Boomkat Product Review:
Arch hybridizer Kush Arora aka Only Now unstitches and dematerialises Indian Classical conventions into raga doom scapes and militant, Nazar-like kuduro for the indomitable Bokeh Versions.
The 4th Only Now album, ‘Indian Unclassical Vol. 1’ sees Kush draw on his Indian heritage from more oblique perspectives, joining the dots between millennia-old forms of Indian classical and contemporary styles of ambient noise, industrialised dance musick and charred dub. The results express an urge to diversify the bonds of Indian Classical music and keep the form alive by binding it with unfamiliar styles and patterns, galvanising it with hard Angolan-Portuguese club music and rebulding its conventions thru a vast prism of electronic processing to wild and sublime effect.
The nine tracks cover a ruggedly varied terrain defined by Only Now’s taste for acrid noise and sweltering pressure systems, with ancient instrumentation pushed into the red until they scream across the ages, while metallic tabla rhythms are swept into blizzarding ructions of roiling syncopation and swarming attack a la Nazar at his fiercest.
That’s all there in the sweeping tableau of the opener ‘Time Suffocation’, which transitions from bombed out desolation to gorgeous sitar vamps and descends into a Kuduro madness thru its 6 min span, whereas others brutally focus on one aspect, such as the body-swilling percussive torque of ’Slit Ties’ and bullying force of ‘Cavern Trance.’ Apart from those highlights, we’re most struck by the way Kush renders osmotically absorbed styles in blistering new forms, as with the distorted, burning lead of ‘Glory’ and the melancholy depths of ‘Inverted Memories’ and the 10 minutes of pealing, Earth-like sitar on ‘Last Gasp.’