This is a very interesting CD. Deva Premal’s vocal renditions of assorted Tibetan and Indian mantras have been remixed by various artists to include layers of drumming and instrumental riffs.

What’s actually quite cool about this CD is that the spiritual energy of Premal’s performances is retained in the remixed versions. The mantras include Om Tare Tuttare, Om Triambakam (the Maha Mrityunjaya mantra), the Guru Rinpoche Mantra, Om Mani Padme Hum, Gate Gate, Hari Om Shiva Om, Om Namah Shivaya, and others.

Some of the mixes are more placid and eastern sounding than others. The different musical groups and engineers include EarthRise SoundSystem, Shaman’s Dream, TIERRO, Rishi Earthmother, Praful and DJ Kareem Raihani and other “gurus of groove.” The lively downbeats make Premal’s mantra performances compelling in a different way.

I’m not quite sure this is going to be a CD for meditation or massage, as it says on the CD cover. I found the music to be energizing and inspiring rather than relaxing or meditative. This album is the kind of innovative compilation of talents that I find most compelling. The variety of approaches to remixing and orchestrating keeps the sounds from getting stale or repetitive.

Check for samples.

~review by: E. Hazel

Artist: Deva Premal
Sounds True, 2012
CD, $12

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