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Now Hear This: In Time - Akshara Music Ensemble

Rating: ****

World Music can be a real mixed bag. Sometimes it breaks down cultural barriers and just moves your soul regardless of where it's from or where you're from for that matter. Other times it can just sit there disconnected from anything you can relate to on any level at all. Sometimes it can do both in the same album or even the same song.

Ashkara Music Ensemble brings their unique traditional world sound to their debut album that's been five years in the making. It's called "In Time" and as luck would have it, I'm about to have it in my headphones.

Let's go!

Listen to "Mohana Blues" on SoundCloud below:

We get started with "Mind The Gap" and it's just a lovely piece of music from beginning to end. It has that special vibe to it that takes you away to a place you've never been before. You truly travel with the music. "Mohana Blues" is next. It's a gorgeous blend of folk with international sounds. Excellent stuff. No wonder it won the Independent Music Award for best world traditional song. "Opus in Five" really bridges the gap between Indian and classical music. The gifted musicianship on full display here. "Shadjam" is track four and it's a catchy little world number. It's fun and more light-hearted than the tracks that preceded it. It's a great change-of-pace track. The EP ends with "Urban Kriti" and it's amazing. Completely virtuosic in musical ability. Perfect ending to a nearly perfect record.

If you're a fan of World Music or music, in general, you're gonna love this. Seriously put this in your headphones while you drink a cup of coffee, close your eyes and let it take you to a faraway land for 20 minutes. You'll find it time well spent.

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