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.