Shakti – “Forbidden Dreams / The Awakening” 12″ (1988)

Shakti was a brief side-detour by Praga Khan and writer/producer Chris Inger. They released the “Forbidden Dreams / The Awakening” 12″ in 1988, but ultimately the project went by the wayside as Khan focused on the increasing popularity of Lords of Acid. I found this 12″ over at Seattle’s Georgetown Records, where for whatever reason they seem to constantly have amazing 1980s Euro-techno-electro-weirdo stuff in the New Arrivals bins, which always trips me out, because I never seem to find this stuff in other Seattle-area stores.

Anyway… let’s spin some Shakti. “Forbidden Dreams” is slow and sultry, with early 1980s beats and synths occasionally punctuated by some snappy industrial-esque percussion. The vocals remind me a bit of the much later “Justify My Love” by Madonna, though most of the track is about the music and not the singing with the vocal work relegated to background sounds as opposed to actual lyrics. When Jade 4U does sing, though, it’s with an almost spoken cadence, deep and smoky.

“The Awakening” takes things down a darker path. The BPM rate is higher and the beats have a bit of a jungle feel to them. We don’t have Jade 4U on this side to give us some balance, so this one is all about the driving beats, with the occasional horn or synth to give it some texture. The vocals, when they appear, are low and effects-laden, giving them an industrial tone that presents an interesting juxtaposition with the music.

I enjoyed this Shakti 12″, especially “Forbidden Dreams” which will certainly lead to me searching out some of Jade 4U’s other music, because her voice is captivating.