Paban Das Baul: Music of the Honey Gatherers (World Music Network/Southbound)

 |   |  <1 min read

Paban Das Baul: Prem Katha Ti Shunte Bhalo
Paban Das Baul: Music of the Honey Gatherers (World Music Network/Southbound)

The music of the itinerant Bauls of Bengal has only made a brief appearance at Elsewhere previously (the album by Bapi Das Baul here) but its uplifting spiritual quality in pop-sized bites (it is often improvised, but on CD nothing stretches much longer than Hey Jude or Stairway to Heaven) which makes it appealing on a number of fronts.

Paban Das Baul has been quite the ambassador for this often hypnotic, undeniably exotic and always engrossing music: in 97 he recorded in the Real World studio in Bath, and last year he collaborated with London-based guitarist Sam Mills on the Real World album Real Sugar -- which shows just how far he has traveled (literally and metaphorically) from his home village in West Bengal where he was inducted into the Sufi and Baul traditions.

This album with own small ensemble -- percussion, dotara, sort of a Jew's harp thing, ektara -- keeps the music almost elementally simple and his vocals are warm but authoritative in these folk songs which have a mesmerising, groove-based tenor.

Undoubtely this is music best experienced live, but over these 10 songs in 55 minutes you can certainly be seduced in and drift away -- even if you have no idea what is being sung about.

The eight-minute closer (only one of two song that length) will have you slipping into a peaceful trance to a place where the honey-gatherers are.  

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

STAFF BENDA BILILI INTERVIEWED (2012): Takin' it from the street

STAFF BENDA BILILI INTERVIEWED (2012): Takin' it from the street

The connection to Renate, wherever she is, seems to be fine. But between her and Kinshasa in the Congo where Ricky Likabu, our target, is . . . that's another matter. Then of course there is the... > Read more

Various Artists; Bossa Nova and the Story of Elenco Records, Brazil (Soul Jazz/Southbound)

Various Artists; Bossa Nova and the Story of Elenco Records, Brazil (Soul Jazz/Southbound)

The Elenco bossa nova label -- founded in Rio de Janeiro in '63 -- gets this well-annotated Gilles Peterson-complied 23 track disc (and a booklet with an essay) of great tracks by guitarist Baden... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Krist Novoselic: Fast track to nowhere

Krist Novoselic: Fast track to nowhere

Some people just aren't that smart. At least that's what I thought about Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic when he tossed his bass high in the air at an MTV awards show and failed to catch it on its... > Read more

THE EMPIRE CITY; SONGS OF WELLINGTON by ANDREW LAKING and BOB KERR (VUP book/CD)

THE EMPIRE CITY; SONGS OF WELLINGTON by ANDREW LAKING and BOB KERR (VUP book/CD)

With historic photos, and subtle, evocative paintings by Bob Kerr (perhaps most fondly remembered for his terrific Terry and the Gunrunners comic book series), this book/CD by writer and... > Read more