When a Dutchman who specializes in Indian rhythms & percussion (Ted de Jong) joins forces with a pianist/keyboardist who adores India’s traditional music (Coen Helfenrath), the result is a unit named Ranga. Bring in Lenneke Van Staalen on violin,with studies in Europe as well as in India, and you have a wonderful trio whose music avoids typified, canned ‘ethnic’ formulas. The highlight of the three musicians’ collaboration is the almost fifteen-minute long composition entitled ‘Tifanny’s Party,’ in which a central motif played by the piano is repeatedly played, as percussion joins in bit by bit, then after a while the violin doubles the central melody, putting the listener into a trance. The choral voices towards the finale of the composition add an air of grandeur with the final result resembling something of a cross between the minimalism of Steve Reich and the New Age aesthetic of California’s Robert Rich. ‘Radiant Awakening’ is an amazing album, rich in ideas and simple in conception, and should be appreciated by both the fans of chill-out electronica as well as world music afficionados.
(‘Pop & Rock’ Music Magazine Greece )
Coen Helfenrath and Ted de Jong, together known as Ranga (the Sanskrit word for “color”), fuse the best the East and West with Radiant Awakening, their debut release on Sammasati Music. The roots of Ranga lie in the realm of Indian classical music. Their table beats and sinuous sitar strumming is perfectly blended with acoustic piano, keyboards, and violin (played in a North Indian classical style by Lenneke van Staalen) for a sound that’s ideal for healing practices. Among the more interesting releases on the album are ‘Tiffany’s Party,’ a more western oriented piece with it’s striking sitarwork, and ‘Mahadev’ that utilizes piano and violin to create a calming yet jovial effect.