‘Rainbow Crow’ - Shankara Andy Bole - sometimes ethereal, sometimes distant(October 16, 2017)
With many albums there’s a ‘feel’, with this one it’s a feeling of expression it's also a feeling of looking for something that's hard to find. Shankara Andy Bole is recognised as a multi-instrumentalist, arranger and composer, with a wide and varied pedigree that takes in both tradition and exploration, and a preference for individuality. With seven solo albums behind him now comes ‘Rainbow Crow’, described as ‘seven spontaneous compositions' – given that describing his work is not the easiest task, that will suffice.
The album is divided into seven pieces of varying length represented as seven coloured crows – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet – when water droplets break white sunlight into the colours of the rainbow spectrum. And that is what you hear, a musical spectrum that spreads and grows, morphs and changes throughout - and like the rainbow equally elusive.
The seven ‘crows’ feature multilayered looping with bouzouki and ebow plus an occasional bass to create the imagery for each track. Building with hypnotic layer on layer, the ‘crows’ exhibit different feelings with African and Indian echoes, strange reminiscences of past times and touches of free experimentation. Percussive effects, single strings, soaring strings and impressive melodies abound – the sound is progressive, sometimes ethereal and sometimes distant.
‘Rainbow Crow’ will not reach everyone. Those it does reach will find solace within.
Review: Charlie Elland