Thursday, June 25, 2009

889. Nitin Sawhney - Beyond Skin (1999)

Track Listing

1. Broken Skin
2. Letting Go
3. Homelands
4. The Pilgrim
5. Tides
6. Nadia
7. Immigrant
8. Serpents
9. Anthem Without Nation
10. Nostalgia
11. The Conference
12. Beyond Skin


Much like Talvin Singh, Nitin Sawhney attempts to mix Indian classical music elements with modern western musical genres. In some respects Sawhney is more accomplished at achieving this than Singh.

Sawhney's mix of Indian and Western elements sounds more natural and seamless than Singh's. Sawhney has more of an R&B sensibility rather than an exclusively dance music sensibility. This permits him to explore a broader range of music and at times it works extremely well.

All of this being said, the album still feels a bit like a loungy affair, music made at times more for the sake of mood than musicality. This is tempered somewhat by the political message inherent in the album, which is often only truly noticeable from the interesting use of samples referring to Nuclear proliferation. In the end it is still a bit too tame.

Track Highlights

1. Homelands
2. Beyond Skin
3. Broken Skin
4. Nadia

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Sawhney states in the booklet that the album "has a timespan that runs backwards", beginning at Broken Skin with the India-Pakistan nuclear situation and ending at Beyond Skin with Robert Oppenheimer quoting the Bhagavad Gita - "Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds".


1 comment:

lanark1982 said...

I congratulate you at retaining your enthusiasm for this project, Francisco. The last quarter of the list is so boring and unadventurous.

Whether this is because music has got worse, the contents of the list is just a lot more familiar or the last quarter of the list has simply been badly chosen I don't really know. But this must really be a slog at time.

I bow to your powers of persistance.