Ashwin Batish / Sitar Power - Worldbeat, Raga Jazz, Raga Rock! / Press

“How Ashwin Batish Made the Sitar Cool Again - "Shankar would have none of it. .... “He (Pandit Ravi Shankar) said to me, ‘I hope you’re still playing sitar,’ and I go ‘no, not too much,’” Ashwin remembers. “He turned around, and goes ‘You must not stop playing.’” “When Ravi Shankar demands you don’t stop playing,” says Keshav, “you don’t stop playing.” Shankar—and the rest of the world—first got a taste of Ashwin’s transformative skills on Sitar Power, a groundbreaking work in every way. With the far-ahead-of-their-time breakneck rhythms on songs like “Bombay Boogie,” many assumed Ashwin was not just a sitar virtuoso, but also a technological wizard.”

“The Indian sitar meets western electronica: Hailed with helping rekindle worldwide interest in the sitar, Ashwin Batish is one of this year’s headliners at Għanafest. He tells this newspaper about creating cross-cultural music and living the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle with The Beatles. Ashwin Batish is best known for making Indian music more accessible to Western listeners by fusing it with many different styles. He is also one of the very few musicians who has managed to imbue his music with electronic arrangements without losing the melodic mysterious sound so characteristic of classical Indian music, in which the sitar plays a vital role.”

"Fast, electric dance tracks get a dose of even faster sitar runs from an artist intent on fusing jazz, rock, and dance music with traditional Indian classical music. He's worked with everyone from Zakir Hussain to the Violent Femmes, playing with zest and speed through raga-rock excursions."

“This fusion is out of this world and ready to be heard everywhere. .... they were like waves of music crashing, one Indian, one Western and then both together. It was breathtaking. I'd love to see this unit play more and hit the summer festivals around the globe.”

“Ashwin Batish is a Sitar-Powered Star”

“You could call it sambas, or Afro-Cuban, but it's beat music—with exotic, more cultural melodies on top,” says Batish, who describes the blend as “World Beat.” “You gotta get up and dance,” he says. “I think we don't, as a society, make it convenient enough for people to relax. With music we find an opportunity to escape … I can take my music and relax somebody, or put a smile on their face; they actually break out of their shell and share. They take a journey with me.”

“Ashwin Batish has broken out of the classical Indian music mold into an electronic and electrifying style that is modern in every sense, but does not lose the melodic and often mysterious sound of India. In his way, he is making Indian music more accessible to the Western listener, bringing this music to the ears of people who otherwise would not make the effort to listen to more traditional players. He is bringing great music to all of us.”

“Whether or not you’re familiar with the music, your mind is likely to be delightfully blown by what Batish creates.”

“His trademark "Sitar Power"--which appears on the cap that he usually sports--was coined during this period. There is a strongly spiritual and even a metaphysical quality to the way he describes music. "You are by your very nature tuned like an instrument," said Ashwin, "That is why music is so beautiful . . . With my sitar, if I play the top notes the bottom notes vibrate--it is called sympathetic vibration. In the same way, your body has sympathetic nerves that are already in you so that when you hear music they sympathize and this is how you can react . . . There is no theory behind why we do it; it is just in us. It is one of the laws of nature I would say . . . Literally we are all vibrations, so that is why a bunch of notes that are attractive to you are actually a part of you . . . You are a part of it and it is a part of you."”

“Sitar Power Concert Review "India Inc." ---- For sitarist Ashwin Batish, the power of music comes from a cultural fusion”

“Ashwin Batish on Wikipedia: "Although his training has been in North Indian classical music, Ashwin Batish has been equally at home with Western music often performing with jazz and rock musicians. His 1980s fling with fusion music titled Sitar Power was instrumental in garnering him serious airplay including a recording contract with Shanachie Records of New Jersey. Ashwin has worked with numerous artists including Zakir Hussain (musician), Camper Van Beethoven, Violent Femmes, Brian Ritchie, Tony Trischka, Jimmy Carl Black, Myron Dove, Pandit Shiv Dayal Batish, Meena Batish, Matthew Montfort, Keshav Batish, Taylor Eigsti Teddy Andreadis, Butch Taylor, Diana Rowan, Johnny Griparic, Ant Glynne (Asia Band), Vanessa Vo, Brian Viglione, Gordon Gano, Eugene Chadbourne. "Certainly likable, undeniably skilled and no doubt entertaining, Ashwin wowed the crowd as he apparently fused the traditional Indian instrument with Western themes ... but there’s no denying the shredding skills"”

“Ashwin Batish - Man on a Mission :)”

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