Best of the Batch: Karnataka
Title: Strange Behaviour
Genre: Progressive Rock
Label: Immrama Records
Karnataka is a band full of accomplished musicians with the talent to make world-class music every time they record, which they do. I have yet experienced the pleasure of hearing them in the studio, but that time will happen soon enough. Previous to this 2 CD set; I heard another live performance on a DVD (In Concert) nearly two years ago that introduced to this fine band. They certainly seem to be in their element performing live and this recording is more evidence of that.
Strange Behaviour is an awesome example of the hypnotic power that this band holds over their audiences throughout an entire performance of the various tracks from their catalog. This fantastic 2003 presentation certainly held me spellbound throughout. The combination of instruments and vocals are magical. Rachel Jones has an angelic voice that sucks you right and does not let go. When Jones’ vocals call upon the guitar of Paul Davies, he answers with subtle or powerful licks. The adept guitarist provides whatever is necessary to make everything work perfectly for her voice and the tempo of each composition. Jonathan Edwards is amazing on keyboards, what a talent; he also knows when to be strong or laid back. Their music works with the ebb and tide of emotion found in each song, in total synchronization with the lead singer. Everyone plays their parts beautifully, taking the cue from each other then stepping in to add their contributions, including Gavin John Griffiths (drums, percussion), Anne-Marie Helder (vocals, flutes, shawn & percussion) and Ian Jones (bass and acoustic guitars, bass pedals).
The eighth track on CD 2, “Out of Reach,” signals the end of the concert but it is not -- there is a brief pause then more music comes your way -- a few songs (I’m assuming they are the previously unreleased tracks) totaling over 24 more minutes, which are as extraordinary as every other previous recording. I don’t think I have ever heard a bad song by this band. It’s amazing.
This production and recording is so good that it makes you feel as though you have a VIP seat right there while it’s all happening, quite extraordinary if I do say so myself, and without any major label backing thank you very much. Karnataka is the best band you have never heard. I think its time all of that changed. In my humble opinion, they are one of the best bands in the world. This would be a wonderful introduction to their incredible music so make sure you get it. After a second dose of their live shows, I need to hear all of their studio albums now!
1. Intro – Karnataka (excerpt)
2. Time Stands Still
3. After The Rain
6. Heaven Can Wait
7. The Right Time
8. I Should Have Known
9. Delicate Flame of Desire
10. These Dreams Are Over
11. The Storm
1. Must Be The Devil
2. Strange Behaviour
3. Everything Must Change
4. Talk To Me
5. The Journey
6. Tell Me Why
7. Heart of Stone
8. Out of Reach
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