203

MIDIval PunditZ: Hello Hello

Chris M. Slawecki By

Sign in to view read count
MIDIval PunditZ: Hello Hello On Hello Hello, the fusion of Western electronic music with the traditional and folk music of India, synthesized by the New Delhi-based instrumental and production team of Guarav Raina and Tapan Raj, sounds nearly complete.

Built from Indian percussion, string, vocal and melodic traditions, and strung together like decorative lights with electronic samples, loops, and beats, Hello Hello crosses over world cultures and historical epochs. One tune sets a 19th century poem in a 21st century dance club mix; another updates a traditional Indian love song with modern U2 guitar electronics; yet another rips through a Led Zeppelin tune like a South Indian tsunami. It's like Hello Hello was sequenced with your iPod "shuffle" feature already programmed in!

A strong "Tonic" typifies this sound: Vocalist Malini Awasthy caterwauls, coos and conjures a spectral presence atop a percussion bed that thunders hard yet flows like liquid mercury, parts briefly when a spoken hip-hop interlude flows into its stream, then closes back up and once more engulfs the whole. Noa Lembersky, another female vocalist, leads this tribal stomp through Led Zeppelin's primal "Four Sticks" with a wailing style that changes the vision of, but no less powerfully portrays, Gary Smulyan Dominic Chianese's original vocal, awash in the nomadic desert strings sound toward which Zep groped in "Kashmir."

"Naina Laagey" grows from roots in the Indian "bhajans" love song tradition, a simple piano fragment and guitar quietly blossoming into an electric atmosphere that descends like cloud cover on a contemplative twilight. The sacred sound of Papon's vocal resounds with the eternal implications of temporal beauty.

But everything is not sweet and light, not in India or anywhere else. "Desolate" opens with an ascending scale doubled by instruments and vocals that grows in volume and intensity as it pulls more vocals and instruments—crunching electric guitar chords, serpentine strings, pummeling percussion—into its swirling vortex of sound. This hurricane tempo seems to drive "Desolate" to the point where the music can only explode...

As multicolored and vibrant and contradictory and breathtaking as the nation of India, the musical landscape of Hello Hello constructs upon the foundation of ancient traditions a new world designed for tomorrow.


Track Listing: Electric Universe; Tonic; Atomizer; Four Sticks; Naina Laagey; Drifting; Desolate; Sun Mere Saham; Har Ek Baat; The Lucky One; Electric Universe (Acoustic).

Personnel: Pandit Ajay Prasanna: flute (1, 4, 6, 8, 9); Karsh Kale: vocals (11), vocoder (1, 3), drums (4), guitars (3, 6-11), keyboards (3, 6-11); Guarav Raina: vocoder (1, 3), programming, keyboards; Tapan Raj: programming, keyboards; Papon: vocals (5, 9); Shankar Mahadevan: vocals (7); Shahid: vocals (7); Vishal Vaid: vocals (8); Malini Awasthy: vocals (2); Ajay Naidu: spoken word (2); Noa Lembersky: vocals (4); Jonathan Dagan: brass arrangements, programming (4); Jalebee Cartel: production, arrangements (10); Nimrod Talmon: trombone (4) baritone saxophone (4); Amitay Ashkenazy: saxophone (4); Urijah: trumpet (4); Randolph Correia: guitars and filters (4, 10), filters; Prashant Trivedi: pakhawaj (7, 9); Praveen and Bhola: dhols (3, 4).

Title: Hello Hello | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Six Degrees Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Dream Within A Dream CD/LP/Track Review Dream Within A Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Live At The High Noon CD/LP/Track Review Live At The High Noon
by Doug Collette
Published: June 22, 2017
Read As It Should Be: Ballads 2 CD/LP/Track Review As It Should Be: Ballads 2
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 21, 2017
Read Karoujite CD/LP/Track Review Karoujite
by John Eyles
Published: June 21, 2017
Read "Traffic" CD/LP/Track Review Traffic
by Dave Wayne
Published: September 8, 2016
Read "Transient" CD/LP/Track Review Transient
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 3, 2017
Read "The Other Shore" CD/LP/Track Review The Other Shore
by John Sharpe
Published: September 26, 2016
Read "A Social Call" CD/LP/Track Review A Social Call
by James Nadal
Published: May 25, 2017
Read "Floating City" CD/LP/Track Review Floating City
by James Nadal
Published: March 9, 2017
Read "Clockwise / The Music of Cedar Walton" CD/LP/Track Review Clockwise / The Music of Cedar Walton
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 11, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.