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Kitaro - Tunhuang [Aka: Silk Road III] (OST) CD (album) cover



Progressive Electronic

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4 stars - First review for this album -

Japanese electronic musician Kitaro gained international fame at the turn of the 70's/80's for his music to the documentary series Silk Road, which dealt with the history, archeology, religion and art of the countries along the ancient route from Eastern China to Rome. This is also how I found the music of Kitaro as a young boy. However, for decades I hardly ever listened to his albums (not even in the early 90's when I actually listened more to electronic /New Age artists than rock music), but during the last eight years or so I have updated my relationship with Kitaro's music. I still see him mostly as a New Age artist that hasn't got very much progressive tendencies in his calm and beautiful instrumental music. Which of course doesn't imply that I wouldn't appreciate his music for what it is, or his inclusion here.

Tunhuang is the third part in the Silk Road album trilogy. Especially for those listeners who were fascinated by the TV series and its music, this album represents the ideal Kitaro. As All Music Guide says, "it contains some of the most provocative music in the trilogy". The soundscape is grandiously cinematic and richly detailed despite its smoothness. One can just lie down eyes closed and be carried to faraway places with this excellently produced music for the mind's eye. Very relaxating without being uninspiring or narcotic. It's difficult to pick highlight tracks since all nine tracks are pretty fine, forming together a harmonious flow. But the last piece, 'Sacred Journey II', sticks out positively as the most powerful and climax-building arrangement. It reminds me of highlights on some later albums such as Light of the Spirit.

Tunhuang may not represent the most "progressive" side of Kitaro, but I believe it can be counted among his finest albums. Warmly recommended to the listeners not disliking New Age serenity.

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Posted Tuesday, September 18, 2018 | Review Permalink

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