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Indian Fusion: The Connoisseurs Guide

What most people forget in trying to blend various influences, is to draw a line between art and fart. 

Consider yourself lucky if you haven’t yet been exposed a musical menace that calls itself ‘Ska.’ To give you a taster, here’s a small anecdote involving a couple of blokes who had vowed to abstain from cursing and swearing for a week:

Asinine Assamese fellow: Oh yeah? You know, with your bombast, you’re probably the sapling that sprouted from Chunkey Pandey’s stray seedlings in Calcutta.
Beleaguered Bengali fellow: … That was low… You, sire, are no better than the front man of Simple Plan.
Asinine Ass: Oh, go suck an egg! Better yet, go play in a Ska band!
BB: …  *thinks for a while till it dawns on him* Why you son of a…! *Proceeds to strangle the ass*

But that was not my point. What I wanted to tell and show you, rather, was how some bands, more than others, have very successfully fused Indian influences and instruments within their music.

And not all of these artists were even Indian! 

3: Alberto Marsicano: “Samadhigh”

The sitar today is synonymous with the Shankars, father and daughter. We have seen the sitar being incorporated in music of various vintages: from the 60s  – The Rolling Stones’ ‘Paint it, Black’ – to the 90s, with Metallica’s “Wherever I May Roam,” but only as a cameo appearance at best.

Finally, somewhere in the heartlands of Brazil, Alberto Marsicano, who had previously been playing Sitar-Rock covers of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, attained nirvana by bringing out the best of lounge music and psychedelic sitar jams.

And as a follower of such worldly wisdom, it is my duty to bring to you a small sample of the same:

[youtube_video id=kCNir-2Avek]

2: Parikrama: “Open Skies”

Ah, Parikrama…  I have a grudge against them, since they don’t release full-length albums! One of India’s most original bands, their music transcends various genres. Their artful usage of tablas and the Carnatic violin within this song really makes me feel that the sky ought to open up and let more of their music rain down on our parched ears.

[youtube_video id=w1AMm2ApuLg]

1: Indialucia: “Raag ‘n’ Ole”

Aptly named to reflect their influences – classical music from India and flamenco from Andalusia in Spain – their music is the epitome of a match made in heaven. According to Miguel Czachowski, the guitarist, flamenco, traditionally a form of Gypsy music has its origins in India.
Since the gypsies themselves are descendents of Indian brigands and vagabonds whose caravans made it along the Silk routes to Spain, their Indian influences continue to manifest themselves to this day in various art forms.
But these remained largely marginalized, because people didn’t trust Gypsies for all sorts of archaic reasons. But I’ll stop myself before I digress further with an anthropological lecture. Suffice it to say that once again, Indian instruments are gracefully making their presence felt within a global audience.
[youtube_video id=PB-u4hCFhPs]

Bonus! Here’s something that many of you may recognize from Channel V:

[youtube_video id=eXI7odSYLkI]

Cyd The Squyd has been drawing the line between Arts and Farts since 2011 (ladies). Smelling noxious is only a deterrent for lesser mortals. 

You can smell more of his odorous ordinance here

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