Boomkat Product Review:
Following up from Finders Keepers’ reissue of “In Alpha Mood” back in 2015, sister label Dead-Cert (run in collaboration with Demdike Stare) finally give life to these restored, previously unheard archival recordings of harmonisation of biofeedback techniques and hypnotic synth sonics from Ami Shavit. Part outsider electronic album; part physiological experiment; part work of art; this is not your average new age record…
With an enviable private collection of synthesisers amassed during his travels to the US in the early 1970’s and shipped home to Tel Aviv (where he was an established kinetic artist, as well as a professor of both philosophy and Art) Ami’s main focus was the desire to combine his love of electronic music acts such as Tangerine Dream, Philip Glass and new synthesiser technology, with his interest in the relatively new technique of biofeedback - a process in which technology was used to relay information about the body’s functions in order to enable a change of physiological activity.
Combined with his understanding of alpha brainwaves (primarily attributed to a function of the brain that deals with relaxation), Ami embarked on an experiment with what he called 'Alpha Mood' - a state in which the brain works in relaxation and in which music is used as a means of helping induce its own meditative state.
The fruit of that experimentation came in the form of a single privately pressed LP aptly titled In Alpha Mood which was limited to only 500 copies and distributed exclusively by a longtime friend, agent and owner of a small local record shop in Tel Aviv. Five 1/4 inch tapes (including the In Alpha Mood master tape) represent the only remaining artefacts of Ami’s experiments - the rest having been either lost, given to friends or simply thrown away.
Undated and unannotated, these raw studio recordings proivde a rare glimpse of Ami at work in his attempts to perfect his technique and reach the plane of Alpha Mood. The A-side’s Neural Oscillations sounds like Tangerine Dream on a magic carpet flight, but the LP really comes into its own on the B-side with the much slower meter and raga-esque phrasing of Alpha Rhythms 1, and most particularly in Alpha Rhythms 2 where Shavit chills out on the distracting top lines to focus on a wide, spongy, sluggish bass tone and icy melody with a transfixing appeal recalling Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe’s contemporary practice.