Marcus Corbett 2013
Rising star of raga rock makes a long-overdue move to the forefront.
Thanks to George Harrison and John McLaughlin, Indian music has become regular rock fabric many years ago but is still perceived as exotic. Not by this Brit, though, whose inroads to the banks of the Ganges go back for about four decades. Inspired by local classical narrative, which he studied, as well as by English rustic folk, Corbett’s been following the singer-songwriter route ever since, albeit it’s only recently that Marcus felt ready to preserve his compositions for posterity. “Strung Deep” is rather short and, therefore, focused and intense even in its most relaxed passages scattered across four pieces on offer.
Done in a minimal setting, tabla spicing up Corbett’s acoustic strum, these run from Arcadian to anxious in one fell, if delicate, swoop in opener “In Deed” where Marcus’ tar-black vocals flow out of gentle bamboo flute and hang in the air to pitch a sweet drone in the heart of the day. It’s hypnotic and slightly unsettling, while “Castanets” conjures calmer images translating Iberian fervency into a strum of fire, even though Saracen belligerence lies in the space between the notes rather than in their lazily exquisite lace. The two-part “So Lonely” picks up this pace, yet its reflective, twangy beginning soon becomes less monotone and the drift acquires a jovial mood – tight yet immense, just like the album’s title suggests. “Look out!” warns the artist piercing a perfection, but it’s him who one should look out for.