Posts Tagged ‘Lee Negin’

Lee Negin

The Falling of the Long ShadowsLee Negin Falling of the Long Shadows Cover

Passing Phase Music, Catalog # A2Z-2017

Released in 2017

Review by Kent Manthie

The new album by Lee Negin is a super electronic fantasy. Starting with the opener, “The Lesser Gods”, The Falling of the Long Shadows takes you on an astral journey; a trip through a kind of dream-space medium. It isn’t ambient, nor is it a techno-house-acid kind of electronica either; more of a hypnogogic dance through a viscous medium, like heavy water or corn syrup, i.e., slow-motion gyrations.

A little shorter than previous works (40 minutes), you, nonetheless, are exposed to a tour through unknown territory, maybe unreal territory, even. The music sucks you in, not unlike a black hole, except you can fall in without “spaghettifying” and even travel back, at the speed of light to come out at the end.

The stuff on The Falling of the Long Shadows is something completely new. I can’t think of anyone to whom I can compare it. On the album, Lee’s pulled out all the stops to try and discover the limits of imagination in a musical realm. Track number two, “Beyond (the Beyond)” is a kind of repetitive drone cycle, but not at all simplistic. The repetitions I’m writing about are layered over with a variety of sounds, feelings, even visions, especially if you’re listening with headphones and aren’t distracted. On “Between Thoughts” things settle down some; the song has this feeling of soundwaves washing over you as if you’re standing beneath a waterfall; cascading down on you and around you.

“Parvati” does have a little bit to it which reminds me of Brian Eno, to some degree, although only in a sonic sense, i.e., it doesn’t sound like this or that album or song, there’s just a certain feeling. But by the middle of the song it starts to get into Krautrock territory for a bit. I’m thinking here of Neu! or Faust, maybe some early Kraftwerk, as well, with some beautiful piano in there at the end, which continues on, into the beginning of “No Turning Back”, as well, in fact, “No Turning Back” serves as a kind of Entr’acte between two parts. The whole song has a really mellow, less otherworldly vibe to it, with a beautiful piano playing and strings backing it up (but that could be synthesized string sounds too). It finally ends in a quiet fading. “Warping Out” sounds like something one might hear from the modern incarnation(s) of King Crimson. A chaotic, somewhat frenzied, yet ordered all the same, melange of sonic delight. Seven and a half minutes of superb quality sounds!

Yes, this is one blissful album. By the time it ends, you’re so into it that you aren’t ready to leave this realm, so you might try to find something similar, older or new, or even a previous CD of Negin’s (http://passingphasemusic.com. is where you can find more of Negin’s catalog).  The album’s finale, “Requiem for Cheeze” is a nod to Lee’s previous opus, The Cheeze Chronicles, Vol. 5, which, itself, was a delightful odyssey into other-dimensional arenas.  Fans as well as neophytes alike will appreciate this paean to the aforementioned album.  Not only that, but “Requiem for Cheeze” also happens to be a great tune with which to close out the album.

So, to end where I began, The Falling of the Long Shadows is a superb album. I think it’s one of Lee’s best works. From having corresponded via email with him, I know he put a lot into making this album. It was a labor of love and a kind of test for himself; pushing the limits of the imagination with sonic intensity. He definitely passed the “test”!

One other thing:  I strongly urge you to get this album (that is, if you haven’t figured that out by now)  One easy way is to follow this link, to where you can find out more about Lee, e.g., anything not covered here as well as purchase a copy of this great groove that digs deep into your subconscious:  http://passingphasemusic.com.   Then, after getting your copy, maybe go back and leave Lee a message, letting him know that this is such a soothing balm, a perfect antidote to cloying, overplayed pop songs on your average FM radio station.  In other words, send words of encouragement to Lee to let him know that he is sorely needed in this era of ephemeral “alternative” radio flavors.  Remember, too, that word-of-mouth is the best kind of advertising:  it is genuine; you like it, you tell a friend or three.  You’re not getting paid for this, which is why telling a friend or friends, plural, about how great this album is is worth more than the most expensive ad campaigns!!   –KM.

Here’s a link in which you can lose yourself.  The new one from Lee Negin.  Have a look below.  Also, check out this playlist for a wider selection of material and visually stunning material from Lee; https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLHpbB7VBzptzr4SEzw4pnMaTrjyUtZKQT

-KM.

Here is yet another new video wonder from Lee Negin, whose new CD, Entheogenic Dharma Music is reviewed 2 entries back.

I like the music as well as the accompanying video for it.  Both are expressive and showcase a unique, cosmopolitan potpourri; a universal love letter to artistic expression, be it musical, visual, or whatnot.

