Jahta Beat: Chanting with Tigers (Black Swan Sounds, September 24) is a revolutionary musical vision and mission statement from beat doctor, sound ambassador and Stateside Sadhu, DJ Drez. Breaking ground and blazing trails, Drez delivers a sonic gem that defines an entire genre of hip, fresh, devotional music that can only be called Jahta.
The brilliance of Chanting with Tigers is a unique sound announcing the birth of a brave new world. In DJ Drez’s Jahta dimension, slick beats, dub sensibilities, hip hop know-how, electronic wizardry and deft production techniques mingle with eternal consorts of tabla, mrdangam, sitar, dilruba, harmonium, violin, traditional bhajans and ancient mantras.
Rare indeed is an album that can cultivate and facilitate the groove and the bhav, the enlightened devotional mood and sentiment, simultaneously. It is the markedly devotional tone of Jahta Beat that drives this record’s evolutionary jump, even from DJ Drez’ prior albums. But that leap is made, effortlessly and with room to spare on this record. The “tigers” Drez refers to in the title represent the new generation of kirtan (call and response chanting) artists. Young, ferocious and ever-ready to demonstrate their musical prowess, these performers leave their tracks all over Chanting With Tigers.
Whether you’re into electronic music, hip hop, dub, dubstep, world music, kirtan, mantra, bhajan or all (or none) of these, it would be a near impossibility to deny this album heavy rotation in your daily playlist. The transcendental subject matter and DJ Drez’s mastery take Jahta Beat: Chanting with Tigers beyond genre and beyond the material realm. Through this devotional offering, the sonic experience of Chanting with Tigers is alchemically transformed into a spiritualized set to bangin’ beats, supremely elevated topics, and many, many tigers.
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