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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

OK

Talvin Singh

1998

OK
Album Summary

OK is the debut studio album by English / Indian tabla player and record producer Talvin Singh, released on Island Records in 1998. It won him the Mercury Prize for 1999. The record was included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. It took nine months of travelling around and recording to complete the album. Singh recorded in London and on Okinawa Island to capture folk singers, as well as in India to collaborate with the Madras Philharmonic Orchestra.Singh hired various collaborators, including guitarist Jon Klein, with whom he had previously recorded on Siouxsie and the Banshees's single "Kiss Them for Me" and toured during the inaugural Lollapalooza festival. Ryuichi Sakamoto played flute on the album and sent his parts via a computer with an email which was a first in the late 1990s. Rakesh Chaurasia also performed flute. Singh recruited an eight female singer choir for the song "Soni". Guy Sigsworth played keyboards on the opening track "Traveller", and also on "Sutrix" and the title track of the album. Vocalist Suchitra Pillai joined in for the song "Sutrix".In the NME, reviewer Christian Ward noted that Singh was "trying to cover the globe with his music", as a voice intones "The world is sound", at the start of the album. The record is rooted in India with odes to Asian underground scene, dub rhythms and jazz. There is also a contrast between "geisha choirs and cut-up beats", along with plaintive orchestral arrangements. Reviewer noted that "convulsive rhythms compete with sensuous strings to create a deep, dark atmosphere", concluding with this positive sentence, "There are still more sonic territories to explore, but on this evidence, it seems that Talvin Singh will get there first."

Wikipedia

Rating

2.67

Votes

9466
Genres
Electronica

Reviews

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Wed May 26 2021
2

Loads going on here, most of which I didn’t like. The album is tedious and gets progressively worse from start to finish. I wouldn’t say I hate it, but I certainly didn’t enjoy my listen and wouldn’t go back.

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Mon Apr 24 2023
3

OK is OK, until it isn’t. For me, that was about 5 songs. Once again, my rule of thumb for the list hasn’t been disproven: If you haven’t heard anyone talking about an album on this list in 25 years, you don’t need to hear it before you die.

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Wed Nov 17 2021
1

OK, Talvin. Talvin, OK. I legitimately don't understand what the hell I just listened to. But it wasn't enjoyable, I know that. Nope. Not at all. Sorry, Talvin. That's a no for me, dawg.

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Sun Dec 05 2021
1

If Yanni and Kenny G had a baby, that baby would grow up to make music like this, have sex with Linda Evans and be a surprisingly decent golfer.

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Fri Jun 04 2021
5

"The world is sound" Great eastern tonalities and rhythm that mix in with hard driving beats. Pulls in a lot of eastern music (Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, etc) Great beats.

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Thu Jun 10 2021
4

OK is ambitious in scope and execution, simultaneously futuristic yet ancient in sound. A wonderfully layered fusion of styles and influences gives it a sense of timelessness. Equally at home on the dancefloor as it is on your headphones, this is a beautiful album.

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Wed Jul 28 2021
2

Really tried but couldn't get into this one.

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Thu Jun 10 2021
1

The concept is fantastic! But if I was to record puppies sleeping and put it on an album, that might also sound like a great idea. I just couldn't get through it. Most likely not listen to it ever again.

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Thu May 06 2021
5

I really enjoyed the drops and the multicultural influence. "OK" was the best track rightfully so, but there were a few other stand outs as well that covered a variety of energies

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Sun Jun 27 2021
5

Electronica,indian classical,exotica

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Fri Jan 28 2022
5

Love this! It’s a must listen to, chilled out, sits there and makes you feel good type

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Fri Jul 15 2022
5

Loved it, my new everyday listen

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Wed Aug 10 2022
5

This is a very refreshing album this morning, Travelor is very busy yet free at at the same time. Its lush sound really just hit right today.

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Thu Sep 15 2022
5

OK! Loved it. Cool fusion of eastern sounds with electro beats. Can't believe it's from 1998.

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Thu Dec 08 2022
5

This is a superb album. I loved it in the early 2000s and while I prefer Ha!, this is a really great album too.

