Is New Age Music the New Punk?


New York Times asks: Q: Does the return of new age music mean that punk is really dead, or is it the new punk? A: Namaste.  Be sure to listen to Mike Rubin and Ben Ratliff discuss the current state of New Age music.

Mike Rubin’s article in this Sunday’s Arts and Leisure section suggests a few other answers, positing that it never went away. That it is a disposition, not a set of sounds. That it is bigger than us all.

As subcultural rediscoveries go, this is an ethereal history, not a hidden one. The electric autoharpist Laraaji (born Edward Larry Gordon), who participated in Brian Eno’s ambient-music album series 34 years ago and has otherwise left a long trail of self-produced recordings, has been the focus of serious and curatorial attention lately. Suddenly he’s being booked at indie and experimental-music festivals like All Tomorrow’s Parties and Big Ears. Light in the Attic, the reissue label, recently put out a landmark box set, “I Am the Center: Private Issue New Age Music in America, 1950-1990.”

Read and listen here.