This track takes a different approach from the rest of the Tabla Breakbeat Studies project. Rather than playing over a beat, Shashank played normal classical tabla over a raga from his drone box. I went in afterwards and added the break (“God Made Me Funky” by the Head Hunters) along with the synths and effects. This is also less edited than the other tracks we’ve done; aside from the obvious moments of digital fakery, you’re hearing it more or less as Shashank actually played it.
A few months ago, I did a study for my Psychology of Music class at NYU where I had people clap along to various classic breakbeats. The most interesting results came from my buddy Shashank Aswath, a classically trained tabla player. Shashank had close to zero familiarity with western popular music generally and hip-hop in particular, so his clapping patterns were idiosyncratic to say the least. We agreed that it would be interesting to hear him play tabla over the beats and see what came out. Here are the edited high points of Shashank’s jam over “Take Me To The Mardi Gras” by Bob James.
Another edited highlight reel of an epic free improvisation. The underlying groove is sampled from “The Lesson Part III (It’s Over Now)” by The Roots, an exotic and devastating funk/hip-hop masterpiece. Guitar is by @christopherjacoby, and baritone guitar is by me. I expect this to get shorter and tighter as I work on it further, but in the meantime, enjoy the long and sprawling version.