Wade Imre Morissette

Sargam Scales of Music

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Alanis' twin brother Wade Morrisette has made it his mission to meld his two favorite things in life: music and yoga. And he has actually done so brilliantly. As limited a compliment as it may seem, it is fair to say that Sargam Scales of Music is a great yoga record. No higher praise can be said for it than to state that it would be great music to meditate to. Based largely on 7-plus-minute chants (more often than not in Sanskrit), Sargam Scales reveals great musicianship and hooks that happens to come in the form of a yoga record. With Wade and his acoustic guitar at the center, accompanied by various percussionists and other occasional guests, Sargam Scales is extremely pleasurable to listen to merely as a recording unto itself -- yoga need not accompany listening. The chants are built over a substantial length of time using worldbeat, so there is a wonderfully hypnotic quality encircling the whole affair. At its most conventional ("Om Namah Shivaya," "Immortal"), in both his delivery and his cadence, Wade is remarkably reminiscent of his famous twin sister (think "The Prayer Cycle..."). And, very much like his sibling, Wade has a penchant for a delicious hook of a melody ("We Are One," "Om Narayana") capable of burrowing its way into your head for a long, long time. Originally independently produced and released (then reissued three years later by Nettwerk's Terry McBride, a fellow yoga enthusiast), Sargam Scales has a homemade feel to it. But it is the template debut on which Morissette would fashion his unique "yoga sound" and make some fascinating recordings in the process. A great listen, all around -- with or without the yoga.

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