Album Review Prashant Aswani Revelation Fully Loaded
Riffmaster’s album review of Prashant Aswani’s New Album - Revelation: Fully Loaded.
I was on MySpace a few months ago and came across this artist / musician / guitarist Prashant Aswani. I think I was checking out Steve Vai’s page or Satriani’s page on Myspace and clicked on Prashant’s picture on the message board. His music loaded and man was I floored! Why haven’t I heard of this guy? I was kind of ticked at myself that I hadn’t heard of him before now! “Prashant is the thinkin’ man’s guitarist!” His arrangements are definitely mind expanding. As for the guitar playing…. If you like Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Jeff Beck, Eric Johnson, Mike Stern, Al Dimeola, then this is the music for you.
Prashant was bitten by the guitar bug when he was 11 years old, when he bought his first album, AC/DC's "Back In Black". Listening to Angus Young, Prashant knew then that he had to become a guitarist. At 13, he got his first guitar and spent the entire summer figuring out scales and playing AC/DC and Ozzy Osbourne songs. He never took lessons, but played everything by ear, imitating the sounds he heard on the radio.
As y’all know me… Yes! I did it… I emailed Prashant and asked what could I do to get us both more exposure for Guitarz Forever.com. He said he had an album coming out in a couple of months and was wondering if I would give it a review and maybe an interview when it was ready. I said, I be honored too!
After playing in bands all through high school, Prashant headed for the world-renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. It was during his time at Berklee that he first met guitarist Greg Howe, who became his mentor and would later go on to be his producer on both "Revelation" and "Duality", his first two CDs. Prashant was so determined to take lessons from Howe that he would take a bus 8 hours to Howe's studio in Pennsylvania for a 4 hour lesson, and then take the bus 8 hours back to school. It was well worth it. Prashant credits Howe for first showing him the importance and the necessity of structure and discipline. (If this freakin’ guy ain’t dedicated, then I’m a monkey’s uncle).
A few months later, Prashant was true to his word and sent me his New Album Revelation: Fully Loaded.
So… I unwrapped the nicely looking cd package ( artwork was done nicely) and popped the disc into my cd player. Wow! From the first note to the last note I was totally in guitar heaven. The songs arrangements twist and turn, pull you from left to right, and then rollercoaster your mind (and yo ass) to highs and lows over again, and again, and again. His lead guitar work is dazzling, soulful, with great hooks and with melodic and memorial rhythmic riffs. Simply said, Prashant Aswani is one of the hottest independent guitarists out there today.
In the studio and as a live musician, Prashant's voice on the guitar is one of a kind. Fans and fellow musicians alike seek him out in hopes of duplicating his technique and tone, but its winning combination is inimitable. Audiences are mesmerized by his unique groove and the skill, passion and spontaneity with which he plays. A guitarist of Prashant's caliber is a rare breed.
I’ve been listening to this new album "Revelation: Fully Loaded" for about a week now. I think I’m on my third time listening to it and I’m finding it more and more enjoyable to listen to! I heard things that I had missed the first two times around.
Prashant covers a wide area on genres (aggressive acid music). Greg Howe produced tracks 1 thru 9, played some solos, and helped with the bass programming. George Black produced 10 thru 12 and mastered the whole album. Alex Evens plays bass and on drums is Joey Heredia. These guys are one tight outfit. The percussion and bass playing is bon appetite, and leaving you wanting more.
Music, it seems, was inside of him from Day One. His father, an avid follower and sometime singer of classical Indian music, would play music and take him to concerts while he was still in his mother's womb. So it was only natural when Prashant picked up the tabla, an Indian percussion instrument, when he was 8 years old. "I loved it," he recalls of those days. "What kid doesn't love banging on drums? But I realized that I didn't understand music until I started studying it." Playing the tabla gave him an understanding of music and a solid sense of time and rhythm.
And, rhythm is what this guy has got…. Lots of it! One of his most soulful songs is "Hiding Under The Covers." Wow! The guitarz in this were really done well. Al Dimeola comes to mind on this one. The first song "Seven" come out of the gate strong. Cool percussive crunchy rhythmic playing gets you into a hypnotic groove right away. Then, in mid-stream Prashant sets you up for a light feel progression with a really cool lead motif. The bass playing on this is outstanding. Very funky for sure. Like I said… Prashant really likes mixing things up within each song. The solo on this tune is flawless. You can’t stop bobbing your head and playing air guitar listening to the stuff!
There are also a lot of jazz elements on this album too. If you dig folks like Mike Stern, Steve Lukather, Frank Gambale, and Stanley Jordan, etc. You will also definitely get your groove on listening Prashant’s melodies and arrangements. What do you expect from a Musician’s Institute GIT Instructor anyway?
By the way… Prashant has been featured in Guitar Magazine - March, 1999 (review and article), and Guitar Magazine - August, 1999 (2 page interview)
One song the really pulled at me was a Zep / Sabbath inspired song called "Switch". Killa vibe on this one. Prashant really let's this song breath which shows maturity in his playing. Prashant does a call and response pentatonic lead arrangement with the guitarz on this. He does some awesome riffin’ back and forth between the channels (you know...cuttin' headz). The main melody line is very hippy-ish sounding with the wah-flanged induced sliding drone chord progression that is very mesmerizing and dark..
This album has twelve songs on it, and every song has something to offer. That’s hard to keep up when you are dealing with instrumental albums. You can’t be repetitious! Ya got to keep shaking things up! This is a great album for you fitness nuts out there. Listening to Prashsant’s music will help give you that little push across the finish line. Kick-ass for video gamers too! Turn down that awful, dreadful background music and put on this album. Prashant’s music guarantees to take you to that next impossible level.
On scale from 1 to 10 for an all instrumental album… I give Prashant Aswani’s new album - Revelation: Fully Loaded a Rezounding “10”.
Until Next time, Riffmaster
Click on Cover to go to Prashant Aswani's site