Water Down the Gangesby Prem Joshua
The German-born sitar, flute, and saxophone player Prem Joshua and fellow multi-instrumentalist Manish Vyas had been musical collaborators for over 15 years when they released Water Down the Ganges, the first album credited equally to both of them. Like most of the music produced by Prem Joshua, the album is a fusion of Eastern and Western traditions and influences, combining club-derived beats and electronic textures with the sounds of the sitar and the bamboo flute, and occasionally a smooth jazz saxophone. The music on this album is inspired by the Ganges, a river held sacred by the Hindus of India. It bears little structural relationship to the classical music of the subcontinent; instead of the traditional three-part expositions of ragas, what you will hear are the extended spinning-out of original themes that draw as much on Western melodic traditions as Eastern ones. The strongest tracks, though, are those that are rooted most deeply in the sounds of India. The more modally astringent saxophone parts on "Habibi" and the bhangra-flavored "Sawari," for example, are much more interesting than the rather syrupy ones on "Nisha." But throughout the album Prem Joshua and Vyas do an admirable job of balancing surface pleasantness with musical depth. This is one of those rare albums that will appeal equally to fans of both new age and more substantive world-music traditions.
- Release Date:
- White Swan
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