Original release, 1997, berlin
Sanjiva: "The Journey . Origin . Essence . Initiation .Radiance" Review by Archie Patterson, Eurock
I discovered Sanjiva via the excellent Spanish online publication Amazing Sounds. Hailing from Canada, these 5 CDs released in Germany, contain some of the most stunning musical cross pollination of electronic styles I've come across in some time. Fuse a hint of ambient trance, with celestial space music and experimental sound collage techniques, then bind them together with some of the most pulsing Teutonic sequential riffing that I've heard in ages and the result is 5 discs of sonic surrealism that made my ears ring when I first heard them. All the elements are combined in the right quantity to make Sanjiva one of the most exciting discoveries for me in quite a while. Beautiful conceptual art packaging illustrates their provocative sonic concepts to perfection.
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Review at Splendid E-Zine
Depending upon how much ambient-trance music you've been exposed to, you'll either be astonished by the clarity and simplicity of this work or be able to list in bloody detail several discs that sound exactly like it. That doesn't mean it's bad -- Initiation is a pleasant, relaxing disc of slow, womblike keyboard melodies well-suited to meditation, office listening or whatever, really. The fact that Sanjiva is a composer and philosopher, rather than a twenty-something knob-twidler, also helps in some intangible way. At worst, Initiation is familiar; at best, it's soothing and refreshing.
Review at Wind and Wire © 1997
From the canadian electronic musician Sanjiva comes this high octane trip into sequencer land. The first song "A Comet Fly Fast" has synth arpeggios and rapid synth bass beats that start at a rapid pace and stay there for almost all of the song’s ten minutes. The music is peppered with interesting percussive effects and synth textures as well. If you’re a fan of Tangerine Dream or Klaus Schulze, this should be to your liking. Near the end of the song the music subtly morphs and leaves the rhythm behind. It’s replaced by weird rumbling synth washes and cosmic noodlings. We must be headed for space - not the deep space of a John Serrie or Meg Bowles, but the computer space of German electronic music. Here we have some slower rhythms - the song is more of a relaxed and mysterious cruiser. It reminds me a little of the work that John Carpenter and Alan Howarth did for some of Carpenter´s earlier films (The Fog, Escape from New York). "Four Dimensional Interaction" throws tribal rhythms and stylings into the mix, and to good effect. Imagine a more electronic O Yuki Conjugate. Whispering flutes begin the last song, "Re-Awakening the Buddha Instinct." This song is drifting and very serene, as synth washes flow and cascade over one another.
Since I don’t have many Tangerine Dream CDs and none by Klaus Schulze (heresy, I know), I realize my comparing Sanjiva to them is based on my limited exposure to those artists. But whether my comparison is accurate or not, Initiation is a polished recording of high gloss electronic music. The rhythms are insistent, the synths are synthy, and the music slowly unfolds over time in subtle shifts of electronic sands.
Initiation, with all its Germanesque flavours, is actually fairly diverse. This is not monochromatic music by a long stretch. If you’re a fan of synthesizer music in a German vein, seek this one out. I doubt you’ll be disappointed.
by Bill Binkelmann
The fourth album composed by Sanjiva for Ninetysix Sounds contains 5 tracks. All of them are very impressive pieces of electronic music, themes with deep roots in the German space music of the 70s. If you like Tangerine Dream or Klaus Schulze, you will also like this stuff. The textures are diverse: electronic sequences, slow and fast percussive rhythms, relaxed atmospheres... As always, Sanjiva tries to translate into music the lessons given by Osho, his Master of Zen.