Laraajiï¿½s glistening album ï¿½Ambient 3: Day of Radianceï¿½ has from the beginning been considered an outlier.Though widely celebrated at the time of its release in 1980 -- as the third installment of Brian Enoï¿½s emerging ambient music series (Ambient 1-4) -- the album also brought with it an aura of mystification. Where did it fit in? An uncharted synthesis of resonating zither textures, interlocking, hammered rhythms and 3-D sound treatments (courtesy of Eno) ï¿½Day of Radianceï¿½ seemed to push open many doors at once, ambient music being only one of them.
Laraaji music was always increasingly influenced by both his studies of Eastern spiritualism and the presence of Eastern musical motifs in the Jazz and rock music of the time. When he entered a pawnshop in the early 70ï¿½s, hoping to hock his guitar, he instead listened to an ï¿½inner guidanceï¿½ and traded it for an autoharp, an instrument that he later adapted into a zither (by removing the chord bars) and electrified by using the speaker on a portable reel-to-reel tape recorder. This spontaneous decision brought on a fortuitous shift in Laraajiï¿½s musical direction and led to his chance encounter with Eno several years later.
The appearance of ï¿½Day of Radianceï¿½ as part of Enoï¿½s landmark ambient series massively elevated Laraajiï¿½s musical profile. In the years following, while he maintained contact (both personal and musical) with Brian Eno, he delved deeper into projects that fused the ethereal qualities of his music with spiritual studies and teachings.
Laraaji has experienced a resurgence in recent years, following a renewed interest in outsider new-age music (he appears on last year's ï¿½I Am The Centerï¿½ compilation on Light In The Attic) and a career spanning compilation (ï¿½Celestial Music 1978 ï¿½ 2011ï¿½) and reissue project dedicated to his work by Enoï¿½s All Saints label. Laraaji also continues to interface with other of musicians who have found inspiration in his work: Bill Laswell, Sun Araw, Blues Control, Julia Holter and many others.
Glitterbeat is extremely proud to reissue Laraaji and Brian Enoï¿½s seminal album ï¿½Ambient 3: Day of Radiance.ï¿½