Various – I Am the Center: Private Issue New Age Music in America 1950-1990

Light in the Attick

Few musical genres have been ridiculed as much as “new age.” For decades it’s been primarily written off as something best left to yoga-loving spiritualists looking to open their seven chakras — not those searching for a musical statement of real artistic value.

That view has taken a huge 180 in recent years though thanks to a bevy of forward-thinking musicians embracing the much-maligned genre and Light in the Attic’s mind-expanding I Am the Center: Private Issue New Age Music in America is a stellar example of why.

Featuring a spread of obscure tracks recorded between 1950 and 1990 the compilation covers a huge amount of ground jam-packing three LPs with music that’s as soothing and ethereal as it comes. And while most of the artists included will be a mystery to many the collection’s sonic touch-tones will be immediately familiar to anyone who’s delved into the synth/drone underground and the more ambient electronic music of the last decade.

If anything it all leaves you scratching your head as to why sister genres like psych kosmische krautrock and prog got slapped with the “cool” tag while new age was left out in the cold.