Tabla Beat Science
It's no stretch to travel from fast drum 'n' bass to the wicked finger play of an Indian tabla master, but to do it right takes the right situation and the right people involved. Take the world's best tabla player (Zakir Hussain), add a pioneer of Drum 'n' Bass fusion (Talvin Singh), and produce the whole mess under Bill Laswell's astute direction -- the results are about as good as they can be. For a percussionist, this is a dream -- not only is Hussain's playing unbelievable, but with the added support of Trilok Gurtu (playing a hybrid drum kit/tabla set) and NYC drummer Karsh Kale, you lose track of the rhythms as they meld into one solid groove that permeates your sensory system. If that weren't enough, guest spots by sarangi master Sultan Khan add to the exotic/neurotic feel and are sandwiched between pulsing synthesizers -- which Singh has tastefully underused.