Akasha blends Asian and Western music in a new way. Their sound is a highly original mix of traditional Indian classical music with western folk, jazz, and blues. The band is essentially Malaysian, and four of Malaysia's largest cultural groups are represented by it's members - Malay, Chinese, Indian, and Western. Being exclusively acoustic, Akasha also offers a refreshing alternative to the numerous electronic east-west blends that are currently dominating world fusion. Akasha leans away from modern synthetic sounds, and returns us to instruments that are struck, plucked, and beaten.
"Into ... AkashA" presents the listener with a delightfully easy-to-listen-to range of material. The virtuosic skill of the players is evident from the first listen, However, it's also immediately apparent that the music is not purely designed to showcase abilities. Akasha is all about delivering powerful melodies that connect with the listener in memorable ways. Indulgent soloing and technical fireworks are used sparingly. It's really about the music, not the musicians.
Each track on the album evokes a distinctive scene - from raucous merry-making in a rowdy Irish pub, to sailing on dreamy oceanscapes off the Javanese coast. The music also explores familiar international images in original and unusual ways. One minute you're sliding down deep into the Mississippi delta accompanied by sitars and tablas - next thing you know, you're wandering the dusty backstreets of Bombay, catching strains of Cuban jazz piano floating down from an open window. The album's emotional journey takes you from riotous revelry to deep reflection, from joie de vivre to grief.
In short, "Into ... AkashA" is a celebration of the wholeness of life in a colorful world.
Definitely worth checking out.