Maati Baani is no stranger to crafting cross-cultural collaborations with artists of varying genres. The pop-fusion duo of vocalist Nirali Kartik and multi-instrumentalist Kartik Shah return with Tandanano, their new single that features diverse musical guests as usual.
The song kicks off with a Spanish mariachi-inspired intro with Mariachi Nuestras Raíces de Jose A. González handling the vihuela, trumpet and violin. For the ones unacquainted with the first instrument, the vihuela is a Spanish stringed instrument that looks like a bloated guitar but actually sounds like a lute. That’s the beauty of Maati Baani’s fusion work. Their collaborations with such international artists can give Indian layperson audiences a crash course in global music.
Getting back to Tandanano, the instrumentals give way to Kannada singer Shubha Raghavendra. Together with Nirali Kartik, both singers narrate a folk tale of a woman trapped in a fortress and her eventual path of breaking down the barrier and enjoying her freedom.
These themes of inspiration and emancipation are further fueled by Wiktoria Bialic on the drums, Shalini Mohan on the bass, and Tao Issaro handling various percussion instruments. In the middle, the mariachi interludes support the vocals adding a very peppy and dancey atmosphere to the track. The video, much like other videos of the duo, feature their multi-ethnic guests recording their parts in different locations. This perfectly goes in tandem with the new age of cross-distance, post-pandemic music collabs.
Of course, due credit also needs to be given to Kartik Shah for producing the ambitious collaboration. Compared to other similar Maati Baani tracks, Tandanano might not even be the most ambitious one but its lively energy is enough to play on repeat in your playlists.
If you are having a gloomy day and you need a shot of positivity, then look no further than this.
Verdict: A peppy and dancey piece of fusion-pop.