Asian Music and Dance

Hello Hello

The Delhi-based Midival Punditz are back with their highly-anticipated third studio album Hello Hello. The innovative duo consisting of Gaurav Raina and Tapan Raj has taken the Indian Electronica music scene by storm. The Punditz are not simply pushing the boundaries of music but re-inventing them by combining such far-flung musical styles as Pop, Funk, Rock, Dance, Bollywood and Indian Classical. This unique and dynamic album is undisputedly their most advanced and visionary work to date. 

The album boasts eleven distinct songs opening with the highly imaginative Electric Universe, digitally distorted to give a totally unique and refreshing electronic sound. The song Tonic with its lyrical content overlaid by the melodious rustic vocals of Malini Awasthy embodies the emotions present in Kabir’s poetry. The bilingual spoken word of Ajay Naidu provides a contemporary subtext to the structure of the song. 

The Punditz make an abrupt change in direction with the songs Atomizer and Four Sticks. The former is a dhol-infused 80s-style pop song whilst the latter is a reinterpretation of a Led Zeppelin classic. This shift indicates an important point: that music producers from India can produce great non-Indian songs. The Punditz are musically crossing over to challenge pre-conceived stereotypes about what constitutes ‘Indian music’. 

From the Indian classical tradition Pandit Ajay Prasanna performs breathtaking flute compositions that dynamically interweave throughout the album creating an unanticipated dreamlike effect, especially in the song Drifting. In Desolate there is a careful coordinated shift from one language to another. Hindi and English vocals are organically merged at the climax of the song. Shankar Mahadevan who is prominent in the Bollywood industry lends his dominant and infectious Hindi vocals. He is complemented by the brilliance of English vocals sung and written by Shahid. Both pakhawaj rhythmic cycles and overriding rock percussion form the backdrop to the energetic electric guitar sections. 

Sun Mere Sanam is perhaps the most emotionally moving track on the album, delivered by Vaishal Vaid. The repetitive percussion rhythm is reminiscent of the track Teardrop by Massive Attack. The song resembles a ghazal and is sung in Urdu with such passion and devotion, that it leaves the listener hypnotised.

Har Ek Baat has traditional lyrics originally written by Mirza Ghalib. It is sung by the remarkable Papon (also Naina Laagey). One of the most surprising club tracks on the album is The Lucky One. This song demonstrates that the Punditz are not afraid of experimenting with retro, funk and dance rhythms. 

Finally, it is no surprise then to discover that this album is co-produced by their long-standing partner in crime Karsh Kale. The multi-instrumentalist and producer from New York has not only written lyrics but has also provided drum, guitar and keyboard sections on the album. In the concluding acoustic song, Electric Universe Karsh exhibits his capabilities as a talented singer who never ceases to amaze his audiences. The song is accompanied with subtle guitar and piano chords that deeply penetrate your consciousness. 

Hello Hello is a highly creative and eclectic project that amalgamates different musical styles. This is a landmark album that appeals to a wide audience who appreciate music that transcends genre; this is indeed the album’s foremost strength.



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