In the ten plus years since Asian influenced electronica started making the musical rounds, the sound has gone in various directions. From the pulsating Indian classical-oriented tabla and bass to bollywood dub step, the music has evolved and morphed with other styles of contemporary and popular music. A prime example of this evolution can be found in Hello Hello, the most recent studio album put out by the New Delhi-based duo of Tapan Raj and Gaurav Raina, collectively known as the Midival Punditz. Hello, released on Six Degrees Records, sees the evolution of Punditz’s engaging electro-desi sound into new directions I haven’t see the Punditz delve into in past albums. Don’t worry though, it’s mostly a good thing!
The album’s opener, Electric Universe, is a strong tune, that marries a bansuri based melody with the now very-trendy vocoder lyrics and an up-tempo western dance groove. Universe is a good start to a very good album, and serves as a nice introduction of the diverging sounds to come. The last track is an acoustic version of Universe, except with unadulterated vocals and acoustic guitar by fellow Asian-massivist Karsh Kale. In fact, Kale’s influence on the album is heavily felt, with credits on more than five of the album’s 11 tracks.
With Hello, it’s clear that the Punditz haven’t forgotten where they came from, or the type of music that has led them to be called “the sound of 21st century India.” The album has the raga and folk influence I have come to expect and love from the Punditz, but also a classic rock and pop influence that one might hear in the nightclubs of Delhi, Bangalore, or Bombay.