Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Record Review - Rasa Duende

Published in the Shortlist section of the Sydney Morning Herald, Friday July 26.

Rasa Duende
ABC Music / Universal

At first glance, you’d perhaps not think traditional Hindustani music and Flamenco had any business being in the same place, such are their vast physical and cultural distances from one another.

Rasa Duende will prove you wrong. A collaboration between renowned tabla player Bobby Singh, Sarod player Adrian McNeil and Flamenco guitarist Damien Wright, Improvisations is a stunning look at what can happen when two unlikely bedfellows mesh perfectly, thanks to some truly inspired playing.

A genuine melding of sounds and cultures, Improvisations, all instrumental, builds from Singh’s seemingly simple (yet metronomic) rhythms, and takes flight, the deep, weighty Sarod sound complimenting the fluttering Flamenco guitar work to a tee.

‘Ajnabi’ takes a sparse, darker road, McNeil seeming to just noodle away over a constant rhythm. Opener ‘Bhairenco’ begins slowly before building into a churning groove, utilising all players to their utmost potential. And the almost twelve minute long ‘Ektaal Por Bulerias’ picks up speed as it goes, McNeil and Wright almost battling for stringed supremacy by the end. A truly great release from this talented trio, hopefully just a beginning.

Samuel J. Fell

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