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The Indica Project: Horn Ok Please

Glenn Astarita By

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"The Indica Project" is an ensemble of dissimilar musicians who have constructed a palatable, highly entertaining recording that draws upon East Indian rhythms and cultural perspectives. The title "Horn Ok Please" is an Indian road song/slogan, which is painted on the tailgate of trucks throughout India. Guitarist D. Wood and a bassist who goes by the name "Storms" composed and apparently assembled the musicians for this project. "The Indica Project" is a breath of fresh air and one of the best examples of "world music" that this reviewer has ever heard. "World Music" can denote many things but does not necessarily imply distinct elements or genres. However, when musicians from different cultures, backgrounds and schools of thought converge to record, the end result generally sways toward concepts indicative of one "form" of compositional style. The obvious sensation that hits you in the face here, is the seamless, transparent integration of distinct formulas and genres. Compositions such as "Theme For Hawk Hemp" showcase driving rock motifs supplemented by the sweet violin of Sriram Iyer and mood evoking alto of Greg Osby. On this track the musicians generate concoctions of funk rhythms behind Storms' thumping bass, Bhooshan Munj's tabla and Bobby Duggal's ghatam. There is quite a bit going on here and the music frequently transcends and mystifies. "The Indica Project" serves as a melting pot of ideas. "The Workshop" opens with lively percussion enhanced by some clever sound engineering. Brilliantly recorded, this track emits imagery as if they were sitting on a mountain ridge playing for the spirits. The tempo changes with the entrance of Bob Weiner's militaristic snare drum press rolls. As the liners suggest "It gives way to a hypnotic trance groove". "The Guide" opens with a beautiful melody complete with Morris Goldberg's pennywhistle, Iyer's violin and Tony Cedras' according. Unusual instrumentation but it works remarkably well ! "The Guide" is a delightful upbeat groove and guaranteed to put a smile on one's face. East Indian rhythms, traces of reggae, funk, jazz, fiery guitar, accordion solos all make "The Indica Project" a soulful yet groove orientated affair. Very appealing yet at times complex and ethereal. It all comes together here in splendid fashion. This one is highly recommended.

Personnel:

D.Wood: guitar, percussion; Storms: bass; Sriram Iyer: violin; Greg Osby: alto sax; Tony Cedras: accordion; Morris Goldberg: pennywhistle; Bob Weiner: percussion; Bhooshan Munj: tabla; Bobby Duggal: ghatam and Mukesh Parmar & Party percussion.

Title: Horn Ok Please | Year Released: 1998 | Record Label: Enja Records


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