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Album Review: Eloquor – From the Oceans of Karana

June 15, 2013 by
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I feel like Don Quixote writing this article. What an ambitious feat, to be reviewing (rather than tilting at) a windmill from afar.  How can my words do this man’s music any justice? In my mind is a voice saying, “I like this album by Eloquor because the noises make me feel fuzzy on the inside.” I only hope that my drop in the ocean of opinion and critique brings with it some good karma.

To quote the man himself, From the Oceans of Karana “is an expression of my spiritual and social beliefs.” You see, I hadn’t heard any of his earlier stuff, so this was my first time listening to this guy. I didn’t even know how to pronounce his name when I first saw it which, I assert, is a credit to him! Most rappers are like Pokémon. They begin every track with ‘ugh’ and ‘yo’ and then ‘{insert name here}’ about a million times. Not Eloquor. No, this is not your everyday emcee, this is not your everyday rap album; From the Oceans of Karana is an album you should listen to today.

While his past work has been of a more contemporary nature (dealing with the here and now, the ‘this Friday night’ and the like) this album spans from Creation (ft. Ramesh) to Preservation (ft. Ramesh) all the way to Destruction (ft. you guessed it Ramesh). It is a Hip Hop album sprinkled with 1970’s Bollywood samples, esteemed guests, and thought provoking lyrics all served in a very cohesively produced and exquisitely presented package.

The release is split into three parts: Creation, Preservation, and Destruction which reflect Barhma, Vishnu, and Shiva respectively (three Hindu gods, known as the Tridev). Tracks one, six, and fourteen feature Ramesh, a Hindu mystic, who gives a spiritual take on the aforementioned topics. I thought this would get in the way of listening to the album, but these tracks blend seamlessly into the fabric of the album.

The first track that caught my eye (or should I say ear) was Janine. This song captures the feelings of love and that mix of wanting to ask a girl out but being terrified to even look her in the eye. Then there’s the plot twist which, without wanting to offer up any spoilers, twisted me up. I was on the train, and I had to choke back tears. The characters were so realistic and their pain was so deep – it’s a testament to the emcee’s extraordinary storytelling abilities.

Track two, Pure Potential, is another great, uplifting track featuring words not commonly found in this genre like; superheated plasma, subatomic particles, and vast nebula. It’s amazing how eloquently these scientific terms are wound into an explosive, fast paced yet legible verbalisation of a thought process so deeply connected with the creation of our universe. The production on this track, by Simplex, is fantastic. Special effects mixed seamlessly with Indian cultural music and a solid baseline. Think of those vibrant, colourful images of faraway galaxies taken by the Hubble telescope then imagine those colours as sound. It sounds like that, only better!

Read Between the Lines is another of my favourites. A chilling look behind the scenes of what we watch on television and read in the newspapers. This track forces one to think. To open one’s mind. Just like the rest of the album, it is thought provoking, heartfelt, and intended to lead the listener into a better state of being.

New Day will be the lead single and Electric Kids will follow. Great tracks. The Rajeev series (tracks ten to fourteen) are reminiscent of R. Kelly’s Trapped in the Closet series, except better! And the way the CD is packaged in one of those cool cardboard tri-fold jobbies, with amazing graph-art style depictions of three Hindu gods on the front cover is amazing.

Eloquor and the whole production team should be commended on this great effort. From the Oceans of Karana has great replay value, with songs like Pure Potential so intricate and layered that you can listen to them many times and hear them differently each time. This album asks you to look deep inside yourself, to Read Between the Lines, to cry, and on at least one occasion to call your mum and tell her you love her.

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