Adham Shaikh – Fusion

English / Polish version

Adham Shaikh - Fusion
    Adham Shaikh

      1. Opal
      2. Flying Beyond
      3. Dubfire
      4. Infusion (Bombay mix)
      5. Ohm (Transfix mix)
      6. Gayatri Mantra Shuffle
      7. Somptin Hapnin (Ganesh mix)
      8. Krishna Raga
      9. Shake It (Shaikh it)
      10. Newborn Shuffle
      11. Rabbit Hole Raga (Spore mix)


Pervasive influences of the East (discrete and non brazen), very interesting vocals and a lot of drumming – this is the characteristics of this disc. An ethnic instrumentalistic and a very modern sound which is a true fusion of some musical experiences. Are you ready to immerse in it?

In the middle of an intercontinental jungle a shaman plays his tune on the flute. There is a little bit of longing in it, a strange sadness, but also some kind of reconciliation with what has to happen in the future. Maracas and drums accompany the flute player. A cheerful bustle, which prevails in the village announces that something important is going to happen. A rhythmic, repetitive rumbling broken by some electronic sounds causes that OPAL is very spacious despite a sizable volume of sounds. A deep feeling of spaciousness conquers a soft beat, which is a great background for classical instruments. A feeling of excitement and expectations spreads through the whole neighbourhood because finally the daughter of a tribal shaman gets married. And only a not fulfilled lover looks at these preparations with a regret, and curses the whole world deeply in his soul. The sun disappeared behind the clouds and the women of the tribe are trying to overtake the rain and beg the gods not to drizzle that day. Only a shaman sits unmoved on a stone and plays his song…

… The war drums rhythmically spur to fight. A war between the old and new, the tradition and modernity is being prepared. The same flute goes with us, but this time a shaman introduces himself in a trance to lead the result of the fightings. He is trying to leave the boundaries of his body, to rise above everything that surrounds him and limits his understanding of reality. He wishes to distance himself from some earthy problems and find answers to his questions. How can the young people acquire knowledge without becoming old at the same time, how can they evolve being themselves and how can one create the new, without destroying the old? FLYING BEYOND is one of the most pathetic tracks on this disc, and just like OPAL it brings a kind of nostalgia, sadness and anxiety. But it does not give a straight answer how to reconcile the old with the new and a traditional sound with a modern one. It tends to a little expressive connection with the second one, to a kind of a flexible coexistence without crossing some borders… Wet sounds open the track called DUBFIRE. The beginning heralds that there will be a following of the nostalgic climate of the first two tracks and we should not expect the fire from the title. It is rather a stream of tears which were cried out and of a poured grief. The track flows with a dub wave of some soft beats. You can say that it is a kind of a farewell to the African influences on this disc. The flute has been turned into a piano (probably I would not stand the sound of the flute even for a minute longer), which also effectively transfers the emotional load and brings an enormous tension. The thing that essentialy differs DUBFIRE from the first two tracks is the hope that emerges behind the dark clouds in the last parts. A crying girl above the edge disappears in the vast depths, releasing herself from the sea of sorrow…

The dominant instruments in the track called INFUSION are electric guitars (plus bass I believe). Someone probably was very sad while recording this album, because they are here the media of a rather melancholy mood, and the guiding themes (played by the guitars alternately) longingly and sadly are trying to talk about something that, unfortunately, escapes from me, when I try to run away from their sound. I do not like the guitar and INFUSION is to me a bit tiring, probably that is why the content of this track escapes from me… Especially since the guitar has been playing too loudly, too often and too guitar. Even when I am trying to focus on some very interesting elements of the ‘background’ every moment I feel bombarded by the guitar riffs…

OMG it is OHM finally… We move to the Indian subcontinent, where a beautiful female voice tolds us some sad story in which it is not difficult to discern a tragic element. The most beautiful track on this disc, tragic in its significance and extremely colorful in instrumental and moody terms. Here someone is swiftly juggling with a sadness, drama and anxiety. It absolutely moves with a help of a piercing vocal and brutally enforces the compassion, but everything is extremely appetizing and attractive… I also feel the loss about which tells me a Hindu girl with a gold voice and at the same time I want to experience her pain, because this pain is a delight. I want to be drawn into this dramatic story, meet her and become a part of it all. I want to mourn a lost lover, I want him to become my lost lover. Yes, I dramatize, and still I want to dramatize longer! Because the track OHM wakes some very deep emotions in me…

GAYATRI MANTRA SHUFFLE is an another pearl on this album… We still remain in India mesmerized by the mantra… It is one of these tracks, which have a cleansing power, and unload the accumulated tension (I think the cause of it is the recited syllable OHMMMMM). Besides, the track is so amazing that it will defend itself and it does not need a longer recommendation… It is deep and mystical, hypnotic… and thrilling. Adham Shaikh is a master of building the climate of ambiguity, and the GAYATRI MANTRA SHUFFLE is the best example for that.

The sound of the flute which we have already known, opens the track called SOMPTIN HAPNIN. Just like the track was created to let wet sounds exist. These wet sounds (I could swear!) caused little feet wading in a puddle…

KRISHNA RAGA begins with a breeze from the river Ganges, wailing sounds of a sitar and equally tearful, male vocal. The sounds are slowly dripping from the loudspeakers just to allow the sitar to lead. More or less in a half a more determined beat appears and the track becomes an energetic one. The sitar is really going to blow up and KRISHNA RAGA will allow you to fly very high.

SHAKE IT is a track which is built by full of temperament and zest hot rhythms of the South American origin, mixed with an African ground. The arms themselves are beginning to move, and the legs are stamping happily. The strong, deep beat really can encourage, especially when it is combined with some delicious parts of drums. The sounds of SHAKE IT seem to be pure, selected with a great care and reverence. NEWBORN SHUFFLE is a South American, thrilling track. It is a fantastic combination of a large number of instruments with a very lively, flowing beat. RABBIT HOLE RAGA greets us with tones of the same flute, which has opened to us the way for this album.

8 / 10
Beata Brzoza