When people use the term “world music”, I think they get the idea back to front. For many, it is a way of categorising music and putting it into small manageable boxes, suggesting that it is from a particular place or culture. World music, for me anyway, is the music of the world as a whole, music that crosses genre and geography, that builds bridges between people and places, and that is the vehicle for universal ideas. It is the opposite of what most people think.
And that is why Mahamaya Experience makes music that is truly world music. Not only is the music a heady blend of styles, of meeting points between east and west, infused with ideas and ideology, but it transcends the boundaries and distinctions of the real world.
Village Songs, Brazil, is all of that in action. A blend of the traditional sounds of Asian culture, the sound of the subcontinent and beyond infused with something both of this world and otherworldly. It is a song about the need to reject the mass automation that is increasingly driving us to the brink of oblivion, a song that advocates a return to a more harmonious relationship with this, the only world we have ever called home.
As well as the beguiling and brilliant musical blends, it is woven through with some important and potent references. The words of Shelly and Ruskin are heralded, song and spoken word are blended, and there is a neat and subtle name check for Piink Floyd, all of which is a reminder that not all wisdom has to be ancient, the stuff of holy books and sacred texts. Popular culture and more recent writers have plenty to teach us, too, if you know where to look.
As always, Mayamaha Experience leaves you with plenty to think about, and that is perhaps the essential aspect of this strange, wild and evocative music.