Tasa with special guests: Mark Feldman; Adrean Farrugia; Dhruba Ghosh;
DJ Olive Independent TASA004
Ten years ago Tasa’s founder, tabla player Ravi Naimpally, set out to realize his vision to create a new musical form out of the many cultures that co-exist in this country. True to form and mission, “Alchemy” delivers on all fronts.
The complete experience of the album leaves the listener feeling as if they had been traveling, shifting in and out of place, space and time. The “trippiness” of the music can largely be attributed to the soundscaping of guitarist Chris Gartner, and the intermittent scratching of guest DJ Olive. Fragments of electronica sneak up on you in a delightful and unjarring kind of way. If pressed to choose a favourite, it would be Boatman’s Song – an original and haunting arrangement of a traditional Indian folk song. The band collectively evokes mystic waters, complete with rain stick. I was mesmerized by the “other worldliness” of Tasa’s newest addition, Samidha Joglekar’s alaaps (extemporized free-form vocalizations), and I could lose myself inside the reverb and timbre of Ernie Tollar’s magical flute playing.
Dhurba Ghosh guests on sarangi, a stringed instrument akin to the violin considered by many as the closest acoustic reproduction of the human voice. Samudra, one of Naimpally’s originals, means ocean in Sanskrit. Ghosh’s sarangi and Tollar’s sax toss around their easy conversation like waves with the “voice” of Naimpally’s tabla. The song ends in a whirlpool jam session. The album’s last two tracks, Bija and Solar really showcase the band’s versatility and bring new meaning to the term World music.