February 12, 2014 -- /EPR NETWORK/ -- The multinational, multicultural band called Ananda Rasa Kirtan have released their newest LP record album, “Mulani – dub Kirtan.” The record is comprised of eight unique reggae tracks for a total listening time of a full hour. Warm, full of groove, culturally rich and spiritually fecund, “Mulani – dub Kirtan” by Ananda Rasa Kirtan is an album in a colorful class of its own.
The music of “Mulani – dub Kirtan” is an innovative blend of roots reggae, raga, and kirtan. Raga is an eastern style composed of scales particular to the Indian subcontinent, and kirtan is a form of devotional chanting in the Sanskrit language which belongs to the Bhakti traditions of Hinduism, Sikhism and some forms of Buddhism.
While these musical sources may seem too foreign for one another to correspond, the clear fact is that dub reggae and kirtan (or “dub kirtan”) intertwine seamlessly. The raga chord progressions, too, which have formed a sonorous platform for kirtan chants for millennia, likewise dovetail with such elements of reggae as its unmistakable rhythm guitar and interspersed bass lines. Ananda Rasa Kirtan's translation of these two seemingly disparate styles is remarkably intuitive, as if this cross-cultural music had been there all along.
“This album brings together two worlds of music, kirtan and roots reggae, which both have their roots in spirituality,” writes bandleader and music scholar David Estes.
Estes grew up in India learning primarily Western music at an international boarding school. Upon hearing “Kaya” by Bob Marley at the age of 12, he became enthralled by the reggae sound and went on to play guitar, keyboard, and vocals in reggae and rock bands. After later spending several years in the United States, he returned to India where he practiced kirtan, meditation, and seva (service) as a full-time resident in daily ashram life. It was here that he began his ongoing study of Indian music and Indian instruments, including tabla, harmonium, and Hindustani vocal.
Speaking of the themes of Ananda Rasa Kirtan's new album, Estes writes: “Mulani – dub Kirtan shares with the listener a mystical, spiritual and musical experience of the cosmic energy vibration invoked by chanting the sacred Name in Sanskrit. These chants are sung to the steady pulse of roots reggae rhythms with dub elements in various progressions and moods of Indian raga scale melodies. This mystical, spiritual and musical experience is of 'Mulani' – roots, source, foundation, beginning (sanskrit) – the infinite.”
Regardless of what the music fan may or may not think of world religion or spirituality as a whole, the aforementioned musical experience is a fresh, unsung beauty, and something every listener deserves to hear firsthand.
“Mulani – dub Kirtan” by Ananda Rasa Kirtan is available online worldwide. Get in early.
Lead Press Release Writer
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