Friday, November 20, 2009

Ananda Shankar - Self-Titled

Ananda Shankar released his first record of many in the wake of the 60s, successfully blending traditional sitar and Indian music with comtemporary psychedelic and popular Western styles of the day. I realize that description might easily put someone off from the start, but the blend is masterful and a unique experience, unlike any other that one may find with the musical Shankar family, or even other sitarists in general, for that matter. Trust me folks, there is good reason as to why you might see this particular man referred to as the 'Hendrix of sitar'. While perhaps not as technically inclined as the aforementioned Hendrix (who is to say moving across the sitar isn't a shit-ton more difficult than the guitar anyhow?), Ananda busts out some epic solos in Metamorphosis and the droney/ambient track Sagar, showing incredible talent akin to other superstars of the time. Where as Hendrix was extremely influential in the realm of the guitar, I could see Ananda having done the same with his instrument, had he been more popular throughout his lifetime. The amount of variety on this album is just astounding, folks.. you have your covers of the Rolling Stones and the Doors, you have your beautifully psychedelic Snow Flower, and several electronic touches throughout the whole album. I know he's received some recent interest due to his inclusion in the hit video game Little Big Planet, but if this is all that you know of the man, dare to dig deeper and check out this rare gem in music.

"I have had a dream to try to combine Western and Indian music into a new form, a music which has no particular name, but is melodious and touching, and which combines the most modern electronic devices with the old tranditional instrument, the sitar." - Ananda Shankar, text on the above cover art.

1. Jumpin' Jack Flash
2. Snow flower
3. Light My Fire
4. Mamata (Affection)
5. Metamorphosis
6. Sagar (The Ocean)
7. Dance Indra
8 Raghupati

Download (42.54 MB)