Album Review of
Cannabis Dreams

Written by Robert Silverstein
September 22, 2021 - 2:27pm EDT
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Back in the 1960s and 1970s, the chance combination of smoking cannabis and going to concerts to see music featuring the big name rock stars of the era was not just fun, it was a kind of right-of-passage. Smoking grass in 1970, as the stuff was then called, was illegal and you literally took your life in your hands, not only to enjoy it but simply trying to buy it for many was an even more challenging and often times a more dangerous undertaking. Now consider the fact that 50+ years later, in 2021 cannabis and its offshoots (CBD oil, Hemp, etc.) is a trillion dollar global industry that has, ironically, turned the children of the then persecuted potheads into modern day millionaires.

Enter New Age music pioneer and West Coast recording artist and cannabis enthusiast Steven Halpern and his 2021 album Cannabis Dreams. With over a hundred albums in his catalog, recorded over a 45 year career, Steven Halpern is considered by some music aficionados to be the original New Age guru and electronic music pioneer, having released his early albums on vinyl and cassette starting way back in 1975, when there were no other albums of its kind available in New Age bookstores, let alone in the big music stores. All of Steven’s recordings are recorded with the intention of creating a relaxing, healing and meditative state of mind. He also pioneered the blending of healing music with brainwave entrainment tones to heighten the elevational effect, for which he has coined the term “Audio Contact High” or ACH.

Merging vibes from New Age, electronic and dreamy meditation music, the 11-track, 78-minute, mostly instrumental Cannabis Dreams finds Steven recording in the studio with a number of gifted musicians including Michael Manring (fretless bass), Paul McCandless (bass clarinet), Richard Horowitz (synths) and others. A pair of tracks here feature the wonderful female vocals of singer Kristin Hoffman. Key to the sound of Cannabis Dreams is Steven’s amazing sounding Rhodes Mark 7 electric piano, which he claims, Produces tones like crystal singing bowls or tuning forks, but played by a keyboard,” adding “It’s my signature sound, and I am the only sound healer who features this extraordinary healing instrument.” With most of the tracks here inspired by a specific strain of cannabis, music lovers simply can’t go wrong listening to this album, either under the influence or seeking a musical high without cannabis – either way resulting in a meditative state of mind. With its memorable array of introspective sounds, Steven Halpern's Cannabis Dreams CD provides a peaceful and deeply personal listening experience that transports the listener to a state of musical nirvana.