Although the album Cinema released close to a year ago in international markets like the US, Karsh Kale wanted things to be just right before bringing it to India. Comprising over 13 songs and stretching beyond the 60-minute mark, the album is regarded as his most ambitious project yet.
Made up of progressive rock, electronica and fusion in a seamless mix, the album in Karsh’s own words blurs the lines between genres. “I spent two years writing songs, mainly on the acoustic guitar and piano. I was essentially revisiting my childhood. I grew up in the US listening to rock, pop and classical. I wanted to recreate that age in this album. It was like a film playing in my head, hence the name,” he says.
Besides listening to some of the songs from the album at Blue Frog today, fans will also get the rare chance to hear Karsh sing ‘Hallelujah-Sunny Day...’ live. The song, a collaborative effort with Warren Mendonsa (Zero, Blackstratblues), is a cover of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ adapted into Blackstratblues’ ‘Ode to a sunny day...’. “As a producer, I haven’t allowed myself to sing on my own records, although I’ve wanted to. We’ll finally be doing that with Hallelujah,” he says.
The percussionist will also play a host of new songs that will be part of a future album. Karsh likens his work to Radiohead’s In Rainbows that was played live several times in the past before finally being recorded in the studio. “I’m inspired to do the same with my new album. Songs evolve a lot after they’re played live. So when we’re ready to start recording, they’ll be finished pieces,” he adds.
Other artistes to perform as part of Karsh’s band include bassist Johan Pais, drummer Jai Row Kavi, flautist Ajay Prasanna, vocalists Shilpa Rao and Apeksha Dandekar, and Californian hip-hop producer Mandeep Sethi.