A rich blend of World sound fusion travelling from India to China, Africa to the Middle East. It evokes the oneness of our civilization and will touch your soul. Let this classic World collection take you on a journey and fill your mind with the enchantment of Karma...
I've thought about this recording for many years. I felt it needed to be shared with you as its soul is something that can't be denied. The fusion of Ancient instruments from Africa, India, The Middle East, and the ethereal sound design all come together to create a true feeling of oneness. The outcome excited me even more than I had originally imagined...Enjoy
This is one sophisticated piece of work. The research on this production was gruelling. The recordings needed were few and far between. I've been a sound collector for many years and enjoy sifting through sounds looking for the right texture that will work. In this case, I wanted the end result to be as organic as possible. Time stretching was imperative to make this work. Entire musical phrases had to be manipulated and tweaked to make them seamlessly fit into the songs. I'm glad my sound library is organized so well or this would have taken substantially longer. I hope you enjoy this audio maze.
Reviewed by Ben Kettlewell
Alternate Music Press
I've been a big fan of Mars Lasar since his first release, 'Olympus' in 1992. All his work reveals an earthy presence that resonates long after the music is over, and 'Karma', his new release is no exception. It is a wonderful blend of Eastern scales and musical influences, acoustic music samples, electronic music, and a fusion of Eastern and Western musical cultures. Karma is a rich hybrid of world sound fusion travelling from India to China, Africa to the Middle East. Joined by Kelly Hansen on guitars, and Omar Faruk on middle eastern instruments, Lasar performs with electronics and keyboards, percussion, and a large number of sampled instruments and voices.
Mars set out to make a recording that evoked a variety of emotions, visuals and sounds and succeeded on all levels. Featuring eleven original contemporary instrumental compositions, the album showcases the history of Laser's unique musical character. He blends traditional world music influences into his own distinctive style, but he has also mastered playing and editing samples of each of these exotic instruments using authentic techniques and rhythms that are native to their respective cultures. The highlight of the album is the opus, 'Inseparable Universe" comprised of several interconnected movements, creating an intensity of feeling, combining technical mastery with sharp improvisational skills and compelling melodies. Omar Faruk adds a delicate haunting solo on 'The Holiness'. The album is beautifully recorded and magnificently performed, a collection of warm and wonderful music.
Reviewed by Jim Brenholts
Ambient Visions webzine
Mars Lasar is an extremely well rounded and diverse musical talent. He has composed and recorded for many different media, including interactive video games. He has six solo albums in his discography, at least four of which are on the Real Music label. "Karma," his newest release, is on Anagram Records, a division of The Paras Group. It is a lush and melodic journey across many exotic cultures. Mars mixes appropriate ethnic instruments with his synths and nature samples to create a dramatic and triumphant soundscape. The CD title is appropriate as well. Mars reached for the brass ring of holistic balance and integration. The balance of the divergent forces is symbiotic with the balance within the self. Mars grabbed the ring and brought it home. He shares the benefits of the fruits of the adventure with his listeners. He does so with style, grace and class.
This disc is deep and unassuming at the same time. Mars makes no pretension as to its aims and its powers. It just is!
Reviewed by Jim Brenholts, author of "Tracks Across the Universe: A Chronology of Ambient and Electronic Music".
New Age Voice Magazine
Mars Lasar – Karma
Reviewed by --Peter Manzi / New Age Voice
Trance out with this great recording that weaves together nature sounds, ancient instruments, including drums, flutes, sitars, violins, oud, samples of chants from Tibet and Africa with smooth synth washes and keyboards that propel the listener forward in a dreamlike state. Because of the presence of the drums, Karma opens itself to be used for dancing. The mix sounds familiar you say? In a way yes. But where other similar recordings may have put the drums upfront and filled in sounds around them, here they keep on percolating through the electronic tracks, with the feeling that the whole experience is moving forward and these sounds are what is heard along the way. The best analogy seems to me that it feels like I am on one of those moving sidewalks in an airport, and as I move forward, I pass through these zones where I hear snippets of music from other cultures, other voices, but rather than stop in any one spot, I keep moving forward toward my destination. What is my destination? Perhaps just a sense of awe at all the beautiful sounds that populate this planet and how so many of them offer a sense of peace, no matter how foreign they initially sound.
Instrumentation: drums, flutes, sitars, violins, oud, samples of chants from Tibet and Africa, synth, and keyboards.
Reviewed by Naomi de Bruyn
Mars Lasar is not exactly a household name. However, this talented man has been around for quite a while. This composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist have a long and impressive list of credits in the music world. Lasar was born in Germany and raised in Australia. At 15, young Lasar won the "Young Composer Award" at the Sydney Opera House with his original piano concerto piece "Frost Wave." He has not looked back. His composing and producing skills have taken him many places, from movie sets to video arcades. In addition to this, Lasar's song-writing spans genres and age barriers as though they did not exist; pop, rock, metal, jazz, electronica, country, contemporary, new age and world. Music is Lasar's home, where the music resides is immaterial. For full biographical information please see Lasar's web site, his background is extensive and awards won are far too numerous to be listed here.
