Twenty years this has sat on my shelf and I have taken it down from time to time, given it a spin, thought it was OK, then put it away. A respectable album. Really great percussion from Trilok Gurtu, superb bass from Kai Eckhart. John, well John is just John. He's always amazing but somehow I'd heard him do better, particularly in the old Shakti heydays.
This year I took it down, gave it a spin and it completely blew my socks off. How could it have taken me so long to realise I was listening to a masterpiece? I guess I just wasn't listening hard enough all those previous times, and by that I mean I wasn't listening to the guitar and appreciating it for the miracle that it is. I think it was in the end because I hadn't got my head round John's guitar synth pallette. He uses a lot of organ like tones that don't have the attack of the guitar. This seems to confound expectation somehow, and it just took a long while before I could hear these sounds in their own right. Once done though I could see the same old genius shining through.
I have started to buy my way through the McClaughlin 80s/90s catalogue as a result. I also must make the effort to see what Gurtu went on to do because what he was doing here was completely new at the time.