More amazing stuff involving Chatur Lal (posted his stunning The Drums Of India not that long ago), although instead of flexing his tabla muscles, this time he’s joining Ustad Ali Akbar Khan’s hypnotic sarod. Two side long ragas, each with a brief intro by Yehudi Menuhin who goes over the scale & rhythm of the following songs. Both start out slow, Khan’s solo sarod meandering, finding its way to solid ground, and when Lal comes in with his tabla, it’s the most natural and smooth transition, and Shirish Gor’s tamboura follows suit, everything growing like the morning sun nourishing the land with its warmth & energy, so calming, fantastic in every way. Perfect to throw on when you get home from work and need to clear the headspace.
This has been on heavy rotation these past few weeks. I picked it up just before my surgery and have been listening to it ever since. It’s absolutely amazing. Not just drums though, it also has Ram Narayan playing the sarangi and some singing by Lal. But drumming is definitely the focus and Lal is a fucking master tabla player. Every finger is a drum stick, making rapid fire taps flow with ease. I never even knew drumming like this was possible. It sounds like nothing I’ve ever heard before and with Lal’s near unintelligibly fast vocals, this is just the best fucking thing ever. Only three tracks, one side long piece on the A side, then two 10+ minute tracks on the other. This has already earned a special pedestal in my collection.
This is some old school awesomeness right here. Found this mono gem in the new bin at my favorite local record store in all its hard psych glory. Songs in Greek, Turkish, and Arabic (with an English “Miserlou” cover thrown in to tip it over the edge), blazing hot guitars with that sweet Middle Eastern twang, killer ’60s acid rock jams and noodley traditional charmers, totally weird, way ahead of its time. 100% great, especially the B-side opener “Shiseler” which is just too fucking cool.
And if you’ve never heard of them, this is probably why (taken from Wikipedia): “Unfortunately for The Devil’s Anvil, their album was released during escalating tensions between Israel and neighboring Arab countries and the Six Day War, or the Arab-Israeli War, in 1967. Subsequently, radio stations would not touch the album because of its controversial sound.”