Thursday, May 24, 2012

Finally, some music stuff on MTV

The channel MTV or Music Television, in India, for little less than a decade, has been known for Roadies, Splitsvilla and like reality shows. These reality shows have featured the same scheme of dumping ground, vote out mechanisms, politics vs performance quotients, excessive bitching and wild card entries over these years, making it all clearly trite. 

A welcome change ushered in the form of a music show Desi Beats/Rock ON, the first season of which was judged by Ram Sampath and Kailash Kher, who in my opinion, have actually contributed something original to music - from colorful Bollywood music to advertisement jingles. The second season of this music show featuring Pritam (Hindi music director with maximum hits to his name and an equal number of plagiarism charges) and Indian Ocean's Rahul Ram (whose only standing credit till day remains the Kandisa song, a prayer in Aramaic uttered in Sryian Orthodox Churches) did not pack the required punch. 

There was a strange lull after this when it came to airing music related shows. Now, the breather comes in the form of a new show - Sound Trippin aired on the channel every Saturday from 8-9 pm. The show features Sneha Kanwalkhar, a young and chirpy,  budding Hindi film music director who travels to different parts of India, captures many sounds specific to that region, picks up some impressive local/folk tunes and creates a song out of it all. Sounds and music strips collected from locals in these places on her gizmo - an Intel notebook are taken back to the studio where she and her proficient team of music technicians carefully compose a song. The song comes along with a befitting video and is first shown to people of the town/region who really contributed to it and to us too at the end of the show. 

Six episodes of this show have been aired till now with the first five shows taking Sneha to Punjab (fun filled, bold music), Benares (mystic with sounds of bells and hymns), Yellapur (a village in coastal Karnataka where a tribe called Siddhis live and perform),  Goa (sounds of church gong with generous amount of English thrown in) and Kanpur (sounds of leather factory set the background for some whacky, mischievous lyrics). The last (sixth) episode was a summary of all these travels, primarily focusing on efforts put in by sound technicians and accounts of their experiences with sounds of various kinds.  

I would rate this show with a 7 on scale of 10 - Reasons? 

Finally, something related to music and making music appears on MTV. There are no money tasks/immunity tasks, battle ground/dumping ground rows in this show.

Two excellent songs out of 5 composed until now on the show - one in Punjab in episode 1 and another in Yellapur in episode 3. 

One can check out the videos of these brilliant music pieces from the links below - 
2. Yere (from Yellapur, lyrics and primary rhythm provided by Siddhi tribe who have their roots in Africa but have made India their home for long)  - 

Truly, remarkable efforts go in to make a song and this is shown convincingly to the audience through this show. 

Why not more than a 7 on 10? Reasons - 
2 out of 5 songs stand out, call for repeated hearing with fitting videos. So that's ony 40% excellence. 
There are many more episodes, more sounds to be captured - so it is a wait and watch before the show gets an upgraded rating. 

However, on an ending note, this is a show I look forward to on MTV, turn to for respite from livid auditions, excessive foul mouthing, roadies journey and bitching splitsvillians. 

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