1/  Dakini (sky dancer)                        (Fazio)                       7.28
  2/  Salasvati                                  (Fazio)                       7.12
  3/  Devabandha (tantric Laswell mix)           (Fazio)                       12.26
  4/  Iruka                                      (Fazio)                       7.53
  5/  Tarab                                      (Fazio)                       7.38
  6/  Mahakala                                   (Fazio)                       9.21
  7/  Devabandha (second coming)                 (Fazio)                       12.31
  8/  A Piece of Forgotten Song                  (Fazio)                       13.13
      Drifting Across the Water
       (haad rin sunrise mix)

          Produced by A. Ikeda and G. Fazio
          Additional production and mix translation on track 3 by Bill Laswell
          Executive Producer: Raul Lopez-Guerra III
          Mastered by Nimbus
Gio & Ikeda: all sounds; Kamigashima (4): guitar.

          1996 - Silent (USA), SR 9606 (CD)
          1999 - Entropica (UK), ENT-30001 (CD)


Tabla samples, hypnotic beats, Indian vocals, with feedback, reverb, and delays thrown in for good measure characterize this album. Noticing the image of a woman with a bindhi on her forehead on the CD cover, I found myself thinking that this must be a definite attempt to get on about something cosmic, something Indian. In addition at least five out of the eight tracks have Indian names. But they are all good.

While there is a real danger of stepping into the sitar/tabla cliché where heavy electronic sounds tend to drown out the rich delicate sounds of both the instruments, I have to say this album manages well. Not only is the tabla used to good effect, but other Indian instruments that are not conventionally used in Western music are to be found. Something that sounds like a veena can be found on a couple of the tracks. The veena is a stringed instrument that is older than the sitar used in Carnatic music (South Indian classical music). Track 3, "Devabandha," is a Bill Laswell mix. This track is replete with sounds of the tamboura, an instrument that helps instrumentalists and vocalists maintain their pitch in a classical Indian concert. The tamboura has a heavy droning sound. I think a shehanai even makes an appearance on the third track. The shehanai is a Hindustani instrument that is characterized by a very melancholy reed-like sound. This album draws on a wide variety of sounds and instruments, which compels the listener to pay attention.

Ambiance and Indian mix well together on Rasa Bhava.

Saroja Hanasoge, February 1997 (courtesy of the Oculus website)


Rhasa Bhava is one of the best recent releases of tribal dub and bass. Makyo create an exotic, compelling sound using Indian chanting and instrumentation (sitar, tabla, gongs, etc.). Their sound is full and complex, and reminiscent of Material's Hallucination Engine and Paul Haslinger's World Without Rules. Indeed, Bill Laswell contributed a remixed track of "Devabandha" with samples from Material's classic "Mantra". Tracks with a prominant beat include "Dakini", "Salasvati", "Devabandha", and "Tarab". Other tracks are more ambient with drum and/or bass coming in only very late in the song. "A Piece of Forgotten Song Drifting Across the Water" is mantric, bringing a sense of peace and balance to the careful listener. The entire CD is wonderful, but I especially enjoy "Dakini", "Devabandha" and "Tarab". Masterfully crafted and already critically acclaimed, I would expect Rasa Bhava to please adventurous listeners fortunate enough to hear it.

Jeff Johansen (courtesy of the Music for Asylums website)