In the city of Ahmedabad, a studio by the name of Compass Box Music is trying to promote a diversified independent music scene for local artists. A wide range of indiepop artist have jammed here as is evident from their recent compilation, Compass Box Music: Unboxed, Vol 2 (Live). As explained in the title itself, the song features the best of latest performances in the studio in the format of live recordings.
Even though the songs are by diverse artists and touch upon different themes, the overall ambience feels similar. The songs are finely curated, heartwarming, and generally soothing. The album opens with a mellow tune on missing a lover, with Rohan Chaudhary’s guitar-driven Misery. This is followed-up by Leave This City, a more upbeat, jazzy tune sung by Nisa Shetty that evokes a sense of freedom.
The electric guitar licks and riffs from the previous song carry on with a smooth Hindi jam called Raat by Saar. The song feels like a perfect ballad suited for a lonely night and builds up the mood of the album. Raat is bound to get listeners’ head bobbing, with its hushed-down vocals and catchy guitar work and drumming. Even though the ambience might feel similar, the diversity in the album is quite evident. For instance, the Hindi song is followed by No Lover that showcases Sharad’s controlled yet soulful vocals, assisted with a reggae- influenced guitar strumming pattern and jazzy saxophone.
The mellowness seems to get back in what seems like an interlude for the
album, with Sawera by Malay Vyas. While the previous two songs would suit a jazzy night, Sawera sounds like a well-written optimistic anthem, featuring increasingly soothing production by Raag Sethi. Vyas’ vocals are on-point and are bolstered with certain violin breaks in the song.
Each song gets better and better as the tunes progress. While Sawera gives off slow morning vibes, Kashmakash-Qa’ar-Urooj builds up on the same vibes adding more finesse and momentum. The song is a solely instrumental track performed to the finest acoustic level by finger style guitarist Samar Mehdi.
Mehdi is definitely establishing himself as one of this country’s fines fingerstyle artists and this fine melody only bears testimony to this. Kashmakash-Qa’ar-Urooj can definitely be one of the most stand-out tracks in the compilation. The second-last song White is another positive-sounding soft rock ballad, powered with strong vocals and a consistent instrumental build-up that is enough to add a sense of motivation to the listeners. The finale to the album is Sab Baatein Hai, a slow-paced acoustic tune by Abhin Joshi that serves as a somewhat hauntingly beautiful conclusion to this set of diverse songs.
Joshi’s vocals initially might sound like he’s singing for a cliched indie song reminiscent of artists like Prateek Kuhad. But as the song progresses, listeners get a sense of his varying vocal scales as violins build up the melancholic aura of the song.
While each of the artists working on this project deserve a pat on their back, a special mention needs to go out to Raag Sethi who has single-handedly handled the production of the entire album. In a scene that is most probably facing a lot of over saturation with countless acoustic indie artists, Compass Box Music’s compilation definitely comes as a breath of fresh air.
Artists Credits :
Shivang Kapadia – Drums
Harmish Joshi – Sax
Chirag Todi – Guitar
Shankar Iyer – Guitar
Pritul Chauhan – Drums
Protyay Chakraborty- Violin, Vocals, Mixing
Meera Desai – Vocals
Verdict: A perfectly assorted compilation of light ballads covering diverse
moods, bolstered by high-quality production.