Kula Shaker weren't the only white folk looking to the East for inspiration during the nineteen-nineties.
Paul Weller - no less! - was also prone to donning a kaftan (or dhoti), sitting cross-legged and readily swapping the ax for something a little larger; something with a few more strings.
And why not?
He'd already found inspiration in Lennon and McCartney's music, so why not seek out George's muse? Why not play the sitar?
Mind you, you have to look pretty close at the liner notes to find his name; it's almost as if he wanted to be invisible....
But then it is a departure. It's a long way away from The Jam, Style Council or his solo work.
In my no doubt contentious opinion this is by far one of the better things he's done (I've never been a fan... I have no Jam or solo work, and I certainly have no Style Council [it actually pains me to write those two words]... dunno, Weller just never did it for me).
The title track, with it's electric sitar riff riding high over a psychedelic wash and downbeat drum n bassy rhythm, always brings to mind the opening credits of a light-hearted 'Summer of Love' styled movie; maybe one staring Peter Sellers....
The beats are turned up for the other mixes (mixes they maybe: to me they sound like completely different pieces), the mood changes somewhat, a much darker atmosphere is created; discordant sax's are suddenly part of the mix ('Scream Team Mix'); there's more of a dubby flavour ('Richard Fearless Mix'); and even a kind of imagine if The Beatles were still with us what would they do with something like this mix ('Adbutha-Lynch Mob Beats').
So, check this out whether you're a Weller fan or not.
If you are: you'll want this!
If you're not - like me - give it a go. It's actually really good.
Indian Vibes - Mathar (1998)
Mathar - Radio Edit
Mathar - A Genuine Scream Team Mix
Mathar - Richard Fearless Remix
Mathar - Adbutha-Lynch Mob Beats
Mathar - Extended Mix
CD rip to mp3s.
Journey East of Surrey here