Carlos Niño

Bliss On Dear Oneness

  • AllMusic Rating
    7
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

The seventh Carlos Niño & Friends release is a mixture of improvisations and layers of overdubs, forming what the composer calls "space collage music." The pieces document in-the-moment outpourings of cosmic energy, sometimes mixing disparate sounds with seemingly no obvious connection, and rarely having proper beginnings or endings. It can get formless and soupy at times, as on opening track "Pulsating," an ultra-trippy mélange of crickets, rushing water, brief synth flashes, and third-eye visions. However, the more focused selections are truly magnificent and inspiring. "Ojai CBD 072918" is a jazz improvisation featuring drummer Jamire Williams and saxophonist Sam Gendel that builds up from swelling cymbals into fiery soloing, richly layered with bells and shakers, and punctuated by ecstatic cries of joy. The same trio of musicians also create "Corazón Topanga 122918," a similarly stirring improvisation filled with whirring vibrations and tricky drumming that sounds like someone trying to dodge raindrops during a storm. "Esssssssence," featuring Jamael Dean and Shabazz Palaces' Ishmael Butler, is a vast sea of immersive, comforting bass joined by scattered voices, shimmering keyboards, and flutes, with an African drum and vocal loop briefly emerging near the end. "Commend-Hyper6" highlights the choppy, complex drumming of Deantoni Parks, and starts out knotty before gradually smoothing out. New age legend Laraaji (who inspired the title of the album) and beatmaker Photay contribute to the sublime "Forest Pulse," where a syrupy rhythm trudges underneath billowing clouds of bass. "Reverbechosystem" (with another godfather of new age, Iasos) takes a step back for a more solemn reflection, sounding surprisingly like a cloud rap instrumental minus drums. More challenging than the average new age record, Bliss On Dear Oneness is spontaneous, unpredictable, and immensely spirited.

blue highlight denotes track pick