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

Various Artists: The Original Sound of Cumbia (Soundway)

Various Artists: The Original Sound of Cumbia (Soundway)

In one of the least inspiring covers in Christendom -- and with the big-breath subtitle "The History of Colombian Cumbia and Porro as told by the Phonograph 1948-79" -- this utterly... > Read more

Alma Afrobeat Ensemble: It's Time (Slow Walk)

Alma Afrobeat Ensemble: It's Time (Slow Walk)

As the rugby people like to say, this was a game a two halves . . . and all the action happened in the second. Usually albums play their aces up first but this band -- mining the oh-so... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

MAN ON WIRE by JAMES MARSH (Madman DVD)

MAN ON WIRE by JAMES MARSH (Madman DVD)

Anyone who ever stepped out onto the roof of one of the Twin Towers would have been struck by three things: the view from that height; that height when you looked directly down; and the power of... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Rachel and Hayden Donnell of Great North

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Rachel and Hayden Donnell of Great North

New Zealand band Great North impressed Elsewhere back in the day, 2009 to be precise, when we had the time to review EPs. Of their EP Soldiers we felt the angels were watching over them, and... > Read more