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Bombay Dub Orchestra | Tales From the Grand Bazaar

album review by John Powell

Bombay Dub Orchestra | Tales From the Grand Bazaar

Bombay Dub Orchestra’s Tales From the Grand Bazaar is an excellent album. The modern fusion of Middle Eastern and Indian instrumentation laced with electronic beats and bass is a great sub-genre, and Bombay Dub Orchestra achieves a sexy, iconic set of smartly composed instrumentals.

The songs range from beat-heavy grooves to slow, textured meditations. Not all of it is perfect, and the album, as a whole, doesn’t sustain any particular energy. For instance, the opener, “The Orange Terrace”, is based around a sleek sitar riff and beamed into danceable greatness. The very next track, “Blue Mosaic”, slows the tempo significantly, leaning more on string arrangements and light percussion. The two side by side, however, flow nicely.

The entire album is full of such waves, rising and falling, casting a beautiful soundscape. “City of Amber” swells into an electro funk mirage. “Songs From the Seven Towers” is orchestrated bliss, and “A Time of Beauty” conversely never rises above a whisper.

Tales From the Grand Bazaar pulls from musicians of India, Turkey, the USA, the UK, and Jamaica, meaning that a heap of influences is poured into a mold, and the result is a fascinating tour of world music, produced and completed by Garry Hughes and Andrew Mackay, the masters of this particular ceremony.

File this album next to The Spy From Cairo and Beats Antique, and prepare for great production, beautiful arrangements, and an overall sense of wonder. This album, from the poetics of the song titles to the CD jacket’s layout, paints a picture. I recommend this album, definitely.

Bottom line: Danceable DJ beats, organic sitar, oud, and percussion, and a lot of sound mastery makes this collective worth checking out.


 

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