Ishta: Ishta (Monkey)

 |   |  <1 min read

Ishta: Drop the Soap
Ishta: Ishta (Monkey)

Listening to this multiculti outfit from Auckland qualifies you for frequent flyer points: the line-up has musicians from Dutch, Kiwi, Israeli, Indian and French backgrounds; and the instrumental artillery on display includes sitar, saxophone, didgeridoo, guitar, flute and double bass. All of which could make for an unworkable implosion of world fusion, if it weren't for the keen sensibilities on display.

When the eight-minute second track - Butterfly - takes flight around the midpoint in a maelstrom of flute, sitar and tabla drums (with didgeridoo offering guttural sonic punctuation), it makes for a thrilling and heady brew. The interplay of sax and sitar brings to mind the most gutsy passages on Ali Akbar Khan and John Handy's 1975 album Karuna Supreme.

They are equally impressive in quieter moments (De La Tierra and Drop the Soap which suggest the Indo-jazz group Oregon, Muhashaba featuring the entrancing vocals of Josephine Costain) and the folk-pop of Ramjhula.

Sole disappointments are Sababa, and Sing Your Song which undermines the impression that Ishta otherwise have a sound that is as attractive as it is individual.

Like the idea of this? Then check out these pages.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

Syriana: The Road to Damascus (Real World)

Syriana: The Road to Damascus (Real World)

The last time Nick Page (aka Dubulah and co-founder of London's terrific Transglobal Underground) appeared on these pages it was as Dub Colossus with the album A Town Called Addis in which he... > Read more

Francoise Hardy: La Pluie Sans Parapluie (Virgin)

Francoise Hardy: La Pluie Sans Parapluie (Virgin)

At first glance this might just seem to be one for those who knew the title meant "Rain Without an Umbrella" or just want a bit of that breathy chanteuse mood music for dinner parties.... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

BURNING SPEAR INTERVIEWED (2000): Still tending his crop

BURNING SPEAR INTERVIEWED (2000): Still tending his crop

Burning Spear lets go a deep, resonant laugh which starts as a chuckle then becomes increasingly full-throated. Savour that moment, it's the only break in his gravitas during this friendly,... > Read more

The Nightmare from Down Under: Paying the price for gluttony

The Nightmare from Down Under: Paying the price for gluttony

The small city of Melaka two hours south of Kuala Lumpur is considered the cuisine capital of Malaysia, and my happy task there for a few days was to sample then write about the various foods --... > Read more