After a short break it was time for an unforgettable audio experience. Watching and posting their “BBC Introducing” vids blogging about these guys over the past few months, Oh how I have waited for this!!
Featuring Get Cape Wear Cape Fly, Shahid Abbas Khan, Jenna G and Lena Cullen – it was the fantabulous Engine Earz Experiment.
This 30 minute set drove the crowd insane, with their fusing of indigenous musics from around the world all covered in dark dubstep and unforgiving basslines that really shakes your core. Playing favourites like Lucky By Design, OHM, Reach You featuring Lena Cullen. Not forgetting the infamous putting them on the map track – Kaliyuga: for the first time two studios versions were merged into one explosive performance with English vocals provided by Jenna G and Indian vocals by Abi Sampanthan.
The crowd went fanatical when Introspector was performed with Nathan “Flutebox” Lee. Right now I’m having trouble describing what it was like as you just had to experience in the moment.
Not only was this set about the music, but the stunning visuals that were displayed went hand in hand with every track, each millisecond felt like it went through a well thought out process giving each and every track and visual a deeper meaning that we think. Hats off to you Prash and the crew!
PHEW! … by this time you’d think that was it but wait there’s more, Nathan “Flutebox” Lee and the Clinic an astounding array of talented musicians were up. They provided an acoustic display of explosive blend of musical elements like Hip Hop, Drum ‘n’ bass with Western, Indian classical and Funk melodies, definitely one spellbinding act. A guest appearance was made by Mayur Narvekar aka Bandish Projekt. He joined Flutebox for a wiked jamming session, a teaser to what I was to witness the next day!!! PHOWAAR!!
My night finished here. I had to catch the last train back to North London. I was gutted, I didn’t get to see the jam with Chandrasonic and Marty Savale from Asian Dub Foundation and Nerms closing set.
I had a truly magnificent night, it was intense, immense and incredible. For those who missed out, it was an experience worth going through to discover new and diverse music.
Thank you Ash Chandola (Director of Swaraj Music) and Southbank! Hope to see more of these events in the future!
* pics taken by David Reffell
Next up was Arun Ghosh, a very suave and mysterious clarinetist and composer, playing with his Indo-Jazz Sextet, busting out some really groovy sounds originating from South Asian mixed in with a healthy dose of jazz attitude, tabla trickery and sky high improvisations. You should have seen this guy; red kurta clad with Adidas trainers and rocking the place, his onstage performance was quite something, he literally swayed with the sound like a snake charmer …
At the same time, Last Mango In Paris was performing, and after Sundays acquaintance with him, I’m truly gutted I missed it. Check out the vids below to catch a glimpse of the man himself Shane Solanki in action. A bit of cool info here: remember ANOKHA: Soundz of the Asian Underground by Talvin Singh? … theres a track called Accepting Trankuility by The Milky Bar Kid, well thats Shane!. I also missed out on Bishi, If only I was everywhere at once.
Back in the Queen Elizabeth Hall for an electric performance by the very beautiful Monica Dogra and extremely talented Randolph Correia – SHAA’IR + FUNC, again they smashed it. I saw these guys perform only 5 months ago in Birmingham. I’m so glad they were back, they just offer wiked music smothered in energy and passion. Performing tracks from Mantis, their forthcoming album and their previous two and ending with my fav, Embrace. Randolph armed with his candy coloured Gibson guitar and me with my air guitar we jammed and the crowed went crazy … I may just try out for their band hehe …
Above Shaa’ir (Monica Dogra) Below Func (Randolph) pics taken by David Reffell
While the stage was being set up for the next act – DJ Zakhm (Kollectiv, Mutiny NYC) was spinning the wheels of steel and invading our sound space with an assortment finest of Asian Underground from the 90’s and present, including Osmani Soundz’ Spiritual Masterkey and other great favourites.
While we are on the topic, I got to meet to legends and pioneers of the Asian Underground movement. Osmani Soundz and State of Bengal, listening to their music for the past 11-12years and then meeting them in person was a real honour!
more coming soon … Engine Earz Experiment, Nathan Flutebox Lee and Bandish Projekt.
Putting into words to describe a show that transcends all expectations leaving me speechless is what difficult.
RAJ:RELOAD held on 10/04/10, a part of Southbank’s Alchemy, a festival celebrating talent from India, UK and South Asia. Featuring were some of the most dynamic, innovative and humble artists. Saturday was a showcase of pure concentrated talent and immense energy bursting performances from every act.
The night was kicked off with a legendary film restyled. Mother India 21st Century
Remix, a three hour film compressed into a 45mins silent movie. I sat and watched the 1957 classic be reinterpreted through the through the World DMC champion turntablist, DJ Tigerstyle produced by Kala Phool. Ill be honest with you, until Saturday I’d never heard of him, probably why I had no expectations and boy was that a good call.
This is was a live dramatic contemporary rendition using electronic sounds, turntables, drum kit, cello and a beatpad as a tabla (which was PHENOMENAL!) A score that conveyed passion and multitude of emotions expressed on screen.
The film was split into 6 or 7 segments. The second part was filled with so much drama and intense music that as it faded out, I remember thinking, blimey that was moving. The third segment was even better, a pure roller coaster of high octane potent sounds that left me with a lump in my throat and almost a tear in my eye …
A true journey of emotions through a combination of music and visuals and in no way adulterating the original film but making it accessible to a wider audience.