Thursday, 6 March 2014

The Healing Music of Rana

Brian Eno famously stated in his manifesto for ambient music that it should work both in the background and foreground, as ignorable as it is interesting. Rarely does this ideal ever become a strong reality, with ambient music often choosing a side rather than trying to attain both. This compilation released on tropical outsider Sun Araw's excellent imprint Sun Ark completely understands this idea, whether intentionally or not. It's 4 volume tape package of the complete works of American professor and new age musician Randall McClellan. The Healing Music of Rana is nearly three hours of wonderful new age that fits in perfectly with the contemporary trend for far out, cosmic synth music. All of this music was recorded between 1977 and 1983 and it's a testament to McClellan how well it's aged. Unsurprisingly, he was interested in altered states of mind and mystic teachings. You get the feeling from this music that he was making it in order to connect back with oneself and enter a state of complete peace.Whether you believe or practice that kind of thing doesn't really matter when you listen to this music, because like the best ambient works it can completely relax and calm you. The closest modern artist that shares similarities with this music is probably the shut eyed drones of Stars of the Lid. This is music that requires patience. McClellan slowly and carefully transverses between moods and tones, contrustructing miniature universes in each song. If you're into people like Pulse Emitter and Motion Sickness of Time Travel, this is one that you shouldn't miss.

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