Tracks / Samples:

  1. Narajanma Bandage
  2. Violin Solo
  3. Maname Diname
  4. Anjali
  5. Raja Vedalu
  6. Lagi Lagan
  7. Tum Bin Shyam
  8. Rupa Tujhe Deva
  9. Govinda


Cheb is the dj that every dj should hope to be. His understanding, respect and admiration of the original classical sounds is unprecedented and unsurpassed. The thing is, if one has mastered the capability to get up on decks and mix them up flawlessly then, where do they go from there? Why, where Cheb has been and back of course.

Talented or not, it takes a smart man to admit his shortcomings and it takes a wiser one to do something constructive about them. Cheb, realizing that he cannot play the south asian instruments or sing the raags himself does not fall into the trap that most dj's succumb to: sampling; that too sampling sounds one has no knowledge or respect for. Here, there is no reused sound. These classical sounds are straight from the source, performed by people like A.K. Devi, Radhika and Baby Sreeram and they are fabulous. (By the way, there is no hard - hitting drum n base here' - so if you were hoping for that look elsewhere.)

Cheb divided the album into two style of bhajans - one the South and second the North; one presenting the Carnatic and the other presenting the Hindustani. His only hand in the album is of the production but, what an awesome job. If you enjoyed Shri Durga or Mahamaya then this is a must buy - no questions asked. From tracks that last 10 minutes to tracks that take only three - this albums provides an ethereal, soulful and enigmatic look into the sounds that exist in south asia and it stays away from Bollywood. Cheb takes us on a journey through the south asian sub-continent, praising Krishna through his Lila with no political message involved - just great music. Almost all the tracks sound true to the intentions of the artists: bhajans done in their original format as formulated centuries ago. A few of the tracks do have beats added; such as 'Maname Diname,' 'Raja Vedalu,' 'Lagi Lagan' and 'Rupa Tujhe Deva' but, this is done with complete respect for the original sounds and actually makes the track work a whole lot better. Also, 'Raja Vedalu' and 'Rupa Tujhe Deva' with some alterations on an equalizer, will work wonders on the dance floor.

So like or dislike organized religion - if you have an open mind you will agree that the these bhajans mingled with Cheb's production skills provide for an album that not only incites respect for religious sounds but also causes you to question the "art" of sampling all together.

Finally, on a different note - I am seriously hoping that there are plans in the works for something similar to what 'Mahamaya' was to 'Shri Durga' - a remix album. However, it says on the cd cover that 'Krishn Lila' is the final release in the trilogy so I guess nothing coming after this. Thus, to all the Dj's out there: Let the remixing begin! (of course share with AV what you got.) Thank you Cheb for enlightening our minds. By the way this cd will be released June 4, 2002 - definitly hold your breath in anticipation for this one.

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