The Buddha Bar is an exclusive and highly-regarded bar and restaurant in Paris, France, and is a Buddha-themed venue serving Asian cuisine. The two-storey dining area is dominated by a large statue of Buddha. The upstairs bar is a large, ornate dragon. The Buddha Bar originally became popular because of the DJ’s choice of eclectic, avant-garde music. Buddha Bar has also opened a venue in Beirut, Lebanon & Dubai, UAE, and New York City. Buddha Bar is also the name of a popular and exclusive, yet unrelated bar in Barcelona.
The George V Records label was launched in 2000 and rapidly made a name for itself in the music world. The Buddha-bar compilations have been bestsellers worldwide and have chalked up an impressive number of awards in the Gold record category. The current catalogue includes 14 albums and DVDs: real collector’s items renowned for their artistic creativity. Many of the pieces are original works composed especially for George V Records by top recording artists. Dining at Buddha-Bar means removing yourself from the frenzy of urban life and plunging into a rejuvenating bath. As soon as you’ve entered this remarkable place with its monumental proportions, you’ll be enthralled by the charm of its soothing, exotic atmosphere.
The sixth installment in the famed Buddha-Bar series is the creation of producer Ravin, a Paris-based DJ of Indian extraction who has been combining traditional sounds of South Asia with European electronica for the past 15 years, and is currently the resident DJ at the London bar from which this series gets its name. Buddha-Bar, Vol. VI consists of two discs, about half the contents of which are previously unreleased. Assuming that the 13 tracks included on the condensed promotional version are representative of the whole album, it’s a beautiful and surprisingly restful affair — funky enough, to be sure, but not something that will compel you to dance if you’re not up for that. Michael Stipe is almost unrecognizable on a gentle and introspective romantic ballad called “The Way You Dream,” and there are clubby remixes of a piano miniature by the 20th-century French composer Erik Satie, and of Sarah Vaughan’s rendition of “Whatever Lola Wants,” as well as more obscure fare from the Danish group Bliss (whose “Manvantara” is both rhythmically intricate and absolutely gorgeous) and a band called Loopless (whose “Pink Blue Hotel” is a sort of dub-house fusion with nice, breathy vocals). The album offers a surprising variety of textures and sounds despite its relative consistency of mood.