After his collaboration with Belgian producer Kingston Echo (Steve Michielsen), Nga Han still lingered in Europe for a while. During an Earl Sixteen concert in Rotterdam, somewhere towards the end of September of last year, he bumped into Dutch producer Uta Maruanaya of Roots Unity. The chemistry was palpable and a collaboration seemed inevitable. At the beginning of 2020 the duo headed to Amsterdam's Earth Works Studio (completing their work at Uta's own Roots Unity Studio in Tiel), resulting in 'The Living Stream, Chapter One', an album title already holding the promise of more material to follow at a future date.
Nga Han summarizes 'The Living Stream, Chapter One' as follows: "The inspiration for the album comes from a realization that we're all in the creation stream as ordained by the Creator, and to rather flow with its current than against it. This is called co-creation. This is the way, this is peace!", underlined by a passage from Psalm 46 on the cover of the album.
This is spiritual, meditative and inspiring music, which, especially for amateurs of Virgin Islands roots, will will be a delight to the ear. The track list features ten songs hard to choose favorites from, as far as yours truly is concerned, the best compliment you can give an album, because it means it's not simply a collection of stand-alone singles but a coherent narrative. Still, we'd like to single out opener and title track 'The Living Stream', in which Uta Maruanaya's trombone and King Cooper's flute duel it out over Nga Han's lyrical flows. The flute and/or trombone remain a constant in songs like 'Great Honor' or 'Hear The Call'. In songs like 'Great Honor' and 'Holy' Nga Han is surrounded by bands like Signal One Band and The RAW Rhythm Section, and for 'Live Life Love' they invited Swedish guitarist Maxie Freeman, but for all the other songs on 'The Living Stream' Uta played pretty much all the instruments himself... Raspect!
First single from the album is closing track 'Nazarene', on which Nga Han commented the following: "'Nazarene' is a song livicated to the Christ-Man who is written about in the New Testament books. The Lord's anointed, who come to remind mankind of their true purpose unto fulfilling the divine will of their Heavenly Father. The tune explores various Biblical tales of yore as documented in the gospels, from the gatherings with the multitudes to the feeding of the fishes, this tune is meant to bring the listener closer to the Nazarene's call and teachings; messages needed for much overstanding in this modern tech age!".
We secretly hope 'Chapter Two' will be the dub version of this album, but disappoint that successor certainly won't!