The World Music outfit returns with a captivating demo reel.
An enterprising movement combining the natural resonances of Southeast Asia with elements of Jazz, Rock, and Funk, Mahamaya Experience imparts an overwhelming sense of authenticity in an industry otherwise saturated with derivative sounds and repetitive ideas. Fronted by legendary sitarist, Ranjit Makkuni, the World Music outfit has continuously delivered distinctive melodies, with Makkuni’s sharp playing and gravitation towards a mystical ambience crafting some exceptionally spiritual pieces of music.
A collection of demos, improvisations and excerpts from both current and pre-released music, Mahamaya Experience’s latest phenomenon has been coined as a “demo reel”. Combining their perceptive writing and vast soundscape to form one epic, spontaneous, near 9-minute track, Makkuni’s eclectic taste and dynamic composition emanates a sense of passion and hope right across the reel. While its structuring is certainly unorthodox, the spiritual body of ‘Mahamaya’s Ethereal Experience’ is graced with an extensive range of emotions, each of which align to form one coherent body of work. Symbolic of Ranjit Makkuni’s work to date, each of his influences conflate to deliver some of the most culturally diverse music currently being released.
Opening with the vibrant rhythms of ‘Samba Sitar’, Makkuni’s signature sympathetic strings quickly come to the fray, with the track’s unlikely stylistic combination inducing a real sense of psychedelia. Resurfacing later into the demo reel, the exhilarating pace generated by Makkuni’s detonating sitar as well as the bustling samba percussion, breathes boundless energy and life into the track, whose colourful, flourishing melodies serve as a representation of the biodiversity which resides within the rainforest. Equally painting a vivid landscape is the excerpt taken from the emphatic single, ‘2 Trains’, a pentatonic scale improvisation whose freely entwined melodies signify the endless capacity of life, where at any given moment two strangers can become two soulmates.
Expanding on the plucky reverberating buzz of the sitar, ‘Mahamaya’s Ethereal Experience’ also exudes optimism through some transcendental vocal performances. Containing fragments of the unreleased tracks ‘Village Songs’ and ‘Bliss is inside’, the ethereality of the demo reel is enhanced by these hypnotic passages. Aligning with Mahamaya Experience’s stance on nature, the former of these serves as an eco-awareness track, whose imposing message of sustainability is issued through provocative lyrics and alluring vocal harmonies. The elongated ‘Bliss is inside’ culminates the demo reel using a pentatonic minor hymn, with its eloquent signification of self-worth once again portrayed through the discerning combination of entrancing vocals and Makkuni’s intricate sitar skills.
Combining their most evocative tracks with some beautiful, melodic passages, Mahamaya Experience express the diversity of their musical scope, whose fusion of intense improvisation and exuberant Brazilian Samba induces a truly captivating body of work.