Author Archives: Purushotham Kaushik

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About Purushotham Kaushik

Purushotham Kaushik is a freakish-blues guy with a Carnatic frame of mind and surreal poetic sensibilities.

January 11, 2014

Answers by Aditya Balani

By - on 11/01/2014 at 4:36 pm


‘…Time stood motionless and I found the Answers…’ – Liner notes of Aditya Balani’s Answers Imagine you’re befuddled trying hard to imagine an abstract scientific concept (say vector spaces). Equations dance around you and manifest in things you see in everyday life. Symbols dangle from auto meters, sway with the coconut trees and bleed in sunsets. Listening to ‘Answers’ conjures a similar effect. It is abstract, imaginative and powerful. ‘Bandish’ is a two part haunting melody with an alap based on the Charukesi scale, that aptly sets up the main piece. A Bruebecky number with a ‘Delhicate’ touch, though set in 5/4 time, it is deftly executed and right from the onset you know this band interlocks masterfully….

April 3, 2013

The Genius of Muthuswami Deekshitar

By - on 03/04/2013 at 9:13 am


After wading through tonnes of musical material from the Western world, ranging from 50s hard bop jazz to the instrumental rock of Joe Satriani, acid poets like Hendrix and Dylan to political ones like Frank Zappa, I hit a wall and turned around and looked back at the music that used to play in my house when I was a child. It was sung by a woman with the voice of Goddess Saraswati herself – M S Subbulakshmi. One song from the whole tape of the Carnegie Hall concert hit me, made me stand up and take notice. The song was ‘Sri Mahaganapathi Ravatumam’ by Muthuswami Deekshitar. I started on a quest that still has…

March 25, 2013

Three Wheels Nine Lives by Thermal And A Quarter

By - on 25/03/2013 at 9:04 am


If the city of Bangalore ever masqueraded in the sonic dimension, it would probably be heard in a TAAQ album. Three Wheels Nine Lives (3W9L) is a guaranteed bumpy ride through the city on that black-and-yellow mean machine. 3W9L impresses right from the album art, the inner sleeves, and the humungous poster with caricatures of the trio. ‘Surrender’ opens up a funky first disc with a lot of hooks and sing-alongs. The wah-wah croaks and sniggers around Bruce’s Hendrix-y casual vocals. The title track ‘Meter Mele One and a Half’ is in 11/8 time or 5.5/8, which comes from the title (meter -4, mele– plus 1 ½ =5 ½). Despite the complex time, the song’s…

March 10, 2013

Souvenirs and Memories by Kendraka

By - on 10/03/2013 at 8:56 am


Kendraka is an Indo-Jazz-fusion band based in Kolkata, a fascinating group of musicians who seamlessly blend and fuse vibrant aspects of Indian classical music with the absorbent niches of traditional jazz fusion. ‘Kendraka’ is also a Sanskrit word for ‘Nucleus’. While the band has undergone a few changes in lineup since its inception in 2008, it primarily serves as the launch pad for the creative energies of bassist and founder, Mainak “Bumpy” Nag Chowdhury. Souvenirs and Memories is a double-CD release covering their first two albums Tathastu and The Candy Album. Tathastu (2010) Tathastu, released in 2010, is their debut album which comprises material drawing inspiration from hard bop to fusion jazz à la Weather…

February 8, 2013

Crossover: Baiju Dharmajan

By - on 08/02/2013 at 1:54 pm


After listening to Motherjane’s Maktub, I was really looking forward to and all geared up for Baiju’s solo album. Baiju Dharmajan’s first solo album contains six fresh instrumental pieces in a sonic setting quite different from the darker Motherjane palettes. With a catchpenny price on the tag, the album is a steal, given the rich quality of content Baiju offers in this album. The whole album’s got a laid back, feel good approach yet not lacking in mean guitar riffs. Crossover opens up with a very Steve Vai-Steve Morse-ish jam track ‘Demented’. Baiju throws in killer ‘Carnatic’ riffs right from the start on this album and there is some very accessible riffing and infectious guitar playing. The…

July 21, 2011

Natabhairavi by Prasanna

By - on 21/07/2011 at 10:27 am


How do you make a carnatic album, pure carnatic that is, and yet lure the average blues-rock fan?Prasanna has the answer here in Natabhairavi. By carefully choosing raagas that have a cool, groovy, bluesy feel, he has made a near magnum opus here. Opening up with the ‘Varnam‘ (Evvari Bodhana vini) in Abhogi, a pentatonic mode of the Dorian equivalent Kharaharapriya, Prasanna fluctuates immaculately between double time and triplets that are inherent in varnams. There is little soloing in this piece as varnams are strict compositions and are to be rendered with minimal improvs. The second piece in Nattai, ‘Karimuga Varada‘ is a soulful yet tight jam. Prasanna however lets loose post the charanam(the third…