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Beat for Bollywood

After Karthik Calling Karthik, Midival Punditz and Karsh Kale now give music for Dum Maaro Dum and Soundtrack.

music Updated: Jan 16, 2011 16:30 IST
Sharin Bhatti

About a year ago, two Indian electronic virtuosos did something uncharacteristically mainstream. Delhi’s jungle hustlers Midival Punditz and New York percussionist Karsh Kale, after performing the world over in the indie circuit for 15 years, checked into a Bollywood studio. Combining their offbeat club sound, the new collective did the background score for Farhan Akhtar’s Karthik Calling Karthik. Though the movie didn't create any ripples at the box-office, the score certainly created sound waves in the industry.

In 2011, the two big beat groups are now composing film music for Soha Ali Khan and Rajeev Khandelwal’s Indian adaptation Soundtrack of award-winning film It’s All Gone Pete Tong, to be released in August 2011. Another big-banner movie toplining Abhishek Bachchan, Bipasha Basu and Deepika Padukone in an item song, Dum Maaro Dum that is slated to release in April credits them for original music. Kale, who recently performed in the city with the Punditz, Monica Dogra from Shaa’ir n Func and classical singer Ajay Prasanna, calls it natural progression. “After Karthik Calling Karthik, we got a lot of offers. It’s interesting to do film music if there is freedom of composition. It’s definitely laborious when you have to compose an orchestral piece one day, a traditional Kathak composition the next day and a love song on another day. We’ve had some great moments putting the music together,” says Kale, who has effectively bridged the gap between world music and now Bollywood.

Kale, best known for his live improvisations and collaborations with perhaps every notable name in the genre - from Sivamani, Trilok Gurtu and Zakir Hussain to even the Punditz - had absolutely no inhibitions when composing a somewhat kitschy Bollywood score. “I have always wanted to score for cinema. It is a great form of expression to compose to visuals and put score to script. I have been playing with Gaurav and Tapan (from the Punditz) for a long time and when movies happened to us, putting our mind together seemed like a good idea,” says Kale.

There's more on the anvil for Kale beyond film music. “2011 should be a good year. My album, Cinema, on which I have been working for a while will finally release,” says Kale, who in spite of now being a Bollywood composer still prefers indie labels. For now, Kale is back in New York and preparing to perform at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Centre on February 9. Kale is composing the finale orchestra piece, which he will be performing live as the headlining act. “I am really looking forward to playing there. It's like a dream come true,” says Kale.