Wind Horse

Posted on in Art + Soul by Lloyd Barde

Baraka Moon

Cover Wind Horse Baraka Moon

The Bay Area quartet Baraka Moon has exerted its influence on the local world fusion scene with a confluence of musical forces. Baraka Moon’s new album, Wind Horse, fully displays this potency, with the current members in full flow: Sukhawat Ali Khan (vocals, harmonium), Stephen Kent (didgeridoo, percussion, guitar, bass), Anastasi Mavrides (guitar, banjo, bass, ukulele, synth, and backing vocals), and Peter Warren (drums). Warren provides fullon dance beats, with grooves honed over years playing with African musicians. Kent is a oneman-band didgeridoo/percussion virtuoso. Mavrides brings a unique guitar style with super-funky rhythms. Sukhawat draws from a 600-year-old Pakistani tradition underscored by his awesome harmonium playing.

These influences stem from mystical Sufi trance songs, Indian ragas, African beats, Australian aboriginal didgeridoo and reggae rhythms delivering pulsing, soulful, and spiritually charged dance music fused with a message of peace. Born during a blood moon eclipse in 2008 for an event celebrating Rumi’s 800th birthday, Baraka Moon brings the high-energy pull of ecstatic Qawwali music held in the vibrant lap of rhythmic rock settings as they utilize all manner of tempo changes, driving beats, and generally, a finely honed and pleasingly relentless wall of sound.

One of the strongest aspects of Wind Horse is the variety and cohesive order and flow of the songs. My favorite is a strong reggae tune, “Sabir” (meaning patience or endurance), reminiscent of the work of Cheb I Sabbah. The title track is a didge rave-up that delves into shamanistic terrain. The closer, “Alap Bhopali,” is a spacious, floaty piece, a pentatonic Raga overflowing with gentleness and the mystical feel of India. Listening to Wind Horse is a spiritual experience, awakening the body and opening the heart. Watch for upcoming Baraka Moon live dates around the bay.


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