John Luttrell: The Dream

Prime-cut instrumental new-age ambience. Ohhhmm…

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Remember those new-age ‘inner peace’ CDs?

Blissful synth choruses, wind chimes, a squeaking dolphin or two. You’d see them in places like garden centres, next to water features, zen gardens and healing crystals. Often designed for meditation purposes, played in spas everywhere, it’s pleasantly comatose-inducing stuff – like trying to nail candyfloss to a wall. While not totally removed from such sounds, John Luttrell’s instrumental ambient fusion occupies a more imaginative, certainly more sophisticated realm – also inhabited by the profoundly soothing likes of Steve Roach and Robert Rich. The Venezuela-born multi-instrumentalist has seen a lot of the world, which becomes apparent in the primal world music elements at play in the likes of Ethereal Raga. Delicate Oriental hints morph into warm keyboard chords in Away, and acoustic prog guitar on Inland Returned adds a little weight. Yes, there is birdsong. Yes, there are sparkly waves of what may well be wind chimes, or fairies in jars, or something. But this is high-class material, and if you seek some quality meditative time, with layers of intrigue amid all the bliss, you’d do well to consult this man.