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Fri Sep 15 2023
5

BL: never heard of this artist before but the cover reminds me of the Roni Size brown paper bag album so I’ll be interested to hear if it’s in a similar vein AL: funnily enough, my 90s ambient DnB assumption was correct, and wow. This album blew me away. I wasn’t too sure about the opener, but by track 3 this album had me in a chokehold. The fusion of ambient DnB & Sourh Asian instrumentals and vocals was mesmerising, the drone of DnB was meant to go with the resonant frequencies of the sitar. Definitely some Bhangra influence in there too. Highly recommend this. It reminds me of another comment I saw under a different album (can’t remember which one though), with albums like this on the generator, you have to wonder why the people who wrote those chose so many 80s new wave and post punk albums. FT: “Eclipse”, “O.K.”, “Light”, “Vikram the Vampire” 5/5

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Sat May 15 2021
3

This was good, drifted into irrelevance at times but overall enjoyable

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Fri Apr 21 2023
2

oh, you put South Asian instruments on top of your boring-ass techno. cool, i guess.

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Fri Jun 18 2021
1

A little bit too experimental for my taste. Some of the songs were a nice mix of modern and traditional but they quickly get too drawn out and weird. Felt like being in a washing machine of music.

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Thu Jan 05 2023
5

This is a classic Indian fusion album

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Thu Feb 02 2023
5

9/10 super creative and definitely stands out from mainstream electronic/DnB with its Indian/Asian influence

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Thu Jan 19 2023
5

I really enjoyed this album! It was unexpected and had elements from so many different genres that I enjoy.

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Thu Apr 13 2023
5

Electronica,indian classical,exotica.

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Mon Apr 17 2023
5

Альбом создаёт вокруг тебя какое-то новое пространство, которое заполняется всеми звуками мира, как будто. Однозначно не на постоянное присутствие в плейлисте, но иногда вернуться и переслушал вполне кайф

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Mon Apr 17 2023
5

Ахахаха, это слишком хорошо, чтобы оказаться 100ым альбомом! Ладно, теперь серьёзно: индийская музыка не от мира сего. У них свои гармонии, которые могут казаться неправильными (непривычными) на первый взгляд. Это интересно услышать и оценить, но на постоянку возможно будет тяжело. Опять же, говоря об индийской музыке, возможно присутствует навязанный Болливудом и мемами стереотип о том, как это должно звучать. Это не относится к этому альбому. Где-то это техно, где-то симфоническая музыка, где-то акустика. Всё и вся собрано здесь, но основывается на вот этой восточной музыкальной гармонии (тут пусть лучше Егор в подкасте расскажет, как у них интервалы устроены). Но сука))) c "The True Story Of Extasy" я конечно улетел, это просто ор. Ещё и вот этим индийским голосом из видосов по программированию... Альбом крутой по задумке, лёгкий по восприятию (настолько лёгкий, что когда после заиграл Apex Twin, я был уверен, что пластинка не закончилась). Я не готов поставить 5 за музыкальность, ибо вопросики остались, но готов поставить 5 за вклад в развитие индийской музыкальной культуры.

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Mon Apr 17 2023
5

Как только я начал слушать альбом, то я понял: он или гениальный или говно. Здесь все же первый вариант. Очень необычные сочетания медитативной индийской музыки и хауса/IEM/техно. В результате одновременно получается, что тебя вгоняют в транс и заставляют танцевать/рейвить. Поэтому очень необычно и круто звучит и по сей день. Сэмплы чувак взял, конечно, мое почтение. А теперь субъективный обзор: я только встал и сел за стол работать. Хочется очень спать, работать даже особо не хочется и тут я думаю: хм, а может включить альбомчик послушать с утра, взбодриться. И когда я его включил, то я думал что я сейчас умру от душноты (реально, первую половину первой песни можно смело пропустить, имхо). Но слава богу дальше все норм было. Честно говоря, реально думал что сейчас еще хуже станет)))

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Mon Apr 17 2023
5

это что-то совсем не из этого мира невероятная энергетика, безумное смешение жанров, один заглавный трек альбома Traveller чего стоит незабываемая работа возможно, лучшая из этого списка

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Wed Apr 19 2023
5

Unique style and combination of instruments give a relaxing ambient sound that I thoroughly enjoyed. An hour of soft groovy beats.

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Thu May 25 2023
5

Electronica,indian classical,exotica.

