Up - Karsh Kale

Six Degrees

Noteworthy artists invite and defy comparison. We praise their individual voice and singular contribution, yet compare them to others in a sometimes vain attempt to qualify the music they produce in the context of the music we're familiar with. The foremost purveyor of tablatronix, Karsh Kale is such an artist, a beacon enlightening possible futures for global music; a composer of grand electro-acoustic atmospheres which reach through the ages with an ancient pulse and digital clarity. Clarity and fidelity are great touchstones to help the listener better define the music on Up, his fifth album of new, original material. Audiophiles (When was the last time you heard that term in our MP3 compressed world?) will recall the great albums that gave them goose flesh. These were the headphone moments that seemed to broaden our sense of hearing itself. Go back to your favorite Pink Floyd moment, Alan Parsons Project's 'I Robot' with its early efforts at rich soundscapes built on foundations of sequenced rhythms. Later still, the global architectures created by keen DJ/Producers like Thievery Corporation and soundsystems like the Afro Celts. Following these threads of audiophilia bring us up to date with Up. While a signature music-maker, Karsh Kale is also a great collaborator, lending his precision and imagination to works with Zakir Hussain, Bill Laswell, Anoushka Shankar and his coconspirators, MIDIval Punditz, carving out the Asian Massive movement in Britain. Up continues his breakthroughs on this path that began with the creation of new electronic music platforms with Robert Moog himself, through Table Beat Science, one of the greatest moments in the acoustic/digital marriage that is tablatronix. Contributions on UP include the soaring guitar work of Warren Mendonsa (nephew of celebrated Bollywood composer, Loy Mendonsa), Indian vocalists Benny Dayal and Chinese/Mongolian folk singer Sa Dingding on the aptly titled 'Play'. Other key tracks include Butterfly Effect, Shiva and the closer, Shyam. Break out the CD player for this one to fully appreciate the scope of Karsh Kale's world. Up is uplifting.