When I first received this disc I was not quite sure what to make of it... the name alone suggested something new age, but the gorgeous painting on the cover suggested something else entirely. I later found out that the cover was painted by Lasar himself. The deep dark jungle shown could be primeval, or it could be futuristic. There is some beautiful exotic vegetation and a rather swampy looking bit of water. There are stone stairs rising out of the dark jungle where three lights break a canopy of beautiful red leaves and a door is revealed. Lasar explains this, "The painting, as well as the music itself, is symbolic. It does not matter whether this place actually exists somewhere in our universe or simply in our minds. It's a symbolic place with infinite possibilities."
It would seem that several of those possibilities are true to be found within the breathtaking and utterly compelling music of this disc. We have an ancient music meeting and melding with new; modern music, pulling upon ancient sounds. From Tibetan Monks chanting to an African chorus, an oud from the Middle East to a Chinese violin, there is a great deal of the past represented here. Then, Lasar takes it one step further and adds the primal sounds of nature - creating a sensory symphony that plays for us a timeless tale of the world. It is pure enchantment. A source of pure delight.
The opening track is entitled "Great Beast of Wisdom" and begins with whale calls and the powerful sound of the surf rushing in...This is combined with, not overridden by, the instrumentation and a lovely elemental sound. The blending of nature and music is seamless, as one.
"Seventh Journey" takes us to the deep jungle with a loud drumbeat to begin the song. It continues throughout. Seven has always been a mystical number. It symbolizes many things. However, Lasar leaves the interpretation of this up to the listener. The music has a deep and majestic feel to it and resonates within the body.
There is a sinuous, reptilian feel to the opening strains of "Prophecies," that dissolves while there is an addition of keyboards. This is replaced once again. This time with the chanting intonations of a woman. Back and forth, they weave their way, the keyboard and the vocals. It is a track of quiet intensity and lifts the bonds of the real world to free the imagination -- setting it unconstrained to roam at will.
Karma is an ancient concept. It is the balance of good and evil. As Lasar states in his press release, "Karma is one of humanity's oldest concepts. It is the balance of all things -- negative and positive -- the universe's way of keeping the checks and balances in order. It can be negative, of course, but Karma is primarily a positive reward for things well done." In this case, I would say that those of us who listen to this marvellous example of technology and musical skill are definitely coming out with a "positive reward." It is the ultimate in what I would call "ambient fusion." Karma and is currently Number 4 on the New Age Voice Top 100 list and is available in stores.
Sedona Vortex Connection
MARS LASAR - KARMA
What if there is a place in the world where all of the knowledge and wisdom of the universe is stored? What if this repository can only be found, the doors opened and the information understood by people whose karma has evolved to a certain level? What if there was music that helped lead listeners down the right path?
On his new album, Karma, musician Mars Lasar has created music that delves deep into the inner psyche and touches primal impulses, ancient instincts and universal feelings. "I don't have all the answers," Mars says with a chuckle. "I barely know a few of the questions. But I have tried to create music that might help start the journey toward a better understanding of our place in the universe. These songs are like lamps helping to illuminate the way."
The cover of the album is a painting by Mars that shows a deep, dark jungle that could be either a primeval or futuristic forest with exotic vegetation and a swampy body of water. Rising out of this hidden place are stone steps leading to a set of unusual doors. The traveller is led on this final part of the journey by a series of powerful light sources. "The painting, as well as the music itself, is symbolic," explains Lasar. "It doesn't matter whether this place actually exists somewhere in our universe or simply in our minds. It's a symbolic place with infinite possibilities."
The music -- which presents Lasar's own indelible melodies -- is dense, dark, deep, mysterious and utterly compelling. Karma is an album of modern world music, or music of the world, that draws on ancient sounds from chanting Tibetan monks and Chinese violin to an African chorus and Middle Eastern oud, all entwined with the primal sounds of nature (whales, rainstorms, crickets, a lion's growl, etc.). The music was constructed by Mars using keyboards, synthesizers and samplers. He is joined on a couple of tunes by musician friends Kelly Hansen on guitar and Omar Faruk on Middle Eastern instruments, but Laser's original music also is combined with music and vocal samples from around the world. The resulting mix is a timeless sound story featuring futuristic material tightly woven together with age-old musical elements and sounds of nature.
