Friday, January 22, 2016

'Junun' by Shye Ben Tzur, Jonny Greenwood and the Rajasthan Express

22 January 2016

'Junun' is a wonderfully hard-to-categorise album of music by the Israeli composer Shye Ben Tzur, recorded with a troupe of Sufi qawwali musicians and Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood in a 600-year-old Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. I liked it already from that description but the experience of listening to the music didn't disappoint. Harmonium, the vocal qawwali chorus and Indian percussion are joined by a six-piece brass section, guitar, bass, electronics, solo vocalists, the bowed sarangi and kamayacha (lutes). The result is surprisingly gentle, cheerful music with a haunting, mystical quality. Hard to categorise, hard to describe but easy to listen to and very rewarding.

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