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After World War II, a stereotype emerged of the German people: cold, angular materialists, with little use for spirituality and mysticism. Electronic-tinged New Wave groups like Kraftwerk further solidified this perception. But like most stereotypes, it's an overgeneralization with many, many contradictions. Karunesh (born Bruno Reuter) is an ethnic-fusion/ambient composer and performer whose music belongs to a German New Age tradition stretching all the way back to the early 1970s and the kosmische vibes of Deuter, Cluster and Klaus Schulze. After a life-altering spiritual pilgrimage to India, where he adopted the name Karunesh (the Sanskrit word for "compassion"), Reuter returned to the motherland. Living in a Rajneesh commune in Hamburg for several years, Karunesh started to explore music, gradually developing his signature style, a global blend of sacred sounds and traditional folk music. Though his music is steeped in religion, it celebrates dance as ritual. Since releasing his debut album (the New Age classic Sounds of the Heart) in 1987, Karunesh has gone on to sell in excess of a half-million records. He is easily one of the genre's most lauded and respected artists.
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