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November 19th, 2007

Tabla Is My Soul

It's no surprise to me that John Foxx would be the person that brought tabla into my life; my dear friend and a talented musician with whom I share many musical tastes.

On a trip to San Fransisco in early 2007, John was drawn into a small shop on Haight Street where a beautiful, melodious sound had piqued his keen musical ear. Once inside, he asked the shop owner what this amazing yet unique music was, and if it was for sale. It was Midival Punditz, and John immediately bought a copy. Upon returning home, he offered to let me listen - not sure I would like the unique sound. To the contrary, I was enthralled and immediately entranced. It was all I listened to for weeks on end.

The sound led me to find similar music...and I was soon drawn to anything involving the soul-tingling beat of the tabla drum. I - on a whim - purchased Tala Matrix by Tabla Beat Science; an outfit pieced together with amazing artists like Midival Punditz, Bill Laswell, Karsh Kale, Zakir Hussain, and more. I would be lying if I didn't say that - to this day from its purchase in March - I have not listened to that CD repeatedly nearly every single day.

Not only did I fall in passionate love with the sound of the tabla drum, the music on this album led me to purchase CDs by a number of now-favorite artists...Bill Laswell, Karsh Kale, Zakir Hussain, Lumin, DJ Cheb I Sabbah, Azam Ali, Bombay Dub Orchestra, Talvin Singh, Niyaz, and many more. My musical repertoire has been forever enhanced and enriched because of this beautiful music and these talented artists.

I cannot begin to describe my love for this music, and the many beautiful Indian instruments I have the pleasure of hearing now - especially and foremost, my beloved tabla drums.

These days, in heavy rotation, the only things that have been gracing my computer's CD drive have been Bill Laswell's Asana OHM Shanti, Sacred System, Chapter One: Book of Entrance, Sacred System, Chapter 2, ROIR Dub Sessions, and Tala Beat Science's Tala Matrix and Live in San Francisco at Stern Grove.

It changes and rotates, in August I listened non-stop to Azam Ali and Niyaz, but this music - as it spins in my computer's CD drive is like nothing I've ever experienced. The combination of ancient Indian or other instruments, folk songs, and rhythms, mixed with modern instruments, electronic equipment, or even  scratching makes my ancient soul and modern spirit soar.

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