HennaCat's Favorite Music
maintained by Roy Jones, music@hennapage.com
"Today, like every other day, we wake up empty and frightened.
Don't open the door to the study and begin reading.
Take down a musical instrument."

Jalal al-Din Rumi

what music would you like today?

DJ Pathaan "Indian Sunset "
I bought this by mistake a couple of weeks ago. I ordered a Yoga mat and inadvertently ordered this and ‘Global Sunset’ by the same artist. So it was with trepidation that I played it. Within seconds though I was impressed. According to the reviews ‘On Indian Sunset he (DJ Pathaan) explores the depth of his knowledge of Asian music and electronic grooves. A world where beats caress and new harmonics are created, an integrated global sound space designed with two moods in mind, Sunset (CD1) and Sunrise (CD2).’ From my own point of view I have found the perfect music to act as a backdrop to Henna, Yoga and general chilling – something I am comfortable with, which draws together the East and the West in a laid back groove that’s full of interest and expression. This is an album which everyone asks about when they hear it! Be warned though – when you listen to this you do have an increased propensity for lounging about, burning sandalwood incense and requiring delicious food and drink within reach of a outstretched hand (hennaed and draped in strings of jasmine flowers of course!)!

Ozric Tentacles "Pungent Effulgent / Strangitude"
Apparently the music is ‘psychedelic instrumental jazz-funk trance with a hint of reggae dub’, the band are named after an imaginary breakfast cereal and I absolutely love them. In fact I love every single thing that the Ozrics have ever done and I reckon that is pretty rare! I have chosen this double album because it reflects a wide variety of the early Ozric’s music – most of which are my all time favourite pieces of music! Pungent Effulgent starts with a classic song ‘Dissolution – The clouds disperse’ which has you waiting on the edge of your seat for the climax of the bubbling introduction – at which point you sit back, eyes closed with a smile on your face and listen to the rest of the album! Strangitude has one of the most unusual but fantastic songs I have ever heard - ‘Sploosh’ is a symphony of water flushing, splishing and splashing set to the most crazily catchy rhythm that transcends the fact that you are listening to something pretty weird! The reason I have put this in my selection is because it doesn’t offend anyone, it is totally accessible and it is very easy to listen to. It works on all levels: driving to work, dinner party, friends round for henna but at the same time it offers so much more – the cultural signposts are there for those who care to follow them, the music demands respect for it’s sheer inventiveness and originality and it is technically superb.

Ozric Tentacles "The Hidden Step"
Review:Whilst their music retains the formula of the description given above, the Ozrics are ‘artists’ in the true sense of the word – with every album you are invited to participate in their musical experiments and other worldly adventures as they explore new instruments and musical styles. This album in particular is suited to henna as it has an Egyptian theme. The music swirls and spirals from blissed out serenity to fast paced sublimity, the North African flavour very subtle in places and overt (‘Ashlandi Bol’, 'Aramanu' and 'Ta Khut') in others. As well as being utterly enjoyable to listen to the music is technically very good – think of this as a henna design book – but for musicians – full of inspiration and ideas! The music draws me in and if I am hennaing at the same time I experience a sort of meditation (nudge me if I don’t speak for half an hour!) – coming out more refreshed, more inspired and more positive!

Santana "The Ultimate Collection"
OK so I am trying not to choose ANOTHER Ozric’s album (but if you are interested you could check out Waterfall Cites, Spice Doubt, Tantric Obstacles…)! Santana are just so good to listen to. Latin, Blues, Rock, Salsa all fuse together to produce a mesmerising collection of beautiful music which is by turns soothing and stimulating. The three classics are here on this album: ‘Evil Ways’, ‘Black Magic Woman’ and ‘Oye Come Va’ along with my personal favourites ‘No –one to depend on’, ‘she’s not there’, ‘One chain (don’t make a prison)’ and ‘Aqua marine’. Back in the 70s Santana were instrumental in bringing ‘World music’ to the ‘West’ and they still serve to act as an extremely palatable distillation of all that’s best in the world of Jazz, Latin, Folk, Rock, Salsa, Cuban….the list could go on and on! This music transports you from a wet November day in England to a carnival in South America! Absolutely perfect for upping the tempo at a street party or BBQ!

Easy Star All Stars "Dub Side of the Moon"
Imagine the scene…Sitting in the middle of a festival audience after 8 hours solid hennaing on blisteringly hot summer’s day, sunset and a bottle of chilled champagne (not from one of the many ‘queue for 45 minutes ‘bars but from the supermarket – chilled by spending the afternoon wrapped in frozen chips!!!) – accompanied by some amazing French cassoulet and a massage of my tired sun burnt back! It is the last night of the Big Chill festival 2004 and I don’t have to work tomorrow! The relief is enormous and I am determined to seek out a good time! Fortunately it finds me! I can hear a familiar but unfamiliar sound – Is that Pink Floyd’s ‘Breathe’ Reggae style? It is and it is absolutely amazing! The Easy Star All Stars transform the whole of ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ with chilled out reggae beats making the music not only accessible but danceable to! I managed to get hold of a copy of the album fairly soon after the Big Chill and it has not lost any of the individuality, humour and sheer good vibes of that first festival experience. Don’t expect anything amazingly different, this version of DSOTM is as recognisable as the original – the music is straightforwardly translated – but the alienation and edge is removed and replaced with personality and wit. It allows you to either concentrate or enjoy - a perfect musical back drop to a relaxed summer henna party in the back garden with a BBQ and a few beers!
  Back to the Music Index

Can't find what you want here?  Try The Henna Page Main Index.