After a glimpse of the arresting background score from Dum Maaro Dum, Midival Punditz and Karsh Kale have teamed up as music directors for Neerav Ghosh’s Soundtrack. The film is an official remake of the cult hit It’s All Gone Pete Tong about an Ibiza DJ whose chaotic lifestyle coincides with him going deaf. The original had a rollicking soundtrack of club hits by Goldfrapp, Depeche Mode, and others. Teaming two of the most popular remix and chill out artists the expectations are bound to be huge for this album. Does it succeed expectations?
The album hits the ground running with the awesome Atomizer sung by Gaurav Raina and Karsh Kale. Opening with a gritty guitar hook and launching into loud ganpati drums, with 80’s synthesizers layering the track. The composition of the track is great and fits in with the club mood of the film, if there is a minor letdown then the repetitive lyrics of ‘break that, shake that, take that you digital boy’ can get grating but the music weighs out the cons because the track is so addictive.
Papon guests on the albums with a reworking of his previous hit Banao a folksy devotional song that would not look out place on a George Harrison album with its catchy chorus and relaxing guitar in the background. Papon’s voice is wonderfully gritty which worked on the rock ballad ‘Jiyein Kyun’ from Dum Maaro Dum but here the contrast of his voice against the devotional lyrics makes for an unusually good tune. Expect some hand and lighter swaying for this great number.
From the opening strums on the cello, Ek Manzil definitely becomes a favourite on this album. The composition mixes the classical instruments with the thumping drums and gritty garage guitar to create such a perfect and harmonious sound. Whenever Vishal Vaid enters the foray, the music and his gorgeous voice work together so well to create a very interesting mix of pathos and anger. The lyrics are very evocative and Vaid’s vocals are so passionate without approaching a snarl.
Unfortunately on the next track, Fakira, Vishal Vaid is not on his best form as he is drowned out by the vocoder and the electronic beats. The composition is also disappointing as the electronic sound is too overpowering for Vaid’s voice and sounds like something from an Abbas Mustan film and not the good ones! The music directors do get some plaudits for attempting a Electro-Sufi song but if they had chosen a different singer or less of an inconsistent tempo then it would have been a good track.
Thankfully the next track is more successful, Main Chaala, with Kailash Kher bellowing at the beginning jolts you awake, along with the plunking piano and faster beats which Kher can keep up with. The chanting loud chorus in the background that never works in a RGV film is so hypnotic on this track and balances out well with Kher’s powerful voice. The electronic beats and tempo are an apt fusion with Kher’s voice, overall a rocking track.
Papon returns with another song, Naina Laagey, which has that chill out vibe that Kale is so lauded for. The minimal flashy beats and additions of the flute, tabla, and piano make this a lovely and lasting track. Papon shows off a more traditional Sufi facet of his voice in this song, which begs for more lyrics though. The composition of this song seems more akin to the spirit of the film with electronica-done-right sound.
The fierce rocker Suraj Jagan appears on the remix version of Kishore Kumar’s ‘Ruk Jaana Nahi’, which is great. The two men’s voice could not be more opposite, but Jagan again shows us what he can do with his chameleonic voice. The track sounds very U2 tinged with the plucking Edge style guitar, which works nicely along with the breezy electronic beats, that are in the background. Jagan’s voice is perfect against the wonderful arrangement and he is just as comfortable crooning like an indie rocker as he is snarling in a ‘Chudail’ from Delhi Belly.
The two dynamic music directors return for two instrumental track which both sound like the collaboration we expect. Symphony of the Streets makes brilliant use of industrial sounds like car horns, trains, and planes to conjure up a very interesting fusion and cacophony of a busting city. The lone melody that echoes throughout is addictive, and the pacing and arrangement of the sounds is amazing. There is a section in the song where they intersperse car horns and tabla beats to create a backbeat, which is just ingenious.
The Soundtrack Theme is equally creative, using the same cello chords from ‘Ek Manzil’ interspersing that with great arrangement and desi beats. The song moves from the more morose to uplifting by the songs end, which works with the storyline of the film too. It has such a soothing melody throughout the song. A splendid song.
Now the impressive song from the trailer of the film, What the F, is next and it is going to be a sure-fire hit. Starting up like a very trance like David Guetta or Pete Tong track, then Anushka Manchanda comes on and sounds so slinky and sultry. It is arranged so well and the halting chorus line is just so danceable. Manchanda is going from strength to strength with the ‘Mit Jaaye Gham’ to this track; she is sounding like the new go to item singer. Go out dancing to this one!
The last track is another remix of a Kishore Kumar tune, Yeh Jeevan Hai, sung by Malini Awasthi is a good song. Awasthi’s voice is very strong on this track and though she does a nice job with the song, it is not the best remix in terms of composition. The rock ballad with the lilting flute sounds okay but the distracting ‘whoooo’ sound every time the chorus comes on is distracting and unnecessary to make the song haunting as Awasthi’s voice already makes it fine. Not the best track but have a listen for Awasthi’s lovely rendition.
Barring two strictly average songs the Soundtrack album is a great experiment for the Midival Punditz and Karsh Kale. They both brought their skills in their respective genres to create a very rocking album that does something different with the electronica songs we get these days. While the music has more rock music and trance than one expected for a rave film it is bound to work on screen. Give it a listen you won’t be disappointed.