Exposé Online banner

Anoushka Shankar / Karsh Kale — Breathing under Water
(Manhattan 0946 3 95392 2 2, 2007, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Scott Steele, Published 2009-07-01

Breathing under Water Cover artAcclaimed sitar master Anoushka Shankar and ex-Tabla Beat Science techno beat master Karsh Kale teamed up for one of the surprise East-meets-West collaborations of last year. The two musicians are up-and-coming international stars with a heavy focus on tradition, sophisticated dance with high production values. Shankar’s skill as prime soloist is the unifying attribute of the songs with her playing (either as soloist or sampled) at the forefront of the listener's ear. Notable tracks include “Burn,” where half sister Nora Jones imparts a forlorn vocal that fits almost intuitively into the track. In contrast “Abyss” opens with watery percussion creating a hip club mix with Sting’s cleverly understated backing vocal offset by exotic wood flute. “Slither” is no doubt the shining example of the duo’s collaboration where Indian tradition and grinding rhythms create a unique hybrid form of world music. Kale’s right choice for sampling, trigger and playback really hold down the entire disc with “PD7” being the most relentless bass and drum track in the set (approaching his groundbreaking work with Bill Laswell). Ballads are rendered effortlessly with the big string sound sometimes hinting at the Bollywood music scene. Balancing technology and traditional instrumentation is no mean feat as the disc holds up upon replay and scrutiny. Overall it’s a tour de force for these two leading lights that should both innovators onward in whichever direction they may undertake.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 37, 2007 releases

Related artist(s): Karsh Kale, Ansoushka Shankar

Latest news

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Canned Heat / John Lee Hooker - Hooker 'n' Heat, Historical Figures, Ancient Heads, & The New Age – If you don't dig the blues and you don't boogie, skip this review. Canned Heat's stock in trade was merging classic blues with rock, and in the late 60s nobody did it better, due in part...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues