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|Kim Waters||Percussion, Vocals, Tamboura, Bells|
|Hans Christian||Bass, Cello, Keyboards, Tamboura, Bells, Sarangui, Kartals, Nyckelharpa, Shaker, Frame Drum|
|John Loose||Dumbek, Maracas, Tambourine, Triangle, Bells, Kanjira, Ghatam, Kartals, Shaker, Cabasa, Hi Hat|
|Hans Christian||Arranger, Producer, Engineer|
Posted October 1, 2010
Rasa takes a satisfying step forward in their musical growth in this, my favorite of their studio albums so far, offering collaborations that are at once relaxing and compelling. The gentle meditational meanderings of their debut album, “Devotion”, have evolved here into a deeper, more beat-driven style. Retained, though, are the foundations of their signature sound--Kim Waters’ melodic Sanskrit chants supported by Hans Christian’s exotic improvisations on cello, sarangi, nyckelharpa and synthesizer. Layered expertly into the instrumentals in ever-developing layers of complexity are the stylings of numerous other artists as well: Girish Gambira on tabla, udu, mridangam, spring drum and morcheng; John Loose on ghatam, kartals, kanjira, cabasa, maracca, triangles, shakers, hi-hat and tambourine; John Wubbenhorst on bansuri flute; Alan Kozlowski on bamsa vina, Bhima Karma on kartals, and vocalist Yamuna Devi. Don’t ask me what most of those instruments are, but you get the general idea--Rasa’s rich, full fusion sound is heavily influenced by traditional Indian music, and to very pleasing effect. Notable tracks on “Union” include the sensual “Hari Haraye”, in which Waters’ soothing voice winds sinuously over itself in overdubs while Christian’s sarangi wails a delicate, microtonal descant; “Sri Guru”, a two-part musical epic featuring the lovely Bansuri flute; and the vocal duet “Govindam”, which builds in speed and intensity to end at fever pitch before fading out in a peaceful coda. Rasa’s next album, similar in style to this one is “Shelter”. For another take on the blending of Sanskrit chant with modern western melodies, you might enjoy the work of Krishna Das. To sample more traditional Indian music, try the recordings of the great sitar player, Ravi Shankar, or his daughter Anoushka.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 7, 2008
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