A few months back, we heard from Ketan Mohite in the anthemic rock track Tera Intezaar. In his latest release, Hope, he fully lays the focus on his instrumental abilities. As he helms the guitar, he fuses ambient, modern production tools like the Geo shred with classical instrumentation like that of the ghatam and the flute.
This easily-bingeable EP just comprises of two tracks but they both paint rich soundscapes that makes Hope worthy of listening more than once. The first track is christened Space Trip and Rajeev Prasanna proves his prowess with the flute all through the track while Yadhunandan Nagaraj’s drums complement it rhythmically. Mohite’s guitaring and Premik Jolly’s synths similarly build a sound that’s perfect for listeners who are into the subculture of ambient instrumental music. Mohite and Jolly also handled the song’s production.
Even though the overall aura is very soothing, it’s a shame that Space TRip ends quite absurdly. These days, pop and hip-hop artists (and even rock to an extent) are vying for lesser runtime on their tracks, reducing the generic 3-4 minute song to a 2-minute-long stream. This decision makes sense given the reduced attention span of listeners for such genres. Instrumental productions on the other hand, still seem to garner a more patient niche from the audience.
Hence, extending Space Trip’s 2-minute-long duration with a few more seconds wouldn’t have hurt the overall quality. As the flute seems to reach a crescendo, the sound starts dying out in the third act yielding a somewhat anti-climatic end. So, Space Trip is a lovely trip in itself but there are chances that it might make listeners wanting for more.
As for the other track Dreamcatcher, we hear a more snythwave-like production blended perfectly with transient ghatam rhythms (courtesy of the legendary Ghatam Udupa). The recurring guitar arrangement by Mohite is hypnotizing and quite soothing, to say the least. Mahesh Raghavan relies on an Ipad’s Geoshred to adorn the song further. Somehow, Dreamcatcher seems to fare better than Space Trip in building an uplifting mood but still, Hope is a remarkable instrumental release overall.
Recently, artists did drop a few notable instrumental EPs and albums but a noticeable drawback in a fraction of these was the ever-present bug of monotony. With just two songs, Ketan Mohite’s Hope gives us a peek at his versatility as well as a sense of fusion that’s not forced or excessive but more effortless instead. If anything, Hope and a single like Tera Intezaar imply that the next compilation that Mohite drops can show any side of his musicality.
Verdict: A light, calming set of two neo-classical fusion tracks.