Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ Category

THHM Street Mix Vol.1 – Produced by Shinji & Mumbai’s Finest Records

THHM1400

‘Street Mix Vol.1’ features some of the more talented, underground artists from the Mumbai hip-hop scene, encompassing MCs, beatboxers, and producers who have joined hands to create this unique collection. The 12 artists featured on this five-song mixtape include D’Evil, Shakespeare, Gravity, Rhymix, Bombay Lokal, Adro, EMF, Rapture, Sai, X-Centrik, and Jay Kila.

Launched by Mumbai’s Finest Records, this label is an initiative from a pack of musicians known as Mumbai’s Finest and fronted by Ace [a.k.a 39] along with colleagues Kinga Rhymes, Ninja, D Hood, and Adro.

‘Street Mix Vol.1’ is an apt name for this five-track compilation as all the artists featured have never worked with each other before and, yet, have been paired on the tracks, bringing out a very different hip-hop sound, courtesy producer Shinji. Warning: the lyrics are explicit in nature and, hence, the songs are to be heard by your ears only!

 

– Reviewed by Parag Kamani

Tack Available On Artist Aloud: bit.ly/ArtistAloud-TheApp
Also available on Hungama, Wynk, iTunes, Jio and other WAP Portals.

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Jag Changa – Raghu Dixit

Jag Changa

Since the days when he was challenged to pick up playing the guitar, self-taught musician and one-time microbiologist Raghupati “Raghu” Dixit revisits his 2nd album, ‘Jag Changa’, which was first released in 2013. On ‘Jag Changa’, Raghu effectively showcases how and why he became India’s premier singer-songwriter, amalgamating Indian ethnic sounds with those from the West through his a multilingual folk music band, the Raghu Dixit Project.

In collaborating with artists that Raghu met during his previous concerts in England, some of whom feature on ‘Jag Changa’, the album consists of eight tracks, sung across multiple languages, including Tamil, Kannada, and Hindi. Tracks include traditional sounds in “Amma” featuring remarkable violin playing by Mysore Bhaskar, the acoustic ballads of “Sajna”, “Yaadon Ki Kyari”, and “The Rain Song”, the finger-snapping “Parasiva”, the pacy title-track “Jag Changa”, the Spanish-influenced “Kodagana Koli Nungitha”, and the country and western feel of “Lokada Kalaji”, which contains horns and banjos!

Raghu Dixit’s music is undoubtedly an amalgamation of Indian ethnic music with musical styles from across the world and, through his band, the Raghu Dixit Project, he firmly establishes that language is indeed no barrier to be able to effectively understand the quality of his outstanding music. Play on, Raghu…

 

– Reviewed by Parag Kamani

Tack Available On Artist Aloud: bit.ly/ArtistAloud-TheApp
Also available on Hungama, Wynk, iTunes, Jio and other WAP Portals.

The Beginning – Faiz Khan

The Beginning

As a follow up to ‘The Preacher’, his first full-length album, Gurgaon-based singer-songwriter Faiz Khan continues to take welcome, yet risky steps with his sensitive-guy-with-a-guitar sound on this EP titled ‘The Beginning’, opting for yet another personal collection of five songs based on his experiences, which Faiz admits in his bio, are about “personal journeys, hopes, dreams, fears, loves, and heartbreak”. Delightfully moving away from the sounds of mainstream with the usage of subtle and yet appropriate offerings of keyboards/guitar, such as on the instrumental “The Interlude”,  and without compromising on his vocals and the sounds of his acoustic guitar on ballads, such as the title track and on the pain-filled “Drink Myself Away”, the musical tempo-changes of the electro-pop sounding “Tonight” with its brief guitar break, and keyboards doubling as strings/horns on the guitar chugging “Change”, which is my favourite track and, in turn, helps change the soul of ‘The Beginning’ into pop.

No doubt, while listening to ‘The Beginning’, you are almost bound to compare Faiz’s vocals with Bryan Adams, but the comparison is as misleading as it is inevitable. As Faiz’s soft, guitar-based music – while being inventively augmented with keyboards on this EP – ‘The Beginning’ is undeniably an auspicious and highly listenable album: atmospheric, seductive, and beautifully produced and sequenced. Looking forward to your next effort, Faiz!

 

– Reviewed by Parag Kamani

Tack Available On Artist Aloud: bit.ly/ArtistAloud-TheApp
Also available on Hungama, Wynk, iTunes, Jio and other WAP Portals.

Tu Mil Gaya – Shirley Setia

Shirley Setia - Tu Mil Gaya

Undoubtedly, this is the rare story of a Daman-born student, Shirley Setia, moving from University to YouTube through her passion for singing, all this while studying in Auckland. Apparently, Shirley’s entry into a singing contest was recorded in her bedroom while she was wearing pajamas;  earning her, perhaps unwittingly, the nickname of “Pajama Rockstar” by the media. Four years following Shirley being declared as one of the contest winners, she moved to Mumbai and now commands 1.6 million subscribers on YouTube, no mean feat, and she continues to feed her fans with content, moving from covers to originals, as in the song under review, “Tu Mil Gaya”. This composition, from the duo of Haroon-Gavin with lyrics by Kunaal Vermaa, possesses the slick, processed pop production and the squeaky-clean innocence of teen pop of the ’90s, the same era in which Shirley was born, and perfectly supports Shirley’s voice.

 

– Reviewed by Parag Kamani

Tack Available On Artist Aloud: bit.ly/ArtistAloud-TheApp
Also available on Hungama, Wynk, iTunes, Jio and other WAP Portals.

Aamad [“The Arrival”] – Tauseef Akhtar

Tauseef - Aamad

 

Welcome to “new age” ghazals, courtesy Tauseef Akhtar. With Tauseef’s musical roots occurring in classical singing by the likes of Pandit Govind Prasad ‘Jaipurwale’, Ustad Dilshad Khan Saheb, and the extraordinary Begum Parveen Sultana, among others, Tauseef Akhtar’s vocals could not have got better training. And, it shows, on his eight-track album, ‘Aamad’, an Urdu word for “arrival”. It is led by “Woh Chiman Se”, a melodic lullaby that highlights Tauseef’s mellifluous singing, similar to the late, great ghazal singer Jagjitji. Similarly, the balance seven tracks too – intermittently supported by the vocals of Vidhi Sharma and Sunil Kumar Sajal – are supported by modern instrumentation provided by Tauseef, who also has composed the tracks, making “Aamad” an ideal vehicle for ghazals being transported to a wide-ranging audience that captures both, mature listeners and the millennials.

 

– Reviewed by Parag Kamani

Tack Available On Artist Aloud: bit.ly/ArtistAloud-TheApp
Also available on Hungama, Wynk, iTunes, Jio and other WAP Portals.

Argala Stotram – Sarit Das featuring Swarnima Gusain

Argala Stotram

 

There is a legion of music fans who want their genre of devotional content to sound conventional. But, with the appearance of Kolkata-born music director Sarit Das, “experimental” has taken the path away from the conventional, as Sarit’s musical composition on “Argala Stotram”, the famous prayer of Goddess Durga written by Markandeva Rishi, appears to have bid goodbye to popularity. In the case of Sarit’s brand of devotional music, different does not automatically mean bizarre as the amalgamation of spiritual lyrics and a potpourri of contemporary sounds, which include keyboard-based orchestration and choir singing, support singer Swarnima Gusain’s clear vocals.

In “Argala Stotram”, while devotees ask for blessings for a great personality, winning attitude, eternal fame, spiritual growth, and happiness, music composer Sarit Das already appears to have been provided with these gifts.

 

– Reviewed by Parag Kamani

Tack Available On Artist Aloud: bit.ly/ArtistAloud-TheApp
Also available on Hungama, Wynk, iTunes, Jio and other WAP Portals.

Took The Words – Erick Blu featuring Robyn Regan and Borkung Hrangkhawl

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Like those boy bands from the past – think Backstreet Boys, Boyzone, and N*Sync,  to name a few – New Delhi-born Erick Blu returns to the pop pastiche of that era, indulging in a catchy, yet syrupy ballad on “Took The Words”. Partners in crime on the track include UK pop princess Robyn Regan and a rap interlude from Asian Video Music Award winner Borkung Hrangkhwal. As a result, the potent combination of infectious hooks on the song, along with the personal charm of Erick Blu, makes “Took The Words” a thoroughly colorful music creation.

 

– Reviewed by Parag Kamani

Tack Available On Artist Aloud: bit.ly/ArtistAloud-TheApp
Also available on Hungama, Wynk, iTunes, Jio and other WAP Portals.

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