Exposé Online banner

Anoushka Shankar / Karsh Kale — Breathing under Water
(Manhattan 0946 3 95392 2 2, 2007, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Scott Steele, Published 2009-07-01

Breathing under Water Cover artAcclaimed sitar master Anoushka Shankar and ex-Tabla Beat Science techno beat master Karsh Kale teamed up for one of the surprise East-meets-West collaborations of last year. The two musicians are up-and-coming international stars with a heavy focus on tradition, sophisticated dance with high production values. Shankar’s skill as prime soloist is the unifying attribute of the songs with her playing (either as soloist or sampled) at the forefront of the listener's ear. Notable tracks include “Burn,” where half sister Nora Jones imparts a forlorn vocal that fits almost intuitively into the track. In contrast “Abyss” opens with watery percussion creating a hip club mix with Sting’s cleverly understated backing vocal offset by exotic wood flute. “Slither” is no doubt the shining example of the duo’s collaboration where Indian tradition and grinding rhythms create a unique hybrid form of world music. Kale’s right choice for sampling, trigger and playback really hold down the entire disc with “PD7” being the most relentless bass and drum track in the set (approaching his groundbreaking work with Bill Laswell). Ballads are rendered effortlessly with the big string sound sometimes hinting at the Bollywood music scene. Balancing technology and traditional instrumentation is no mean feat as the disc holds up upon replay and scrutiny. Overall it’s a tour de force for these two leading lights that should both innovators onward in whichever direction they may undertake.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 37, 2007 releases

Related artist(s): Karsh Kale, Ansoushka Shankar

Latest news

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the ago of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Walter Hill - Popjazz – There are a few important reasons to consider why slick jazz is still popular, emphasizing passionate sax lines and comfortable grooves. One is that the best session musicians are on tap to record a...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues