Radiance Point

Psychedelic, kaleidoscopic pinwheels spin in technicolor

Every sound seems bathed in vivid shades of color, as if glowing gently in the darkness.

This comment that I made in passing, with regard to Yusef Lateef's Eastern Sounds, has been tumbling over and over in my mind since Thursday. I think it's because it so succinctly captures a very specific set of sonics that remain central to my musical imagination, like a sense memory poised at my very being. Evoking brilliant colors seemingly backlit in neon, it comes on like a haunting sound-mirage, set in stark relief against a jet black backdrop. It's a day-glo thing... and at times, perhaps a vector thing too.

Lateef's record is one such example, with the vivid colors of his playing of the xun in Plum Blossom creeping out of the darkness in violet arcs — pulsing against the deep black beyond.

Certain records come to mind; perhaps this is a terrain that could be mapped? More to come shortly...

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