Exposé Online banner

Singh, Talvin — Ha
(Universal Island 3145484962, 2001, CD)

by Sean McFee, Published 2001-07-01

Ha Cover art

The emerging electronica scene has been a source of many innovative and progressive talents, such as Squarepusher and Aphex Twin, and one of the highlights of this scene would have to be Talvin Singh. Singh’s energetic and innovative fusion of Indian musical elements and the possibilities of technology serves as a symbol of an emerging, hip and modern India. While his previous release, Ok, was nothing short of astounding, Ha, if not a step back, seems to at least be running on a treadmill. This album was recorded almost entirely in India and features mostly Indian artists on vocals, string instruments, percussion and the obligatory keyboard effects and programming (mostly by Singh himself). The twelve-minute opener “One” already shows a more ethereal mood, with the emphasis on atmosphere rather than driving pulse. While this can be taken many ways, I find it somewhat reined-in and restrained, at times bordering on mundane techno with superficial exoticisms. I often found myself wishing the metronomically perfect beat would dissipate to better illustrate the other musical elements. Not to be overly negative, however; “Uphold,” which strips things back to only Singh and Brad Somatik on keys and programming, is the most successful reproduction of Ok’s fresh eclecticism. Probably enough here to interest Singh fans, but neophytes should start with his earlier work.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 22, 2001 releases

Related artist(s): Talvin Singh

Latest news

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Panzerballett - Panzerballett – In my mind I picture the dancing of tanks — the cover art helps. But the only dance I can imagine is a slow, clumsy, brutish affair, most unlike the quick, dextrous, sophisticated music I hear....  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues