ASHAN “Transfigurations” C44 (Inner Islands)

Sean Conrad, current head-honcho over at Inner Islands (AKA Ashan AKA Channelers AKA 1/2 of Orra AKA 1/2 of Skyminds, just to name a few) has been a stalwart well-spring of New Age and chill electronica in the SF Bay Area for over a decade now, but none of his releases have quite managed to transfigure the essence of deep, meditative breath and its relationship to staving off fleeting, errant thoughts quite like this latest release, “Transfigurations".


Across six spacious sections and with the patience and pace of tides, Ashan unfurls beatific drone-swells to rise and fall as concerted breath, a serenity of focus all but delivered straight unto our mind’s ear; yet with a catch…

Lying just below these troughs of the sonorous sines lies a celebrated glitch, a nervous energy, a delayed distraction competing for our attention. Ashan has managed to acknowledge/embody this Monkey Mind, to map and draw it out for the listener to experience, first-ear; it’s magnetism and engagement are revealed, reconciled, and then ushered off into the aether, all this performed again and again and again, with mindfulness and grace. Truly beautiful stuff!

In a world terrified of cheesiness and predictability, SC/II continuously provides a nervous system-centering anchor and non-chemical-based prescription for how to decompress and re-center ourselves. Thank you!


—Jacob An Kittenplan