Bombay based vocalist, singer-songwriter & producer Aditi Ramesh shares her music recommendations for the week ending 16th June 2020.
End of Daze – Spillage Village feat. EARTHGANG, J.I.D, Jurdan Bryant, Mereba and Hollywood JB)
A sudden burst of thunder and rain was the backdrop to which I listened to this spacey apocalyptic funk-hip hop track by Spillage Village featuring duo EARTHGANG, rappers J.I.D, Jurdan Bryant, Hollywood JB and r&b singer Mereba. It was only befitting of this powerful and well produced song, and its end of the world currents with hard hitting lyrics like ‘I need a new planet to fly to’ and ‘God packed his days and said bye-bye.’ The video starts with images of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery on a tv screen; both of whom were unlawfully killed by police officers while living their lives and harming no one. The rhythm section further draws the listener to the hard reality of the present situation for African Americans and accentuates the strong lyrics while hitting all the right spots. Every artist on this song has their own unique style, flow and delivery; this one is on repeat for me.
Three Four Shut the Door – Re-Laxman
Re-Laxman, a project by well known composer Sandeep Chowta and Thermal and a Quarter guitarist Tony Das recently released an instrumental album of which this is the first track. The song opens with smooth, satisfying bebop guitar on a groove that feels light and dreamy. I love the smart and clean use of strings and vocal samples in the middle buildup and how the track settles back into the floaty-funk zone it starts with to end.
Pretend Friends – Bowls
This song pleasantly flows in and drops into a groove that makes your head bop. The additional instrumentation is brought in with a sensitivity and ease making the song very relaxing to listen to; it glides. The treatment on the vocals and the melody itself is a mood. It just feels good to listen to – this is the kind of music we need in these uncertain times.
Poongatru – RaajaBeats
RaajaBeats, a collaboration between Bangalore based producers Malfnktion and Raka Ashok released their debut EP today which reimagines 10 classics by the legendary Ilaiyaraja in modern edits that fuse the styles of both artists. The subs, synths, modern beat and really smart sampling of the illaiyaraja song on this track is super catchy. The whole track brings a fresh perspective and a fun twist to the classic and the sound design really complements the music. Looking forward to more from these guys!
Adiye Kutty Dhevadhe – Edwin Louis
The groove and melody of the opening lines ‘Adiya Kutty Dhevadhe’, which becomes the refrain, is so catchy, you keep listening for it and it gets stuck in your head. The movement of the guitar melody provides a nice contrast to the vocal melody. The instrumentation on this one is modern but also reminds me of some great Tamil film music from the 90s that I grew up listening to, especially on the musical interludes. A well produced, arranged and executed track.
Retrospect- Ari Herstand
I stumbled upon this one through a sponsored story when I was combing the internet for songs released this week. This song has a Buffalo Springfield meets Billy Joel meets big band funk feel and it travels to different spaces culminating in a 70s feeling refrain of ‘stuck in the past.’ Food for thought.
Closure- Kreon and Lojal
The interplay of Lojal’s many styles of vocals on this track is so smooth. Rap vocals, r&b vocals, different varieties of vocal textures, harmonies, smart drops and an r&b beat with very minimal and clean production really make this song. It gets over before you know it with the lyric ‘close your laptop’, leaving you wanting more; definite repeat value.
NPR Tiny Desk at Home Concert – Kirby
I love the bright yellow wallpapered wall behind the artists in this video and how Kirby matches this with her bright yellow jumpsuit. Kirby starts off by welcoming her band member who knocks on the door with ‘are you being a good neighbour, did you bring sugar?’ and continues on to a wholesome, stripped down set that’s short, sweet and satisfying. Accompanied by Justus West on guitar and Lucky Daye on vocals, this set is raw, pure soul food straight from the heart.
System – Brotherly (performed by various artists)
System, a 2007 song by duo Brotherly has been rightly described as a musical mind bender. The clever syncopation has been the subject of music lessons as even maintaining a count over the song can be perplexing and the vocal arrangements are out of this world. All of this without ever seeming too much and remaining so pleasing to listen to throughout. Robin Mullarkey and Anna Stubbs of Brotherly recently put out a ‘System play along challenge’ calling out to musicians to play along to the song and add their own stylistic elements. Mullarkey put together this amazing compilation of artists playing the song, true to quarantine style arranged such that they are all ‘playing together.’ The compilation features Mumbai based Jazz vocalist Shreya Bhattacharya, bassist Avishek Dey and a face-melting solo by the one and only Jacob Collier.
Chitta – Prabh Deep
Prabh Deep’s Punjabi flow over a beat built around a folk flute sample and a booming classic hip hop beat is so damn fresh. Delhi based Hashbass kills it on that synthy bass which balances so well with all the other elements on this song. Prabh Deep once again establishes himself as one of the best rappers in India with this powerful release.
About Aditi Ramesh
Aditi Ramesh is a jazz/blues/r&b/Carnatic vocalist, songwriter, bandleader and producer based out of Mumbai. She is known for her strong hold on tonal modulations and her ability to mix classical Carnatic music with jazz. Formerly a corporate lawyer, her musicality has experienced exponential growth since she began playing music professionally in 2017. She’s since played at various festivals in India like Nh7 Weekender and Echoes of Earth Festival and has performed in Sri Lanka, Nepal, Moscow and Japan.
Her debut EP, ‘Autocorrect‘ has been listed as one of the top 10 EPs of 2017 by Rolling Stone India. Apart from her solo project, she plays keys and sings with Ladies Compartment and is a part of a cappella and beatbox ensemble, Voctronica.