Boomkat Product Review:
Joanna Brouk’s golden new age/modern classical Moog & electric piano masterpiece is reissued on vinyl for the first time, following a resoundingly-praised 2016 compilation that revolved around its titular, 21 minute highlight.
Now replete with the original 1980 tape edition’s three B-side works for synth, saron (gamelan) and bells, ’The Space Between’ is a sublimely reclined and contemplative record for troubled minds and times that beautifully resonates with a clear and present need for the new age zeitgeist. It is among the loveliest examples of meditative music to emerge from a vital period of activity at Mills College Center For Contemporary Music, where Joanna studied under Robert Ashley and Terry Riley, and collaborated with notable peers such as Bill Maraldo (who also plays electric piano here) and Maggi Payne, whose contributions can be heard on the broader Brouk compilation ‘Hearing Music.’
Until relatively recently Joanna’s music was little known beyond new age crystal-clutching types and those with enviable tape collections, but the radiant upsurge in reissued new age obscurities has inevitably lead to her music, which was typically heard alongside the likes of Don Slepian in the legendary Hearts of Space radio broadcasts. However, like Slepian’s coveted classic Sea Of Bliss’, and many other new age charm that have resurfaced in recent times, the fact that Joanna’s music was issued on scarce tape editions has kept it reserved to blogs and YouTube until he mid part of this decade.
Understandably freckled with a bit of crackle (sorry purists, you’ll either have to make it yourself or get used to a bit of grime on the lens) from the original tape, the album takes on a new life on vinyl, with the lilting simplicity Joanna’s Moog pads and chimes fronding Bill Maraldo’s breezy electric piano in ’The Space Between’ and convecting a sound somewhere between Iasos’ dream sequences and Raul Lovisoni/Francesco Messina’s ‘Prati Del Monte Analogo’ classique, whereas the B-side trio yield a gently shimmering play of iridescent, golden tones that melt on the pineal with a digital clarity akin to Maggi Payne’s music, with unmissable moments in the gentle swell of ‘Winter Chimes’ and the spirit-healing glow of ‘Golden Cloud Layers.’
Once again, we highly recommend consuming this music with some special letters and numbers for optimal effect, but suffice it to say it’s beauty will strike you in any state of mind.