The song titles describe some of the steps along the path to knowledge. "Great Beast of Wisdom" is about what we can learn from our brothers, the whales. Other information is buried in a "Deep Cavern." It may be the "Seventh Journey" before the right path is found. There will be "Enchanted" moments, but also times of "Sacrifice" before a celebration with "The Holiness." One bit of knowledge will be the realization that it is an "Inseparable Universe" that includes every molecule, anthill, civilization, galaxy and star cluster.
"Karma," states Mars, "is one of humanity's oldest concepts. It's the balance of all things -- negative and positive -- the universe's way of keeping the checks and balances in order. It can be negative, of course, but karma is primarily a positive reward for things well done."
Good Karma indeed..
Mars Lasar's album. Karma, guides us, as spiritual seekers, to a secret place where all knowledge is stored. This music is lush, sensuous, mysterious, a jungle of a musical soundscape, rich with the sounds of birds, crickets, whales, the ocean, Middle Eastern drumming, a rainstorm, chanting Tibetan monks, the Middle Eastern oud, an African chorus, and even the growl of a lion. The song titles outline some of the steps on the sacred path. "Great Beast of Wisdom," tells of knowledge gained from the whales. One might journey to "Deep Cavern" or even take the "Seventh Journey" before finding the right path. There will be times of "Sacrifice" before coming before "The Holiness" and realizing that we are part of the "Inseparable Universe", just like everything else from the molecular level to animals to civilizations to star systems. Karma opens us to new worlds of the imagination and spirit. I can't recommend it highly enough!
Mars Lasar - Karma
Karma is more of an adventure than a simple album. I have a strongly layered and textured sound that brings together an amazing array of instruments, samples and natural sounds. It is very cinematic in quality, evoking images of far off lands, mystic rites, simple villages and natural environments.
It is quite an intense experience and the way in which the multiple layers have been textured creates an unusual environment of sound. At times you do not even realize what you are hearing until you stop and consider - Wow! That was a lion or a whale. This precise use of sound helps create a very unusual experience as we are not consciously aware of what is being heard (unless we are paying very close attention) and hence the effect is a clear invocation of a given environment or experience.
Lasar clearly places a greater emphasis on atmosphere and mood rather than elaborate instrumentation and hence Karma is a very unusual album, The experience is dreamlike, it is an audio feat, a journey, moving from one set of images to another, from locale to locale, experiencing each in texture, scene and sense.
Featured Artist: Mars Lasar
Style: World Music
Reviewed by Lee Prosser
This new CD release is a true blending of world music themes with contemporary jazz themes, and it is a highly unusual collection. The title is KARMA, and it certainly is that. There are 11 selections on this CD. Among them are found such intoxicating songs as "Great Beast of Wisdom," "Peep Cavern," "Seventh Journey," "Enchanted," "Sacrifice," "Thusness," "Prophecies," "Doha," "Tara," "The Holiness," and "Inseparable Universe." The jazz listener will find this listening experience a true existential adventure: The sounds one will encounter will give meaning to chaos, creating a center of beauty out of nothingness, forming a perfect universe of enchantment. This is an eclectic listening experience jazz listeners will find memorable. That KARMA deserves much airplay is an accurate statement, for it has much going for it that will attract many jazz fans. The work of Omar Faruk with his Middle Eastern instrumentation is perfectly at ease with the scope of the collection and adds to the enjoyment of the music. Mars Lasar has created a contemporary masterpiece in the collection titled KARMA with such remarkable performances. A superb recording, flawless!
5.0 out of 5 stars *****
Mars Lasar's best CD since "The Eleventh Hour"
By Distant Voyageur "Nicholas Computer" (TOP 500 REVIEWER)
I have been a huge fan of Mars Lasar for several years. I had high hopes for this album but they were blown away by the incredible punch that Karma has. Not since 1992s Eleventh Hour has a Lasar album taken my breath away upon first listening. While the Eleventh Hour remains my favorite album by Mars Lasar Karma came close to topping that one. In some ways, Karma is like The Eleventh Hour with similar melodies and enigmatic sounds but unlike the futuristic Eleventh Hour, Karma has a far more ancient sound with percussion, chants from Africa, the Middle East, India and Native American sounds as well. If you're looking for another Escape, Karma might not be the one for you.
