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Thaye Yashoda (Veena)

Oothukaadu Venkatasubba Iyer is being rediscovered, and has found many young exponents. Chitravina Ravikiran has taken him up and plays and sings his Sanskrit compositions which he says bear the mark of a great vaggeyakara. E Gayathri who, like Ravikiran, was considered a child prodigy, presents nine compositions in semi-classical form. The orchestra reminds you of old black and white movie scores, full of auspiciousness. Gayathri gets liquid tones on the veena. The music is arranged by C S Ramesh. This album doesn't attempt rigorous classical ornamentation or elaboration.

Rs 50, Dreams Audio, Chennai

Pehchan

Dooba dooba, parts of which were shot under water, was the number that made the Indian rock group Silk Route famous on TV. It showed the three-member band (Mohit, Kem, Kenny) performing on a sinking (literally!) Volkswagon beetle, and that in itself was a refreshing break from the wealth-flaunting wedding scenes plaguing Indian music videos! The fluent recorder (a medeival flute), played by Kem, is one of the highlights on this album, as it was in their first album Boondein. Another unusual instrument here is the harmonica (or the mouth organ), almost forgotten by popular music. Prasoon Joshi of Man ke Manjeere fame writes all except three songs. Pehchan presents a mix of songs in English and Hindi. The video of Sapnay shows a mini-skirted waitress, while the sounds of Morni hark back to the boatman songs of Bengal. Americanised wish-fulfilment in the first, and "ethnic" yearning in the second: that's the Janus face of many Indian bands today.

Rs 100, BMG Crescendo



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