While I have liked Char-el's previous work, I've always found it to be a bit too dramatic to be relaxing. It is stand-alone music in the mode of Demby or Kitaro, not very ambient but cosmic, especially with headphones!
His latest release, The Healing, is more suitable for relaxation and meditation. His synths are aided by guitar, flute and harp this time around, as well as nature sounds. Previous Char-el CDs get played in my car, this one is for bed.
There are some beautiful harp arpeggio, something not often heard with cosmic sounds. I was skeptical as to how well the guitar would fit in, but it does just fine. The flute takes the lead often in places where one of Char's ethereal synths would have before. The whole effect is much fuller , more alive than with just electronics. Humanity is amplified through strings and brass as well as circuits and energy this time around.
One problem with a lot of New Age music is that just as you are getting in a relaxed state, some crashing Irish drums or shrieking didgeridoos shock you back into reality. Not so with this work, which is a nice mix of New Age and Ambient, with some long resolving themes. Char-el's synths slide in and out of the mix, perfectly behind the other instruments at times, gracefully in the forefront elsewhere. No Drama!
Composed and produced by Char-El, with Desra Dabney on flute, Denise Grupp-Verbon on harp and Gerald Natal on guitar.
I am not big on classifying music as to genre, except for internal use on my iPod, but I'll have to say this is New Age with some Ambient features, rather than the other way round- Ambient, at least the stuff I like , is fairly emotionless and even. This new CD by Char-el is very very positive and filled with emotion.
Here is a youtube link to sample:
Lovely harmony and sound effects on this clip.
Eventually The Healing will be available from CDBABY.COM, but for now go to CHAR-EL.COM for more information.