Dave Stringer once again displays his talent for whipping audiences into a rapturous whirl of energy and passion with OJAS, an infectious collection of call and response kirtan chants. Fans of invigorating chant sessions will instantly take to this set - most of these songs start soft and serene, then build in speed and power. It is exhilarating to hear Stringer's rapid-fire vocals along with the palpable joy of the crowd as they chant along. The songs are a diverse lot, with some ingenious arrangements. "Gaja Nana" in particular stands out, Stringer pairs Sanskrit chant with Jewish klezmer music. At its peak, the music resembles an Israeli folk dance session. "Jaya Vitthale" is another passion-fueled chant that adopts a Spanish guitar theme. Once again, when the songs hits its climax, Stringer's soaring vocals and the driving rhythms become intoxicating.
This production is full and energetic, showcasing radiant vocal harmonies and sophisticated, propulsive rhythms that reference flamenco, traditional Indian folk music, and straight-ahead American roots rock. Instrumental overlays evoke klezmer, cool jazz, and Hindustani classical music in combinations that feel simultaneously astonishing and effortless.
Dave Stringer: vocals, harmonium, tamboura