Brahmen Raag ‎: 009 / Brahmen raag

2016 : Hare Akedod
Format : Cassette

Lately it seems that all the world is awash in vintage, modular and reissued analog synthesizer sounds. Obviously the appetite for electronic music has been around since at least 50 years and never really went away. The passion, or obsession, of it’s creators and consumers has kept the genre alive even in the driest of times. There’s also no denying the current resurgence bringing a whole new generation under it’s spell. With the revitalization of cassettes and the furor over vinyl, like the Gods awful hype surrounding Record Store Day (but I’ll save that rant for another time), demand for the earthier, warmer tones in the style have soared. Not to say it’s still not a niche audience, but it’s definitely growing, so like any great wave of musical forms, it becomes harder to separate the wheat from the chaff.

I’d be lying if I said I knew much about the David Edren or Glen Steenkiste, the Belgian duo behind Brahmen Raag, other than what a quick search through Discogs and Google provide. Both seem to be involved in many projects, dating back at least 10 years. Glen predominantly performs as Hellvete and David as DSRlines, but as stated previously, that’s one of many. Brahmen Raag is what I’m here to stand on my little cyber soapbox about today.

The tape consists of two tracks, one per side, simply titled “Side I” and “Side II”. Each are identical in length at 17 minutes and 50 seconds. The comparisons to the early days of Krautrock and the electronic experimentations of the 1970’s Berlin School are immediate and well founded. This is never a bad thing. The addition of the harmonium as well as the use of a shruti box over the pulsating synth gives both tracks an underlying Middle Eastern feel before morphing into more droning, experimental sounds. Like any great psychedelic compositions, this is music to truly get lost in.

In the age of “try before you buy”, I’m still the old grandpa who will occasionally make purchases blindly, still intrigued by cover art or a brief description. This was one of those times, and one that definitely didn’t leave me with buyers remorse. I grabbed this one on a whim from the great Lighten Up Sounds webstore. It’s also opened up a whole new set of artists to delve into and explore. But hey, you can check out the sample below. That’s what we’re here for.

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