Cheb i Sabbah :: Maha Maya
[six degrees]   review from derek  

It's an interesting trilogy, this one. Shri Durga, installment one, is water music for the nuevo-Indian soundscape, a masterful blend of tasteful electronics meshed with classical orchestration. 12-minute silences are filled sparingly with lion roars, bells, and rivers, interspersed with lucid vocals and masterful percussion. Krishna Lila, numero tres, mimicked more classical (both Hindustani and Carnatic) - slightly tweaked with crystalline production - as well as the most gorgeous vocals this side of Delhi.

Maha Maya lies in the middle, a remix project juicing up Shri Durga's serene atmospherics. The original "Kese Kese," for example, with wicked intro and deep, roving voice, is ideal for warming up (or cooling off) the dance floor; the Transglobal Underground reworking - dubbed "Where's the Sarangi Mix" - puts the track midset, a perfect launch pad for orgiastic ritual. A reworking of the same song by Bally Sagoo falls flat, with mid-90s techno mentality.

In that sense Maha Maya wavers. Remix albums are a mixed bag, this one no different. State of Bengal represents solid with their refreaking of "Shri Durga," and Fun-Da-Mental actually chills for a moment on their interpretation ("The Organic Science" mix) of the same cut. The TJ Rehmi and Bedouin Ascent attempts ("Durga Puja" and "Ganga Dev") are moderately interesting and slightly monotonous, respectively. Sabbah himself bookends the disc with "Samarpanam," an airy scene of street sounds, and "Radhe Krishna (The Babu Chamdidasa Mix)," a hallucinogenic orchestra as deep and hygienic as the Ganges itself. A river you can drink blood from, a fitting metaphor for this trilogy; consider Maha Maya a bit of both, slightly iron-ic yet essentially cool all the same.

ethnotechno rating: 3.5 out of 5
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  1. Samarpanam [The Dhuni Mix]
  2. Shri Durga - The State of Bengal mix (pick)
  3. Durga Puja - T.J. Rehmi
  4. Kese Kese [Where's the Sarangi Mix] - Transglobal Underground (pick)
  5. Ganga Dev - Bedouin Ascent
  6. Kese Kese [Beast of Asia Mix] - Bally Sagoo
  7. Shri Durga [The Organic Science Mix] - Fun^Da^Mental (pick)
  8. Radhe Krishna [The Babu Chandidasa Mix]