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World Music CD Reviews Europe

Sebastian Åberg

By Phil Freeman
Published January 14, 2008

The Sangeet Project
Country & Eastern

Sebastian Åberg is a Swedish drummer and electronic musician who’s released a few CDs on this small label. This one finds him mustering a small troupe of Indian musicians for a passel of interrelated tunes that all hover in a headspace somewhere between Bill Laswell’s dubby rooves and the Michael Brook/Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan collaborative albums Mustt Mustt and Night Song. There’s an aggressiveness to this CD, though, that catapults it beyond the relative gentility of those efforts. Even at its most spiritual (and lovely, as when Shipra Nandy sings on “Horiro Rang,” with lyrics by Kazi Nazrul Islam), it’s got an edge to it that keeps the listener from drifting into any kind of day-spa coma. The album’s centerpiece is “Gujaritodi,” a 10-minutes-plus fugue for sitar—by Manab Dass—and synth strings. It provides an almost-too-brief rest break between the more rhythmic, and Western-melodic, tracks. A highly recommended hybrid.