The other day while surfing the included internet music stream directory on my Nokia N810, I found this stream labeled as, Yoga-FM. I was browsing the Ambient/Electronic music stream section. Got me curious and have been listening to it for last few days and finding it quite enjoyable in this over crowded of world of electronic/ambient internet stations. I think the name Yoga-FM instantly conjures up in my mind a playlist of sugary newagey chanty type songs. I have nothing against them. Sometimes they work alright for me. But most often they do not.
My preferences lined up more into the electronic (not electronica!) music camp when I started out listening to Klaus Schulze’s X or Jarre’s Oxygene in late 80s. Albums with pictures of impressive ARP synthesizers 🙂 Sadly Jarre’s music these days sound too predictable for me. But the first time I found (after a very long search, in my old country) and listened to Oxygene on a LP I still remember the shivers down my spine as I listened to the music crescendoing in a dark room. I think Equinox, Zoolok and may be Magnetic Fields were the ones where it stopped for me. Stuff after that just feels like bombastic rehash. Berlin school albums of Schulze, Hoenig, Froese, Gottsching will always be in my list of all time favorities even though I hardly listen to them anymore.
This Yoga-FM Meditation station seems to be my kind of station, at least for the last few days I have been listening to it, playing electronic music that brings back memories of classic electronic music ranging from the good old pulsating Berlin electronics, or the rythmic electronics of Dancing Fantasy, to the deep space rides of Serrie, and many things in between.
I hardly listen to my electronic music collection these days and electronica music streams on the internet are full of these predictable chill, remix and dub tracks with moronic background voices repeating some phrases and words, sometimes in other world languages and accents. I guess their novelty which started off in high gear with Enigma, wore off fast for me. They are ok in small doses or in clubs. But nowdays I tend to mentally tune them out even though i tune them in on my N810 just to cut out the cross-cubicle chit chat here. Its more like Music for the Cubicle for me instead of Eno’s Music for the Airports!
Inspite of the apparent dichotomy between their name and the music, at least in my mind, I guess there is a definite meditative aspect to Yoga-FM’s music. Sometimes their tracks remind me of the meditative states of Giles Reaves’ Wunjo, or John Serrie’s And the stars go with you, or Braheny’s The Way Home, or the shimmering electronics of Schulze’s Crystal Lake.
But somehow the word Yoga does not jump into in my mind when I listen to the music. Ok may be there are occasional Om chanting type newagey songs which may have totally slipped past my consciousness (since I tend to tune those out). In my book Space or Electronic music is not the same thing as Newage music! I hated it when the labels blurred over last 5-10 years and classic electronic music started showing up in newage bins. Nowdays artists and songs with name that to me appear very newagish, actually end up sounding like very good electronics. I guess the trick for me is get over my biases and find them.
So I am really liking their playlists with their clever mix of good old electronics, some electronica, space, and ‘newage’. RadioIO Ambient is another channel I sometimes listen to and generally enjoy, till I hear Forrest speaking. I don’t know whats up with his voice. But it just drives me up the wall 🙂 Years ago used to love listening to Hearts of Space, when it was still spacey electronics and not too newagey for me. But do not have easy access to it anymore unless I am listening to XM radio in my car driving late at night.