Enlightened Love

Blue Monk

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Enlightened Love Review

by Jonathan Widran

Since the 1990s, Real Music has been a prime source of spa and healing music, and the packaging on this renowned Malaysian musician/composer's label debut makes no bones about its music being ideal for therapeutic practices like yoga, t'ai chi, meditation, and personal and spiritual awakening. What sets Blue Monk (real name: Rasull Soon) apart from similar projects in this vein is the way he uses different focal instruments to create distinctive moods along the pathway to peace and enlightenment. He has contributed to various projects by Indian flautist Rajendra Teredesai, who creates unique sonic dimensions on this set with his Native American flute, merging together with Blue Monk's powerful use of drums and distant vocal chanting; prime examples of this hypnotic fusion are the ten-minute, multi-faceted meditation "Cosmic Zen" and the dreamy opening piece, "Eastern Sun." Blue Monk takes a different approach to "Letting Go," leading with a graceful piano melody that is only subtly enhanced by touches of percussion and synth atmosphere. "Alicia's Dream" integrates a more esoteric piano exploration with deeper ambience, while "Journey Within" is pop-oriented and rhythmic, easing along with occasional female vocal accents, chanting, sitar, and wistful flute, among other seductive textures. The titles of the final two expansive tracks state the overall goal of what this transcendent vibe is supposed to achieve: "State of No Mind" and "Enlightened Love."

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