The second half of August did not see many releases by commercial music labels. Instead, indie musicians came up with spectacular compositions, especially in the folk fusion genre. There are lots of new doors opening for Bengali music, as this list details.
Girgiti – Borno Anonyo
There’s an element of surprise and suspense in Borno Anonyo’s compositions. Girgiti, referring to chameleon, is no different. In this composition, they take different songs and blend it in a way that one can’t notice. Starting off as an eastern Bengali folk tune wrapped in modern soundscapes with a dotara twanging in its midst, it makes the listeners’ senses dance. The multiple vocal harmonies add a vibrant and hair-raising dimension that expands beautifully in the latter half of the song. The deep bass grooves and frame drum hits add an even sombre element that goes well with the mood of the song. In a nutshell, it is a must listen.
Chander Sohor – Taalpatar Shepai
Indie folk/pop duo Taalpatar Shepai is always a pleasant listen. There’s always a sense of warmth and feel-good elements in their compositions which always manages to leave listeners with a smile. Even this sparse ukulele version of their song ‘Chander Sohor’, which talks about the childhood fantasies about adventure and exploration, manages to do that. A simple chord progression manages to take the thematic imaginations much beyond the said words, the song is a lesson in simplicity. Though there was a slight possibility of adding a bit more acoustic music – it would only brightened up the song.
Shesh Bayna – Shubham Roy
A beautiful fingerstyle picks up the pace as the song commences. To that, a dreamy voice starts singing. The effect is soothing, yet ethereal. The fillers by the lead guitar try to emulate a sarod, which really takes the song into a different zone, existing somewhere in between the real and the unreal. Then, in the interlude, a ricocheting tabla, takes the soundscape and puts a fusion twist on it. It’s unusual, but not unsavoury. There’s a hint of classical in the singing as well, which takes the listener’s attention away from what the singer is saying – reminiscing about childhood and the forgotten days of happiness.
Amader Ekta Jibon – Nachiketa
The singer of the masses, Nachiketa Chakraborty, returns to the fold with his philosophical take on life. ‘Amader Ekta Jibon’ is a chip off the old, glorious block. His voice, though aged, still has not lost its power to captivate, and the words are as piercing as always. It is bound to make the listener think. And the acoustic guitar and tabla soundscape, Nachiketa’s staple, never gets old. Especially in moments when a lilting flute takes off from the robust, dynamic music, one can just close one’s eyes and be transported twenty years back when the man’s songs were on the lips of every Bengali.
Kala Re – Paroma Banerjee
A Janmashtami offering, ‘Kala Re’ is a song dedicated to the god Krishna. Singer Paroma Banerjee manages to put a doting spin on it that encompasses concern as well as mirth. The soundscape, especially, buoyed by the sounds of a dubki, is very playful and entertaining. It borrows from Bengali folk but isn’t folk. It moves fast, yet with a wide gait, that gives it a circular movement. The drums holds this in place, from where a rapturous flute comes in with a beautiful solo to cement the celebratory mood.
** The review has been written by – Sashwata Kundu Chaudhari**