Trikaal's latest offering, Trikaal 3: Global Waves, lives up to its name. The album's nine ethnic electronic tracks are lush with the sounds of the Australian didgeridoo, the African djembe, the south Asian flute and sarangi, and the guitar.
The record starts off with the soft Shanti River, a tribute to the river of peace. Ani Choying Dolma's soft, otherworldly Buddhist chant slowly gives way to Sujay Shrestha's acoustic strumming. Tabla maestro Navaraj Gurung deals out a steady beat and the tune lifts off with his staccato vocals. Ani Choying's ethereal voice and Santosh Shrestha's ishraj give this track moments of transcendence. The Ani is back again on track four, Jewels of Heaven, which builds slowly, with Ani Choying and Navaraj expertly playing off each others' vocals. It doesn\'t actually reach a peak, though, which makes for somewhat unsatisfying listening.
The album's standout track is Colours of East-West, which stars Bijaya Vaidya, Sur Sudha's virtuoso sitar player riffing with Sujay's guitar, against a backdrop of tabla and shaker. Rajendra Karna adds a sublime udo.
Trikaal Tantriks, a shortened version of Trikaal's most famous song, a 30 minute epic from Trikaal II, is instantly recognisable, particularly Nikhil Tuladhar's strong djembe and Shyam Nepali's slippery sarangi.
Jam Freak Street is Trikaal's nod to cheekiness. It starts out instantly recognisable as an interpretation of DJ Raju's phenomenally successful remix of Chyangba Hoi Chyangba. By the end, though, you're transported someplace rather different from the teenybopper discos and wedding parties evoked by
The album closes with Trikaal Air, eight minutes of classic ethnic-influenced electronic dance music composed by didgeridoo player Salil Kanika and Navaraj Gurung. There are hints of Asian underground sounds, Thievery Corporation, and the odd blips of a speedy Mad Professor, but the end result is a sound unto itself. The electronic beats, didgeridoo, tabla, and ishraj almost don't work, but various elements of surprise, like the harmonica cameo by Girish Subedi of the rock band Mukut, the scatting, and the densely textured sound come together after all. Trikaal Air refers to the earlier tracks and sounds like an homage to the entire album.
|Trikaal 3: Global Waves is available through SAC Music International, www.sacmusicnepal.com.|
This isn't a perfect album, to be sure-the transitions between the different styles suggested by the various instruments can be choppy. But what Trikaal do manage is to be cosmopolitan while remaining Nepali in essence.