Anjali – Sheer Witchery

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Album Review by Mark Bayross

SHEER WITCHERY collects together all four singles from former Voodoo Queens singer Anjali Bhatia. Eschewing her former band’s guitars in a manner similar to Leslie Rankine’s mutation from Silverfish to Ruby, Anjali has shut herself away with a load of samplers and sequencers and re-invented herself as a trip-hop/dub/techno queen.

The opening FELINE WOMAN marries sleek beats with an airy flute and some satisfyingly meaty scratching. The album continues in much the same vein, blending 3am-driving-through-the-city beats with Bollywood strings and Anjali’s voice, which alternates between breathy gasps and full-blown vocals.

JU JU has horns and dub rhythms, while the mix of bongos and freaky samples on AQUILA make for an alluring combination. By the time we get to ASTRA, the beats have been supplemented by a very pretty harp and string arrangement.

My main problem, however, probably stems from the fact that this is a collection of Anjali’s singles, B-sides and all. As with Ruby’s SALT PETER the tracks feel half-formed and there simply isn’t enough variety. Anjali can certainly craft a good tune and I admire her decision to do something new, but I hope her album will leave me feeling more satisfied.

2 stars