Drum The Bass is too abstract to be put into words.
Composed by Shrikanth Sriram, a bass player born in Bombay and based in London, the album is a translation of rhythm, voice and memory. Like the work of Talvin Singh, State of Bengal and fellow Outcaste producer Nitin Sawney, it rearranges the elements of Indian music in the realm of electronic music. Ambient soundscape produce drones similar to those of a tanpura, tablas battle with breakbeats and classical vocals duet with beat-box samples.
For Shri, the mix has less to do with masala than it does with memory. Each song is like a photo with moving subjects and sounds: footsteps, rain, rivers, trains, crowds etc. And like the images that never sit still, the musical language dances between modes in jazz, ragas and underground beat. Sriram’s fretless bass initially sounds like bad ?fuzak,? but it’s totally necessary for when he wants his instrument to sing microtonally.
A few of the tracks like ?Meditation? and ?Before The Rain? suffer for being too slow ? even by the standards of ambient music ? but his energy on ?Camels? and ?Trains? makes up for the wait, with crisp jungle breaks that rock with unparalleled lightness and clarity. Sriram’s debut may take repeated listenings if you want to absorb more than just the sound, but that’s welcome, especially for in a music scene that suffers for its disposability.