Anyway, let me now introduce you to “Hungry Ghosts” and say “hope you enjoy it!”.  Let the video, the music within, be your gateway to a (temporary, at least) extra-dimensional space where you can escape all the chaos and mass insanity going around as if it were an epidemic of some contagion spreading fast.  Take this with you and let the audio/visual stimulation of it be your guide to a sort of inner space.  -KM.

Below, please check out two videos of two songs from Lee Negin’s new album, Entheogenic Dharma Music, out now (refer to my review of this album, the newest, most recently posted review, to read more about the album).  Both videos are intense with color and stunning graphic displays.
Anyway, here are two videos for your pleasure:  the 1st one is “Entheogenic Dharma Music (E.D.M.)” and the 2nd one is “Psychonautics 101 (Explore Inner Space)”.  Hope you enjoy them!  –KM.

Future Groove

Posted: June 8, 2016 in New Indie Music
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Lee Negin

Entheogenic Dharma MusicLee Negin Entheogenic Dharma Music (EDM) cover

Self-Released, 2016

Reviewed by Kent Manthie

The latest album to come out from the cosmopolitan Lee Negin, the enticingly mouthful of a title, Entheogenic Dharma Music, is another in a rich, musical journey; a rich, psychonautical juggernaut, capable of emptying the tables and the bar-stools within a few minutes of its charm, it’s seductive, mesmerizing, and quite gratifying as well, that is, it can be gratifying whether you’re in a trance, chemically or organically induced, or if you’re home, alone (and, let’s say, for the sake of argument, you live in an apartment building, one where excessive noise is frowned upon, you can make good use of headphones -earbuds, IMO, give me the best sound and when you have them pushed into your ear, like that, and you turn on some music, turn it up, nice and loud, you’ll soon have this feeling where it’s as if the music is coming right from your brain, especially if you’re caught up in something with elements of sonic virtuosity; that’s, for me, one of the advantages of tight-fitting ear buds.

Anyway, so, getting back to Lee Negin and his adventurous new work, Entheogenic Dharma Music, it’s another in a line of albums which Lee has released over the past five or six years: entrancing works of art, from the intricate designs on the covers to the complex, layered sounds which converge quite nicely. The beat is steady, though not too “up front”; the rhythm, the percussion, kind of stays…well, out of the foreground, at least. By no means, though, does that diminish that infectious beat, which drives the music.

As far as the title of the album, itself; well, I wanted to get some kind of definition or explanation of what “entheogenic” was and it was from Wikipedia that I found a great working definition of the word:

An entheogen (“generating the divine within”) is a chemical substance used in a religious, shamanic, or spiritual context that often induces psychological or physiological changes.

Entheogens have been used to supplement many diverse practices geared towards achieving transcendence, including meditation, yoga, prayer, psychedelic art, chanting, and multiple forms of music. They have also been historically employed in traditional medicine via psychedelic therapy

That was just the top paragraph of the entry for Entheogenic in Wikipedia. Anyway, I’m glad I checked up on the word itself because it then gave more meaning to Negin’s work.

A few songs worth mentioning here include the opening cut, “Dervish Dharma Dancing”, an 8 ½ minute pleasure trip that then, seamlessly goes right into the next cut, which is one of my faves on here “Psychonautics 101(Explore Inner Space)” which gives off a kind of transient, in a cosmic sense, sentiment. “Yamonote Line” is also a great ride. It’s a 10:37 trip into outer space via inner space. Great ending to it as well!

Also, when we talk about Entheogenic Dharma Music having, in part, a psychedelic tinge, we’re not talking about what many think of when they hear the word “psychedelic”: hippies, long hair, acid, and, by the late 60s, a dumbing down, at least by many, certainly not all, of the whole Timothy Leary/Richard Alpert school of LSD – but, hey, when you compare Leary and co.’s work – serious, academic research – to what the CIA as well as other intel agencies, like Army Intelligence, was doing in the 50s: doing their LSD research on unwitting subjects.

By the time I got to the second half of the album, I noticed that the music started to take on a different shape, so to speak. While still maintaining its neo-psychedelic colors, songs like “In the Lucid Moments” and the first half of “Last Acid Drop (Rev. 2)” had slowed the average tempo down a bit and mellowed out its initial intensity, but by the time you get to the latter part of “Last Acid Drop (Rev. 2)” the beats get more steady and lots of interesting, programmed sounds whistle on through until it has morphed into a dreamy, ethereal specter, which takes you to the edge of the song and then slowly goes out in a glowing halo of light.

