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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
Synergy is a powerful concept in yoga, where cosmic energies are channeled and combined to affect the world within and without. It's also a powerful concept in music, as this surprising collaboration between a cave-dwelling saint and Beastie Boy Mike D proves. The inspiration behind Ram Dass's seminal guru guide, Be Here Now, Bhagavan Das, makes a smart debut, chanting Sanksrit verses and the occasional gospel refrain above the mostly electronic beats of D and his hipster coterie, including Money Mark Nishita. Those already savvy to the sound of kirtan as delivered by Krishna Das will cotton to these vibrations, but it's the skeptics who'll be most taken aback. Unlike ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
Synergy is a powerful concept in yoga, where cosmic energies are channeled and combined to affect the world within and without. It's also a powerful concept in music, as this surprising collaboration between a cave-dwelling saint and Beastie Boy Mike D proves. The inspiration behind Ram Dass's seminal guru guide, Be Here Now, Bhagavan Das, makes a smart debut, chanting Sanksrit verses and the occasional gospel refrain above the mostly electronic beats of D and his hipster coterie, including Money Mark Nishita. Those already savvy to the sound of kirtan as delivered by Krishna Das will cotton to these vibrations, but it's the skeptics who'll be most taken aback. Unlike your average new age disc, Now sizzles the sanctified in a most un-karmic mix of fatback and chitlins, as Check Your Head-era beats, organ swells, and samples swirl around Das's booming vocals. But this is no soy cheeseburger. The bearded emissary of nada brahma yoga -- a practice based on sound energy -- has countercultural cred going back to the early '70s, when he returned to the U.S. and began turning on friends like Allen Ginsberg and Jerry Garcia to the power of chant. And while his spiritual profile doesn't shine nearly as much as that of his bandmate Adam Yauch, Diamond is no slouch, having employed Tibetan chants and drones on Beasties tracks for years, and he's earnest enough about the potential of this collaboration to change the hearts and minds of young folks. Easily the most sophisticated fusion of chant and electronics to come down the mountain in many a moon, Now is expansive without being naïve, multicultural without the Benetton tag. For the demanding urban gourmet looking for a bit of enlightenment between the gym and the clubs, it's a beguiling invitation.
All Music Guide - Kelly McCartney
To kick off this Mike D-produced East meets West extravaganza, Bhagavan Das offers the appropriate homage to Lord Ganesha, remover of obstacles and bestower of blessings. He is the first to be worshipped by dictate of his father Lord Shiva. It must be said that the words sound oh so much more sacred in the authentic Sanskrit rather than English. For instance, no one ever mistook "you have a big fat red belly" as a holy expression. A Beastie Boys feel guides the whole album, without overtaking the spirit of devotion. The traditional chant of "Raghupati" suddenly becomes a contemporary groove in his hands. Whatever gets you singing to God is a good thing, and most of the Hindu deities are represented here: Ganesha, Ram, Kali, Radha, Shiva, Hanuman, and Krishna. For good measure, Das even throws in a curve ball. On the aptly titled "Shiva Gospel," he moves from ancient mantras praising Shiva into a gospel shout-out to Jesus. Not a subtle point he's making, and well taken. To close the album, as any true devotee would do, Das tacks on a sweetly solemn arati, complete with the requisite conch blowing and bell ringing. Kudos to Mike D for the tasteful combination of Indian classical instruments such as sarangi, ektar, tabla, and dholak with Western drum'n'bass rhythms. It works really well, making this an easy listen for someone dabbling in this genre.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/9/2002
  • Label: Razor & Tie
  • UPC: 793018522922
  • Catalog Number: 85229

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Ode to Ganesha (6:29)
  2. 2 Raghupati (5:37)
  3. 3 Jai Kali Ma (7:57)
  4. 4 Shiva Shambho (5:59)
  5. 5 Radhe Bolo (10:01)
  6. 6 Hanuman Chalisa (9:23)
  7. 7 Shiva Gospel (11:10)
  8. 8 Sri Krishna Arati (6:50)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Bhagavan Das Primary Artist, Ektara
Geoffrey Gordon Tabla
Ramesh Mishra Sarangui
Money Mark Keyboards, Kalimba
Ray Spiegel Tabla
Chris Wagner Bass
Johari Funches-Penny Vocals
Walter Miranda Organ, Guitar, Clavinet
Maria Rubinate Vocals
Glenys Rogers Vocals
Simon David Hamilton Vocals
Noah Lebenzon Guitar
Technical Credits
Mike D Arranger, Producer
Dave Maltby overdub engineer, Vocal Overdubs
Chris Wagner Engineer
Kenneth Lee Mastering
Robert Carranza Engineer
Martin Brading Cover Photo
Peter Max Paintings, Cover Painting
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