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James Asher/Sivamani: Drums on Fire

Album Notes

Personnel includes: James Asher, Sivamani (percussion).

DRUMS ON FIRE is the result of a collaboration between UK keyboardist and musical conceptualist James Asher and Indian master drummer Sivamani. There is a tribal quality to this music that simplifies the virtuosic inclinations of most classical Indian styles. This music is also spiritually based, but does not adhere to the rules of the raga or to other classical forms.

DRUMS ON FIRE is both primitive and celestial. "Raindance" combines atmospheric keyboard swirls with a stark guitar melody, distant vocal musings, and thick percussive textures. "Treetops" moves in a similar vein, though this piece is more dance-oriented, given the throbbing bass drum and pulsating keyboard effects. Conversely, "Lakeside" is subtle and lyrical. This selection features the singing of Sivamani, who employs Eastern modes and many exotic turns of phrase. All the while, Asher's ethereal keyboards whirr magically around him. DRUMS ON FIRE is penetrating music that exists in a class with various tribal styles, and other spiritually based New Age albums. One gets the sense that these nine tracks were the result of intuition more than musical acumen, though Asher and Sivamani do display formidable skill throughout.


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