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Kashi: Songs from the India Within


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When Prem Joshua first journeyed to India in 1977, he felt an immediate, profound connection. In gratitude the German-born musician ever since devoted his life’s work to translating India’s rich spiritual and cultural depth into a new, global language of unique east-west fusion.

With Kashi : Songs from the India Within, sitar master Prem Joshua and Chintan composed contemporary songs from beloved Indian mantras and shlokas, crafting a devotional album expressing “the India within” in refreshing musical terms that are both entertaining and transcendent.

On Kashi from the atmospheric opening track “Balakrishna,” a modern take on kirtan that evolves into a breezy, beat-laden excursion, the album traverses richly diverse terrain in both style and content. The track “Tumhaari Mara” marries sitar and Bollywood-evocative melody with sturdy reggae rhythms and deep bass, as its lyrics honor the revered 16th century Rajasthani royal poet-saint Meera. The joyfully lovely groove of “All Roads Lead to Om,” (as opposed to Rome) draws its prayer from the 3,000-year-old Brihadaranyaka Upanishads, considered the oldest of all Vedic texts. Yet the message remains as urgently relevant today as ever; as Joshua says, “In a world where fanaticism and ignorance seem to be taking hold ever more strongly, this prayer shines like a beacon, guiding our journey along the ‘road to Om.’”

The vocal chemistry of female singers Hamsika Iyer (known for her work with Bombay Dub Orchestra and Juno Reactor), Prem Joshua and Sanou Olszewski is framed with great subtlety with arrangements by Joshua (sitar, bamboo flute, saxophones) and Chintan (keyboards, bass, tabla, kanjira, pandeiro, udu, drum programming) with the able support of guitarist Werner Schultheiss and tabla player Raul Sengup.

1.) Balakrishna  -6:39
2.) All Roads Lead To Om  -5:42
3.) The Best of Things  -6:25
4.) Don't Worry My Love  -8:03
5.) Ganapati  -9:27
6.) Tumhaari Maya  -5:26
7.) Gayatri Ghetto  -5:01
8.) Ya Devi Sarva  -7:17
9.) Lingashtakam  -10:01

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