Last year Deep Forest released the album Deep India. It is the second album in the Deep series, where Deep Brasil was the first release. Deep India does not add anything revolutionary new to the project. The strong world music elements that gave Deep Brasil such life and authenticity are gone (I’m for instance thinking about Flávio Dell’Isola and Michel Villain’s fantastic vocals) – but longtime fans will find several great songs to enjoy.
Deep Forest is perhaps most known for its mix of ethnic samples with modern synths. The result is an atmosphere that highlights the emotional content of the sample, but also removes the sample from its “real” cultural context by adding synth tracks and modern elements. When Deep Forest used a recording from the Solomon Islands (called “Rorogwela”) to create the 1990s hit Sweet Lullaby, we can sense how the adult tries to comfort a baby – but where the sample is taken from and what the words means have little or no meaning. It is everything about atmosphere. This is one of the main differences between world music and New Age music.
This time around Eric Mouquet has teamed up with Santoor player Rahul Shama. The Santoor is a folk instrument from Kashmir and Jammu, India. Rahul is a great artist and adds wonderful melodies to the arrangement. But in this day and age it is hard to distinguish between a real Santoor and a synth (for example soft synth company Precisionsound has a great Santoor synth), so the ethnic element here is somewhat lost in the perfection of the recording. That said, Rahul Shama does great work here.
In the same way Enigma albums starts with a certain synth selection, Deep Forest do the same. The synth effect gives you a feeling of being deep in the forest. It is a great way to start an album, and Deep India is no exception. The best tracks on the album are Bihu and Punjab, which have that atmosphere Deep Forest is famous for. I think the album is also nicely mixed, and Sony music has done a good job. The effect used are up to date (though not cutting edge). The cover with the band icon is nicely done.
In conclusion; Deep India is a great album for longtime Deep Forest fans. But if you are looking for an India themed album, releases like Kiran Murti’s Namaste or Govindas and Radha Waves of Love: Indian Kirtan Sessions are better choices. But if you know that it is Deep Forest you’ll looking for, then a trip to Deep India is not a bad idea.
82 / 100 – see how I rate music here.
NOTE: The album is actually a bit hard to find these days; it is not on US iTunes, Amazon, Spotify or the artist’s homepage. It is available on certain local iTunes stores though or on Ebay.