1/  Traveller                                  (Singh,Watkiss)               11.19
  2/  Butterfly                                  (Singh)                       4.26
  3/  Sutrix                                     (Singh)                       5.55
  4/  Mombasstic                                 (Singh)                       5.46
  5/  Decca                                      (Singh)                       1.20
  6/  Eclipse                                    (Singh)                       5.51
  7/  OK                                         (Singh)                       4.19
  8/  Light                                      (Singh)                       6.23
  9/  Disser/Point.Mento B                       (Singh)                       2.43
  10/ Soni                                       (Singh)                       5.59
  11/ Vikram The Vampire                         (Singh)                       6.48

          All tracks arranged by Talvin Singh
          Recorded at Calcutta Cyber Studio London, England, Fukuhara Studio
            Okinawa, Japan, Sunny Sound Studio Mumbai, India, Audiophile Mumbai,
            India, VGP Studios Madras, India, The Strongroon London, England and
            Greenpoint Studios, New York.
          Recorded & mixed by Tristin Norwell
          Track 3 recorded & mixed by Talvin Singh, assisted by Dave Williams
          Assistant engineer on track 7 Eishin Katajima
          Mixed at the Strongroom, London
          Mastered at Metropolis by Tim Young
Talvin Singh: tablas, drums, keys, programming, tapes, piano, percussion, gongs, atmospherics, voice, tabla tarang, noises & scratches; Cleveland Watkiss: voice (1,6); Shankar Mahadevan: voice (6); Bhairvi: solo voice (10); Ajay Naidu: voice, poetry(5,10); Nenes: voice (7); Suchitra Pillai: voice (3); Ustad Sultan Khan: Sarangi (6,10); Madhukar T Dhumal: shenai (6); Vaijanthi-Limaye Sumati Antrolikat Purinama Shah, Archana, Arpaha, Karti Jyotsina Hardikar B Vijayalakshumi: choir (10); Madras Philharmonic Orchestra: strings (1,10); Chandrashekar: electric violin (9); Chintoo Singh: rabab (10); Byron Wallace: trumpet (4); Devi: veena (2); Jon Klein: guitar (7); Aziz Abraham: guitar (10); Dhiren raichura: midi guitar (7); Bill Laswell: bass (10); Guy Sigsworth: keys, distortions (1,3,7); Heat China: sanshin (7); Rakesh Churasia: flute (8); Naveen : flute, pipes (1, 2); Ryuichi Sakamoto: modular flute (7); Somatik : additional breaks (6); Tristin Norwell: arrangement edits (6,7).

          1998 - Island Records (UK), ILPSD 8075 (2x12")
          1998 - Island Records (UK), 524 584-2 (CD)
          1998 - Island Records (USA), 314-524 559-2 (CD)
Note: Bill Laswell is erroneously credited on track 3 (instead of 10) in the liner notes.


Why are all the reviews of this that I have read been anything but positive? Surely with Singh you have the most interesting tabla player on the world scene today. The main difference between Singh and Hussain or even someone like Trilok Gurtu is that Singh has that 'hunger' to come up with new and interesting sounds, and it's this 'hunger' that keeps him on the edge and in demand. Singh has been around for some time now, and most people will remember him for his work with Massive Attack on the Protection tour. He has also added weight to Bjork's releases, as well as turning up on the as yet unreleased David Sylvian cd Dead Bees On A Cake, due out sometime in February / March. Needless to say, Talvin Singh has street credibility, having been baptized in a pool of techno / drums n'bass / ska and electro. This is a serious effort for him to reconnect with his Indian past, to show the punters back in the old country that he can do it as well and as articulately as the big boys. I get the feeling that the elders were listening acutely, ready to pass judgment on his every move. This is quite eclectic, but in essence it is an Indian record. Ustad Sultan Khan provides sarangi, Sakamoto turns up on two tracks playing flute, Bill Laswell adds bass on at least one track, Guy Sigsworth who is part of the group Mandalay adds keyboards and distortions, as well as some inspirational flute playing by Rakesh Churasia which sounds like it might have been sampled off Zakhir Hussain's Making Music. Then there are the voices, Indian and Japanese, as well as the orchestration of the Madras Philharmonic to add weight to this amazing record. Byron Wallace's trumpet sounds like Miles would have sounded like circa Tutu. Somatik adds additional breaks but Talvin Singh is what this record is all about. The man plays like a man possessed, amplified tablas coming at you so fast and furious that your ears can't keep up. There is this tremendous sense of adventure and vitality in this recording. He's having fun but he's also letting you know he is serious about what he is doing. Ultimately Singh, like Hector Zazou is effective in bringing together different styles of music and merging them to make yet another hybrid of cross cultural sounds. My only beef with this is that some of the distortions get a bit much but this is small nitpickings. First rate production and at days end a far more superior release than anything I've heard in a long time.

Hans Stoeve (courtesy of the Nadabrahma website)


Londoner Singh embodies both the ties that bind and the fractures of dissonance that characterize contemporary cosmopolitan culture. An Englishman by birth who has never been accepted as English, an Indian looked upon as English by his ancestral countrymen, he responds with "OK," an end-of-the century tour through soundscapes in which tabla vies with beatbox for primacy -- a dance of ancient and modern. With help from the likes of Bill Laswell and Ryuichi Sakamoto, Singh draws equally on Asian and Western classical traditions, found sounds, jazz instrumentalists and traditional vocalists for his multi-hued, sonically synthetic tapestry. The result is a splendid, state of-the-art jet ride through time and space.[ 11/22/98 ]

Seth Rogovoy (courtesy of Seth Rogovoy’s Berkshire Beat website)