Monday, July 14, 2003

ayil aruhc

I was cleaning up some old posts on the RDBlog, when I chanced upon a post dedicated to Sandeep Chowta. To summarize and recap: Chowta released a private (read: non-film) album called Mitti: Songs of the Soil, a great lounge album mixing sounds and strains of diverse influences: Rajasthani folk, slide guitar, and, most importantly, back masking. The title of this post refers to a song on the album. Reverse that title and what you get is "chura liya". If that isn't enough evidence of Chowta's twinkle-in-the-eye adventure, try the following experiment:

* Rip the song into a .WAV file (this format contains the musical stream in its rawest uncompressed form)

* Listen to the track straight-through once. The only intelligible words you'll hear are "chura liya", towards the end of the song. The rest of it sounds like Eastern music

* Now play the track in reverse (in an application like Windows Sound Recorder, which allows you to do this). The music track will sound strange (which should be expected, since it's being played backwards), but the vocals should be intelligible enough now!

The rest of the songs on the album hold out well too, although Sonu Nigam singing My Sweet Lord is a stretch too far, especially when he alaap-izes the lyrics and the hallelujahs. That's when you should be rolling on the floor in laughter. But the backward vocal experiment (which was born out of Chowta joking to someone that the only thing left for him to do was to hear Chura Liya backwards) as well as the vocal talents of Soumya Rao and Sonu Kakkar make this album a commendable effort. Pity it didn't receive as much attention as it deserved. Guess the bhangra-dhin-chak crowd wanted something more dumbed-down.

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