Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Brindavan By Devan Ekambaram




Devan Ekambaram

Written by

Steve Sheppard


It was incredibly nice to reconnect with the music of Devan Ekambaram once again, and through the medium of his latest album Brindavan, I remember all too well his outstanding single A Walk through Brindavan from 2021, so to be presented with a whole album is a pure treat.

The opening track is the wonderfully fluent and charming title header, the former single A Walk through Brindavan, this brings a blissful sun kissed moment of this most picturesque of places in India, my research revealed stunning landscapes and views, so look for yourself and listen to this at the same time, also featured on this piece are the talents of both Nel Bucktowar& Vijay Gopal.

The title of this next track is something I wish for all and entitled Let There Be Peace. This up-tempo driving song is a breath taking reverie of utter class, and contains the skill sets of both Vijay Gopal & Prakash Sontakke. The western influences here are so colourful and match the vibrations from its original eastern essences to perfection.

A storm moves us to this next track, the delicacy of production here is simply something special to enjoy, here is cross genre music, if you would ever call one so, a mix of smooth jazz, light funk and world music, all go into making I Need You Now, one of the most moving and imploring tracks off the album. Nel Bucktowar& Taylor Eigsti lend their skills to this quite incredible offering, and the piano here is utterly outstanding.

Aaraadha is a track that exposes us to the beauty of the voice that is Mahalakshmi Iyer. A gentle jazzy world vibe flows across us like a warm wind from the eastern islands and gifts us a song that is so sweet and so wonderfully attractive.

At this juncture we now find ourselves at the half way marker of the album, here lays one of my favourite pieces from the release entitled Missing You, the very smoothness of this song is so blissfully graceful and textured. Mahathi & Nel Bucktowar feature on this particular track, which is an intricate weave of a piece that contains delightful vocals and a very classy multi-instrumental production.

Now let’s change up a gear and raise the rhythms with a sparkling musical reverie entitled Jerry. Ekambaram has really brought that almost rocky soul vibe to this fantastic song, one that contains the crafts of both Rick Brunermer & Nel Bucktowar on the track. The guitar from this fast paced offering then leads us with a delicate hand into the deeper well of the album, and a composition entitled Thrumagal.

This would be another personal favourite of mine, that smooth vibe is back on a track that could easily make its mark in the chill out genre all on its own right. Thrumagal is a fascinating track, one with a wonderfully delicious light funky feel and the solo on Sax from Rick Brunermer was simply outstanding too.

We are now running down that hill towards the conclusion of the album, but before we get to that point we are gifted a sublime offering from the artist entitled Latin Masala, a full on Latin styled jazz offering, and we must also praise the skills of both Daniel Minimalia & Punya Srinivas for their genius during this arrangement, the acoustic guitar from the first ever winner of the Latin Grammys was utterly picturesque, and the juxtaposition with the Veena of Punya Srinivas doubly so.

We even get time for a little more of Thrumagal a classy Reprise one that features Rick Brunermer & Danwen Jiang, her violin added a whole well of emotion into the proceedings, which would lead us to the next song with ease with the concluding offering A Little Fun In Naatai. One simply has to say what an inspired way with which to close the album out, one thing we must say about Devan is, he certainly knows what’s needed and when its required, and adding D.A. Srinivas & Arun Ramamurthi into the mix was a spot of sheer genius.

Brindavan by Devan Ekambaram was eagerly anticipated and it has lived up to and beyond its expectations, here is an album that contains sublime methodology, crafted production and arrangements, and a whole raft of talented musicians to manifest one of the most appealing cross genre albums of the last few years.  If you like your music to contain a little global vibe, a layer of very smooth jazz, performed by top notch musicians, then you need to look no further than Brindavan by Devan Ekambaram

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