steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Rajiv Patel

"Obey the Cattle" CD

Sunset Alliance

Genres: Middle Eastern, instrumental

Sunset Alliance
PO Box 32048
Mesa, AZ 85275

June 21 - 27 2004

Rajiv Patel is Before Braille's guitarist, and Obey The Cattle is his debut solo album, released on Sunset Alliance a short while before Before Braille's curiously titled Cattle Punching on a Jack Rabbit.  A love of cows certainly seems to characterize these Phoenix-based musicians, but Patel's real loyalty appears to lie with the guitar.  He plays skillfully and complexly, with much emphasis on complicated rhythms and Middle Eastern melodies unfamiliar to most North American ears.

Due to its uniqueness, this disc may end up confined to a relative minority of music fans, although those willing to give it a chance should be impressed - regardless of their current musical hang-ups.  Getting used to the Middle Eastern scales and keys takes some mental adjustment; however, if you immerse yourself in Obey the Cattle, you could find an album better than most others you own, both technically and melodically.

Since this album is mostly instrumental, its variation from track to track (all of which are assumed to be untitled due to the lack of a track listing with this CD) is relatively subtle.  Patel's guitar playing is very powerful; if you let yourself relax and just absorb the music, you'll likely find yourself quite moved by the sounds you hear.  All in all, this isn't a record for those short of patience.  If you're the type who's willing to really give a good record a chance, Obey the Cattle won't disappoint.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 10 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2003]