Sparkling sounds from DAO – German duo, Nani T and Chinmayo. This recent release is their official debut album, although for more than 5 years DAO’s sounds have graced some of the world’s finest ‘Asian Grooves’ compilations.
The CD is a musical marvel. Soham’s 12 unique tracks are impeccably produced and spin a colourful cloth of many textures and sound genres, all seamlessly interwoven. Sinuous, sensual sounds, lusciously melodic, each track irresistibly danceable.
Nani T and Chinmayo have worked together since the late eighties and wrote most of Soham’s songs as well as producing the album. Its musical diversity is enhanced by live instrumental and vocal contributions from a masterly group of musicians from India, Germany and Iran, several being familiar names from recordings by Deuter and Prem Joshua. Sounds of Persian violin, tablas, Indian flute, jazz bass, and tenor saxophone are sophisticatedly mixed with supportive grooves from jazz, funk, pop and world music genres.
The opening track ‘Had Gedam’ is a seductive introduction to the kingdom of Dao. Keyboards reminiscent of Jean-Michel Jarre, Bollywood vocals, elegant bamboo flute, and
subtle electronic backing with distinct tabla highlights.
Next enters the title track ‘Soham’ which continues this mood, adding oriental flair and intriguing offbeat jazz percussion .
‘Ishq’ is one of the CD’s highlights, introducing a sense of Sufi mysticism and a hypnotic/exotic groove – brought nicely back to earth by the next track ‘A Rap Al Arap’ with its quirky belly dance motifs and edgy rock guitar.
Next, ‘Here and Now’ blends come-hither vocals with sexy saxophone and gotta-dance percussion.
‘Xiong’ means ‘bear’ in Mandarin Chinese. Dedicated to these magnificent yet challenged creatures, this is possibly the most impressive of the CD’s tracks, evoking a compelling tribal setting in which saxophonist Andy Bayer’s notes merge with intricately layered vocals, building to a climax as the bear grows to its full grizzly grace.
The upbeat ‘Moody Moon No 5’ slides into a different mood and has to be an Asian Groove chart-topper– assuming there’s a sane music world out there …somewhere.