Debashish Bhattacharya: Slide Guitar Ragas from Dusk till Dawn (World Music Network)

 |   |  1 min read

Debashish Bhattacharya: Slide Guitar Ragas from Dusk till Dawn (World Music Network)

While his most recent album Beyond the Ragasphere was (mostly) excellent in its fusion of East and West, but succeeded best in his dialogue with guitarist John McLaughlin on an evocative conceptual piece Mystical Morning, those who prefer this great Indian slide guitarist in more traditional mode should rush to embrace this one.

Here over the course of five lengthy, deep immersion ragas he constructs a hypnotic programme where the evening opener Aarti is teased out in various directions and the subsequent piece (Ras Tarang, a midnight raga) is a masterpiece of initially delicate playing which climaxes in the final few minutes of its 20 minute span in furiously unpredictable but always melodic, slippery playing.

It also perhaps acts as a warning to others who might enter this field lightly.

The notion of a raga cycle is not unfamiliar given this form is quite specific in the times of performance, but this one offers not just the rare beauty of Indian slide -- the early hours of the morning and dawn are greeted with restful anticpation and the promise of a new day -- but some thrilling, pulse-racing playing.

No matter how you came to Bhattacharya -- through his Calcutta Slide Guitar album or even Ragasphere -- this is certainly an important addition to your collection.

The pieces on this album are too large (ie long) for Elsewhere to upload a sample track, but you can stream the whole album at Spotify here

For another and very different journey through time in India you might like to check out this, a day in Varanasi.

 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Psychedelic Bollywood (Rough Guide/Southbound)

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Psychedelic Bollywood (Rough Guide/Southbound)

We've made the point previously with The Rough Guide to Psychedelic Africa -- and ignored The Rough Guide to Latin Psychedelia  on these grounds -- that this usually reliable label is a bit... > Read more

Various Artists: Next Stop Soweto Vol 2 (Strut)

Various Artists: Next Stop Soweto Vol 2 (Strut)

Following on from the recent and pretty cool Next Stop Soweto (volume one, obviously) comes this even better collection, this subtitled "soul, funk and organ grooves from the townships... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Somerset, Far North Queensland, Australia: Didn't build it, they didn't come

Somerset, Far North Queensland, Australia: Didn't build it, they didn't come

So this was to be the site of a city to rival Singapore, this short crescent of white sand fringed by palms and mangroves, and looking onto a deep channel towards a nearby island? On a quiet... > Read more

JOHN TRUDELL, NATIVE AMERICAN ACTIVIST/POET/SINGER INTERVIEWED (1992): Living in the Elvis age

JOHN TRUDELL, NATIVE AMERICAN ACTIVIST/POET/SINGER INTERVIEWED (1992): Living in the Elvis age

While diplomats and ambassadors exchanged platitudes and gifts in August 1992 to acknowledge the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ first voyage to the New World, others found little to celebrate... > Read more