While Tantra, the spiritual discipline, is much more than sacred sex, we in the West usually take it to be synonymous with just that. In fact, a whole spiritualized lovemaking movement that calls itself Tantra has swept the well-to-do new age west sort of along with the larger Yoga movement. Along with this, many musics specifically designed as backsound for sexual interaction have been developed pretty much well within the "new age music" market, with a few notable exceptions. i've arranged things here so that my strongest recommendations appear first. a second category follows, listing modern rock works like Enigma and so forth.
here is a list of discs i find most salutary for sexuality:
KAMASUTRA the original music of the indian sex ritual Shah (Al Gromer Khan, sitar, & Jorg Evers, Keyboard) Eversongs, 2002
LONG LOST RAGAS ASSOCIATED WITH KAMASUTRA REDISCOVERED!! this disc consists of two recently salvaged from oblivion ragas that are associated with the body of literature surrounding the Kamasutra and its author Vatsyayana (3 A.D.) performed just by sparing synthesis and the masterful sitar of Al Gromer Khan, these are pretty obviously evening ragas and as beautiful as a bouquet of full bloom roses. all i can say is that this is an attempt to resurrect or simulate music that was likely heard and used by the original author/compiler. so it would be de rigeur for the dedicated tantric student. very meditative environments.
Tantra Zone Suzanne Doucet & Tajalli Only New Age Music, 2005
ACTIVATING HAND DRUMMING AND EXTREMELY BEAUTIFUL SYNTHESIS there is so much love in this, Tajalli's last produced work before passing, and the combination with his dear friend Suzanne, make this a perfect choice for more energetic and loving connections. totally angelicshamanistic and compassionate. REALLY GOOD FOR EMOTIONAL CONNECTION.
Tantric Sexuality Llewellyn, music, & Leora Lightwoman, Tantra New World Music, 1999
PASSIONATE RHYTHMIC FUSIONARY ENVIRONMENT this one really gets the blood up. obviously influenced by Enigma 1, but not rock at all. a powerful throbbing where two people could really get lost in each other and fuse. it pretty much does the same pulsing gushing thing for an hour, causing ones breath to naturally pant in the sexual arousal thing. i'm going to say the central bass drum is putting out a very mid-theta native american style of beat. bomp bomp-bomp. glistening female backing voices, some didgeridoo here, resonant drums which shake one out in a very pleasant way. all in all, a really comfortable mid-tempo thing just slow enough to be more of a shamanistic drumming than rock thing. i like it.
TEMPLE OF VENUS a new age mystical experience Canada: Madacy
LONG CUT-OUT DISC FROM CHEESY SERIES ACTUALLY QUITE GOOD i bought this used for six-fifty from Logos in Santa Cruz years ago just on the strength of the song titles Tantric Sex, Temple of Venus, Agape, School of Apasia, Eros & Sexus, and Kamasutra. but i fully expected it to be a worthless, cheesy recording as usually happens with these endless series of low-cost discs that proudly proclaim "a new age mystical experience" on the front & back of the cover. then i was pretty blow away that there was actually interesting musicianship and worthwhile musical ideas. yes, it is new age, but it actually has some soul to it, some Egyptian phrasing and actual passion and understanding of emotional movement. although i won't represent this as the highest quality of music, i was certainly impressed enjoy it on repeated listen even all these years later and it obviously works well in the boudoir.
Kamasutra - the essential Surajit Das Oreade, 2003
MODERN TANTRA MUSIC BASED ON MUSIC OF INDIA WITH BEATS Extremely beautiful album in the north indian mode but with a modern new age rock energy like one would expect from Dean Evenson or Bruce Becvar. Divided into five sections of increasingly intense lovemaking followed by afterglow: PRITI sexual attraction, love, compassion SAMPRAYOGA meeting, association SANVESHANA sexual penetration, sexual unity SKHALANA orgasm BEAUTY AND LOVE the beauty of Kama if i was looking for some great sex more than actual sexual meditation, this has the high energy level that i prefer for full enjoyment.
RAPHAEL AND KUTIRA -- OCEANIC TANTRA these two artists, who also teach Tantra upcountry in Maui, have lots of records either intentionally made for tantric lovemaking or extremely well suited for it. i'm not going to give full reviews for all of these albums but short comments and also this one major comment: THIS IS THE ANGELIC TANTRIC MUSIC YOU FELT SURE WAS OUT THERE.
