Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Vishal Bharadwaj B sides

More conjecture on Vishal Bharadwaj's genius. I hope he composes more tracks than he currently does.

Dil to Baccha hai ji - Ishqiya
Classic from start to finish. Starts off with the harmonica and an acoustic (spanish guitar probably). The instrumentation on this track is straight from a 60s film set in Italy, Greece or Spain with its doumbek and flamenco style clapping and shouting a la Demi Roussos. Actually it does remind me of the wedding scene in Godfather. I am big fan of the middle eastern doumbek and salute vishal for using it in his track (probably first since R D Burman's use of these instruments in the flamboyant 70's tracks).

Badalon Se - Satya
This is the track that first got me interested in vishaal Bharadwaj's composition. Strong use of acoustic guitars with the melodic but rarely used voice of Bhupinder.

Title track - Kaminey
What I love the most about this track is the symphonic arrangements which are a little overweight on violins. Vishal also uses electric guitar solos blended with the trumpet (might be a sax)very effectively. The electronic samples make the song very moody as is required in the film at which this song comes in.

Naina - Omkara
This is one of Vishal's more heavy compositions featuring Rahat Fateh Ali Khan's vocals. Strong bassline and quite heavy use of electic guitars with plenty of white space to maximise on Rahat's strong voice. The lyrics is quite traditional and dark (again to keep with the mood of the film).

Notable mentions: Chappa Chappa (great song but trumped by his more recent works)

Of course the strength of Gulzar's lyrics on all these tracks only makes them better, but you have to hand it to Vishal for being able to so effortlessly handle the words time and again.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dharohar Project with Mumford and sons

I have always been fond of genre bending music but cringe at the sound of the word "fusion" which is amateurishly used time and again to describe music that wont fit in the limited genres known by people. Lots of great artists like Nitin Sawhney and Karsh Kale have created their own space in recent years.

so I was overjoyed to hear a new sound emerging from the collaboration betwene Mumford and Sons and Dharohar Project, a rajasthani folk ensemble. Check it out yourselves

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Save BBC Asian Network

Dear Trustees

I have been a loyal listener of BBC Asian Network for more than 4 years now. My first listening experience came when I was an international listener based in California, USA. Not only was the delivery of the content groundbreaking, it truly filled a void for listeners like me who wanted to hear fresh music that was not easy to find. My motivation is not so much to reconnect with my linguistic roots but to just know that there is a mainstream medium that caters to who I am and what I stand for. Their support of the London Mela and other events make it an important fabric for the community, not just a radio station. Closing it down and relegating it to a untimely corner of another station is taking a giant step backwards and, frankly, snatching away the identity of a community.

As others may have pointed out already, the £9m budget for the Asian Network and Radio 6 seems like a drop in the ocean vis a vis BBC total budget and maybe in this instance cost per listener is not the correct measure of the stations' success.

My respect for the BBC is founded on its independence from commercial interests. While I understand business rationale, I put on the hat of a listener alone and do not support the closure of Asian Network and Radio 6.


Sunday, February 28, 2010

Karthik Calling Karthik - KK and Punditz

Mainstream bollywood has finally opened up its arms to the genre busting Punditz and Karsh Kale to add remixes by them in the main soundtrack of KCK.

I know Shankar Ehsaan Loy, the Punditz and KK are friends and have collaborated on world stages before. To see them contribute multiple tracks to a soundtrack is absolutely fantastic.

The Punditz have been there before with their original track featuring on the Monsoon Wedding soundtrack (Fabric/Aaja Savariya).

I have to be honest though that the Uff Teri Ada remix is not as fresh as I would have liked it to be. It sticks too closeley to tired and tested remix formulae to not get me that excited. The Karthik 2.0 track is more true to the style that KK and the Punditz can be associated with.

However, it opens up the door to more of KKs work to feature in mainstream bollywood even if it on the more intellectually tilted films.

Kudos to Shankar Ehsaan Loy for opening up the doors!