Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai Volume 4 is the fourth in a series of a collection of works and peace-themed albums inspired by the classic Buddhist pilgrimage to the 88 sacred temples on Japan's remote Shikoku Island. Inspired by a journey taken by the beloved Buddhist monk Ku-Kai over a millennium ago, via the music contained in Sacred Journey of Ku-kai Volume 4, Kitaro continues to explore uncharted waters with his magnificently expansive vision and ever-questing spirit.
Kitaro is an amazingly talented individual. He has been one of the world's premier electronic composers and performers for decades. During that time, he has created some of the most memorable music in the new age community. His output has been both prolific and consistent. It is difficult to review his albums because they only compare to each other. Tenku is a brilliantly lyrical yet entirely instrumental CD. Kitaro speaks volumes with his synthesizers. These romantic interludes are full of gentle melodies and lush synth washes. The atmospheres are vibrant and bold. They are connected by wispy drones. There are no dark overtones or edges; this is upbeat, pastoral ambience. There are few similar artists, but fans of Vangelis, Suzanne Ciani, Constance Demby, and Dean Evenson are likely to enjoy Kitaro's music as well.
The Light of the Spirit is one of Kitaro's best CDs. Perhaps it is because Mickey Hart co-produced, or perhaps Kitaro asked Hart to co-produce because it is so good. It doesn't really matter if either of those is the reason; this is just an awesome CD. Kitaro's specialty has always been the symphonic synth and this is no exception. He augments that synth with several guest musicians on a variety of ambient instruments. This is truly ambient music, albeit on the new age side of that style. The vocal accompaniment by Lynn Ray and Jeannie Tracy counts as instrumental as well. The sound design treats the wordless vocals as an extra sound to incorporate. David Jenkins contributes a smoking electric guitar that gives this rock & roll textures as well. This disc stands proudly with work by Constance Demby, Vangelis, Suzanne Ciani, and Dean Evenson as some of the best adult contemporary instrumental new age music.
Kitaro's universally acknowledged as the founding architect of new age music. The Grammy and Golden Globe Award-Winning Kitaro has achieved global acclaim over a more than three decade long career with a signature sound and a pioneering fusion of cultures, techniques and spheres of consciousness that are truly his own.
Inspired by Kitaro's visit to Japan, where he attended the "Onbashira" festival, Gaia – the title roughly translates to "Goddess of the Earth" – is filled with exotic, unpredictable sounds. It relies heavily on percussion and ancient wind instruments, which means it sounds as old as the hills, yet Kitaro's sensibility makes it unmistakably modern. It's arguably among his most spiritual albums, in how it recognizes how humans are tied to the earth itself, which remains eternally fascinating, utterly perplexing, and, ultimately, wondrously enchanting in its mysteries.