Out real soon is an album from a clarinettist, composer and indojazzhead – ARUN GHOSH. Ever since I saw him perform at the ALCHEMY FESTIVAL at SOUTHBANK in 2010, I’ve been following is work closely.
PRIMAL ODYSSEY is his next venture which is set to hit the shops on Oct 24th 2011.
If you’re not familiar with ARUN’s work – he and his sextet play music of South Asian origin with a contemporary jazz. ARUN is a prolific composer as well as a dynamic performer really bringing his performance alive!
Check out the teaser from his album PRIMAL ODYSSEY below.
ARUN is also playing at the Birmingham MAC … on Oct 29th http://www.sampad.org.uk/event/arun-ghosh
The evening of two halves was introduced by the Asian Music Circuit who curated the night’s performances. The first half of the show was a collaboration of two cultures – that of India and Cuba via London. Hari Sivanesan, a Veena player and Pirashanna Thevarajah, a thunderous Mridangam maestro both London born were joined by two wonderful musicians from Cuba, the much-admired Cuban violinist Omar Puente and percussionist Oscar Martinez.
This quartet unravelled a beautiful concoction of sounds that amalgamated the structure and discipline of the South Indian Carnatic style with the more playful jazz laced rhythms of Cuba. Contrary to what people may think, these two styles marry well. This is beautifully demonstrated on the track “Vio-Veena” (written by Puente) which as the name suggests was an exchange between the Violin and Veena, against a backdrop of Indian and Cuban percussion.
“Maa” (meaning Mother) was a commissioned piece (written by Hari) for the show, which as Hari described is about the message of the mother’s love through melody – representing a journey of lullabies from various cultures around the world.
A fabulous display of musical vigour!
After a short break, Shammi Pithia and his band FLUX were up … This was certainly a treat for the audience as they got to experience some of the tracks from his new EP “Paredolia” (OUT NOW). Shammi was joined on stage with some of the finest home grown musicians London has to offer:
- Michael Goodey on piano, guitar, synthesiser, sitar.
- Ian Newton-Grant drums, percussion
- Suroj Sureshbabu guitars
- Salima Barday double bass
- Preetha Narayanan violin
- Alice Barron violin
- Natasha Zielazinski cello
- Damien Langkamer electric bass
There were some magnificent renditions from his first EP “Cinema for the Ears” and debut album “Audio Descriptive” and a couple of FLUX tracks – The Seeker, Poem without Words, Overcome, Pacifist and Ajnabee Anjani, to name a few.
Singing on the night was a pool of talent: the very soulful Ambika Jois who showcased her tremendously powerful voice with such charisma. The classical vocalist Unnati Dasgupta, Urban/R’n’B artist Ash King and providing Hindustani classical vocals was the spectacular Jatanil Banerjee, who moved the crowd with Ajnabee Anjani.
What a second half! – the audience were certainly wowed, after the show there was a buzz in the atmosphere. The crowd’s reaction was a direct result of the hard work of bringing together 12 people (no easy task) and executing that show like it was a walk in the park. Watching them on stage was a brilliant, smiles and banter amongst the musicians made the set more enjoyable to experience!
I’ve been following Shammi’s music since the release of his first EP and the progress he has made is outstanding. He is certainly building a solid name for himself as a composer/producer and multi-instrumentalist. As I tweeted on the night “Composers when in their element must be connected to the divine. It requires a certain level of genius to achieve this” and that is Shammi!
My respects go out to all the musicians and singers who performed on the night … it was a night of epic proportions!
*Thanks to Kabir Gobin for providing the video footage.
An interview with the MOBO Award-winning hip-hop artist, Akala, whose latest album, Doublethink, is inspired by Orwell’s 1984, Zamyatin’s We and Huxley’s Brave New World. Akala talks to Orwell Prize administrator, Gavin Freeguard, about Orwell, Doublethink, language, Shakespeare, and the politics of hip-hop.
Interview recorded at the Southbank Centre on 5th August 2010.
Interview with Akala – Part 1
Interview with Akala – Part 2
Interview with Akala – Part 3
Interview with Akala – Part 4
Two highlight tracks on his album:
Akala – Find No Enemy
Akala – Yours And My Children – (single out 12Oct10)
More of videos of the live performances at RAJ:RELOAD, Southbank.
Reach You ft. Lena Cullen – EPIC!!
Lucky by Design ft. Shahid Abbas Khan – INTENSE!!!
A truly epic performance by ENGINE EARZ EXPERIMENT.
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.
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.
Before I’ve even written the review I have some Exclusive footage for you guys.
Taken by a good mate of mine Raghav Bhatt, exclusively from the intimate event of ‘Alchemy’ at the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank on 11/04/2010. Bandish Projekt architect, Mayur Narvekar, teamed up with British-Asian clarinettist, composer and musical performer, Arun Ghosh, Last Mango in Paris and Nathan ‘Flutebox’ Lee to form musical masterpieces. These short, musical sound bites, were created over just a few days, specifically for the festival.
Bandish Projekt & Arun Ghosh
Bandish Projekt and Last Mango in Paris
Bandish Projekt and Nathan Flutebox Lee