Those of us who have passionately followed Oscar-winning music composer A.R. Rahman since his early days of composing Bollywood film scores weren’t a bit surprised when he took the West by storm too. The score to 2008’s top winner, “Slumdog Millionaire” was a huge step for Indian-inspired beats to join the top dog music genres in the West. Perhaps even more so, though, it was a (excuse the cliché) a giant leap for a new breed of fusion tunes to burgeon and bloom.
A conglomeration of earthy drums and Indian classical melodies mixed with electronic synths and hip-hop beats were laced through hard rhymes and throaty ragas. The result: a mind-blowing, gives-you-goosebumps soundtrack that had you tripping, moving, and meditating at once.
As much as Rahman’s God-given musical talents were behind the making of the edgy score, other artists have been in the field to mix the various genres for years and have received much less attention. It would be unfair to compare them to Rahman who has a track record of being the modern-day Indian Beethoven, but kudos is well in order for these brilliant musicians.
If you enjoyed tracks like “Liquid Dance” and “O…Saya” from the Slumdog album or have any passion for Indian folk-inspired music and/or electronica, check out some of my absolute favorite tracks by artists like Bombay Dub Orchestra, Midival Punditz, Anoushka Shankar, and Karsh Kale.
As always, let me know what you think!
(Couldn’t upload these to the player, but they are incredibly noteworthy. Listen to them through YouTube!)
“Slither” by Anoushka Shankar & Karsh Kale (Breathing Under Water)
“Abyss” by Anoushka Shankar & Karsh Kale (Breathing Under Water)