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Mon Jul 10 2023
5

I'm happy I decided to start this journey of reviewing an album every day for 1001 days. Even if it feels tedious sometimes, knowing that every day I must listen to an album, even when the album isn't a good fit for my mood that day, or I just do not have the mental energy to gather an opinion or write anything, it all pays off when it recommends something amazing and very much up my alley that I wouldn't have found otherwise. This is one such album. It has more of that Indian and generally Asian flavour that I fell in love with when I was introduced to Nitin Sawhney's "Beyond Skin" earlier in the list. This is a crazy, trippy, dramatic journey that blends orchestra, Indian classical music, electronica, drum and bass, IDM, dub, and so many other genres. It's chaotic but never loses its direction. And yet, it's all pretty chill but never boring. Just a pure journey of sound with influences from across the globe. Favourite: Butterfly

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Tue Aug 01 2023
5

Love it. Right up my electro weird avenue.

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Fri Aug 25 2023
5

Hey, this rips ass. Between this and Call of the Valley, I guess I’m just learning that I like Indian/Indian inspired music. Eclipse in particular goes hard.

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Fri Nov 10 2023
5

My goodness what an interesting journey. Loved that.

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Sun Jan 28 2024
5

Electronica,indian classical,exotica.

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Thu Jun 24 2021
4

Pretty OK, haha. No seriously an amazing album. With kinda trippy vibes and some good melodies I really liked it.

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Tue May 11 2021
4

I thought this would suck. I did not

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Wed May 26 2021
4

Wonderfull music, brings a number of genres together - will listen again and explore more

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Mon May 10 2021
4

Рубрика "Этнический чил", новые гости - индусы. Чёт новенькое, хорошо. Хотя чувствуется экспериментальность, внутренней дисперсией чёт не особо пропёрся. Где вот чил, классические мотивы, медиация эта всякая, эксхэйл-экспел, балдёж, что аж пятёру бы ёбнул. Это как в последней трети вступительного, ваще прям охуенчик. Есть скука ебаная, типа Light. Есть какая какофония не менее ебаная типа Eclipse или Vikram The Vampire. Но в целом похоже на то, к чему могу обратиться. Так что 4, хуй с ним.

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Sat Jul 03 2021
4

This album was a new artist and new music for me. I liked the album, in part because it was a chance to listen to something different than I would normally listen to. Based on a first listen, the album as a whole may not get replayed, but there were tracks that I wouldn't mind hearing again. This album got enough for 3.5 stars (round up to 4)

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Thu Jun 03 2021
4

Interesante mezcla de sonidos. Algunas me gustaron.

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Mon May 24 2021
4

Traveller: Io spero fortissimo che non mi deluda dopo perché sto pezzo m'ha già conquistato di brutto. Sutrix: Molto figo, il pezzo finale fatto con la voce è bellissimo. Eclipse: M'ha fomentato OK: Pure questa m'è piaciuta. In mezzo pensavo fosse finita e mi dispiaceva. C'è un pezzo che sembrava in giapponese. Soni: Figa pure questa ammazza, bella la produzione, mi ricorda un botto Kenji Kawai, quello delle colonne sonore di Ghost In The Shell. Forse questa e Traveller sono le mie preferite. Mi è piaciuto molto il testo della conclusione. In Conclusione: Sono davvero stupito, non me aspettavo un album così. Probabilmente Andrea essendo più esperto del genere magari sarà meno colpito, però ho trovato davvero interessante questo misto di musica etnica indiana e elettronica mezza drum and bass. Non è niente di necessariamente nuovo ma l'esecuzione qui mi è arrivata molto sapiente e raffinata, non una cosa fatta tanto per, probabilmente perché immagino che Talvin Singh sia indiano e quindi è musica che gli appartiene. Comunque nonostante l'ora di disco m'è volato e vari pezzi me li riascolterei volentieri. Poi per essere il 98 comunque, tralasciando certi suoni che mi sono arrivati come un po' démodé, comunque la produzione regge bene. Se mi avessero detto che era tipo di 10 anni dopo c'avrei creduto. Bella sorpresa!

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Tue May 18 2021
4

Pretty cool. Bit much by the end though.

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Tue May 18 2021
4

Slumdog millionaire got nothing on this timeless sound. Transition is the word that keeps coming to mind. Things are changing but the future is unclear.

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Mon May 17 2021
4

how powerful do you have to be to name your album "OK" favorite tracks: traveller, butterfly, eclipse, OK, vikram the vampire

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Tue Jul 20 2021
4

I enjoyed the traditional Indian fusion with more "modern" music.

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Mon Jun 21 2021
4

Lurvely. My dad had this album when I was growing up, but I didn't remember what the music was like (just the cover). Was a pleasant surprise and really enjoyed listening with my good headphones. One of those albums that needs a decent soundsystem to shine.

