Initially released in 1984 on a super-limited run, Laraaji’s LP Vision Songs, Volume 1 was flogged at Yoga retreats and on street corners. Fast forward thirty years and renewed interest in American New Age music has set the scene for a re-pressing of one of the scene’s hidden gems. The songs here are idiosyncratic bedroom jams which kaleidoscope their influences in a manner reminiscent of Arthur Russell’s Calling Out Of Context and the music of Alice Coltrane’s journey into Hindu spiritualism.
Vision Songs Vol. 1 is the Laraaji album like no other, located at the intersection of new age and gospel, his outlier and magnum opus, the feel-good DIY tape of the century. Casio synth jams recorded at spiritual retreat guest rooms and a tiny bedroom on the Upper West Side in 1984, lysergically-spectacular anthems for a continually arriving new moment. “Channeled from the sky,” humbly offered on vinyl for the first time, this is where this is going on, this is where this is taking place, this is how this is going on. Is this very clear?