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Call of the Mystic

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Album Review

While other genre labels like Narada and Windham Hill diversified from their new age roots, Real Music has been consistent over the years in providing nothing but the best music for relaxation, meditation, and spiritual enhancement. Their most notable recordings come from an Eastern Buddhist mindset, with multi-instrumentalist Karunesh leading the pack on the strength of previous discs Zen Breakfast and Nirvana Café. His basic approach to contemplative music involves a blend of exotic textures (bells, chimes, Tibetan bowls, sitar, and Chinese instruments) with easy grooves and rich walls of ambience. The new collection's trance-inducing instrumentation and sensuous rhythms begins with a few minutes of pure ambience and sitar before slowly introducing a gentle percussive line ("For the Joy of It All"); Avinash's graceful Indian violin carries a mournful beauty that is also part of the similarly hypnotic, easy-grooving "Monsoon's Dance." Bikram's Basuri flute floats through beautifully in key locations, such as the introduction of "Mount Kailash." While the uninitiated might feel that there's a certain repetitive nature to the tracks (which usually begin with sparse instrumentation before the electricity is turned on), the intention is more to invoke a sense of inner peace than to be truly innovative. The title of the richly textured "Zensual" sums up the mystical intent of the thought-provoking exercise.


Genre: New Age

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Karunesh took an active interest in music during his youth in Germany, back when he was still known as Bruno Reuter. But it wasn't until he was 23 and took a mean spill off his motorbike that Reuter received his epiphany in the form of new age spiritualism. A pilgrimage to India followed, where he reemerged as Karunesh (Sanskrit for "compassion"). He issued his debut LP, Sounds of the Heart, in 1984, and never looked back. Karunesh was remarkably consistent over the next 20 years, releasing numerous...
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Call of the Mystic, Karunesh
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