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CD REVIEW: James Asher – Kali Thunder
By Ben Ohmart - 09/16/2001 - 01:08 PM EDT

Artist: James Asher
Album: Kali Thunder
CD Review: 10 tracks, 70 minutes. That tells you this is a dance album. Very fine work too, from James Asher. Gets a lot of musicians involved:

James Asher – keys, percussion, soundscape
Sandeep Raval – tablas, dholak, tassa, djembe
Johnny Kalsi – dhol
Sumeet Chopra – tabla, douffli, tassa, keys
Kiran Pal Singh – santoor
Kiran Thakrar – keys
Glen Velez – frame drum, reik, percussion
Billy Wilmington – drums, darabuk, ankle-bells
Tom Eldridge – djembe
Chhaya Vachharajani – vocals
Swati Natekar – vocals
Pandit Vishwa Prakash – vocals
Dinesh K. Mahavir – vocals
Mohan Parmar – manjira
Al Gromer Khan – sitar
Surinder Kamath – flute
Volker Grun – guitar
Graig Pruess – sitar, swaramandala, tambura, keys
Surjit Singh – Sarangi
Peter Lockett – djun-djuns, chapa, kanjira, cymbals
Miles Bould – congas, timbales

I thought I’d list all that to give you an idea of what sort of World to expect in your dances. Credibly accessible stuff though, which pulsates a beat through the entire album. Everything’s remixed by a different team of famous eggheads who’ve been doing this for a while now.

Take track 1, ‘Prayer Wheel’ from Bi-Polar (who have remixed the works of Rolling Stones, Realworld, Sitarfunk, etc.). The vocal that sings through, don’t know what language it is, but the melody is captivating and enhances the mood for prayer in discos.

Same for the follow-up ‘Temple Gates’ from Kamel Nitrate which is 6.5 minutes of MOVE! Not techno stuff that throbs the head as a simulated headache, no, this one begins with the same vocal as the first, but with more of a tonal, feel-thru, like Yoko Ono suddenly in tune after all these years, with a symphonic rock beat behind it and swirling instruments I couldn’t even beGin to pick out from the plethora of the above list.

Suffice it to say, this new New Earth Records disc has all the charm of an import without the evil intent of having to hunt it down. Yep, made here in the USA, so there’s no reason you shouldn’t find, and consume.

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