The Great Beast Of Wisdom is a very haunting, ambient almost frightening song that starts off as a Gothic minor note with whales in the background. The first 3 minutes of this song reminds me of a severe thunderstorm with the sky like lead grey with heavy rain. At the 3:16 mark, the song morphs from an ominous Gothic minor note song into a mournful major note song almost like the sky turning a fiery red with the sun breaking through low on the horizon. Deep Cavern is a melancholy song with Didgeridoos(Hope I spelled it right), Aboriginal chants, and a mournful flute. At 2:37 the song quiets down into a major note song with just a harp for about 40 seconds before it reverts back into a minor note with the Australian chanting. The song winds down with the sounds of crickets in the background when drums fade in ushering in Seventh Journey. The seventh Journey reminds me very much of Plateau Of The Gods from The Eleventh Hour with the xylophone sounding instruments and the Gregorian Chants. The songs fades out with the crickets once again. Enchantment is a very romantic song with mostly a harp playing. This song is perfect to listen to when walking through the forests in the clear moonlight. When the song itself ends a thunderstorm moves in with a metallic drum of the next combined with the sound of thunder and an echoing flute. Sacrifice is a very intense song with lots of Gothic Gregorian Chants, thundering beats, haunting flutes and a very dark, stormy atmosphere. I could imagine approaching a giant cathedral with the thunderstorms rumbling and the lightning illuminating the purplish skies and seeing monk with candles marching towards the cathedral. Few songs stimulate such vivid imaginations. Give this song a listen. It's incredible. At the end when the song fades out, a frightening ambient almost Gothic hum ties Sacrifice into Thusness. Thusness is a very intense song with thundering drums, Indian percussion, flutes, and the Gregorian humming going throughout the song. Prophecies is a more jazzy song with worldly drums. At the 1-minute mark, Indian chanting comes in with a Sitar laced with the chanting to create a brilliant piece. A breeze fades in as the song fades down bringing in the next song Doha. Doha is a very chilly song with the sounds of chimes ringing in the background almost like a cool breeze. There are also Middle Eastern chants as well. The ending is creepy. Tara is one of the most energetic songs on Karma. It starts off with the sound of a buffalo growling then almost blues sounding guitars coming with a thundering beat that results in one of the best songs by Mars Lasar I ever listened to. The Holiness features African chants, with maracas, combined with a brighter melody like the sun breaking through the clouds near the horizon bringing light to the landscape. It's almost like a brutal journey or adventure had ended successfully. Inseparable Universe is a very sad song with water flowing in the background with birds chirping and synthesizers playing. Then violins start playing with the sounds of an owl in the distance. The song gradually builds up as it progresses with chimes ringing before it ends at the 4:43 minute mark leaving the owl hooting in the distance and the water flowing in the background to bring this musical journey to an end.
I had no idea that Karma would be so incredible. In fact, although it might not topple Eleventh Hour as my favorite Mars Lasar CD it's almost as good. Mars Lasar hasn't sounded this good in a very long time. After waiting three years after the excellent 11:02 album way back in 1998 Karma was worth the wait and could rank as one of the best releases of 2001. I'm not trying to be too pushy about this release but I strongly recommend that you just get this CD and give it a listen. It's breathtaking, powerful, intelligent, evocative, and a work of sheer brilliance.
Fabulous work Mr Lasar!
5.0 out of 5 stars *****
I am an artist and a great music lover. I need good music to be able to create my art. I have listened most of my life to classical music until my son gave me a CD as a present; called Karma; from Mars Lasar. Soon as I was alone at home I made myself a cup of coffee and sat down to listen to the music that my son had given to me. It did not take long and an overwhelming feeling came over me, a feeling as if I had left my body to float with the music into unknown dimensions. I was free of lifely burdens and earthly rules. The music had made me be the creator of my own fantasies. There was nothing earthly left but the wonderful sound of music floating through all the abilities of my mind. Karma has sent an ultimate sensation into my life carrying the strength of beauty in every sound of its existence. Touching the inner peace and wildest dreams of emotions. Karma, capturing the moment of reincarnation in my soul. I am born again, with new ideas; and so I paint and create with every sound that Mars has given me, listening to the wonderful music until eternity. I definitely give Mars 5 stars for his wonderful album called Karma.
5.0 out of 5 stars *****
Best of New Age/Ethno-Music in Present Time
By Will Luckie (Cologne, Germany)
Karma` is a valuable example of soundtrack-music without a clip. Perfect mind-music! Wonderful, magnificent melodies combined with pure sounds of nature and ethnic vocals like African-choir. A thrilling musical adventure from Africa to Asia. This music lives!
5.0 out of 5 stars *****
Play it again, Mars
By J. Larson "abraxasaudio tube amps" (Crossroads USA)
This album introduced me to Mars. Since then, I also bought The Eleventh Hour and 11:02. I'll not compare them; they each have their own good points. When I am in the mood for Mars, THIS is the album I most often play. Quiet enough to be relaxing and meditative, deep enough for occasional serious listening; always interesting. Highly recommended.
I have lstiened to this album countless times and have never tired of it. The music is healing, uplifting and soul-touching. The sounds are interesting and full of character. This album sets a mood that is transcendendental and is aptly named.
Intense Haunting Beauty *****
Inseparable Universe, Thusness, Great Beast Of Wisdom, Enchanted.... timeless pieces that continue to touch deeply.... Still my favorites after all these years. This has to be the most listened to oblum of my Mars collection.