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News |  27 Jul 2016 18:36 |  By RnMTeam

Antarman's debut album - a marriage of East India and Western sounds

MUMBAI: The inner conscience that connects us through a variety of emotions to the unaltered truth of oneness, or ‘Antarman’, is the foundation stone for the trio comprising Rahul Mukherjee, Pooja Shankar and Randeep Bhaskar.

With musical influences that draw inspiration from folk influences of Baul, Bhatiyali, Sylheti, Bihu and a fair share of Indian classical music woven into present-day arrangements, the self-titled album by ‘Antarman’ could be looked at as a guided tour of some rare and refreshing sounds of Eastern India.

Check out the first single released off the album -

From the voices of tea-pluckers of Assam humming in their leisure time, unmindful of keeping their Sylheti connection alive, to the rhythmic vibrations emanating from the Ektara- complimenting the Baul songs sung true; and the rare meeting of a Bhatiyali number with the finesse of sarod’s strains - there are many compelling imageries in this album.

The trio has taken good care to keep the genre regimes in place while interpreting the influences into their originals, even while adding a dose of Rock, Electronic Dance Music and other contemporary genres to the fare. The band - that endeavors to collaborate on and thus amalgamate the folk genres of every part of the country in their vision to promote folk music - have released their self-titled debut album on Times Music on 27 July 2016.

The album has six songs, sculpted beautifully by weaving folk forms with new age music trends, melody and arrangement. The poetic renditions in the album are created to take the listener through the many facets of life by connecting each one of them to their inner self, irrespective of language or age.

With a set of ten musicians, Antarman’s core consists of multi-faceted artist Pooja Shankar, ‘Voice of India 2’ finalist Rahul Mukherjee and classical singer Randeep Bhaskar. With six tracks on the debut album, the soul of Antarman’s sound can be further described as -

Album tracks
1. Hobena - Baul music typically uses ‘ektara’ as an instrument for basic percussion and rhythm purposes. Hobena by Antarman has tried to look at the classic rendition with a soft rock approach utilising the guitar, keys, bass and drums.

2. Maati – talks about the journey of one’s life through the metaphor of going back to one’s roots. Going back to the roots can be perceived as going back to one’s inner conscience, or going back home. Here Maati refers to both – Maa (mother) and land. Classical instruments like sarangi add on to the depth and feel of the composition.

3. Gaanja - Sylhet is a city in North Bangladesh. Not many would know about Sylhet folk or rather Kamrup folk, as it’s far from this generation’s reach; it is on the lines of typical Lok Sangeet. Since there is a significant amount of this community living in Assam, we find a fair influence of Assamese folk in it too. A section in this song is influenced by the tea-pluckers’ tunes, which they normally sing at their leisure time.

4. Marghat – Inspired by bhatiyali - a genre of eastern folk and combined with Hindustani classical and using classical instrument sarod in the song to give it depth.

5. Bairi Bindiya - The track is inspired by the typical romantic jhumur beats mostly sung by tribes in Bengal. The elements of Bihu folk from Assam have influenced the arrangements and song-writing but the song is an absolute original with the blues as a strong influence.

6. Tatar Patar - The song expresses deep Baul energy in an ecstatic form, while celebrating different shades of love. The band has interpreted its thought in this baul form by keeping the regime of the genre intact with a lot of string sections and stokes and finally mixing electronic dance music influence at the end.