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Gathering One

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Album Review

Ever since George Harrison first picked up the sitar on the Beatles classic "Norwegian Wood," the fusion of Eastern sounds with Western pop music has been an extremely fruitful, if sometimes dicey, proposition. And with the advent of computers and sampling at the cornerstone of music production, contemporary ears have grown accustomed to the synthesized versions of such exotic instrumentation, with the genuine thing sounding quaint or even archaic in comparison. San Francisco's Hamsa Lila succeeds where many have failed, creating music using entirely live Indian, African, Arabic, and Western instrumentation to sound excitingly modern yet wholely legit.

Highly inspired by modern house and electronica, "Oshun" and "Salmai Aisha" easily lock into a pro-dancefloor groove that should be eagerly picked up by DJs such as Ron Trent and Marques Wyatt, while "Tuka Lila" and "Om Tara" are perfect bricks in the downtempo pyramid. The group even offers its own form of the remix, with duplicate bassline and percussion appearing in the opening chant groove of "Eh Mustpha" and again on the album's only English moment, "Full Moon Flow," which features lead singer Nikila Badua's smooth rap flow. Never falling into unfortunate world music, or worse, colonizing ethno (ethnic-techno), this debut from a fairly young Cali unit deserves the ample praise it has already received.

Gathering One, Hamsa Lila
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  • 9,99 €
  • Genres: Rock, Music
  • Released: 01 January 2003

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