384

Anoushka Shankar / Karsh Kale: Breathing Under Water

By

Sign in to view read count
The Shankar family has always been credited for bringing Indian music to the forefront of Western audiences. Although it was Pt. Ravi Shankar who brought sitar to the limelight of western avant-garde instrumentalists, the most experimental fusion work remains of that of the lesser known Ananda Shankar. Following along the same lines, and after two years of delivering Rise (Angel Records, 2005), Anoushka Shankar has collaborated with Karsh Kale for this masterful album, elegantly fusing Indian classical sitars with electronic music. Rise was Anoushka Shankar's first good attempt at fusing her sitar works to more widely accepted experimental electronics, giving an insight into the musical direction to which Shankar aspires. Breathing Under Water blows the lid off all speculations.

Breathing Under Water is a well-conceived collection of thirteen tracks, utilizing heavyweights including Grammy winners Norah Jones, Pt. Ravi Shankar, Sting and Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, as well as contributions from Bollywood biggies Shankar Mahadevan, Sunidhi Chauhan and Salim Merchant. This album is not for those searching for instrumental finesse and complex structures, but then again it's not meant to be so, given the past body of work by Karsh Kale, including the ingenious Broken English (Six Degrees, 2006) and Realize (Six Degrees, 2001).

From vibrant melodic tracks like "Slither, "PD7 and "Abyss to carefree effervescent self-searching numbers including "Burn, "Breathing Under Water" and "Easy, this album is a good introduction for those unfamiliar with Indian music, incorporating flavors of Indian mainstream Bollywood music in "Ghost Story, "Little Glass Folk and "A Perfect Rain. The first three quarters of the album is reminiscent of Kale's early works, while the final part is very much in the Indian classical tradition, with Pt. Ravi Shankar guesting on the two-part "Oceanic.

It's a difficult task to pick the best songs from this flawless album. Each song is so different, yet the uniting thread through all of them is an Indian classical aesthetic. Categorizing the album is also difficult, and that may be its only shortcoming.

Track Listing: Burn; Slither; Breathing Under Water; Sea Dreamer; Ghost Story; PD7; Easy; Little Glass Folk; A Perfect Rain; Abyss; Oceanic, Part 1; Oceanic, Part 2; Reprise.

Personnel: Karsh Kale: programming, acoustic guitar; Anousha Shankar: sitar, keyboards; Shankar Mahadevan: vocals (9); Sting: vocals (4); Sunidhi Chauhan: vocals (5); Ullhas Bhapat: santur; Dilshaad Khan: sarangi; Ravi Shankar: sitar (11, 12); Shekhar: cello; Pedro Eustache: flute; Ajay Prassana: bansuri; Norah Jones: vocals, piano (7); Salim Merchant: keyboards; Pirashana Thevarajah: kanjira; Vishwa Mohan Bhatt: Mohan Veena.

Title: Breathing Under Water | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Manhattan Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Signal 9 CD/LP/Track Review Signal 9
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 22, 2017
Read For the Love of You CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read "Lab 2016" CD/LP/Track Review Lab 2016
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 3, 2016
Read "Greatest Hits" CD/LP/Track Review Greatest Hits
by Doug Collette
Published: November 18, 2016
Read "Blue Light" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Light
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: October 14, 2017
Read "Hudson" CD/LP/Track Review Hudson
by Doug Collette
Published: June 14, 2017
Read "One" CD/LP/Track Review One
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: May 2, 2017
Read "Solstice" CD/LP/Track Review Solstice
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 25, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.