Ethereal Journey

Ray Leonard

Intended to bring the listener “to a state of relaxation and reflection,” according to the liner notes, Ethereal Journey succeeds very well at creating peaceful, restful synth atmospheres well suited to deep relaxation or meditation. Each track takes more or less the same form, constructed from several different synth loops interwoven with electronic percussion and sometimes guitar (or guitar-like sounds, anyway). On the plus side, the repeated loops can induce a state of almost hypnotic relaxation; on the minus side, they can also get kind of old when they aren’t varied enough to sustain interest throughout a given song.

Happily, most of the tracks fall on the plus side of that equation. “Endless Frontiers” particularly impressed me. The track begins with slow-plucked guitar laid over a foundational drone; electronic percussion and a bouncy synth loop build outward from there. As you listen, the world seems to drop away, boundaries opening and space expanding all around you as your mind floats free of its usual fetters and explores the vast universe within and without. And “Whale’s Lullaby” does an excellent job of seamlessly interweaving natural and electronic sounds throughout, with whale songs and water burbles from the deep ocean blending into low drones, string sounds and electronic space-blips, and a high-toned, calliope-like “light organ” synth line. The piece makes me think of the work of the artist who paints whales swimming among the stars; “Whale’s Lullaby” makes a similarly persuasive analogy between the deep oceans and deep space through music. In the end, Ethereal Journey is well worth a listen if you’re looking for a peaceful, uplifting, New Age musical experience.

Ray Leonard Records, 25531 Crockett Lane, Stevenson Ranch, CA, 91381, http://www.RayLeonardRecords.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • General Magic
    General Magic

    General Magic invented the smart phone in 2002, but just couldn’t get it to market. That’s just how they rolled.

  • Blue October
    Blue October

    Alternative 90s rockers Blue October rolled into Central Florida for a two-night run at House of Blues, and Michelle Wilson was blown away.

  • Pahokee

    Pahokee produces sugar cane and poverty, but some the brighter students might make it to the big time with a college degree and a new zip code.

  • Sumo Princess
    Sumo Princess

    When An Electric Storm. (Educational Recordings) Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Laura Valle
    Laura Valle

    Charismatic. Review by Stacey Zering.

  • Ramen Shop
    Ramen Shop

    A young man searches for the secrets of his family and great Ramen.

  • Southern Avenue
    Southern Avenue

    Keep On (Concord Records). Review by James Mann.

  • Don Felder
    Don Felder

    Don Felder took music fans down Eagles’ memory lane at Disney Epcot’s® Garden Rocks Concert Series, and Michelle Wilson loved every nostalgic moment of it.

  • Alfred Sergel IV
    Alfred Sergel IV

    Alfred Sergel IVtet (The Tam Tam Group). Review by Stacey Zering.

  • Tanika Charles
    Tanika Charles

    The Gumption (Record Kicks). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

From the Archives