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

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more

2017-07-27
Yestival Dates Beef up the Beat – Word reaches us that Dylan Howe (son of guitarist Steve Howe) will be joining Yes on their "Yestival" tour, drumming alongside longtime band member Alan White. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Magma - Mekanïk Zeuhl Wortz – Here's one of those unbelievably powerful Magma concerts that's been circulating on cassette for years, finally cleaned up and transferred to CD. Hallelujah! This is one of the best live shows...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues