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November 24, 2016

Ambient Music Guide: Review of Urban Metta, Vol. 1

Amazingly sophisticated electronic new age by a guy who’s never worked in the new age genre before. American Phil Strickland usually makes trip hop and chilled breaks, as well as running a music licensing company for film and multimedia.

As Anaamaly, he created his Urban Metta album as “a collection of spiritually moving, instrumental soundscapes for deep sleep, relaxation, yoga, and meditation”. Normally I’d run a mile after reading such a description (relaxation muzak alert!) but then I’d look a fool because the album’s stated purpose never compromises the intrinsic quality of the music.

It’s droning, tonal and airy but not static; every track has some kind of chord progression, sometimes with a jazz-like complexity. Skillfully woven deep into the mix are subtle suggestions of Tibetan bells, whale calls, chants and sounds of the urban landscape. This is the first album in a planned series and I can’t wait to hear more.

Mike G.

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