Re-Orient Baluji Shrisvastav and Re-Orient

Indian music has long been a source for fusion works, to varying degrees of success. Although occasionally a band come together and manage to use the music in new ways, most often it comes out sounding vaguely new-age. Re-Orient skirt the border between success and meditation tapes, but more often than not fall on the side of interesting and sonically engaging music. Most of the instrumental tracks, particularly the ones with the strongest Indian influence are well executed, creating pleasant soundscapes like in "Pharaoh’s Dream” and "Watercolour.” But the more distant combinations, like a Balkan/Celtic combo in "The Seven Wonders” or a Mexican influenced tune "Fruit” have more difficulties. Particularly "Fruit,” which is one of the few tracks on the album with understandable lyrics, as opposed to mixed background crooning or traditional syllabic singing, falls short, being a vocal track without impressive vocals. This album is a valiant effort, but perhaps one that will take another album of development to really get right. If you are looking for new aural directions, this is a step on that journey, but perhaps a rather shaky one. It still is a pleasant background listen to be sure, with a few titbits to catch the ear. (Arc)