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Phir dhoom, phir pichuk?

Euphoria return with their blend of folk-inspired
voices and rock guitar

Phir Dhoom
Archies Music
Rs 55

Recreating the magic of a good song is difficult. Dhoom Pichuk, the number that introduced Euphoria to MTV and Channel (V), had a texture Indian music buffs could relate to. It blended a modern orchestra with strong Baul-style voices and achieved a distinctly Bengali flavour. Euphoria's new album Phir Dhoom reaches for the same combination, but does not achieve the same degree of success.

The title track, Phir dhoom, has folk graces, and the rhythm is Indian-sounding and understated, but it can't beat the acoustic feel of Maaeri, which is the first song on the album, and also the song with the most Indian feel. The strong lead voice in Maaeri is backed up by soft harmonies, and a flute (Ajay Prasanna) doing folksy, dissonant fill-ins. Kajol Ghosh plays the harmonium. Together, Phir dhoom and Maaeri showcase the musical mix Euphoria seem best at, and perhaps they should explore that style further.

Hum opens with Indian vocal bols, and is characterised by loud rock and bhangra rhythms. Ek is neatly done both in the way it is sung and the way the orchestra is built up, although you may feel the words repeat the same old platitudes about the one sun, one sky and one world we all share. New millennium is also full of pep talk.

Euphoria's new tape is classified as Hindrock - that's the new term the music industry has coined for Hindi rock. The Calcutta group defines this genre as "a unique amalgamation of Indian and western musical influences to provide a pleasing sound to the ears".

In their own words, "We distill our passion, add a dash of rock, a pinch of folk, blend it with harmony and top it up with a whole lot of love".

The stamp of rock comes with Euphoria's style of singing, and with long distortion guitar stretches as in Gham-e-rooh. The Indian touch comes with some alap, as in Pyar hi tha (Sarita Yazurvedi), and a sprinkling of flute and dholak passages.

Euphoria comprises D J Bhaduri (bass and acoustic guitars), Benny (keyboard and piano), Hitesh (electric guitar), Gaurav (electric and nylon guitars), Chris (drums) and Palash (lead vocals), who is a doctor by training.

S Suchitra Lata

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