Singh, Talvin — Ha
(Universal Island 3145484962, 2001, CD)
by Sean McFee, Published 2001-07-01
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.
Related artist(s): Talvin Singh
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more