According to one definition art is “the creation of beautiful or significant things”. A New Age music album that is both beautiful and significant is Transmission by Suzanne Doucet and Christian Buehner. The album was recorded in 1983, and stands as a cornerstone in any New Age music discography. It is a true masterpiece that sounds just as powerful today as it did back in the golden New Age music era of the early 80s.
When it comes to meditative music, more is usually less. Transmission has a minimalistic approach that is very soothing to the ears. The Jupiter 8 synth, which we have heard used by artists such as Jan Hammer and Tangerine Dream (and many more), creates a quite spacey soundscape. The synth has an amazing analogue sound bank, and it is being used to perfection on Transmission.
Transmission is one of two projects by the Doucet/Buehner duo (the first being the wonderful Transformation, which I will write another review about). Transmission was recorded at the Daylight Studio in Munich in 1983 – the 4 week production started on Good Friday, hence the name of the album’s first track. Good Friday is without a doubt one of the finest songs in new age music. What makes it stand above the crowd is the unique atmosphere. I have trouble describing it, you just have to experience it for yourself – but the magic seems to be in the combination of female and male vocals, the gently flowing rhythm, the ultra sharp Jupiter sounds and elements from other genres; the vocals makes me think of the 1960s for some reason. And wow, the guitars! Notice how the songs fades away gently – sounding truly divine.
Transmission is a true masterpiece that sounds just as powerful today as it did back in the golden new age music era of the early 1980s.
Track two, Shiva’s Dance, is a quite fast song. It reminds me of Brian Eno’s In Dark Trees from his masterwork Another Green World (1975), but with a more meditative atmosphere. Shiva’s is, by the way, also dancing on the wonderful cover artwork. The song Moonlight continues where Good Friday left off. It has a romantic feel with just a touch of melancholy. The Jupiter strings are marvelous (at least to analogue synth fans).
The last track, the over 12 minute long Transmission, is a like an album in itself. It is a voyage in sound that is just not to be missed; The sound effects, with dripping water and echo, is like walking into a mystical cave. It is a gentle song, perfect for meditation and relaxation.
Transmission is a true new age music classic. It is one of those few albums that I always return to – and it lifts my spirit up every time. It makes me wonder too; who ever said that new age music was one-dimensional and uninspired? They surely never got this transission…
Transmission is beautiful and significant. It is art.
The new remastered version is available on CDBaby. Also on: