Chithira – Archan Chakraborty featuring Kuhoo Gupta and Jash Chakraborty

The challenges of collaborating online and its culmination can be gauged on “Chithira” – which, in Bengali, means ‘Letter’ – when singer Kuhoo Gupta from Pune and composer Archan Chakraborty from Kolkata met in Mumbai during the ArtistAloud Awards in 2013. Blending the best of two words – Bengali [with lyrics written by Jash Chakraborty] and Hindi [by Kuhoo] – the paradox is that lyricist Kuhoo has sung the Bengali part of the song, leaving Archan to sing in Hindi, resulting in an amalgamation of disparate talents who, together, really shine here with their clear vocals. “Chithira”, with its strong keyboards base, reflects well on the mid-tempo melody, making the song well-crafted and enduring.

Listen and Download the songs here: http://www.artistaloud.com/Chithira-ArchanFt.KuhooandJash

– Review by PARAG KAMANI.

The Human Towers – The Human Tower Ensemble

The Human Towers - The Human Tower Ensemble

 

New York-based The Human Tower Ensemble had its genesis in 2011, following the recording session for the soundtrack of a documentary named ‘The Human Tower’. The result is a crossover song between psychedelic music and Eastern sounds, commencing with the sounds of an aarti, before the introduction of tabla and sitar, leading to uptempo sounds on the Andres Subercaseaux and Rene Veron composition. However, it is the haunting vocals of Falguni  “Falu” Shah, based in North America too, which are mixed deep in the background that manages to bridge the gap between kitsch and fine art on “The Human Towers”.

Listen and Download the songs here: http://www.artistaloud.com/TheHumanTowerEnsemble

– Review by PARAG KAMANI

Unreal: Revolutionize The Revolutionary – Point Of View

Unreal Revolutionize The Revolutionary - Point Of View

I have not heard anything previously from Point Of View, the five-member band from Dubai, but I am assuming that their usual hard rock sounds would eventually lead them to new territory too, such as a mid-tempo ballad of sorts. “Unreal” is certainly one of them, which is lyrically sensitive (and musically positive) and, in it, the band shows a strong desire to experiment and push the boundaries of the rock format with this guitar-based song that continues to grow on you with every listen. While the band has been associated in performing on stage with various international rock acts through their journey, Point Of View also needs to be commended for donating proceeds from their album sales towards creating awareness against poaching and saving animals. Both their sounds – and vision – are definitely endorsed here!

 

Listen and Download the songs here: http://www.artistaloud.com/RevolutionizeTheRevolutionary

– Review by PARAG KAMANI

Imagination – Srimallya Maitra

Srimallya Maitra

The sound of piano, followed by violin, give way to orchestral sounds created by keyboards, resulting as the base of musical repetitiveness that arrives from Kolkata-based Srimallya Maitra. Ambient music’s original vision as an unobtrusive musical wallpaper, later fused with warm house rhythms and given playful qualities by various artistes in the ’90s, found an opposite in a style known as ‘Dark Ambient’. Populated by a wide assortment of artistes through the years, dark ambient features toned-down or entirely missing beats with unsettling passages of keyboards, eerie sounds, and treated instrumental effects, which is often the feel that “Imagination” provides. Like most styles related in some way to electronic music of the ’90s, ambient music – dark or otherwise – remains a very nebulous term; many artistes enter or leave the style with each successive release, and it would be interesting to listen to where Srimallya’s next effort goes.

 

Listen and Download the songs here: http://www.artistaloud.com/SrimallyaMaitra

– Review by PARAG KAMANI

Mera Yaar Tu – Pranit Gedham featuring Kailash Kher

Pranit

With vocals from the highly respected Kailash Kher, Pranit Gedham ensures that “Mera Yaar Tu” becomes a powerhouse of a song that is both haunting and appealing with an upbeat rhythm and Sufi vocals.  The ethno-uptempo fusion does provide a different perspective on how musicians have drawn on multiple-genre sources to create new sounds. On this outing, the artistes craft an appealing world beat partly due to Kailash’s nimble vocals and the mood-evoking unison choruses with steady percussion. Keyboards add textural patterns to many of the modulating pieces stitched together while intermittent guitar helps the song embark on pleasant passages. A nice effort that ages well, like wine, upon repeated listening.

 

Listen and Download the songs here: http://www.artistaloud.com/PranitGedham

– Review by PARAG KAMANI

Nanhe Khwab – Kaushik Shukla

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The soft guitar opening prior to the entry of vocals of composer-singer Kaushik Shukla is an appropriate commencement for a song that is a tribute to last year’s extremely unfortunate Peshawar massacre, resulting in the demise of over 100 children. Trained in Indian classical music for over 20 years, Kaushik could have taken a simpler route of composing a song based on his learnings but, on “Nanhe Khwab”, he has gone for contemporary mainstream pop with his guitar-based arrangements, perhaps due to his exposure to modern sounds through extensive gigging, including in England. This is pleasant pop with a message too!

 

Listen and Download the songs here: http://www.artistaloud.com/kaushikshukla

– Review by PARAG KAMANI

Ghum Ghum Choke – Abu Emran featuring Sadia

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As part of the UK-based India diaspora, keyboard player and music producer Abu Emran teams up with singer Sadia to create an ambient sound that juxtaposes the experimental electronic music of ’70s synth-based artistes like Brian Eno and Tangerine Dream, and the trance-like techno dance music of the ’80s, although “Ghum Ghum Choke” – sung in Bengali – is definitely a lot softer and smoother. This spacious, keyboard-backed music also focuses on sonic texture, not merely on singing or the lyrics. Although “Ghum Ghum Choke” may frequently sound repetitive to the casual listener, there are subtle and significant changes that make the song pleasing due to its musical exploration.

 

Listen and Download the songs here: http://www.artistaloud.com/abuemranftsadia

– Review by PARAG KAMANI

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