Martyrs of Sound, Radhe’s Dream

Your ticket to bliss awaits on the new Martyrs of Sound release, Radhe’s Dream. Dr. Steve Koc, along with vocalist Sara Wiseman, percussionist Jason Carter and bassist Silver Sørenson, takes an hour out of your day and gently fills it with music that manages to fuse a quiet folk feeling, gorgeous Sanskirt/yogic chants and an unhurried New Age ease. Koc’s guitar takes the lead from the beginning, starting with “Song of the Universe.” He plays with a meditative patience and a sense of simple, soulful honesty. The ringing tones of the strings carry the sl0w-motion melody, paired off with quiet pads to lull you into a peaceful place. Think of it as unwinding music rather than meditation music. But you’ll do a lot of both. The tracks flow seamlessly into one another and the tone stays low-key and intent on relaxing you. Carter’s percussive elements slip in at the corners, from simple tapping to the snap of a tabla, never much above a whisper, but enough to insinuate itself into your personal groove. Wiseman’s voice, lush and silky and reassuring, reminding me often of Donna De Lory, first comes to us on the title track and begins the chant-oriented section of the disc. Sorenson’s bass anchors the track and folds in a character all its own. Koc’s guitar here sings in perfect counter to Wiseman, and his calmly paced solos just deepen the sensation. This is the longest track on the disc, and it completely takes you over. With “Govinda’s Dream” the tempo ratchets up just slightly; Carter’s tabla holds the lead here, catching your blissfully drifting attention as it opens the path to “Om Shanti” and the sensual gyrations of “Soul’s Tantra.”  The disc closes with the aptly titled “Beautiful,” reprising much of Koc’s melodic wanderings through the piece. Carter comes in with a friendly sounding melodica line, and Wiseman sings dreamily, reminding us that we are beautiful.

I can’t say enough about this disc. It’s fantastic. I have played it on loop for hours; it has accompanied me on quiet evenings on my deck, watching sunsets or counting stars; and yet it sounds fresh every time I come back to it. It’s a palliative, for sure, an hour-long therapy session at the end of the day–or any time. Even if you think your tastes don’t run to healing/yoga music, you owe it to yourself to try a dose of Radhe’s Dream. It’s very good stuff.

Available from the Martyrs of Sound web site.

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