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World Music CD Reviews South Asia

KRISHNA DAS

By Jill Ettinger

Greatest Hits Of The Kali Yuga
Triloka/Artemis

For nearly a decade now, Krishna Das has been synonymous with kirtan (Sanskrit chanting), laying the soundtrack to yoga practices worldwide. KD is to this ancient method of musical devotion what Bruce Springsteen is to rock 'n' roll: an unmistakable, humbled voice, a trusted source for inspiration and practicality. Just like the impact of a five-hour sold-out Springsteen concert, no one forgets their first live Krishna Das performance: his powerful simplicity continuously transforms ordinary moments into un-freaking-forgettable breathtaking experiences. Spotlighting the Vedic reference to this modern apocalyptic era known as Kali Yuga, the Iron Age, this greatest hits is a powerful collection of choice chants to decompress to and a stellar collage of tracks old ("Namah Shivayah," "Mountain Hare Krishna") and new (previously unreleased "Bhajelo-ji Hanuman," "Mere Guru Dev"). Emoting pure love with every "Hare Krishna," his droning harmonium and the steady tabla beats, KD is luminous. The accompanying full-length DVD offers a glimpse into his unpretentious career, demonstrating his growth as a musician on a spiritual path. The Iron Age it very well may be, but we do well to observe bright lights like Krishna Das, illuminating a way out of this darkness.