Laraaji -Bring On The Sun / Sun Gong album review
Ambient maverick’s two-album sunny delight
Most people probably only know Edward Larry Gordon’s music through his 1980, Brian Eno-produced Day Of Radiance. Yet subsequent releases have proved an invaluable exploration of a fascinating sonic space that serenely floats between ambient, new age, electronic and world music. Bring On The Sun is initially familiar – wind chimes discretely shimmering in the background while luxuriant ripples of gently hammered zither ride off on plangent waves of echo. However, the album opens out into contrasting but thoroughly cohesive pieces that variously place harmonica, acoustic guitar and cavernous church organ in the foreground. The autobiographical spoken narrative on Reborn In Virginia, evoking Gordon’s early-1950s childhood in the backwoods, is suffused in sitar drones and ambling percussion, and it’s both beautiful and powerful.Sun Gong occupies more familiar Laraaji territory, containing two drone-style pieces garnered from close-mic’d overtones emanating from a gong which is made to bloom into swaying, harmonic clusters. The inclusion of a simple falsetto vocal melody toward the end of each piece brings an uplifting transcendence that’s simply a joy to hear.