REVIEW: Jonathan Goldman – “Chakra Dance”

By Marcus Pan

Chain Border

Chakra DanceFirst we had to sweat to the oldies with Richard Simmons. Then I got a “soothing and relaxation” CD in a tin of candles. Now we have to shake our chakras to the tune of Jonathan Goldman. And let me tell you this – Chakra Dance is by far the best of the lot (although the soothing CD wasn’t half bad – it sure got me to sleep a few times).

Jonathan is, admittedly, a little presumptuous in his press kit as he claims this to be a “totally new form of music.” While on the outside I don’t hear much beyond what I’d call a very interesting and well made trance CD, Goldman claims to have designed this to match “specific tones, frequencies and mantras designed to … align your body, mind and spirit.” All good and well, I can sure use some realignment sometimes, but typically I get Laura’s help with that sort of thing but we won’t blather on that anymore now will we? Nope.

Jonathan is schooled in the art of harmonics, and I for sure won’t argue that aural input can be as detrimental to the body as it can be beneficial. One look at me following the last Misfits pit I hit will tell you that at least the latter is probably true. Writing such books a Healing Sounds and having already put out multiple CDs in this vein I’m not going to argue with the man on his credentials. I will also say that from the spinning of Chakra Dance I’ve done so far it really makes me feel alright. Like I want to get up and shake my chakra(ass) around the room. So I suppose he’s on to something here.

The CD itself doesn’t go beyond trance and rhythms much, but does it well. I recall artists like X-Static Urge(1), Republica (without the guitar), Dr. Walker(2), Spacescape(3) among others. Surely the CD does stray a little into the repetitive, but in the efforts of realigning yourself a little leeway must be given for the whole mantra-effect to wash over you in time.

The chord progressions are surely wonderfully arranged and seem to “make sense,” in a way without being predictable. Jonathan tends to use a lot of didgeridoo to cover the lower bass tones (or at least synthwork that sounds like it) and that gives the music a nice low-end fill that isn’t a standard rhythm and beat thing that everyone else does. That keeps it somewhat interesting, although you of course will find your shakey-shakey rhythms just to keep the tracks moving from point A to point B. The idea of using the didgeridoo to be a basis for some of the tracks here, rather than being a background instrument like other trance makers, is refreshing.

Voice of Tomorrow is the longest track on the disc pushing ten minutes. Here is the downfall of the CD, where Jonathan creates an opus of sorts that doesn’t tend to go anywhere. I’ve typed the word “repetition” upwards of a dozen times these past couple of days when writing reviews, but I have to use it again – it’s the repetition, stupid. You can have too much of a good thing, after all.

The sounds throughout Chakra Dance are said to be “sacred sounds,” according to the press release I’m reading. And like I said, I surely can accept that. So the upside is that while I may find some of it a little repetitive, it is so for a reason and that reason is spiritual and I’m surely not as authoritative on that as Jonathan is. But for pure music, Chakra Dance is a well made trance CD with futuristic pulses, interesting driving low-bass didgeridoo and while sometimes repetitive is still fun. It probably won’t end up in my personal collection, but it won’t end up on the floor either.

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Contact Information:
Spirit Music
Post: PO Box 2240, Boulder, CO, 80306, USA
Phone: (800) 246-9764
Fax: (303) 443-6023

(1) X-Static Urge’s CDs, their self-titled and Annais, were both reviewed in Legends #116.
(2) The fabulous Dr. Walker – Escape From Cologne collection was reviewed in Legends #110.
(3) The latest of which, Ex-Plor-A-Tion, was reviewed in Legends #134.

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