With the Pagan Love Orchestra.

Producer: Jai Uttal
Engineer: Roger Nichols
Label: Triloka

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by Harry Stamataky

Jai Uttal and the Pagan Love Orchestra – Monkey (Triloka)

When presented with a band called the Pagan Love Orchestra, any self-respecting aural hedonist would be hard-pressed to find a quick peek irresistible. But those expecting hot-and-heavy thump-adelic should be forewarned: Jai Uttal’s musical passions tend toward the transcendental.

On Monkey, this multi-instrumentalist/composer balances ancient Eastern themes, funky jazz, and poppy synth/sampler technologies for an orgy of metaphysical delights.

With each genre providing its own set of rich textures, Uttal selectively turns up the volume to evoke a joyous Shangri-La of contrasting trance-like meditations. The vocal tracks–and their English/Sanskrit lyrics, which speak to matters of the heart–complete this intriguing package with uplifting metaphorical unifications of East and West.