243

The Laya Project: New Day--Laya Project Remixed

Chris M. Slawecki By

Sign in to view read count
For two years, producers Sonya Mazumdar and Patrick Sebag journeyed throughout the coastal communities of India, Indonesia, the Maldives, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand, collecting field recordings of these nations' most respected folk, religious and national music. They compiled these recordings and released them in 2007 as The Laya Project (Earthsync) to honor how the region's cultural spirit steadfastly endured the wake and physical aftermath of the 2004 Pacific tsunami.

Suspecting that this could be just the beginning of their project, Mazumdar and Sebag released these tracks for DJs, remixers and producers in these countries to revision and remix according to their own unique global perspectives, and then turned the remixes over to producer Joshua Jacobson, who subsequently assembled them into A New Day—Laya Project Remixed. "Remixes, especially for Laya Project, allow the message of Laya and the sound of the villages in these six countries to reach new audiences and age groups," Jacobs explains. "This album will reach the dance floor, trance festivals, lounges, and even TV commercials and feature films, which will greatly expand awareness of The Laya Project and the people affected by the 2004 tsunami."

A New Day truly presents the sound and vision of a global music and beat. On disc one, a children's chorus singing praise to the "Glorious Sun," a Myanmar traditional that MC Yogi toasts Jamaica-style, is powerfully affecting in the way that only the voices of innocent children can be. Doubled strings and vocals slide up and down the Eastern scale of "Hai La Sa" cool and liquid, like refreshing water. For "Sunrise in Injumbakam," the music seems to rise and fall, ebbing and flowing like waves of heat and light radiating from the dawning sun.

Disc two of this Project continues to grow further out and yet deeper within. The soft jungle funk of "Sunset in Akkari" coolly complements the first disc's "Sunrise." Dub Gabriel layers looped congas, drums, and hand cymbals into the ancient/modern sounding rhythm track that drives "Tapatam." Two different takes on the traditional Indian Sufi chant "Ya Allah" move like spiritual panthers on big fat, padded beats (one version even gets tangled in thick Jamaican dub), vocals swirling together with strings to scorch your speakers, musical sandstorms in stereo.

A New Day is mostly—but not entirely—electronic alchemy. MIDIval PunditZ animate "Katala Talu" from its core pulse of acoustic guitar (or sitar) and human voice, and the traditional Indian melody "Going to Seville" sounds even more haunting and eternal when rendered on violin, and borne upward by shimmering harmony strings.

"'Laya' is a really resonant and rich Sanskrit word," Mazumdar says. "Along with many other things, it can mean fusion, union and embrace, all elements that echo in these remixes. It's the essence of what we and the remixers hope for."

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Towards Language CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read The Romeo and Juliet Project CD/LP/Track Review The Romeo and Juliet Project
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Crystal Machine CD/LP/Track Review Crystal Machine
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "Black Art Jazz Collective - Presented By The Side Door Jazz Club" CD/LP/Track Review Black Art Jazz Collective - Presented By The Side Door Jazz...
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 28, 2016
Read "Basement Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Basement Blues
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 4, 2016
Read "Oddara" CD/LP/Track Review Oddara
by James Nadal
Published: October 15, 2016
Read "Fusion Machine" CD/LP/Track Review Fusion Machine
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 3, 2017
Read "Naija Rhythm Affair, NYC" CD/LP/Track Review Naija Rhythm Affair, NYC
by James Nadal
Published: July 12, 2016
Read "South Beat" CD/LP/Track Review South Beat
by Edward Blanco
Published: September 6, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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