THE MOONCOW PROJECT
NANDI (Mooncow Records)
Nandi is in fact a little in-joke. Nandi is Shiva’s faithful bull, his means of transport as it were in Hindu mythology. So, Mooncow.. Nandi.. get it?
This is the quarry from which the first Shiva collaboration SHIVA SHAKTI was hewn in some instances, and it is the album most simpatico to the Quintessence universe. But there are important differences, too.
The album also has a foot firmly in the world of science fiction/space travel with many telling samples. The album features Enzo Lopardo on percussion and the combination works well right from the wonderfully full-sounding intro “Kashmir”. Slowly but surely this opener unwraps itself with an unmistakeably Middle Eastern feel, and Enzo’s percussive abilities are put to good effect. Features also a great use of sample singing. It all works very well together.
One of the stand-out tracks, and my all-time Rudra favourite is “Mahadeva”, which just gathers this fantastic momentum and has a wonderful dynamic. Would be a great film score, and a lot of Rudra’s music does seem very visual, too. I could listen to this track for hours. The kind of thing the gods might play if they went out clubbing. It fades out into a bubbling coda. But it is really worth a listen.
The space stuff is highly entertaining as well. Nandi has a very Hawkwindish feel on occasion, and you always get a sense that Rudra knows exactly what he’s doing with his switches, knobs and programmes. He never floods you with sonic noise, it is all to a careful purpose, and as an arranger Rudra has a great feel for what should go where.
Interesting to compare “Uma Parvati” with the reworked version appearing as “Parvati Devi” on the SHIVA SHAKTI album. The two of course have a similar feel, the difference being Shiva’s voice, together with Parvati Devi for the very first time.
Another great track on this album is “All of the Night and All of the Day” which mixes some US space mission with the full panoply of Rudra’s space synths. Very spacey.. including a beautiful mellow Southern Indian Sanskrit song, a love song to Shiva (the god).
Reviewed by Professor Cornelius