James Yorkston, Jon Thorne and Suhail Yusuf Khan are a near-unique proposition, combining UK folk with jazz-style double bass and Indian classical sarangi. Somehow, these three remarkable talents manage to make the hybrid music they play sound like an obvious fit, like the traditional music of an imagined place. Neuk Wight Delhi All-Stars is released by Domino.
Vinyl Double LP £19.99 WIGLP391
Heavyweight vinyl 2LP on Domino.
CD £7.99 WIGCD391
Gatefold CD + 12-page booklet on Domino.
Vinyl Double LP £19.99 WIGLP391X
Indies only deluxe, heavyweight vinyl 2LP on Domino. Includes 24" x 24" fold-out poster.
- Indies only
Quick trivia: what does Yorkston have more of, friends or albums? Turns out it’s a trick question, for you see, his friends are his albums and his albums are his friends. Having committed to numerous duos and trios while making his own ample plethora of solo records, the folkie has by now come from every angle of the strum and done most of the picks. Here, though, he joins with Jon Thorne and Suhail Yusuf Khan -- the three artists adorably separated by love hearts on the album cover -- for a record of lovely musical connections that cross between the roots of Fife, New Delhi and the Isle of Wight.
The record switches quite seamlessly between each artist’s life, the trio deciding upon an almost jazzy structure to both playing and sequencing that lets them quietly land in the limelight. Sarangi, bass and acoustic guitar marry into a sound both wiry and warm, the jazzy meanderings kept active by dulcet chord patterns. Kahn opens the record by singing “Chori, Chori” before combining with Thorne on “Samant Saarang / Just A Bloke”, where their divergent languages interrupt and intersperse, creating different rhythmic structures and creating a unified, dramatic scene. It’s a fascinating record in that it ultimately feels like three artists trying to relate their songwriting to one another, showing a great ability to infer when and where to place themselves -- Kahn joins Yorkston on “Bales” with melodic impressions so slight that they fold into the song’s beautiful melancholy.
It’s a real patient kind of collaboration -- there’s only one song in which all three men sing together, “The Blues You Sang”, and it’s on a subtle, almost subliminal harmony, the trio led by Yorkston and treating the ballad with a quiet, pastoral feel before Kahn ruminates solo. The jazzy spirit of the record is embodied merely in how much space each artist is given to approach the material -- their instrumental improvisations are gorgeous and thoughtful, never striking out from one another too much. So nice; surely good for you.
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