From Bombay and Calcutta to London to Chicago, any place that has a large Indian population is likely to be coming up with some interesting East/West hybrids. And such a hybrid can also have an Italian connection; Atman's Eternal Dance, for example, was edited and mastered in Florence, Italy. For Atman, East/West means fusing Indian music with Euro-dance music and electronica. On this CD, synthesizers, keyboard, and samplers are heard alongside traditional, time-honored Indian instruments like the sitar and tabla drums. Another instrument that is employed on Eternal Dance is the shakuhachi, a bamboo flute that doesn't come from either India or Europe; the shakuhachi was brought to Japan by Chinese travelers in the eighth century and went on to become Japan's most famous wind instrument. You would never hear the shakuhachi on a traditional Indian recording, but then, Eternal Dance isn't meant to be a traditional Indian recording. Atman is all about taking liberties with Indian elements, and that not only means being influenced by modern American and European styles, it also means being able to use an instrument that is revered in Japan (where Buddhist monks consider the shakuhachi sacred). While a lot of modern Indian pop favors secular lyrics, Eternal Dance maintains a spiritual, Hindu-minded outlook on haunting tracks like "Dancing With the Goddess," "I Am," and "Govinda." The latter, in fact, takes its name from one of the Hindu deities; in Hinduism, Govinda is believed to be a manifestation of God Almighty. Eternal Dance isn't for Indian purists, but those who hold Indian music, dance music, and electronica in equally high regard will find a lot to admire about this intriguing CD.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson