Ambiscend / Moonlight Serenity / Tranquility II: Mind & Soul
Jeff Pearce / A Voice in the Waves / Hidden Shores/Empty Beach

Monday, September 21, 2020

PGM 277: Into Fall 2

Another ambient autumn mix of cooler tones & deeply chilled rhythms!

Artist Name / Track Title / Album Title
ELEON / Elixir / Chillscapes, Vol. 1
Le Voyage / Fantastic Galaxy (Endless Horizon Mix) / Autumn Breeze, Vol. 2
Michael Whalen / A Metaphysical Morning / Sacred Spaces
Sacred Seeds / Awakening / Alpha Seeds
Patrick O’Hearn / Equinox / Trust
Suzanne Teng & Gilbert Levy / Sueños / Autumn Monsoon
Eguana / Swirling Leaves / Serenity
Sambox / Lojong / Le Son du Miramar
Kevin Keller / Just Over the Ridge / The Front Porch of Heaven
Richard Souther / Chasing Echoes / Waiting in the Wings
BlueMonk & Michael Whalen / Moon Scape / Karmic Dreams

An Interview with Yuval Ron featuring his album Four Divine States of Mind

We’re honored to present an audio interview with Yuval Ron. He's an Israeli-born, world-renowned musician, award-winning composer, educator, peace activist and record producer. Among Yuval’s career accomplishments includes his musical score to the Oscar winning film West Bank Story as well as concert performances throughout countries like Morocco and Turkey. This year Yuval released a beautifully sacred world music album called Four Divine States of Mind and it includes some amazing guest performances by noteworthy names like Deva Premal. So please join us for an inspirational journey into the musical meditations of Yuval Ron!

Music from the albums Four Divine States of Mind and Voyage Through the Chakras can be heard throughout this segment.

Monday, September 14, 2020

PGM 276: Fantasy Flight 3

Another euphoric mix of chill-trance & ambient electronica to convey feelings of boundless freedom!

Artist Name / Track Title / Album Title
Tangerine Dream / Catwalk (Dress-Up Mix) / The Dream Mixes
Schiller / Klangwelten / Sun
Ben Blackett / Deep Currents / Portals
Unusual Cosmic Process / Parhelic Circle / Frames of Silence
Giuseppe Dio / Over the Clouds / The Phoenix
Dream Twice / Begin / Enta
Jim Ottaway / The Skies the Limit / When Eternity Touches Time
ELEON / Last Flight Home / Flight Lounge
Tigerforest / Constellations / Discovery
Dlaivison / Ouverture / Aeon
Astral Fogg / Timelessness (Eternal Remix) / A Breath of Fresh Air

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Album Review: Directions by Kenneth Hooper

Kenneth Hooper is a Texas-born composer and assorted flute player who initially started out playing bass guitar. In 1994, after moving to Redwood, California, he picked up his first flute at a penny whistle workshop, which eventually accompanied him everywhere while on a subsequent trip to the Amazon jungle. Upon returning to the states, he was gifted a Native American flute that he also learned to play. This led to the formation of a musical duo with his friend Garth D. Brooks under the name Elysium Calling, with whom he released two albums. Another creative path would open up for Kenneth when he entered a healing arts certificate program in San Francisco called Sound, Voice and Music, which led to the subsequent release of his debut solo double-album titled Directions.

Characterized by spaciously woven organic soundscapes ranging from gently uplifting to deeply lulling, the album features Anasazi and Chinese Xiao flutes as lead instruments throughout. Likewise, both Udu and Rav drums add an entrancing quality to several pieces, while melodic acoustic guitar gives a notable Americana flavor to three of the nine tracks total. Disc one is more rhythmic while disc two is more meditative, with the second half of the album especially emphasizing the incorporation of many nature sounds along the way, including whale-song, ocean waves, singing crickets, a flowing stream and windy effects.

One of my favorite pieces, “Directions”, beautifully opens disc one with a super-slow shamanic drum pulse, as flutes, shakers and thunderstorm effects soon enter the picture and gradually pick up pace throughout. Native female vocal chants further enhance the Southwest American atmosphere of the composition and collectively calls imagery to mind of a darkening sky over vast canyon terrain.

Another equally gorgeous piece, “Graceful Expanse” from disc two, conveys a nocturnal Pacific feel with its delicately sensuous flute notes played on the Chinese Xiao in tandem with a tranquilizing Rav drum melody. Likewise, gossamer synth-pads sustained throughout add to the composition’s enthralling ambient haze, which effectively paints enchanting visuals of a misty forest softly illuminated by starlight.

A highly praiseworthy album overall that touches on ambient, acoustic and ethnic fusion musical styles, Directions is the perfect listening experience for anyone drawn to the essences of the earth via beautifully harmonious sounds! ~Candice Michelle

Available at Amazon and other music retailers. For more information, please visit the artist's website.