Jairamji :: Kindred Spirits
[dakini]   review from dj advent  

There should be a warning on the album cover "Do not operate heavy machinery or drive an automobile while listening to this CD." The very first sound is a splash, and believe me it's your consciousness taking a dive into the deep end. It's interesting the attention Charlie Roscoe (the brain behind Jairamji) gives to creating environments. On several of the tracks you'll hear birds, streams & waterfalls. These sounds gently enhance the aspect of "another time another space", which is essential for a nice variation of the chill. This album is a vacation for your mind. Everyone needs a way out from the daily grind, and Kindred Spirits is a four star vehicle.

Dakini records has always been a source for quality releases and this is no exception. Jairamji expertly extracts influences from a variety of cultures. Roscoe states "India is a magical country that feeds the senses and fuels the imagination". "Chime" the opening track combines the tabla, guitar, flute, cello, classical Indian singing & elements of the dub wise manipulations to name just a few. The opening track is a good example of what you'll find on this CD. It begins with plenty of space and is then progressively filled in. Here a tabla loop fades in and continues throughout the entire track with a few breaks (the average track time is 8 minutes.). The hand drum repetition found throughout this album can be either a high point or a low. Several shamanistic cultures utilize repetitive drumming for their spiritual "journeys...." Seen in that light, Jairamji succeeds in bringing this ancient method into a modern context. This repetition can also become monotonous and lack a diversity in "drumming" sample techniques, which was my first reaction. The whole CD seems to follow a "wave" formula. It builds, climaxes, then flows back down. Since I love this album it's a wave I'm happy to ride. However, for others it may seem like each track is a variation of the same song.

"Swaragami" which was earlier released on Six Degree's Asian Travels 2 sums up Jairamji's sound. It's elegant, refined, gorgeous and very poetic with it's diversity of emotion. It has the organic aspect, but doesn't hesitate to break into some kickin' down tempo loops. "Celestial Reasoning" which is graced by the breathtakingly beautiful voice of Susanna Waters is one such inspiring source of music that negates the use of Jairamji's impressive electronic drum loops. Instead it features percussion used in such a unique way that it's awe-inspiring. Then with the additional layers of flute (played by Andreas Kornevall), guitar, piano & a bass-line that just morphs together so well it's sickening. The track just opens up the heart with its superb composition and seems to have a note of sweet yearning. Like the flower after the winter seeks the sun...

Since Jairami doesn't focus on the "dance" aspect of Asian Massive, it gives the listener something else. Perhaps the opportunity for relaxation and reflection. A moment to look beyond one's surroundings and oneself. Full length "ethno" chill albums are few and far between. Even rarer are ones that catch the spirit from the cultures they draw from. This is one of those rarities, and I think those reading will truly appreciate this album.

DJ Advent is THE DJ/Producer bringing the noise to Seattle, WA, USA. Visit DJ Advent online for more info.]

ethnotechno rating: 4 out of 5
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  1. Chime (pick)
  2. Swaragami
  3. Breathing Space (pick)
  4. Pianissimo
  5. Mother Tongue
  6. Heal
  7. Celestial Reasoning (pick)