British composer of Indian origin, Karsh Kale has been described as a “visionary composer and producer”. His fans include some of the most influential people in the world. Speaking about Karsh Kale’s music, former American President Barack Obama said “Karsh Kale mixes eclectic beats with the sounds of his heritage to make a sound that is distinctly his own.”
Karsh Kale today is known as a pioneer in the world of global fusion. His career has gone through many avatars over the past 20 years as he jumps between the various roles of being a world renowned tabla player, drummer, DJ/ remix artist, vocalist, multi instrumentalist, film composer, as well as a band leader and curator.
Karsh Kale has also developed a reputation as a genre bending collaborator which has led him to work with some of the most renowned artists from around the globe.
Be it with his live ensembles, or with his work as a world-renowned producer, Karsh Kale continues to push the boundaries of music to places it hasn’t been. He also continues to be one of the most sought after collaborators of his generation. The music maestro has released his latest EP “Touch 1” and that’s what we are reviewing here.
Karsh Kale is a man of many talents, one of those talents is the ability to NEVER make anything boring. Anyone familiar with the term “Asian Underground” or anyone who has ever used a Windows Vista system has been touched by the musical genius of Karsh Kale.
“Touch 1” sounds like a strange title on the surface. What exactly does it mean? Only Karsh Kale can tell the exact reason behind this name but we can definitely see it as an apt title from our end. The music here is so exciting and invigorating that anyone who listens to it once, will be touched by it.
As is the case with most of Karsh Kale’s work, the songwriting and the arrangements are quite cinematic in scope and execution. Things seem big and personal at the same time. Like swimming in an ocean of sound by yourself, you can surround yourself with it and feel at home with it, yet there’s always something more coming your way.
Over the years, Karsh Kale has shown his mastery in weaving together multiple threads from the ever-expanding tapestry of Indian and Western music. Even though “Touch 1” is an EP, it doesn’t lack ambition, scope, or quality. All five tracks on the EP are brilliant. Starting right off the gate with the fantastic Daft Punk-meets-Indian beats vibes of the opener “Touch”. The magic continues with the ambient/synthwave/Indian melodies layered over groovy beats on “Refugee”.
The EP slows its pace a little with the next track “Lovers” which features a magical flute section interspersed with some folky Indian vocals. It’s definitely a track that listeners will find easy to fall in love with. The EP picks the pace right back up with the furious “Fist of Fury”.
With the right amount of dubstep thrown in, this track belongs on your workout playlist. Just press play and bang out some extra reps on that shoulder press. After setting your pulses racing with “Fist of Fury”, the EP descends into the lush and gorgeous soundscapes of the calming finale that is “Sunset Sketch”. Listening to this track gives the same feeling that one might get from gazing at one of Monet’s gorgeous sunset paintings.
In just over 26 minutes, Karsh Kale takes his listeners through a tour de force of distinct musical styles fused together to leave a long lasting impression on the listener, long after the sun has disappeared over the horizon.
Verdict: Fused to perfection.