HindustanTimes Thu,18 Dec 2014

Amitava Sanyal

Notes for notes, please

If there's one thing Coke Studio has taught us it's that the right kind of treatment can make all the difference in music. We didn't have to wait for the television phenomenon to get this blast of wisdom. Amitava Sanyal writes.

Cutting out the con-fusion

You will have to bear with a few brackets this week because we will be talking about The Other Country Whose Independence Day is Coming Up (Pakistan).

Founders and keepers

We can blame this week's departure from music to the spoken word on the electricity crackling in the air. First came August 15; then the Anna Hazare show. Amitava Sanyal writes.

Indian Dub Foundation

It was inevitable and it’s welcome. We finally have some Hindi/Hinglish films scored not by our usual Ram-Shyam composers or their hatke singleton followers. Instead, a couple of new films have their sounds composed or produced by electronica bands and DJs. So far, so fresh. How’s the music?

Turning in a widening gyre

Given that we Indians have a disproportionate love for records of the longest-oldest-weirdest kind, we should find the music album of Ra.One pretty interesting. The centrepiece of the album, 'Chammak Challo', has been rendered in a rarely-before and hopefully-never-again five versions. 

From the ocean's churn

More than two decades after founding the band Indian Ocean and a decade after seeding the material for a solo album, Susmit Sen has come out on his own. It's a rare solo debut worth the long wait. Amitava Sanyal writes.

Ringing in the old

As India slips into the new decade, a number of dance floors across the country’s north reverberated to words that would have baffled northerners even a few months ago: Kolaveri di.

A season of breakthroughs

Three new non-film albums have it in them to be regarded as classics a few bridges down the stream. One is a promising solo debut, another is a unique East-West discourse, and the third one rises above the din in India's most clamourous folk market. Amitava Sanyal writes.

Mapping musical legacies

Ask a Kishore Kumar fan about the singer's first song and chances are you will get 'Marne ki duayein kyun mangoon' in reply. At least that's what I knew till I came across A Musical Journey with Kishore Kumar, a three-CD collection published last fortnight.

Like a butter lamp in the wind

To claim that Jamphel Yeshi’s immolation was instigated by the Dalai Lama is absurd and paranoid. Amitava Sanyal writes.

Jaidev gets the Sachal treatment

Theirs is an unshakeable nostalgia of the present. Sachal Studios of Lahore, the world’s only Pathan-suited orchestra to record jazz standards, usually plays old tunes with an old-worldly orchestration of sitar, tabla and violins.

Getting to Bhojpur via Wasseypur

It seems there is a lot about Middle India that we can learn from its matrimonial ads. One of the most popular characteristics it seems to crave for in partners — ‘traditional yet modern’ —  is reflected in its choice of music. It partly explains the popularity of television shows such as Coke Studio and of the rash of re-recordings of old classics that seems to be breaking out in most large vernacular music industries.

The league of obscure composers

The company that holds the largest repertoire of music in India works like the Large Hadron Collider - only, rather than zipping around at light-speed, its particles seem to move in super-slow motion. Amitava Sanyal writes.

Travelling on the Sufi trail

These days anything goes in the name of Sufi music. A number of labels have made capital of this musical currency over the last decade. So much has been put out there in the market that it's become difficult to know what's Sufi and what's not. Amitava Sanyal writes.
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