As Bollywood continues to churn out factory made generic (insert your dance, rap, folk, by the books romantic ballad with Sufi influences here), tunes that are memorable in that they are instantly forgettable, listeners have to literally scour the desert for quality music. So, it is amazingly refreshing to listen to the new album “Light” by Midival Punditz. The duo is comprised of Guarav Raina and Tapan Raj who are able to fuse elements of electronica, Indian classical/folk, trance, and dance music together to create musical magic. Amidst peers such as Karsh Kale, Tabla Beat Science, Talvin Singh and others, Midival Punditz stand out above the crowd.
“Light” is their fourth full length studio album with nine tracks that will blow your mind. This is not the kind of music you listen to, tap your feet and forget. Instead we get nine memorable musical soundscapes that show an incredible creativity and maturity in the duo’s compositions. It’s a credit to their creativity that the Western musical elements never overshadow the Indian ones and vice versa. Rock music is combined with classical resulting in pure musical bliss. While the first track, “Run” twists and turns in the form of a powerful motion picture soundtrack , second track “Baanwarey” features the folk vocals of Kutle Khan who provides the song with Rajasthani soul. “Nadia” features some perfect ghatam and electric guitar work by Karan Sharma, alongside the haunting vocals of Papon and Malini Awasthi. “Rushing” to me is a standout track that has killer hooks throughout with absolutely stunning electric guitar work by Baiju Dharmajan, who plays his heart out in a Carnatic style while synths intimately play in the background. From the intense “Rushing”, the Punditz take us on a lighter trip into “Laagee”, which is romantic in a way that only Indian music can be. The vocals by Malini Awasthi and Papon will leave your heart aching. We then take a trip to electronica with the rousing “Echoes” that starts out with moody synths which segue way into beating percussion that winds its way through a soulful track with vocals by Kutle Khan. “Maya” follows with a playful beat, wherein the Punditz use a woman’s distorted synthesized voice as an instrument itself wrapped in an infectious tune. Title track, “Light” is uplifting in a way that has to be heard to be believed. Finally, the last track, “Don’t Let Go” ends the album with a melody that will infect your ear and stay with you. The song which was inspired by the passing of their close friend has a killer drum ‘n’ bass beat with vocals that tell the listener, “Don’t let go”!
All in all Midival Punditz fourth album, “Light” shows a maturity in each track that beautifully mixes Western rock with Indian Classical/Folk music that results in sheer bliss for the listener. It’s a must listen for all who are weary of the Bollywood music cliché and are interested in hearing music that actually means something to the heart ‘n’ soul.
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