Artist: Bamboo Mystics
Album: Swara Suci
Format: Digital / Tape
Master: Justin randel
Artwork: Saphy Vong
Release Date: 12th February 2021
Languid psychedelia and meditative earth tones dominate on Swara Suci, the new album from Indian artist Bamboo Mystics. Using gamelan instruments, bamboo flutes, Jal tarang (Indian Water bowls), Kacapi (Indonesian Harp) and his voice, the New Dehli-based artist explores the linked musical traditions of India and Java, adding field recordings and African rhythms to make a warm, glowing ambient soundscape. Swara Suci is an intelligent addition to the recent revival of New Age sounds for the digital era, recalling the measured, spiritual experimentations of Jozef Van Wissem or Laraaji.
Holding a post-graduate degree specialising in the tabla, the pair of twin hand drums from the Indian subcontinent, Bamboo Mystics utilises his love of traditional instrumentation on Swara Suci. On the lush, dreamlike opening track, Pelog baru, he plays the kacapi, an Indonesian harp, in a composition inspired by classical Indonesian gamelan music.
Driven by the African djembe drum, the hypnotic Rainbow Mother uses percussive instruments from the Indonesian gamelan – the kendang sunda and bonang. On Air Suci, he uses jal tarang, Indian ceramic melodic water cups, finely tuned to connect with the rhythm of water. He maintains a meditative but generous textural atmosphere throughout the record, with vocals and field recordings anchoring the complex instrumentation into lived reality.
Bamboo Mystics, whose birth name is Rahul Jigyasu, is deeply inspired by the natural world across the Asian continent. “Swara Suci means pure notes in Bahasa Indonesia,” says Jigyasu. “The album is called Swara Suci because it is a pure acoustic and vibrant sound, reflecting the sound of nature.”
All the tracks are solo works except ‘Lucid Hunter’ (duo as Musica Medicina) and ‘Rainbow Mother’ (duo as Irama sounds)
About Bamboo Mystics:
Hailing from New Delhi, India, Rahul Jigyasu holds a post-graduate degree in music from Khairagarh University in Chhattisgarh. A student of the Western Indian Nathdwara tradition, he has an ear for melody and complex rhythms. The connection between the ancient and contemporary gave him in-depth knowledge of world rhythms.
In 2015, he finished a yearlong music fellowship in Java, Indonesia, learning classical gamelan. During this time, he also learned to make instruments with bamboo, and he now conducts bamboo music and crafting workshops, as well as teaching tabla and other instruments. This is his first release with Chinabot.
It was a bit too much and samey by the end for me, but if you like dark atmospheres, if you are really interested in sound design or you enjoy the challenge of music that tries to wear you down, you should definitely check this record out.
I loved the echo-drenched drums and percussion and synths and hard to describe sounds on this, but it stays with the same sonic ideas for too long for me to enjoy to try to withstand the harsh wall of sounds minisculebarber