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Artist Sampler Volume 1 (Various Artists) by Wayfarer Records | Review

WR Artist Sampler Volume One Cover ArtAlbum Review by New Age CD and New Age Notes Radio Staff

Wayfarer Records is changing the face of New Age Ambient/Electronic music into what it should have been all along. Their new release, ‘Wayfarer Artist Sampler, Volume 1,’ is absolutely groundbreaking in this genre and breathtakingly beautiful from start to finish. – Dyan Garris, New Age Notes Radio

What is “ambient?” Ambient is “an adjective used to describe an aspect of the environment that completely surrounds you, but in a mellow way.” What is a “wayfarer?” This is, “a traveler, one who travels, one who goes on a journey, a passenger, an adventurer. . .” What is Wayfarer Records? Wayfarer Records is an independent, boutique record label based in the Pacific Northwest of the USA that specializes in Ambient, Chill, Cinematic, and Virtuosic Instrumental music genres. The mission of Wayfarer Records is “to forge a community of innovative sonic artists from around the world and bring forth the highest level of creativity and quality possible for our listeners.” And there, in a nutshell, you have it.

And their “Sampler,” “Wayfarer Records Sampler, Volume 1 (Various Artists),” is all the evidence we need to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are doing it better than anyone else.

The record label was founded by musician and producer Dave Luxton in 2007, and now includes Sean O’Bryan Smith, a well-seasoned, award-winning film composer, author, music producer and recording artist at the helm of Artist Development and Relations (A&R) as well as an artist in residence. As a musician, Sean has recorded and/or performed with over 100 major and independent recording artists worldwide in multiple genres.

The groundbreaking ”Sampler” is 18 tracks of ambient and electronic music that changes the face of this genre of “New Age” music into what it should have been all along. Featuring a host of unbelievably stellar talent, this “Sampler,” which was recently at #1 for Top Streams on the NACC charts, is simply not to be missed.

The artists on this album include Grammy®-winner Richard Theisen and his beautiful song, “Twilight,” which opens the album. Well-known electronic artist, ELEON, and his track, “Serenity,” features John Gregorius and the ultra-ethereal vocals of Nacre. Ian Crawford and his great song, “I’m Alive,” keeps the relaxation mood going nicely. Ambiente Solstice’s jazzy, “In the Key of Rain,” features Billy Denk as well as the unmistakable horns of Jeff Oster.

As well, here we also have Echohalo, with their flowing track, “Pale Blue Light.” Keith Medley, one of the greatest guitarists in the world is here too, with the beautiful, peaceful, “Emperor’s Tear.” Label founder, Dave Luxton, contributes his astoundingly gorgeous, atmospheric space music, “Ascendant Sign,” from his album, “Music From The Firmament II: A Space Ambient Collection.”

Christopher Caouette and his exquisitely cinematic track, “The Heiress,” takes us to a whole other realm. Brannan Lane, John Gregorius, and Sean O’Bryan Smith shine together beautifully on “Lost Desert Highway.”  Jason Blake is here as well. Blake is well-known for playing the Warr Guitar, a twelve-string instrument incorporating the sonic range of guitar and bass. It’s played by tapping the strings, a technique known as touchstyle guitar. His track, “The Duality of Breath” is an ultra-relaxing piece good for study, sleep, meditation, or just general relaxation.

Daren Keck, takes us further into this delightful journey with “Passengers in the Dark.”  Sean O’Bryan Smith, Christopher Caouette, and the awesome vocalist, Nacre, are amazing together on “Return of the Majestic.”

“Moonrise,” a collaboration between well-known guitarist and multi-instrumentalist, Michelle Qureshi and Sean O’Bryan Smith a.k.a. “The Qureshi-Smith Experiment,” takes us quite easily into the beauty of the soft moonlight where we might like to stay. But there is more. . .

Boreal Taiga delights with the hypnotic, meditative, “Gullesfjord.” Billy Denk’s, “We Are The Constellations” thoroughly engages us with its expansive spaciousness and keeps the brain waves just where they need and want to be.

Brannan Lane and Ambiente Solstice make a wonderful collaboration with “Calm Sonoran Rain.” Here we have a combined palate of warm sonic textures that emanates a soft and relaxing energy. It’s three minutes of “peace out.”

Andrew Schoen’s “OTHERness (Reprise)” helps keep us right in that zone. Soft synths, along with other peaceful layers and subtle nuances bring tranquility and soothe the soul.

The album closes out with the wide, lush, and atmospheric, “Space Dust,” by Liminal States.  Mysterious and super mesmerizing, it’s the perfect close to an album we never want to end.

This is the quintessential ambient/electronic album for those who want to zone out – or in, as the case may be.

Get it here: https://wayfarerrecords.bandcamp.com/

Official website: https://www.wayfarerrecords.com

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