Music Review: Yoga Lounge (PUTUMAYO) by Various Artists
Putumayo has long been famous for introducing quality world music compilations. While the overall vibe of Yoga Lounge is thoughtful and subdued, it’s engaging and full of sonic surprises.
Every musical arrangement is rich, organic, and authentic. Ben Leibach (a much sought-after world/devotional music producer) treats us to Jai Uttal’s rich voice accompanied by dark and moving instrumentation on “Rama Bolo.” Stevin McNamara’s guitar work on “Prajna’s Dream” is tender and simple, yet intelligent. DJ Drez’ “Nectar Drop” drips with a syrupy and addictive concoction of earthy drums, sitar drone, tables, and dub beat.
The most adventurous track is “Sapano Se Pucho,” sung by Japjit Kaur, whose voice is so otherworldly you’ll think you’ve accidentally stumbled upon a singing butterfly or fairy. Producer Niraj Chang pairs her delicate voice with equally delicate melodic strings and piano buoyed by a groovy beat both organic and funky. Another honorable mention is “Om Tare Tuttare,” featuring Donna DeLory. The delicious smacking sound of the drums is so well recorded you feel like the drummer is performing just a few feet in front of you, and I love the intriguing little “glitch hop” vocal loop from DeLory throughout the song. This album is full of surprises, from throat singing to Tibetan monks. The entire feel is an active meditation, thoughtful while sustaining energy. Highly recommended.
Reviewed by McKenna Rowe, a DJ, yoga teacher, and founder of Chakra 5 Yoga which provides mobile yoga classes on location and by appointment to students throughout Los Angeles. http://www.chakra5.la