Kitaro
Astral Voyage


4.5
superb

Review

by Lakes. USER (20 Reviews)
June 10th, 2011 | 10 replies


Release Date: 1978 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An ethereal journey far ahead of its time.

If there's one thing I know for sure, it's this:
Listening to Astral Voyage for the first time is an experience. The second you hear the crashing of waves begin the album on "By the Seaside," you know there's a journey ahead of you. It's not until you fully immerse yourself, however, that you realize how beautiful that journey is.

At his best, Kitaro channels an ethereal, inexplicable presence throughout Astral Voyage. The man once lived at the foot of Mt. Fuji in utter isolation, and it shows in how deeply unaffected his music is by the world around it, even if it combines traditional Japanese music with European-synth-flair. The attention to progression is simply stunning; the focus deftly changes from calm to dramatic, sorrowful to triumphant. Hell, Sufjan could have learned something from Kitaro; "Beat" rides on a proto-Age-of-Adz-groove that's as instantly captivating as you'd expect it to be.

The music is heavily synth-based, but attention is paid to traditional instrumentation throughout Astral Voyage; tribal drums, koto, and mandolin weave in and out of soundscapes painted by layers upon layers of synthesizers. Yet the music present here is no simple, pretty, drone; the mood, tempo, and themes change so fluidly between tracks, that you could easily forget that you're supposedly listening to a "New Age" album.

And that's the catch; from an outside view, it could be easy to dismiss Kitaro and his art as "New Age bullsh*t." But "New Age bullsh*t" this is not; Astral Voyage commands your attention every step of the way. Although one can argue that it is as much of a spiritual experience as it is a musical one, ultimately this only makes the album stronger as a whole. The underlying beauty found here is simply undeniable. In fact, I could have shortened this entire review into four words: "Just listen to it."



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user ratings (4)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
pizzamachine
June 10th 2011


13480 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hey Lakes, long time no review. In honor of you, and because this sounds absolutely fantastic, I'll immediately give this a listen.

pizzamachine
June 10th 2011


13480 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah. This is... weird. Good thing I like weird.

pizzamachine
June 10th 2011


13480 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Seems like the perfect tripping material with those alien sounds or whatnot.

pizzamachine
June 10th 2011


13480 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm feeling a 4 for now, is that alright?

pizzamachine
June 10th 2011


13480 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hmm it's pretty different from this one, not sure on rating.

SowingSeason
Moderator
June 11th 2011


25040 Comments


wanted to look this up on itunes but couldnt find it

Jethro42
June 16th 2011


15127 Comments


Very well done, Lakes. Nice to see you reviewing again. I sure will check it out.

Jethro42
June 16th 2011


15127 Comments


Aight man, I'll let you know what I think of it all.

DrJohn
March 19th 2015


1041 Comments


I fancy "Dawn of the Astral" & the t/t... maybe "Fire" as well.

DrJohn
March 20th 2015


1041 Comments


^ Any recs?



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