A Brief Defence of New Age Audio


There may be no contemporary musical genre that is easier to accuse of false consciousness than New Age music. The anodyne synth washes, the timbres chiming like floorwax, the easy pickpocketing of Native American drums and Japanese shakuhachi, the avowed intention to calm, soothe, and spiritualize—all seem to materialize a music of accommodation, passivity, and hazy escape, a music in which, as Marx wrote, all that is solid melts into air. But there is something radical in this music…