SARATHY KORWAR — More Arriving (review)

SARATHY KORWAR — More Arriving album cover Album · 2019 · World Fusion Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
US-born, India-grown and UK-based percussionist Sarathy Korwar last year released one of the best album containing African American spiritual jazz and Indian music mix for years if not decades, "My East Is Your West". His new release,"More Arriving", indicates the change of recording company (from Gearbox to Leaf) and radical change in the musical genre itself.

There are no sitars and bansuri flutes anymore in Korwar's new music, and the Indian (or South Asian) component is predominantly represented by hip-hop recitatives (besides of percussion,of cause). Album's title doesn't relate with any song, but demonstrates author's reaction on "brexit" (with very illustrative cover art as well). Being a Westerner and a member ob Britain's largest ethnic minority at the same time, Korwar with his album is trying to produce naturally non-existing music. In States, African Americans have the blues and jazz, which for years became the sound that is a visit card of American music around the world. There is a trad Indian music, and Indian fusion in UK, and burgeoning spiritual jazz scene strongly influenced with Afro-beat and Caribbean rhythms, and the hip-hop scene as well. Korwar uses original hip-hop from South Asian megalopolises mixing it with London's spiritual jazz of today elements and adding some modern British polishing over it.

As a result we have funny music, and explosive music, and danceable music and a sad music-all in one. Korwar's regular collaborator British reedist Tamar Osborn on bari builds very signature sound of today's London spiritual jazz, when different vocalists are responsible for different atmospheres of each song. Sometimes it sounds as Bollywood soundtrack transferring to battle hymn (as on opener "Mumbay" with rapper MC Mawali singing on Hindi/Marathi). Or like meditative prayers full of passion as on songs where British-Pakistani singer Zia Ahmed sings.

Some songs are sung in English, and others - on South Asian languages, the listener can understand some lyrics, and most probably just be hypnotized by others. As on Korwar previous album, there is obvious East and West here in this music, but the difference is there is much more nerves and tension here. As Korwar says himself, here on "More Arriving" (what illustrates his vision about more and more immigrants coming to UK without the relation with "brexit" final result)he tried to construct "brown voices" music, a new standard of South Asian diaspora representation in musical culture.

Different from what Korwar did before and obviously not for everyone's taste, this album wouldn't pass unnoticed that's for sure.
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