Close this search box.

Glass Beams Go Global With Their Mahal EP

Blending traditional Indian soundscapes with dance floor-ready grooves, this Aussie trio are transmitting new and exciting signals.

by Ben Boddez

For a collective that had only officially released four tracks – the Mahal EP’s lead single and another EP containing the other three released in 2021 – the trio from Melbourne, Australia had already attracted quite a bit of attention. Gaining notoriety on the festival circuit for their mysterious ornate masks they often perform in and their intoxicating blend of traditional Indian music with modern dance sensibilities, most people who have seen a live set of theirs have already been clamouring for the twenty minutes of music released here after hearing it in person. It’s why they got on the radar of Ninja Tune, a label also home to acts like Bonobo, ODESZA and Thundercat.

The sound of the EP makes a lot of sense when considering founding member Rajan Silva’s musical upbringing – one of his greatest memories is watching his Indian-born father’s DVD of Ravi Shankar playing with Eric Clapton and Paul McCartney at a Beatles tribute concert, and the records played around the house were equal parts Bollywood and B. B. King. The legendary blues guitarist’s influence can be heard immediately on the EP’s title track, which, after three clicks, breaks out immediately into blistering guitar soloing up and down the scales. The high level of musicality on display also manifests in catchy, syncopated and rhythmic guitar riffs elsewhere, backed up by sitars, eerie choral sounds, danceable percussion and spacey gunshot noises.

Some of the past decade’s most exciting music has come when an artist with a specific cultural background brings a storied sound back to the public consciousness, situating something timeless in an updated, modern context. Glass Beams is no exception.