Iasos, Celestial Soul Portrait

Richard Gehr

By Richard Gehr

on 06.25.13 in Reviews

With its minimalist sounds and big ideas, New Age music nearly always promises more than it delivers. But whimsical excess is precisely what makes Greek-born, mono-monikered Iasos’s “inter-dimensional” creations more convincing than the average “Hearts of Space” radio spin. Celestial Self Portrait collects Iasos’s greatest hits from the ’70s, when he was translating what he has described as “crystal giggling energy,” as well as other gifts bestowed by angelic cohorts, into spacious sonic architectures.

Collecting Iasos’s greatest hits from the ’70s

More is generally more here. The twangy, swooping double-necked slide guitar of “Rainbow Canyon” is much more of a third-ear pleaser than, say, the echoing flute fantasia of “Winds of Olympus.” “Angels of Comfort” was Iasos’s half-speed modification of a hasty session with an Arp String Ensemble synth. Whatever lies inside of “Siren Shallows” is carbonated irresistibly, while “Crystal Petals” could be the score to a glassine Ballardian apocalypse. Celestial Self Portrait climaxes with “Crystal-White-Fire-Light,” a 14-minute elemental epic whose lilting cosmic snap is punctuated by what sounds like a shower of celestial bit-coins before fading slowly, slowly into the void.