Personnel: Deva Premal (vocals, tanpura, keyboards); Deva Premal; Martyn Philips (guitar, mandolin, violin, viola, keyboards, mini-Moog synthesizer, bass guitar, percussion, programming); Izzi Dinn (cello); Peter Lockett (frame drum, udo drum, tabla, percussion); Benjy Wertheimer (unknown instrument); Miten (vocals, acoustic guitar); Prabjote Osahn (violin); Izzi Dunn (cello); Praful (flute, bansuri, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, harmonium, keyboards); Manose (bansuri); Maneesh De Moor (piano, keyboards); Danny Thompson (double bass).
Recording information: Bangalore, India.
Photographer: Raj Naik.
Unknown Contributor Role: Benjy Wertheimer.
Arrangers: Deva Premal; Miten; Chandru; Manish Vyas.
Using traditional Hindu mantras as source material, singer Deva Premal creates lush, beautiful music that falls somewhere between chanting and ambient New Age. DAKSHINA will please fans familiar with Premal's soothing, contemplative vocal approach. Classical Indian instrumentation (tablas can be heard through much of the album) abuts contemporary synthesizer sounds and textures, creating an aesthetic that is ancient and modern at once.
Yet it is Premal's rich, alluring vocals that take center stage here, especially when she stacks harmony parts, as she does on "Om Naman Shivaya" and "Aad Guray." These pillowy choral tracks sound as influenced by the Beach Boys as they do by conventional chant, and one has to marvel at Premal's ability to merge her Western and Eastern influences so seamlessly. Additionally, there is a deep sense of spirituality at the core of this music, making DAKSHINA a perfect companion to meditation, yoga, and alternative health practices.