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A day in the music of…

music Updated: Jan 20, 2012 15:26 IST
Hindustan Times
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Beware Dogs
Enlighten/UnderConstruction, Rs 399
Spandan Banerjee
Rating: 4/5

This is a one-day snapshot of the band Indian Ocean, at work and at play in the old, partly-derelict house that was their practice pad for several years. It begins with the audio of a slightly loopy direction ("…if it's a red light, wait") to the house on Khajoor Lane in northwest Delhi. The documentary takes its name from the only thing that's written on the house's gate.

Soon after the intro, the 46-minute film launches into an 8-minute recording of the song 'Bhor ka panchhi'. By its end, you know some impressionistic bits about the cast from the spliced visuals - the giving-it-my-all tabla player and singer Asheem Chakravarty (who passed away last year), the can't-tell-by-my-child's-face lead guitarist Susmit Sen, the look-at-me-listen-to-me bass player and singer Rahul Ram, and the I-can-try-it-out drummer and horn improviser Amit Kilam. It then goes on to flesh them out one by one through scratches of unselfconscious conversations on music and life over umpteen cups of chai. They have just composed for Anurag Kashyap's film Black Friday, so those compositions come back again and again into their thoughts.

It's a malleable trope to show the planned and unplanned manner in which the country's best-known band blends Indian folk and classical with western instruments and chords to get its signature sound. Among other things, it shows a non-judgmental way of looking at a non-linear working style.