Karsh Kale,
(Six Degrees, 2003)

Liberation is world fusion that defies categorization. There is no label to fit this music, but plenty of words to describe it: fantastic, unique, awesome, danceable, moving, upbeat, rhythmic and modern. It has something to appeal to almost any listener. If you love synth work with heavy percussion and bass, grab a copy.

You can scan the list of instruments and imagine what a blending of sounds you will find in this collection. It has its base in India, but that root is heavily layered and well camouflaged beneath at least a hundred world influences.

The layering creates a richness and fullness in this music that pulls the listeners into the piece and moves them from instrument to instrument to vocals. It is so easy to become lost in it and totally forget your surroundings. It has that type of magnetism.

I was surprised that music with such heavy bass work, and frequent fast beats, is so relaxing and that it had a calming effect on me. By the time it finished playing, I was completely relaxed.

There is no way to select any one of the pieces as superior to the rest. Each of these selections is superb and stands equal to the others. This is simply a marvelous collection of music with strong composition by talented persons.

The band, Realize, includes: Karsh Kale (drum kit, atmospherics, drum programming, keyboards, synth bass, tabla, samples, vocals, beat manipulation, vocoder, low end), Vishal Vaid (vocals, keyboards), Falguni Shah (vocals), Kirk Douglas (guitars), Sam "Dubfarm" Godin (keyboards, atmospherics, Moog bass) and Damon Banks (bass). Salim Merchant (keyboard, vocals) and the Madras Chamber Orchestra join Realize in this collection. Featured are: Gaurav Raina (drum and bass programming, arpegiators, atmospherics, FX), Mukesh Sharma (sarod), Zakir Hussain (tabla), Bill Laswell (bass), Ajay Prassana (bansui), Lily Hayden (violin), Tapan Raj (additional production) and Niladri Kumar (sitar).

This CD is part of the Six Degrees Travel Series. Inside the CD cover, Six Degrees Records states: "We are particularly interested in genre-bending hybrids that include a variety of musical styles as well as a mix of the ancient and the modern." This is the second CD that I have reviewed from that series and I have been extremely impressed with both. This is a series worthy of being collected! I am definitely hooked and plan to check out the rest of the collection.

- Rambles
written by Alicia Karen Elkins
published 8 May 2004

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