Ravi Padmanabha & Ed Chang - Elephant Calls [Utech Records - 2006]Elephant calls has more than a slight eastern feeling about it. With it’s mixture of tabla textures and percussion by Ravi Padmanabha, joined by spidery, sawing and plucking acoustic guitar curtsey of New York noise maker and improviser Ed Chang. Though this does have noise element’s, it feels more focused on improvisation- more than anything. Leaving the listener with a collection of chaotic, but somehow spiritual charged tracks.
On offer are six tracks in all, three running at around the ten to firthteen minute mark and three shorter pieces. Uhtan opens the album with a nice mixture of tabla and other percussive matter. Giving the feeling of slow winding up, maybe the slow monition of an aging train, cuting through Indian country side, as guitar elements are subtle added, very much in the back ground to start with, but as the track develops Chang Cuts out more of a path though the percussive haze. Sliding strange guitar patterns/ noise and wrong sounding Spanish strums, over the erratic beat pitter - patter.
Ivory Asuras opens straight away with Changs, hectic changing tone, gone wrongs blues guitar work. With the percussive element more chaotic here, literal throwing in the kitchen sink percussive wise- be it wooden taping, box banging, wood against wood, potts and pans and tabla on speed, careering off all over the place.
Another enjoyable adventure into sound -different from what I've heard Chang do before. Just a pity it’s ltd to such a small number of 200. So really if you enjoy something a bit different in acoustic percussive improvised/ noise vein- you better be quick,before they disappear. Roger Batty