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In the late 1990s, the UK-based team of composer/arranger/pianist Andrew T. Mackay and producer Garry Hughes (Art of Noise, Sly & Robbie, and the particularly pertinent Pink Floyd Orchestral Project) traveled to India to record Bombay's top session players for a project by Spellbound, a duo from India based in London. "I produced and Andrew arranged, Hughes recalls. "It was a fantastic experience recording these guys, and on the plane coming home we thought how great it would be to make an orchestral chill-out record with these players. In 2005, the duo returned to Bombay to spend their days recording a 28-piece string section (violins, violas and cellos) and their nights recording expert players of classical Indian instruments (bansuri, sarangi, tabla and sitar) and traditional Indian vocalists.
Bombay Dub Orchestra is the "orchestra chill-out record constructed from these recordings. It honors the essential contemplative nature of its source materialIndian classical musicand sparkles with unusual and exquisite beauty. The subtle electronics, pulses and beats underneath such tunes as "Compassion complement its Indian components, instead of overpowering them.
Solitary violin steps out of the mist overlying "Rare Earth like a solitary eagle's majestic, solitary flight; the soaring North African vocals from Khalid Kharchaf featured in "The Berber of Seville conjures the same mythical, mystical imagery. "To the Shore traverses a melody that is simply, sadly, ethereally beautiful. Though the spotlight mainly (and properly) shines on the Indian instrumentalists, Mackay merits mention as a Harold Budd-like impressionistic pianist on "Sonata and "Remembrance, a two-minute instrumental prayer pregnant with the beauty of becoming that closes the CD.
Okay, that's the "Bombay Orchestra part. The "Dub part comes from the package's second CD, remixes of eight these twelve tracks rendered in dub style, several featuring more exotic names and equally exotic musical visions, such as "The Berber of Seville Orchestral Version: Father Mackay's Celestial Vision, "Rare Earth: The Forest of Thieves Mix and "Dust: The Pigment of Your Imagination Mix.
A dream deferred is not always a dream denied.
Track Listing: CD1: Bombay: Compassion; Rare Earth; Mumtaz; The Berber of Seville; To the Shore; The
Greater Silence; Feel; Dust; Sonata; Unexpected Rain; Neauty and the East; Remembrance.
CD2: Dub: Rare Earth: The Forest of Theives Mix; Feel: The Diamond Cake Mix; Beauty and
the East: The Marine Drive Traffic Jam; The Berber of Seville: The Berber of Suburbia Mix;
Dust: The Pigment of Your Imagination Mix; Compassion: The Continental Drift Mix; The
Berber of Seveille Orchestral Version: Father Mackay's Celestial Vision; Remembrance: fires
Personnel: Andrew T. Mackay: tapes and production; Garry Hughes: tapes and production.
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.