Monday, March 10, 2014

Mark Banning - Journey to the Light (SOD104)

Awaken the slumbering soul. Peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Benevolence and compassion flourish as your hub of awareness is inundated by faithful vibrations of zither and guitar drone. Journey to the Light, reissued on vinyl by Students of Decay, is Mark Banning's long out of print new age lp. Initially released in a small pressing by Creative Sound, Banning's 1984 private press gem was uncovered by Yoga Records head and new age historian, Douglas Mcgowan. Mcgowan is also responsible for compiling the tracks on the impressive new age compilation from Light in the Attic Records, I am the Center.

 If there exists a sonic panacea, then this is it. Right from the drop of the needle, Banning's facility with composition and texture are conspicuous. He composed this album utilizing processed guitar, zither, voice and field recordings. It represents a constantly shifting tapestry of uplifting vibrations, intimate moments, sonic ruminations, encompassing warmth and ripping tones.  Side A, 'Everlasting Moments' unfolds naturally, with Banning stimulating your perception through otherworldly vibrations. Layers of warm strings cascade and hover at the beginning. Soulful plucks and resonant zither shimmer in the morning light. Buoyant strings sing to the sky's zenith. The reverberating chime of plucked strings combines effectively with zither that fills the soul with light. Gentle currents meander and beget a brilliant deluge. Compared to side A, the vibe on the flipside, "A Sea of Glass", is even more soothing. Heavenly strings gently shower the listener with a calmness that pervades the track. Pronounced, pulsing vibrations abut tranquil cycles of guitar, zither and field recordings.The use of voice in this track acts to complement the instrumentation, such as the ethereal vocal drone that combines adeptly with guitar and zither.

Journey to the Light is an essential purchase. These top shelf vibrations make the flowers of the mind bloom. Copious accolades are due to Students of Decay for reissuing a real gem. This is only the start for Students of Decay in 2014. Future releases include a Kyle Bobby Dunn 3lp; Maxwell August Croy and Sean McCann collaboration; and a collaboration by Duane Pitre and Cory Allen. I purchased my copy from Fusetron.            

peace and love, friends :)