That’s still not the end, though. Next there are two tracks left: “Crystal Shards Infuse My Tea” and the title track. The latter of which has this electric ambience to it, shape-shifting its sounds as we go through it. For a good comparison -or at least something not too far out from it, think of “Aumgn” from one of my favorite Can albums, Tago Mago, and you’ll see what I’m talking about. As for the title track, it’s got this swirling sound in the background that is made up of either a guitar or a synth programmed to sound like one. That, plus, some great drumming that also seems to go around in circles. I bet it’d sound really intense on headphones. It’s also the right tune on which to go out. As the title track goes on, it seems to envelop the listener in this, I don’t know, “industrial EDM”-? Or maybe instead of trying to pin a label on it, why not just say what it sounds like and then say that it’s electronic-based, DIY, done by someone who really knows how to put together a good package (of music) and it’s the stuff Lee did. So, let’s just call it future-electro-dance that happens to be quite good and shouldn’t necessarily be stuffed into one box, at the expense of others not getting to hear it because they base their music selections on the “genre” or “subgenre”.

Anyway, give it a try and see how it fits in with other, like-minded projects. If you’d like to see a video from this, check out: https://youtu.be/eJuKWZ51Kco to check out the video for the title track; the graphics are quite trippy! Don’t watch it if you’re likely to get an epileptic seizure, from all the flashing lights, etc.!! Also – if you want to catch another video from the new album, check out the one for “Psychonautics 101 (Explore Inner Space)”: https://youtu.be/2g0HA4lLtsE – that should give you a taste for what else is there. Enjoy! -KM.

Lee Negin

Dervish Dharma Dance (Single)

Passing Phase Music, 2015

Review by Kent Manthie                                               Dervish Dharma Dance pic2

Well, just in time for the holidays, another new single by the cosmopolitan Lee Negin, American, by birth and citizen of the world by choice: after spending some time in Seoul for a while, Lee’s recently relocated to Tokyo, from where he’s been busy putting out some new, electronica. Music that, less so than the recently released “Frack Art, Let’s Dance” single, which was, as Negin himself put it “an EDM cut…and I’m not into EDM”. This time around, however, with “Dervish Dharma Dance”, a longer, more hypnogogic experience, running at eight and a half minutes, Lee sort of picks apart; deconstructs, if you like, the whole EDM thing and rebuilds it in a more, well, shall we say “club friendly” way, but in a more mysterious, a little bit darker way, with what hit me as violet-indigo-shaded soundscapes, after listening to it.

Take the title of the song, for instance: “Dervish Dharma Dance”: that conjures up images of an Eastern – more far- and far-southeast Asian styles, as in a pinch of this, a dash of that, a few teaspoons of the mystic and a cupful of the mysterious.

One thing that captivates me is the long running time of this song; instead of suddenly ending (or getting mixed into another tune) just as you’ve finished floating and have gotten a solid foothold on the dance floor, “Dervish Dharma Dance” takes its own sweet time with its near-ultra-violet end of the electromagnetic spectrum, only a fraction of which is visible (to the naked eye) light. The whole concept of sounds giving way to colors or “seeing sounds” and “hearing colors”, a sensation of synaesthesia, often achieved through methods of opening up, expanding or using to a more full degree, your consciousness, whether it be through the help of psychedelics like LSD, yage, mescaline or peyote, a state of deep yogic meditation which is something anyone can achieve, just depending on how hard one works at it and the concentration and practice one puts into it.

Even the title of the song, “Dervish Dharma Dance” has a certain spiritual substance to it. It conjures up images of Sufis in South Asia spinning wildly in their attainment of a religious ecstasy; one that they use to get closer to Allah. But you may enjoy this from the comfort of your own home, in your chair or sofa, maybe with the lights turned low or off. The music has a very sensuous sound to it. It’s a very beautiful song too. A great electro-dreamscape that would be quite fitting to have playing when you’re right in that state when you’re on the cusp of sleep; in that shadowy world, right when your wakeful state metamorphoses into sleep; maybe you could let it become part of your dreamtime if you were to put your player on “repeat”, so that “Dervish Dharma Dance” would continuously play, in a loop. The song would be just right for that too, as it isn’t some pop song, with your typical “verse/chorus/verse” or beginning, middle & end, which would one would think, get to be somewhat repetitious, even to the sleeping mind.  If you’d like to get a glimpse of the video on You Tube of the new single, check out  https://youtu.be/MsEHYq1WlUM – and see it first.

I could also see this being a great anthem to be part of a live show that would have the audience entranced and in a dance! Feverish fun!! -KM.