Saturday, April 3, 2010

Rocky road flavored Cleverfolk

This category has folk lyrics with interludes set to rock music style arrangement. Mostly, Raja serves this flavor with the rhythm arrangement. Prior to Raja no one dared to serve this flavor!

Aasai Adigam Vachu from Marupadiyum (1993) is served with rock beats! The prelude of this song starts off with the heavy beats. The guitar usage in this track is very interesting (electric). The second interlude uses the wah wah guitar for the folk song!

Nila Athu Vanathu Mela from Nayakan (1987). The track starts off with a nice guitar strum as though it is another regular song and deflects you with its rock beats. The lyrics are folkish. The first interlude uses nice saxophone with the rock beats making you wonder if this is Jazz or Rock! The second interlude misleads you even more – the saxophone is on a counterpoint with the nice guitar melody!

Yeh aatha from Payanangal Mudivathillai (1982). The guitar work in this song is amazing that you tend to ignore it given the nice tabla rhythm throughout the song. The second interlude of this track is noteworthy – the rock style guitar strumming in counterpoint with the western flute makes you forget for some time that this is supposed to be a folk type track.

The clip below has two tracks. It starts off with Aasai Adhigam and ends with Nila Athu (charanam). Observe the sax and the nice counter melody with the guitar in the 2nd interlude of this otherwise folk song. Vintage Raja…
While most of the present day tracks use the same western rhythm arrangement, they miss out on the rich folk flavor. The difference is in the way Raja orchestrates. The flavor does not suffer in any way because he chooses a Western orchestration method - that's the genius of Raja. Very folky, very Indian, the orchestration happens to be western for those who choose to observe and enjoy.

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