Paban Das Baul / The State of Bengal / Tana Tani

Tana Tani

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The latest in an unending line of East-West collaborations, Tana Tani combines the London Asian Underground (non-bhangra) scene with the music of Paban das Baul, from Bengal. Unlike most of the related collaborations, this album doesn't spend a huge amount of effort on the Eastern end of affairs. Paban das Baul is, of course, featured quite heavily in the proceedings, but in general he works himself into the compositions that the State of Bengal (aka Sam Zaman) is laying out. As such, the result is something of a chill out album, with a heavy bass line throughout much of its course. Along with the electronica from London, a remarkable amount of musicality is added by das Baul on the dotara and ektara, which is then often looped and doctored to some degree for the final product. While the pieces largely morph into one another without a huge amount of differentiation, it tends to work quite well for electronica and dance albums. The music itself has an overall aspect of interest from the interplay of ideas, but there's also something of a feeling from the sparseness of drum 'n' bass: they could have fit more of it into the tracks. Entirely well-performed and crafted, but not necessarily to everyone's taste.

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