Akara's debut album is my favorite of 2011; its cinematic, orchestral, transcendental downtempo electronica breaks genres and creates its own world - unlike anything I've heard before. As an artistic statement, the album is completely cohesive and creates a cinematic sonic realm that is at once both totally unique & yet soulfully familiar. I urge you to take a listen to this amazing work of art! My favorite live music performance this year was seeing Akara perform at Beloved festival; it was pure magic. Check out this interview with Joshua Penman!
Find it Here: http://akaraproject.com/
I've been an ecstatically obsessed fan of Bluetech since 2005, and every album he's put out has been pretty much amazing. His latest release, Rainforest Reverberations, showcases some of my favorite tracks of his yet, and he co-created several tracks with other producers including Kilowatts & Kalya Scintilla, and featured the voices of both Eve LadyApples & Katrina Blackstone. Personally, I'm completely obsessed with the tracks 667 & Emerald Epiphytes, and I adore the poetic invocations of LadyApples that begin & complete the album. Additionally, this album is part of the Critical Beats series, so proceeds of this album go towards supporting the Amazon Rainforest.
Find it Here: http://criticalbeats.bandcamp.com/album/bluetech-rainforest-reverberation
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In February, Lady Gaga appeared on 'Good Morning America' just two days after her legendary entrance at the Grammy's in a space-age egg vessel, where she won 3 Grammy awards and performed 'Born This Way' live. In her interview with Robin Roberts, she talked about AIDS and 'safe sex' wearing an outfit inspired by condoms. When Roberts asked her about her egg entrance at the Grammy's, Gaga told her she had been in the egg vessel for 3 days. Roberts asked her, "What did you do in there for 3 days?" Gaga responded: "I wanted to have a rebirth, and I think the universe needs to have a rebirth. I think we all need to be inside a vessel for 3 whole days, thinking about how we can love ourselves more, protect ourselves more, live life with more passion, and look not outwards for validation but inwards - look inside of yourself to your spirit and your inner light." Gaga's comments about bringing the gaze inwards, to our spirit and inner light is central to spiritual and yogic philosophy, and in that I witness Gaga as a spiritual pop star that is expanding her heart and unconditional love to the world. The first time I watched Gaga's interview on Good Morning America, tears spontaneously erupted out of my eyes as I felt the authenticity of her sharing on such an enormous global platform.
Lady Gaga is a visionary pop star icon for the 21st century and the emerging new paradigm. She communes with her fans intimately through facebook, twitter and videos with an incredibly open heart, and seems to be saying over and over again that the core of her message is about how to love oneself. Her message to her fans is to inspire them to love themselves more and more fearlessly despite external conditionings that project a message of lack of self worth. Indeed, the chorus of her latest single croons, "I'm beautiful in my way, because God makes no mistakes - I'm on the right track baby, I was born this way. Don't hide yourself in regret, just love yourself and you're set - I'm on the right track baby, I was born this way." When singing the song to oneself, as a catchy pop-song is meant to do, the message is a mantra for opening to self-love. By using the mind-embedding hook of a pop song, she is impregnating every fan with the message that "I am beautiful, God makes no mistakes - I am perfect exactly as I am, I am divinely created, I love myself." What message could be more important in this world where so many struggle with self-acceptance, depression, hopelessness, loss of soul-purpose - triggered by the messages that we receive from the external that limit and subjugate our self-worth?