New Age is the new drone. After the beautiful compilation “I Am The Center: Private Issue New Age Music In America 1950-1990” everyone talks about new age as the new thing. I’m not sure about the fuzz, but there are some truly great releases. Mark Bannings “Journey to the Light” is recorded 1984, but it could have made today or  years before then.
the label doesn’t have a direct webshop, but pre-orders pop up everywhere now.

Recorded in northern California in 1984 and released in a micro edition by the Creative Sound
imprint in January of the following year, “Journey to the Light” is a true lost gem of private issue
New Age music, an album that is more spoken about than heard and deserves to be recognized
alongside established classics of the genre. For too long it has languished out of print and been
nearly impossible to come by, occasionally popping up in private auctions only to be snatched
up by savvy collectors. Performed with processed electric guitar, zither, voice, and field
recordings, it is unabashedly beautiful music- two sidelong pieces that feel as though they may
have always existed, hanging in the air like a morning fog over the Pacific. For as archetypal to
the genre as Banning’s compositions might appear to be, it would be remiss not to comment on
their singular nature, on what sets them apart from those works to which one would be inclined
to compare them. Indeed, Banning’s music has a seriousness and intensity that was absent
from much of the New Age scene as it existed in the early ’80s. The album’s first piece,
“Everlasting Moments,” charts a course somewhere between the weblike guitar cycles of
Manuel Gottsching and the buoyant minimalism of Terry Riley. “A Sea of Glass” constructs itself
similarly but navigates even calmer waters, providing the listener with a sensuous tapestry of
ever-evolving guitar drones and radiant zither filigree. These heady, oddly prescient recordings
were uncovered by New Age historian/figurehead Douglas Mcgowan (Yoga Records) and will
appeal as much to fans of drone and ambient music as to those enamored with labyrinthine
annals of American private press records, New Age as such, or with the recent renaissance of
synthesizer-based experimental music. Remastered for presence and clarity by James Plotkin,
we’re proud to offer up the definitive edition of Mark Banning’s transportive masterwork.

The Details

LP limited to 500 copies on Students of Decay.

Price $16

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