The Legend of Ganesha marks the conclusion of Guy Sweens’s highly popular India trilogy (where Gaya of Wisdom and Kamadeva where the two first) . Yet again Sweens take the listener on a dream journey under the baking Indian sun, with exotic instruments and chilled beats as the main ingredients. As usual Sweens uses lots of voice samples, creating a mix that is both ethnic and international. Old fans will find that this is a successful end of the series, but it will for sure give Sweens lot of new fans as well.
On The Legend of Ganesha Sweens is accompanied by two other New Age music stars, Medwyn Goodall and Stefan Petersilge (better known as Sangit Om). Goodall participates with guitar (and other instruments) on track 1, 4 and 6, while Sangit Om’s flute is heard on track 3. But it is definitely Sweens that is in the driving seat, and the sound that made the previous two India albums so great is still here, powerful and fresh.
The Legend of Ganesha is the story of the Hindu God with the elephant head. The mythological aspects is also seen in the titles, like Embodiment of Good Luck, Worship and Remover of Obstacles. It is important to stress that if you are looking for an authentic Indian album, this is not the one for you. This is international new age, created for a mainly western audience. But as far as international new age goes, this is as good as it gets. Indeed, Sweens music may be closer to the idea of India than most real Indian albums. That is new age music in a nutshell.
The album starts with a laid back tune, Worship, which features Medwyn Goodall’s wonderful guitar (if you like it you must make sure to check out his recent Origins album). Fans of the series will feel at home: Sweens’ focus on sound design is nothing but masterful. As usual, I might add. Track two, Embodiment of Good Luck, contains all the spicy ingredients of the previous albums: the sharp sound of the sitar, the heavy synth pads and the slow rhythm.
My favorite track on the album is Skanda. From the moment you put it on, the sitar melody hits you. The fast repetitions is wonderful, and the way Goodall adds new elements with his guitar make it into a truly magnificent piece. The synth sitar later in the song is also great.
The Legend of Ganesha is the end of the India series, but hopefully not the end of Guy Sweens’ career. It is relaxing and beautiful at the same time. If he should decide to make another installment in the Indian series in the future, we would not mention to anyone that he originally said that it would only be a trilogy. After all, Ganesha had four arms!
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