Boomkat Product Review:
Brandon Hocura’s Séance Centre pull out Sam McLellan’s sublime 1982 new age opus Music Of The Five Elements for this invaluable first vinyl reissue. Devised as ‘healing music’ designed to “balance the energy levels of the body”, this, the first of three sought-after volumes, borrows from the ancient Chinese philosophy of medicine now used in acupuncture, to riff pentatonic on guitar, synth, piano and ciao (Chinese flute) in a seamless, rolling suite best consumed in one go for best effect. The A-side is focussed on the cyclical guitar strums, while a much stronger 2nd side focusses deeper on the synth, keys and vocal treatments.
“Acupressurist and electronic composer Sam McClellan's Music of the Five Elements is a work of perfectly tuned healing music. A deeply felt distillation Minimalism (in the Tony Conrad / La Monte Young school), American Primitive guitar (Fahey & Basho) and even psychedelia. The album is a continuous sound voyage for voice, synthesizer, guitar, bowed bass, piano, effects and ciao (Chinese flute) all played by McClellan himself. Although divided into sections, the journey is best undertaken as a whole, without distraction. As McClellan himself wrote on the original liner notes:
"The optimum effect of Music of the Five Elements will be achieved if each side of this recording is played through, from beginning to end without interruption. Music of the Five Elements, when used as a meditational or body work tool, rather than entertainment, will increase in effect over time. Overplaying or improper use, however, may eventually diminish its designed effect.”