Bhakta

Open Transmission

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In Bhakta's universe, Indian instrumentation and Sanskrit devotional chanting live peaceably amidst synthesizers and lounge sensibilities. He subtly meshes the electronic with the organic, the spiritual with the sensual, the crunchy with the smooth.

On the opening track of his debut album, carnatic violin and bamboo flute wrestle, spar, and dance for two solid minutes, until an impassioned, improvised vocal floats into the mix, carried away by subtle percussion and hypnotic bass. Appositely titled "Third Eye," it's a wakeup call to the spirit. The title track, a three-part suite, starts off as a tasty chill-out number for vocals and percussion, then bursts into a blazing techno inferno; the final third deftly fuses the first two, resulting in a swirling Sufi dance. "Khidr," another three-parter, is a meditative mood piece that changes briefly into a dance piece, and then back to atmospheric overtone chanting and soothing synth tones. Amidst all the techno-trance elements, the sincerely devotional quality of the vocals (by Bhakta and other guest artists) makes this a continually compelling and very human record.

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