I feel like it has been global fusion week here at We Heart Music. I was lucky enough to tag along with Vu as he reviewed the shows of Delhi2Dublin, with their infectious Raga-Celtic dance beats and Céu who blended her traditional Brazilian music with American soul, jazz and hip hop. Plus, I’ve been listening to a couple of albums that meld Eastern sensibilities with a Western style.
Secret Stash Records is a small record label that scours for overlooked musical gems much like a miner pans for gold. Past releases have involved a reggae interpretation of the seminal jazz record, Kind of Blue, by Miles Davis. They’ve also released records with names like Porno Groove, Soviet Funk and now Persian Funk, which is available this week.
Secret Stash’s website states the chosen songs “… are a mix of instrumental, Farsi vocal and English cover songs… packed full of deep grooves, killer breaks and high energy all with a healthy dose of Persian influence.”
“Cheshm Be Ra” starts off the record with a Shaft soundtrack groove. “Hard Groove” follows as a bluesy saxophone instrumental. I really liked “Del” by Shohreh as it combines the rhythms and horns of Motown with a Persian flute and Farsi vocals.
This is an interesting snapshot of a culture influenced beyond its borders before the Islamic Revolution. It makes you want to believe that despite differences most of us just want to put on some good music, sing and dance and have a good time.
KARSH KALE – CINEMA
This record maybe the perfect example of global fusion for Karsh Kale seems richly versed in progressive electro-rock as well as classical Indian music. Neither picking sides nor choosing favorites Kale instead weaves disparate musical elements into an all-together new tapestry. Developing his musical sensibilities through the underground club scene, Kale helped carve out a subgenre called Asian Massive.
The tracks to his fifth release are not so much songs that tell a story but musical landscapes that evoke a time, place or feeling. Maybe that is why it is called Cinema for many of the tracks could easily slip into a movie soundtrack. I especially like the title track which blooms and unfolds like an incandescent flower.