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Dance of Shakti

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Album Review

When Prem Joshua is at his most mystical, his music sometimes fails to achieve the same transcendence; instead, it will sometimes remain behind, languishing in the realm of smooth jazz obviousness. On Dance of Shakti, though, he has all the elements balanced just right and the result is music that moves the body as surely as it uplifts the spirit. Opening with the brilliant "Bolo Hari," a composition that combines the sampled voice of a street singer with a complex jungle breakbeat, haunting bamboo flute, and jazzy muted trumpet, and ending with the trance-inducing and chant-based "Dance of Kali," Dance of Shakti is a compelling program of dance music that offers a variety of moods and tempos and almost always makes you want to shake your groove thang. Other highlights include the bhangra-influenced "Mangalam" (which features simple but highly effective overdubbed vocal harmonies) and the trancey, subtly dub-inflected "Himalaya Trance." The album's weakest track is the perhaps overly relaxed "Secret Place," which is nonetheless quite enjoyable (if a bit too long). This album would make an excellent starting point in one's exploration of the Prem Joshua catalog.

Dance of Shakti, Prem Joshua
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