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Fri Jul 23 2021
4

Never would’ve imagined that this was a thing

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Fri Aug 06 2021
4

Calkiem egzotyczny piczek, chociaz troche wyspiarski, bo wydany w uk, debiutancki album pana talvina singha, czyli producenta/dja/bembenkowicza urodzonego w uk, ale z korzeniami w indiach, co dosc mocno slychac na tym materiale, stad wlasnie jego egzotycznosc, bo chociaz jest to elektronika pelna geba, to jednak uzywa elementow muzyki klasycznej, w tym wypadku glownie brzmien rodem z indii, jakies sitarki, drumersowanie tez typowo indyjskie, nie wspominajac o przewijajacych sie wokalach brzmiacych jak ludowe rekordingi, co dziwne pojawiaja sie rowniez w niektorych trakach hinskie wokalowania jakis pan, z tego co wyczytalem to czesc byla nagrywana na okinawie, wiec pewnie to jest efekt tych prac, co najbardziej slychac na tytulowym traku OK, ale plyta jest nawet bardziej niz OK, bo naprawde dobrze sie tego sluchalo od poczatku do konca, slychac ze tworzone bylo to z mysla o kompletnym krazku, struktura przechodzenia miedzy trakami, tempem w poszczegolnych czesciach plyty, wiec jesli zazwyczaj nie jestem przekonany do elektroniki, w wydaniu junglowo breakbeatowym, to w tak orginalnie podanym wydaniu, bo polaczyc drumowe brejkowanie z klasyczna muzyka rodem z filharmonii i tradycyjnymi spiewami folkowymi, to naprawde ciekawie polaczenie, wiec na plejke wrzuce tytulowy kawalek, butterflaja i soni, a cala plyta laduje na polce plyt w sam raz na czilowy odsluch polaczony z innymi aktywnosciami, bo wokale hinsko hinduskie nie rozpraszaja, a dobrze wpasowuja sie do lamanych beatow

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Sun Aug 08 2021
4

Interesting sound, I enjoyed it.

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Wed Aug 18 2021
4

Very interesting album. Debut album from the pioneer of "Asian Underground". I liked it quite a bit.

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Thu Oct 21 2021
4

-"Sutrix" do be getting groovy -The second half of "Decca" becomes really good but then it just stops after like 45 seconds and it makes me sad -"OK" kind of sounds like some anime nonsense but it gets more intense than a lot of other songs on the album so I'll let it slide -"Light" got the thumping bass and the flute-like instrument wailing -Lots of cool bits but also some slow bits but also overall solid

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Sat Oct 23 2021
4

Beautiful music! Helps me to understand and appreciate electronic music. Sometimes resembles of turbo folk

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Mon Nov 01 2021
4

It's pretty cool I'll be honest. Feels very 90's this almost nostalgic view of the future, while being very clearly from the past. I dig it. Electronic Bass and drum mixed with Indian folk maybe? It's fucking cool either way.

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Thu Dec 23 2021
4

Yes, love a bit of electronica with world music blended in. This pairs nicely with Nitin Sawhney's "Beyond Skin" which is also on the list. Fave track - "Butterfly" perhaps. I also enjoy the jabbering of the title track!

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Thu Dec 30 2021
4

Hadn't heard this before. Completely brilliant.

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Wed Jan 12 2022
4

Not sure why the mixed reception for this one. It's so good! Definitely a much different take on electronic music which I will always welcome as I feel it's a genre that gets bogged down by too much of the same sounding records. Give it a listen.

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Fri Apr 29 2022
4

Imagine blending classical Indian music with electronica and ambient, finishing with a garnish of western classical and jazz, until you have a musical Arrack- the generic term for a variety of distilled spirits found throughout India and Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the Philippines, that are often unrelated, and can be made from different ingredients. And the effect of listening to Talvin Singh’s 'OK' is about as heady as I can imagine a tumbler of Arrack over ice would be. The opening track, clocking in at over eleven minutes (but passed too quickly), introduce the listener into Singh’s ambient world before then segueing into an electronica infused uptempo hybrid, only to then quiet down into a tempo-less traditional Indian drone set with two very talented flute players- Ryuichi Sakamoto and Rakesh Charurasia- when, out of the blue, a gloriously melancholic western orchestral score! And that was just the first song. Please don’t get the impression, though, that it was bombastic, or too busy. To the contrary, it was quite relaxing, infused with subtle meaning, and very often beautiful. Musically intriguing, with lots to explore. And while they weren’t featured often, Suchitra Pilai’s vocals soared when they were, aiming straight for the sun on ‘Eclipse,’ for example, and further propelled by the wonderful keyboard manufactured beats of Guy Sigsworth. Hats off to all on this wonderfully creative collaboration. It's been reported that Indian music can be off-putting to certain individuals, possibly due to the spiritual nature of what the artists are co-creating. Divine light is not immediately pleasurable when you’re accustomed to the dark. That, and not everyone necessarily recognizes their own dis-ease in the first place. If that’s where you’re at, do yourself a favor, and don’t bail on this too quickly. Give it time to root first before expecting flowers. Much like the free jazz of Ornette Coleman, don’t expect to walk away from 'OK' whistling an easily accessible tune. This is more like tattoo music, a gradual integration, intended for permanency. And if you are already hip to the sounds of this part of the globe, and open to, or at least curious about what the modern electronica lads are putting down, then you’ll immediately enjoy this LP, and it’s euphoric after effects. I sure did.

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Fri May 20 2022
4

Zen meditation music like from a massage parlor

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Wed May 25 2022
4

ravie de faire sa connaissance

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Thu May 26 2022
4

So much better than I expected. An interesting album which combines a number of musical styles.

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Thu Jun 02 2022
4

Unusual but very enjoyable. It pulls off a genre fusion remarkably well

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Fri Oct 07 2022
4

A really interesting album - it gets a bit weird at points, but will definitely listen again.

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Wed Oct 12 2022
4

Really enjoyed this. The fusion of the table with drum and bass is really addictive

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Wed Oct 26 2022
4

One of the pioneers of Asian fusion/underground, I love the combination of drum n bass beats with Tabla playing, almost feels like they were meant for each other. And then the incorporation of both western and eastern classical instruments and themes, this really is a world spanning album.

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Wed Oct 26 2022
4

Lovely soundscape. Happy surprise

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Fri Nov 11 2022
4

Actually a fun listen. Very good background for working.

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Fri Nov 11 2022
4

This for sure won't be in my normal rotation but I really enjoyed this. The mix of Indian and electronic was a really interesting combo to listen to. Great background music for work.

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Fri Nov 11 2022
4

I honestly don't know why I like this album so much, but I do. The last two songs are absolutely nutty though and honestly a bit creepy. Would I listen to it often? No. Am I happy I listened to it? YES!

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Tue Dec 13 2022
4

Would I listen to this album again, yes absolutely, it's dedication to his Indian heritage is there to be seen no matter what the genre. It's a grower of an album with something new in every listen.

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Fri Dec 23 2022
4

Nice album, love the crossover

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Wed Dec 28 2022
4

Feisty and interesting and cool, much like the artist himself. And one's reminded of the double-edged sword that is ambition in popular music; in this case, it's a plus, drivingg toward compelling contrasts and nearly-titillating textures (see "Mombasstic"). There are moments of great beauty (e.g., "Light" and, to a lesser extent "Soni") and powerful atmospherics (multiple moments in "Traveler" and the hip and groovy "Butterfly"). But an excess of overly ambitious, globally-inspired noodling and overdetermined vibing – not terribly surprising given the time and place and dramatis personae, plus the well and truly maligned [and often justifiably so] genre] – leaves the record just short of being a full-on classic. It's the merging of modes that makes this cool but one thinks it's music that sounds best in a first-class seat on a very long international flight. TS would no doubt take the point, but disagree. The maximalism generally works but defeats timelessness, as there's simply too much that can date it or anchor it to the time/place of its creation (see "Decca" and "Eclpse"). That's especially true of the spoken-word bits. These moods remain relevant only as long as the Zeitgeist of their creation remains readable and in 21st century time signatures and cultural flux, that's not very long. Plus high-tech instrumentation only remains so for a season or two, given relentless progress, advancement, innovation, etc., etc. But no doubt a fun and interesting listen from a big (and undoubtedly global) mind and one's inspired to listen to more.

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Thu Jan 05 2023
4

he's a twat but the music is top notch

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Wed Jan 18 2023
4

That was interesting! Really loved the instrumentation and Indian influence. Less fond of the painfully 90's electronica.

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Thu Jan 19 2023
4

Maybe it's a biased opinion because I like this type of "environmental" music

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Fri Jan 20 2023
4

Would be great for a yoga session. I felt zen afterwards.

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Fri Jan 27 2023
4

Intriguing mix of influences.

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Thu Apr 13 2023
4

Música electrónica ambiental. Me ha gustado. Un 4.

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