Ujjaya ‘The Master of Crossroads’
CD-R recorded 2004, released 2006?
- Raksha bandhan (Bracelet of protection)
keyboards, effects, congas, sampler, whales (12:38)
- The Sentinel
keyboard, effects (3:55)
- Arudra Darshan
waves, congas, sampler, birds (13:47)
- A Veil of Storm
E-bow guitar, effects, water (2:39)
- Trishoulon (The Trident of Shiva)
3 didgeridoos, effects, mrdangam (16:13)
- The Master of Crossroads
E-bow guitar, effects, tibetan bowl, bamboo chines, gong (4:47)
Can’t remember the last time I heard an engaging whale singing recording – it seems ages ago. So Ujjaya (real name Héry Randriambololona, see previous post for more info) took me by surprise here with the openner ‘Raksha bandhan’ incorporating the cetacean’s wailing amid a drum-led, repetitive, trance-like track. At first, it sounds like Steve Roach after he watched a documentary on whales on Disney Channel. But, wait: the heavily processed, infectious drum track really kicks off and its hypnotic effect is augmented by warm, enveloping synth swashes. And the whale doesn’t sound cliché, just… ‘deep’ and mournful.
After a short slow-motion interlude sounding like Zoviet-France on tranquilizers (‘The Sentinel’ tr.2), ‘Arudra Darshan’ start with an insistent drum track, before getting weird with the addition of a hindu preacher’s strange devotionnal chanting, and a peacock’s singing shrill notes, both field recordings Ujjaya made in Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu area, South India. The Arudhra Darshan festival takes place every year in Tamil Nadu, celebrating the cosmic dance of Shiva. The track ends with cicadas and birds singing at night in a gorgeous several minutes-long fade out. I loved it.
The monumental ‘Trishoulon’ is an extravagant affair altogether, succeeding in sounding like Lustmord’s electronic masterpiece ‘The Place Where The Black Stars Hang’, while being actually performed on… 3 didgeridoos! After 10 mns of heavily processed, multiple didgeridoos thick droning, the drumming starts while your mind was still high from the previous drones, and the effect is truly uplifting.