By Deva Premal & Miten
With A Deeper Light, Deva Premal & Miten intertwine their trademark Sanskrit mantras with sensual, dub-inspired grooves. Yoga’s number one chanteuse lends her distinctive vibrato to the hypnotic vibe, heightening the inherent power of the sacred chants she sensually intones.
“We’ve always wanted to do a tantric-mantra dub album,” says Miten, who co-produced the album with old friend and fellow Englishman, Joby Baker and keyboardist Maneesh de Moor. “The tempos we compose in are quite slow, and the one-drop of dub really suits us. All we had to do was stay focused and as the sessions progressed, ask ourselves the daily, basic existential question, "...is it tantric?"
Recently reconnecting with Baker (whose production credits include Cowboy Junkies, Toni Childs and Alex Cuba) after 20 years, Deva and Miten made the spontaneous decision to record the album at his rural Vancouver home, where they immediately felt comfortable. Maintaining focus was never an issue, and the relaxed sound is evidence enough that they made the right choice. With its meditative vibe and unhurried tempos, A Deeper Light evokes the experience of a moonlit bamboo grove in India, the scent of jasmine wafting sultrily on the breeze.
The producers went for a very warm, organic sound, requiring the artist’s to take a new approach. Rather than weeks of solo sessions and bouncing tracks back and forth via the internet, all of the musicians – Deva and Miten were joined by their live show accompanists, Nepalese bansuri flute maestro Manose and the aforementioned Dutch keyboard virtuoso Maneesh de Moor, as well as Richard Moodyon violin and viola -- spent two weeks together in Baker’s intimate studio, working as a group in real time on every track to get a sound and a vibe that was much more live than studied. Almost all the instruments used were acoustic, with live drums, bass, piano, guitar, and violins. Miten comments, “Everything ‘moved air’ – and that’s what makes the music breathe.”
“We wanted to create a natural feel, no digitally programmed or processed instruments, healthy on the ears and the heart. It has a warmth and a simplicity to it – it’s my favorite album so far.” adds Deva Premal.Indeed, this refreshing new work brings a vibrant, sensual energy to the world’s oldest devotional music – and presents a fresh direction for the enduringly popular artists. In these turbulent times, Deva and Miten’s chilled out Sanskrit chants offer something of a musical balm to calm the nerves and nourish the tortured spirit. This authentic and honest expression of love and commitment to a spiritual path is what sets them apart from their musical contemporaries.In Deva Premal and Miten’s view, “We see ourselves more as flame carriers of a 5,000 year old tradition than emotion-based musicians. The music we make is born out of a committed spiritual practice. We meditate, we investigate and our music is a result of that experience. It’s more a case of life and death than entertainment!”
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