Gabriel Ananda stepped into the limelight confidently with last summer’s ‘Doppelwhipper,’ a track that made many a top ten list in 2006. His second full length album, ‘Bambusbeats’, does not disappoint.
Flying out of the gates with the bouncy and light-hearted ‘Offbeat,’ Ananda delivers eight upbeat, energetic numbers. No dark and moody elements at work here – ‘Bambusbeats’ is full of positivity and bounces along with a jig in its step.
The album’s underlying motif is percussion, with African drum rhythms providing a textured soundscape throughout – it’s easy to lose yourself in the subtle shifts and gradual builds of the relentlessly hypnotic beats. There’s also an energy to it that keeps the album moving along effortlessly. Try as you might, you won’t be able to resist dancing to it.
The first half of the album is pure dancefloor. ‘Bambus’ has a bit of a house feel to it, albeit with carnivalesque rhythms and a hypnotising repetitiveness. ‘Egge’ is more aggressive and driving, perfect for peak time with lush basslines and high-octane synths. ‘Sweet Decay’ takes things a step further, swapping groove for a subtle build that launches into a wash of mad decaying synth sounds. Rinse and repeat!
The next two tracks show another, more jazz influenced, side to Ananda. His production skills on ‘Trommelstunde’ are second to none: Masterfully cutting and pasting the live jazz drums of Oliver Frank, Ananda puts together a Detroit pastiche using only bassdrum, hi-hat, snare and a bassline. It’s a fresh and original approach. ‘Take One,’ is something different all together, a proper laid back jazz number, albeit one with some weird and wonderful elements thrown in, namely a sample of the howls of Ananda’s pet dog Sisha.
The most classically Ananda track on the album is a live version of ‘Take Off’ – a bit of a look backwards perhaps, as the original version was released on Treibstoff in 2006. With a psychedelic trance-like feel to it, this is the little brother of ‘Doppelwhipper’, minus the huge drops.
Finally, the relaxed and down tempo ‘Lamakova,’ built on lush piano key strokes, cools things down nicely, closing the album on a sweet note. It’s warm and deep, and it’ll leave you with a grin on your face and a feeling of satisfaction.
With ‘Bambusbeats’ Ananda has put together a cohesive album from start to finish, not just a compilation of singles. As a side note the two bonus CD tracks ‘Blauer’ and ‘JoJo’ are excellent as well. Good job Mr. Ananda!