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Album Review: Nirvana Cafe
Cover image of the album Nirvana Cafe by Karunesh
Nirvana Cafe
2002 / Real Music
54 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Nirvana Cafe is Karunesh’s second release for the Real Music label. More adventurous than the earlier “Zen Breakfast,” I really like the variety of sounds and moods on this album. Although intensely spiritual in nature, Nirvana Cafe conveys more of a zest for life than many recordings of this type. Some of the tracks are quiet meditations, but others bring in strong bass and percussion, just begging to have the volume cranked up a few notches! Govi contributes outstanding guitar work on four tracks, and the rest of the varied sounds are multi-instrumentalist Karunesh working his musical wizardry. I love “Revelry”, a rhythmic confection with pan flutes playing a simple but compelling melody. Other instruments are introduced as the song goes on. I hit the “replay” button on my CD player for this one all the time. “Keeper of Mystery” is more ambient, but also has a strong rhythm. It is dream-like but also catchy. “Chuang Tzu’s Dream” tells the story of the Taoist sage’s dream that he was a butterfly. Upon waking, he couldn’t tell if he was a man dreaming he was a butterfly or a butterfly dreaming he was himself. Very beautiful, soothing, and intriguing with Asian influences and lovely flute work. “Sapphire” is another beauty with lots of open space to float around in. Actually, all of the tracks are really good - those mentioned are favorites, but there really are no weak spots. Very highly recommended!
February 2, 2002
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