Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Ashwin Batish - Sitar Powerdotdotdotdotdot
artworkAshwin Batish is an Indian immigrant to the US living in Santa Cruz, California. He comes from a very long line of virtuoso musicians. His chosen instrument is the sitar. He has a unique vision, merging classical Indian ragas with western techno and American western & surf influences. This is his first experimental album from 1986.
Picks: Bombay Boogie, Casbah Shuffle, Raga Rock, Sitharmony, New Delhi Vice, India Beat, Sitar Magic

Track by Track Review


Bombay Boogie dotdotdotdotdot
Sitar Power (Instrumental)

"The Bombay Boogie" was written in part in response to the local surf musicians telling Ashwin repeatedly about glissandoes in surf. It's an utterly infectious piece with amazing joy and power. Ashwin runs his sitar through an array of effects, focusing on phasing. Incredible percussion and rhythm!

Casbah Shuffle dotdotdotdotdot
Sitar Power (Instrumental)

Blending middle eastern influences with western dance production and sizzling sitar riffs over licks from "Istanbul," Ashwin Batish drives the rhythms and liquid sitar lines around the world through exotic places and forgotten bazaars.

Raga Rock dotdotdotdot
Sitar Power (Instrumental)

Acoustic guitar accompanies the exotic percussion and playful sitar. It's really hard to buttonhole the idea here. Elements of east and west, or rock and country. All too cool.

Sitharmony dotdotdotdotdot
Sitar Power (Instrumental)

Round classical, almost Celtic melody lines roll across an Indian bed of tabla and drone. very soothing, and very pretty.

New Delhi Vice dotdotdotdotdot
Sitar Power (Instrumental)

It doesn't get much more infectious than this. "New Delhi Vice" sports a funky beat beneath a flowing melody that is without parallel. Ashwin Batish understands not just his instrument and genre, but the very nature of melody. If ever there was a surf song lurking in a raga, this it! The studio version is a little more sophisticated and less electric than the live versions. Still, it's utterly amazing!

India Beat dotdotdotdot
Sitar Power (Instrumental)

Americana melody lines, sitar flurries, Indian beats, and playful mixtures of the three make "India Beat" simply pleasurable.

Sitar Magic dotdotdotdotdot
Sitar Power (Instrumental)

Lush raga runs and intense finger work introduce "Sitar Magic." Great tablas and tambourine support this rolling melody. It rides the scales like a surfer on the waves, shooting the curl, cutting back, weaving in and out of the soup. Utterly amazing.