The Works of Raphael from Hearts Of Space: all of these have high gloss production! MUSIC TO DISAPPEAR IN -- loving rhythmic angelic good. MUSIC TO DISAPPEAR IN 2 -- highest recommendation! really brings in the sexlove goddess energy ANGELS OF THE DEEP -- possibly his best album, most intricate production certainly, focuses on angelic nature of cetaceans, music sensual & passionate INTIMACY -- specifically created for lovemaking and *it works!* this would have to be de rigeur for serious collector
The Works of Raphael & Kutira as Oceanic Tantra: inconsistent production values recorded at home studio but recorded for tantra work! THE OPENING -- focuses on breath work and connecting TANTRIC WAVE -- building passion; widening connection LIKE AN ENDLESS RIVER -- merging with each other THE CALLING -- a fave of mine, shamanistic cetacean love PRAYER -- global compilation of prayers not esp tantric
Skydancing Tantra - A Call To Bliss Margot Anand Spring Hill Music, 2000
FIRST SONG USING THE PLANETARY TONE OF VENUS MAKING THAT TRACK ALONE WORTH THE ENTIRE ALBUM this release is actually a fascinating display of overtone singing and chant that people who enjoy David Hykes, Michael Vetter or Jonathan Goldman would find interesting. as a lovemaking album, there are some rather darker ghostly pieces that make this a more meditative device than romantic or passionate experience. but with song titles like Calling Venus, Calling The Sacred Yoni, Calling Gaia The Great Mother, Journey To Spirit, Flow, and I Love You, this album has a very enjoyable goddess energy and mystical fusion idea. i would think one would do solitary rituals with this first before using it for strict sexual meditaiton with a partner.
Tantra Electronica Al Gromer Khan & Emin Corrado New Earth, 2004
DEEPLY MEDITATIVE SENSUAL EROTIC WONDERWORK i give this album really high marks for being an incredible work of production magic and visionary sensibility. its mood is darker than most of the above works and perhaps more suited for late night conversation, contemplation or pure sexual meditation. not romantic or "sexy" but there is something erotic about it. this is more like mysterious poetry to listen to in the afterglow. has definite technoambient flourishes here and there but nothing rocking. i would think one would do solitary rituals with this first before using it for strict sexual meditaiton with a partner.
Kamasutra - tale of love Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Michael Danna TVT Soundtrax, 1997
This is actually a collect of asian underground and snippets of india world fusion that is quite beautiful at times, but the pieces are short, end abruptly and the mood jumps around from track to track. not really sure how this would go down in the sack. maybe good backsound for an in bed argument? lots of karnatic singing by competent female vocalists, but the vibe is somewhat disjointed & i imagined during my first listen that this might be good for housecleaning. not sultry and alluring like Danna's superior "Exotica" album. because of the title, i keep it with the other Kamasutra albums, but it really belongs in my asian massive collection with Talvin Singh, Midival Punditz and TJ Rehmi.
THE MODERN POPULAR ROCK SOUNDS OF TANTRA
MCMXC A.D. Enigma Virgin Records, 1990
MEGA-SELLING HIT POP RECORD PEOPLE SWEAR IS GOOD FOR SEX i actually find this recording which somehow fuses languid breathy female take-me voices with gregorian chant and pop beats to have a lot of sadness in it. typical xtian shame, guilt and regret. but many people have sworn to me how sexy it is and what a good lovemaking experience it can create, so i'm including it here as the people's choice. i personally prefer the Cross of Changes when it comes to Enigma, but more of a trypping device than lovemaking backsound.
TERRIFIC SYNTHROCK BACKSOUND FOR PLAYFUL HANKYPANKY i think i saw somewhere that all three of these mostly instrumental albums are available in a single low-priced set and i think they are strong sexy albums with a happy romping attitude. the guitar work is interesting and the melodies enjoyable if somewhat familiar and unchallenging. that being said, i enjoy just listening to the albums for the sheer pop pleasure of it all. these discs produce very pleasurable somatic effects and create a really charming atmosphere conducive to pillow fights and lighthearted tussling. excellent as a gift.
Music For Lovemaking Douglas Berlendt Media Right Music, 1994
RUNS GAMUT FROM LIGHT JAZZ & BLUES TO SPACE MUSIC this album is a study in how to increase respiration and arousal using music. it does so quite intentionally. one can tell a lot of thoughtful consideration went into generating arousal and climax. this would be one intense session. the music itself is more on the wine- drinking yuppie side, but several pieces got repeated play on my Visionary radio show.
Trance Union Layne Redmond & Tommy Brunjes Golden Seed Music, 2000
HIGH ENERGY DRUMMING ALBUM REALLY IGNITES THE PASSIONS ya know, sometimes for some really good animalistic sex you need serious drumming that really turns up the heat. this one always did it for me. a hybrid style of drumming which incorporates ideas from all over the world to the degree that it is helping to create a uniquely American style of hand drumming. a great listen as well as energetically passionate.
The Drummers Of Burundi Real World, 1992
CLASSIC HALF HOUR OF POWER DRUMMING MAKES IT ETERNAL a wall of forceful stick drumming by the traditional drummers of the african nation famous for it. talk about intense. this will definitely take the fusion to a new level. this thunderous sound puts you in the center of the drama. a more masculine, yang recording. but connects the listener with a deep, primal strength and inner desire.
Tantra Drums Al Gromer Khan New Earth, 1998
SUFI MYSTICISM WITH ROCK BEATS This recording is still in the contemplative zone as AGK is wont to do, with an opening track that is a straight-ahead dance piece worthy of the rave mid-tempo room. This would be good to play after moving to a private location and bringing the energy from a more anxious travelling zone to an intimate conversation zone. it would also be efficacious for studying Tantra or practicing the alone rituals. if it was to be part of a great ritual, it would be a very meditative session, even though the album is mostly mid-tempo rhythms & beats.
Nature Goddess Ancient Brotherhood AstroMusic, 2001
FOR ADVENTUROUS COUPLES WANTING TO HEIGHTEN GODDESS ENERGY This album created by south american sound shamans. each piece evokes a different aspect of the goddess as she appears in the indigenous traditions of the continent, with a few notable exceptions which are african. as with most productions on the AstroMusic label, there is a sweet, loving energy that runs throughout that is in this case VERY feminine. this would be a good recording for the woman to take the lead and set the pace and activity.
If you are interested in the traditional philosophy of the most scientific of spiritual traditions, you will absolutely have to include on the reading list: THE TANTRIC WAY: ART-SCIENCE-RITUAL by Ajit Mookerjee & Madhu Khanna (Boston: Thames & Hudson, Ltd., 1977.) which i regard as the best text i've seen on the subject. If you are interested in the modern sexual Tantra, SEXUAL SECRETS the alchemy of ecstasy by Nik Douglas & Penny Slinger (NY:Destiny Books, 1979) is still better for english-speaking western readers than actual copies of the Kamasutra, but why not have both? TANTRA THE YOGA OF SEX by Omar Garrison (New York: Avon, 1964) this text is great for the basics of the elemental philosophy and has the wonderful appendix, "Doctrine Of The Vital Airs," which delineates a 14-week preparation for the Panchatattwa, or Secret Ritual, but doesn't describe the Secret Ritual (this is of course the Great Ritual of modern Wicca, etc.) for that you will have to get TANTRA THE KEY TO SEXUAL POWER AND PLEASURE by Ashley Thirleby (New York: Dell, 1978) which is the nuts-and-bolts description of the sexual behavior of the Rituals, being mostly comprised of "The Seven Nights of the Tantra." an extended interaction where the male and female humans over the course of a week break down the barriers between them so the God & Goddess came make love through them directly.
While not being exactly "Tantra," but rather "Taoist Yoga," the works of Mantak Chia in which he describes his "Healing Tao System" are quite complimentary to the need to understand one's own personal bioenergic system that serious modern Tantrist will certainly experience. Chia actually does address lovemaking is some of the books (easy to tell by the titles.) AWAKEN HEALING LIGHT OF THE TAO by Mantak & Maneewan Chia (New York: Healing Tao Books, 1993) which is solitary rituals for learning how to gather, cultivate and refine lifeforce and also how to connect with others bioenergically and to share energy. this book, IMHO, is the single best initial text to acquire from his large body of works.