As any album proudly bearing labels such as relaxation and meditation hoves into view, I have a tendency to brace for a salvo of head shop, whale noise nonsense and wind chime cacophony. But if more people working in such a broad and often misrepresented genre made music like Christopher Rapkin’s Release, then there would be nothing to worry about. It is an album which goes beyond the mere label of mood music and wanders through more exciting musical territory, well if exciting is not quite the right word…maybe worthy, clever and unique are better fits. It skirts the realms of minimal, Vangelis soundscapes, of progressive rock interludes, of futuristic dreams and galactic visions. But the purpose here is not the outward journey that some of the track titles might suggest, but an inner voyage, one built of meditation, calmness and introspection.
And again, unlike many working in similar fields, this record goes beyond a collection of pleasing sounds or creative expression, though it obviously encapsulates that as well, but instead is composed of carefully selected sonics, of precise combinations of rhythm and musical vibration to create this Zen bubble that the music is helping you to attain. And even coming, as I do, from a more cynical place, away from such transcendental arguments, it is still quite simply a beautiful collection of music. Perfect for repeat play at low volume throughout the house or as the back drop to a chilled gathering or late supper. And even by admitting as much I guess that is the argument won on the behalf of the artist, even without delving too knowingly into the neurological reasoning behind the music I’m happy to admit that it enhances the room, chills the atmosphere and calms the soul. Damnit, I was determined to stay detached and just review, well, that’s the power of music I guess…who knew? Well, Mr Rapkin for one!