Sitar Secrets

Sitar Secrets Al Gromer Khan New Earth Records

 

The music on Sitar Secrets offers ambiance and delivers a rather sensual feel to the world music genre.

Suggested Retail Price: $16.98

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Product Description

Al Gromer Khan is a sitar player who enjoys experimenting with the well-known classical Indian instrument by blending techno beats and spacey studio dubs with the twisting pressed fingers on his frets. The music on Sitar Secrets offers ambiance and delivers a rather sensual feel to the world music genre.

Additional Information

Artist

Al Gromer Khan

Total Time:

47:42

Reviews

  1. Chris Spector, Midwest Record

    :

    “On “I got Vilayat Khan’s Blessing,” Gromer does not stick to a traditional raga (Indian music progression) and instead allows the instrument to play to female harmonies that sound effected by studio knobs. He plays to sequenced samples that have trip-hop variables, while the beats are primarily tabla (Indian percussion) oriented.
    Sitar Secrets is yet another mesmerizing album from ambient sound architect, Al Gromer Khan. At once entrancing and meditative yet seductive and passionate the intense rhythms and sounds of Sitar Secrets will completely envelop and enthrall you!

    A sitar pro that’s been at it for a few generations shows that sitar is more than just hitting some stringed notes while smoking dope, you can use this for yoga and ambient sounds as well these days. Fleshing out what could have been an exercise in gringos getting frustrated while looking for traction, Khan makes music that’s music. An engaging world beat date that’s suited to everything from listening to thigh slapping, the malleable sounds are like an audio wave machine that’s just right for shaking off whatever kind of day you had.”

  2. Daily Buddhism

    :

    “There are nine tracks on this CD, ranging between 2:36 up to 14:08 minutes long. The tracks, while all being sitar-heavy and therefore similar, do not all sound alike; some tracks are very distinctive and even have a slight tune to them. This would be yet another excellent addition to a “meditation music” library. If you like the sitar and are looking to add an ambient Indian mood to your meditations, this would be an excellent choice.”

  3. Mark Maxwell Abushady, Creations Magazine

    :

    “With the desire to create an album”. . . in which a high denominator would be found between futuristic sounds and classical Indian sitar music,”Al Gromer Khan has produced a mystical, sensual and experimental album which stretches the ‘speech’ of the sitar to new heights. Freeing himself from former rules of play, he dialogues with the listener through some very accomplished performances. Standouts include ‘Raga Sarasvati’ (where this dialogue is most notable), the very moving, mysterious and deeply resonant ‘A Tantric Song,’ ‘A Bageswari Poem,’ and the charming ‘Caru Caru,’ which makes use of ambient ‘ahs’ amidst Mr. Khan’s joyous strains.”

  4. LA YOGA

    :

    “Al Gromer Khan is a sitar player who enjoys experimenting with the well-known classical Indian instrument by blending techno beats and spacey studio dubs with the twisting pressed fingers on his frets. The music on Sitar Secrets offers ambiance and delivers a rather sensual feel to the world music genre. On “I got Vilayat Khan’s Blessing,” Gromer does not stick to a traditional raga (Indian music progression) and instead allows the instrument to play to female harmonies that sound effected by studio knobs. He plays to sequenced samples that have trip-hop variables, while the beats are primarily tabla (Indian percussion) oriented.

    On “Raga Ahir Bhairav Alaap” Gromer sticks to more of a traditional classical Indian format. An “Alaap” is a standard classical Indian form of music that usually introduces a piece and is performed in a raga without a tempo. The execution of this Alaap is excellent and I like Gromer’s feel on the reflective raga progression he has chosen. In this regard the piece is more traditional and less western-influenced. The same can be said about “Raga Ahir Bhairav Gat” which is the raga that the previous “Alaap” leads up to. The tabla performance by Suman Sarkar is certainly worth noting here. Sarkar’s percussive taps hit all the marks and blend nicely with Gromer’s fairly modest licks on the sitar.

    Al Gromer Khan was first exposed and drawn to the sitar in the 1960s and his trippy style of play is evident on this album. His skill is inspired by Vilayat Khan and Gromer is definitely a seasoned expert and a tasty player who is not out to blow you away with his speed or skill, but interested in melody with a more accessible approach to the instrument. He allows the feel of the strings to do that for him and the production is polished. Sitar Secrets would work well for anyone looking for some Indian ambient music to spice up a room.”

  5. DailyOM

    :

    2009 An “ambient sound architect” from Germany, who jammed with the likes of Marc Bolan and Max Roach before finding his calling studying sitar at the feel of Imrat Khan (and adding the surname when initiated into their sacred musical family), Al Gromer Khan brings a globally awake and chilled feel to this deeply soothing and ethereal album. Sitar Secrets is based on the sitar, as the title implies, with long tracks of spiritually hallucinatory ragas with the sitar at its most spine-tingling. Kahn uses traditional frameworks as points of departure into surreal soundscapes: disembodied cooing voices and electronic synthesizer pads help create an album ideal for meditation, Reiki, relaxation, or whatever else you have in mind. A group of able-bodied visionaries like tabla player Suman Sarker and percussionist N.S. Nagasuoami help out around the album, but even when a track is simply solo sitar the effect is truly transformative.

    On the seductive opener, “I Got Vilayat Khan’s Blessing,” (a reference to Khan‚s conversion to a sitar disciple after seeing Vilayat in concert), a female voice coos over the coiling sitar sounds in a manner that recalls those 1960s Euro-horror movie soundtracks that used to accompany beautiful vampires in designer sunglasses as they prowled around Istanbul or Berlin. Many of the tracks such as the hallucinatory “Raga Sarasvati” follow their own path, with solo sitar creating vast inner landscapes that are populated by dancing Shivas in the flames. Sarker’s tablas join in for “Raga Tilak Kamod”, along with spine-shivering tamboura, to create an effect that’s ancient, timeless, and somehow very modern.

    Somehow it’s the final track that becomes the most transcendental, with a simply repeating sitar line and a wordless, cooing, heavenly female vocal. With its long painted fingernails dipping just barely into the warm waters of pop, we realize in a flash how far out Khan has brought us over the course of this gently transformative album. Indian sitar music is by definition and style very different from western melodic structures, but Khan finds the root of both, deep in the romantic heart of hearts, in a land outside of space time. These Secrets are worth keeping.”

  6. New Age Retailer

    :

    “Rising to prominence after his debut CD Mahogany Nights, “ambient” sitar player Al Gromer Khan has carved out a singular niche, combining the rich traditions of Indian sitar music with exotic yet accessible ambient electronica textures and rhythms. On Sitar Secrets, Gromer Khan explores his authentic Indian music persona more directly—four of the nine tracks are straight-up ragas, whereas the other five explore the merging of the ancient (sitar) with the modern (synthesizers and beats). Sitar Secrets may introduce the Indian raga musical form to the artist’s ambient fans, as Gromer Khan performs not just the ambient-like alaap phase of the raga, but the more active rhythmic passages as well, aided by tabla player Suman Sarkar. Mingling the two approaches makes for an exotic amalgam.”

  7. Music Design

    :

    “Upon hearing the sitar, one is immediately reminded of the spiced fragrances of India. In the capable hands of Al Gromer Khan, the instrument captures the spirit of this vibrant nation.”

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