CHANNELERS “The Depth of Rest” C42 (Inner Islands)

There is no one better at filling their days with beautiful and fascinating meditative music than Sean Conrad, aka Channelers, aka the purveyor of Inner Islands records. This is good news for all of us out here, somewhere beyond the boundaries of Oakland, California (and probably for everyone within those boundaries as well), because if we are lucky enough to get our hands on a Channelers (or Ashan or Orra or whatever) release, our days can also be filled with beautiful and fascinating meditative music. This time around Channelers tackles The Depth of Rest, and by tackles, I mean Conrad really plows into this thing and wrestles it to the ground – all in the most delicate and respectful of ways. Imagine getting so wound up that you have to plow into the idea of “rest” like it’s the WWF defending champion or something! That would be idiotic.

But still, and seriously, the “Channelers way” is in full effect here on The Depth of Rest, its four languid tracks full to bursting with field recordings of birds and insects and water – basically the outdoors with accompaniment from “keyboards, dulcimer, and Irish low whistle.” If that sounds like what you’d expect from Sean Conrad, you’d be right. But Channelers keeps growing, keeps evolving, even though it’s all within that New Age idiom. The depth of melody and consistency of vibe continue to astound, and Channelers continues to be at the crest of the Inner Islands modus operandi. It’s all dream state, probably all the time around II HQ, so somebody’s gotta get in there and craft new fantasy suites and “[project] magical realism … onto the canvas of ordinary perceived reality.” That someone might as well be Sean Conrad. He’s pretty much the best at it.