Ananda Shankar, 1999
When lightning hit the Big Room at Real World on the last day of recording we knew the music would be electric.
Ananda was born in Almora, Utta Pradesh in 1942. The son of dancers Uday and Amala Shankar and the nephew of Pandit Ravi Shankar, he was raised in an artistically creative atmosphere. He went on to produce some of the most influential tracks of the sixties, and to jam with the likes of Jimi Hendrix among others. Walking On saw Ananda pushing his talent yet further, and teaming up with acclaimed London DJ and producer Sam Zaman, aka State of Bengal.
State of Bengal's eclectic mix of Indian classical music with breakbeat, hip-hop, tabla driven beats and melodic vocals seemed perfect as a 1990s response to Ananda's sound. Fresh from work with Bjork, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and Massive Attack, Sam Zaman found time off from making his own album (Visual Audio on One Little Indian) to throw himself fully into the project, working with the legend whose music had inspired him since his teens.
Walking On today stands as a beat-laden, melody-rich, timeless tribute to the collaboration of these two late, great artists, both of whom made their exits far too soon.
- With a whiff of patchouli in the air, and the ambience of Austin Powers-styled '60s rock/disco, Shankar has orchestrated an exhilarating album. Billboard (USA)
- ...the trancy ambiance, punctuated by occasional rock guitar, is background music with some backbone. Shepherd Express Metro (USA)
- '...electrifyingly funky...' The Villager (USA)
- ...creative and compelling mix of the traditional with the ultramodern. Or in the short form - this music grooves! Album Network (USA)
- '...a surreal and seductive blend of Bombay film music, jazzy improvisations and Hindustani techno...Anglo-Asian DJ Saifullah Zaman (aka State of Bengal) imparts a distinctly urban flavour to the mix with thumping beats and sinuous bass lines.' Escape (USA)
- '...the group lays into a series of grooves - drum & bass, cinematic funk, boogaloo - that aim for the hips more than the mind.' Urb Magazine (USA)
- 'Walking On is indeed in the most part an effective meeting of modern dance production sensibilities and East/West rock fusion theatrics. That it works is as much due to Sam Zaman's understanding and appreciation of Shankar's work as it is to the musical abilities of the great man himself.' Wax (UK)
- '...its wide range of sounds have an addictive cohesion. Nostalgists may disagree, but this is surely the way to remember a musician who never stopped moving on.' Songlines (UK)
- 'Zaman adds a few beefy beats, giving that ever-slinky sitar a little contemporary oomph. Superb stuff.' What's On (UK)
- Eclectic Album of the Month 'It's the sound of a legend.' Ministry (UK)
- 'The inclusion of two live tracks, Jungle Symphony and Streets Of Calcutta, give some indication of the fierce and exhilarating standard of musicianship which Shankar was capable of inspiring in his fellow players... A remarkable, visionary talent such as his will be sorely missed.' The Wire (UK)