With an illustrious career, Dhruv Ghanekar is a master music composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist who has composed music for more than 4,000 TV commercials along with helming soundtracks for quite a few feature films. This album collaborates with Ashutosh Phatak, a renowned music composer, songwriter and producer, also co-founder of True School of Music and The Royal Opera House.
Having performed and recorded with the likes of Ustad Zakir Hussain and A.R Rahman, both he and Ashutosh have come together to create this masterpiece with their latest ‘Smoke Signals’, which is a beautiful ode to their excellent craft as they pour their hearts and souls in this one.
Consisting of 10 songs which feature many music artists from across the length and breadth of the country, each track has its unique flavour that evokes a different emotion every time. The first track is called ‘Windy’, which flows seamlessly like the wind as it encircles the mind and heart, coupled with the singer’s stirring hymns.
‘Yaad Tumhari’ is my personal favourite amongst the album as it uses the rustic voice of Shubha Joshi and thought-provoking lyrics stemming from the longingness quotient. Using Indian classical beats that amalgamate with the contemporary tune in the middle to create a more unique composition.
‘Summer Time’ is a fusion of Indian classical vocals by the legendary Kailash Kher. The song elevates beyond the ordinary and forms an experience that is experimental, creating an enigmatic vibe.
‘On and On’, which has vocals by Mahalakshmi Iyer, feels like a journey in itself and implores the listener to get mesmerised by the innate beauty of the song. Some of the other notable tracks were ‘Lullaby’ and ‘You’re So Beautiful’, which have a bluesy vibe, and ‘Summer Sun’ and ‘The Cobra’, are also exceptional.
Overall, the album is experimental, using folk, bebop, jazz, rock and blues with an overtone of Hindustani Ragas. There is a Bollywood expression in some songs, and uses stalwart singers like Kailash Kher, Mahalaxmi Iyer and Karl Peters, who have mastered different genres. This is one of the best albums to come out this year, which demonstrates an air and flair to enchant the listener and delve deep into the world of melodic music.
Verdict: Beautiful, Mellifluous, Intense