Psychedelic Indian Ragas on the Menu!

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Music truly knows no boundaries! India has a long history of musical traditions and there are many musicians who have dedicated themselves to preserving these lineages. However, there is also a new breed of performers today who are charting fresh territory and expanding our musical horizons. One such group is Kolkata Jam Masala – a motley group consisting of Paul Brook, Supriyo Dutta, Mainak “Bumpy” Nag Chowdhury, Gaurab Chaterjee and Zoe Brook. Born from the frenetic energy of Kolkata, the group describes its music as an audio-visual adventure that explores Indian psychedelia – mixing Indian classical music with jazz and rock. Thanks to a tour organised by Alliance Française du Bengale, the band presented its unique vision to enamoured crowds in Ahmedabad (May 5), Bangalore (May 7), Pondicherry (May 10) and Kolkata (May 12).

Kolkata Jam Masala on stage at Tollygunge Club (Kolkata)

Kolkata Jam Masala on stage at Tollygunge Club (Kolkata)

As a band, Kolkata Jam Masala uses their technical prowess to improvise on Indian ragas. Each member brings their unique musical experiences to the table – Supriyo Dutta is a rising star in Hindustani Vocal Classical music; Paul Brook is a guitarist, producer and owner of a recording studio in Paris who focuses on psychedelic culture and free improvisation; Mainak Nag Chowdhury has worked extensively as a bass player and music producer; Gaurab Chatterjee is a drummer and a composer associated with the Kolkata based rock band Lakkhichhara and Zoe Brook  uses her visual art performances to explore the human condition. For their live performances, they play spontaneously whilst focusing heavily on free improvisation. There are no references, no songs and no compositions – the music created explores Indian ragas by harmonizing them with the spirit of rock’n’roll and psychedelia. The spirit of traditional music (trance) is maintained but the form is discussed and revisited with exacerbated polyphony. The result is an impassioned and exciting soundscape in constant renewal!

An introductory clip to the band’s music can be found here :

Siddharth Bhatt

Rédaction, AF Magazine Inde-Népal

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Directeur de publication : Délégation Générale de la Fondation Alliance Française en Inde et au Népal

Rédacteur en chef : Laurent Elisio Bordier

Rédacteur/Coordinateur national : Siddharth Bhatt

Rédacteurs, contributeurs : Guillaume, Abhirami, Alexandre, Chintan, Cléa, David, Eleonore, Elie, Kanika, Karine, Nita, Thomas, Malvika, Marie-Joëlle, Meera, Mayuri, Mitushi, Alice, Prutha, Romain, Ritika, Manas, Supriya ...