Maybe it’s the longing for knowledge of my heritage or just the taste of my mom’s chicken curry, but Indian music has finally seeped into my rotation as well. Of course, this was due in most part to the delightful contributions of artists including Talvin Singh, Nitin Sawnhey, and now, TJ Rehmi. With Invisible Rain, Rehmi, a noted musicologist and producer in England, has joined the ranks of his colleagues. A electronic-classical Indian fusion record, much like Singh or Joi, Rain is unyielding in its ability to entrance and invoke melancholy simultaneously. Having graduated from simple bhangra recordings to this higher level comprised of ambient breaks and genre-bending rhythm, Rehmi has possibly surpassed his peers with this effort. “This Dunya” and “Shaam Aye” celebrate the richness and complexity of traditional Indian instrumentation with the modern dance styles. Sure, the room is getting crowded with those melding these styles together, but like me, they’re just exploring their roots musically, and we’re all better off for it.
Shakti Records, 4650 North Port Washington Rd., Milwaukee, WI 53212; http://www.shaktirecords.com