The Now

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Layering voices, electronic elements, deep bass, flutes, violins, and the polyrhythmic tick and bounce of the tabla drums, Suphala has made a deeply evocative and compelling record in THE NOW. Suphala's skills as a composer, producer, and tabla player have been sought after by numerous artists (Sean Lennon, Norah Jones, and Perry Ferrell, among them), and it is easy to see why from the dazzling, futuristic sound of this solo debut.

The opening track, "Transport," rides a slow, cosmic funk groove that threads lines of floating vocals and moaning, reverbed guitar through the mix. "Wind Farm Harvest," co-written and performed with former Living Color guitarist Vernon Reid, is a surging pastoral piece that sounds delectably on the verge of being out of focus, while "Meeting," a duet with DJ Kiva, brings turntablism to Indian classical tradition. Whether the futuristic R&B of "Forever Maybe" (co-written by Vikter Duplaix), or the jazz fusion of "Secret Language," THE NOW bridges so many styles and eras that it is difficult to categorize, and that is exactly what makes it such a fresh and rewarding listen.

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