M5G 24085 India
Produced by Taka Nanri
Released on 1985
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Find it at GEMM
M5G 24085 cover  

G effen, now the overzealous US distribution arm of Kitaro, glutted the market with half a dozen releases in 1985, including India. While one can appreciate their enthusiasm at discovering the music of Kitaro, it has made for a difficult discography. I owned some Kitaro recordings when I was a kid, gave them away, and havenít listened to him in years. Sitting down to India, the clarity of his musical vision astounded me, like the sonic equivalent of a haiku. Yes, I know, the lazy American compares the Japanese composer to the stereotypical Japanese art form, but it goes deeper than that. Iíve studied the haiku form (okay, for like three months) and Japanese watercolor painting (a mountain of free time, arenít I?), and you canít help but notice the emphasis on simplicity, on getting one thing perfect. Kitaro finds a melody, a moment in music, and gets it perfect. While the themes of nature and spirituality naturally align with new age listeners (a.k.a. the bubble-bath bourgeoisie), Kitaroís music has more in common with electronic space pioneers like Vangelis and Jean-Michel Jarre. Actually, Kitaroís India fits nicely in the middle, somewhere between China and Equinoxe. Now, is India a work of genius or simply a type of genius at work? I say a little from column A and a little from column B. (Oh wait, thatís Chinese.) When I listen to ďPray,Ē I feel like Iím in the woods of a strange and distant world. When I listen to ďCaravansary,Ē I feel like Iím stuck in the elevator of Hotel California. In other words, where Kitaroís music finds no reference point for me, itís very liberating and Iím allowed to indulge the fantasy that this music is a direct conduit to the great Om of creation. Where I do find an existing reference point (as in ďGangaĒ), Iím likely to think how much more interesting Mike Oldfieldís Tubular Bells sounded. Of course, I wouldnít dare judge Kitaro based only on India, as the likelihood of his best work being secreted in among six releases by Geffen isnít very likely at all. And yet, if the work of Jon and Vangelis struck a chord with you, the airy and stately melodies of India are similarly striking. Though again, you can hear the two together on 1992ís Dream, so better to save that trip to India until youíve climbed some of Kitaroís more interesting peaks.


  4. PRAY
  5. GANGA

    Music and arrangements by Kitaro


KITARO -- Korg synthesizer, Roland synthesizer, Prophet 5, mini moog, 12-string guitar, acoustic guitar, Yamaha CP-80 electric piano, Fender Rhodes, Emulator, drums, percussion, sitar, santool, tambra, harp, recording and remix engineer
Moko Nanri -- associate producer
Masayoshi Ohkawa -- mixing audio engineering consultant
Naoki Fukuda -- photography
Jeffery Kent Ayeroff & Norman Moore -- art direction & design

US 1985 Geffen LP/CD/CS GHS/M5G 24085  


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