These days, Indian DJs and electronic producers are going way beyond the usual European “Tomorrowland” routine of bass drops. Instead, they are relying on more Indianised options with influences from the folk-fusion genre. Just check out Bandish Projekt or Mojojo’s music as examples. In this context, Sartek might be a perfect fit for listeners of new-age electronica.
The man behind the highly-popular remix of Sayonee is back with a single that deals with soul-searching. Titled Ajeeb Khoj (which translates to “Strange Search” in Hindi), the song features the vocals of Vipasha Malhotra.
An energetic atmosphere is built right from the start as the singer keeps on repeating the words “ajeeb khoj” followed by a memorable drop that is anchored by the sounds of what seems like a sarangi-like instrument. For the unacquainted, the sarangi is a string instrument popular among the folk musicians of Rajasthan. Regardless of what instrument’s sounds he is sampling on his final mix, Sartek’s interlude in Ajeeb Khoj is fresh and annoyingly catchy.
The lyrics also show a conscious attempt at transcending beyond the usual cliched songs on love and life. There is an attempt to find one’s own voice and identity in the singing parts but by no means is the song trying to be preachy. Otherwise, it seems a little “high brow” for a musician to just preach the gospel of life to listeners and act like they have the key to all the problems in life. Instead, in Sartek and Malhotra’s track, the search for the higher truth is supposed to be strange and mysterious right from the start. The baton is then passed on to the listener to interpret the song however they wish to.
In the end, Ajeeb Khoj is an interesting addition to the ever-growing fusion electronica scene in India. And here’s hoping that whatever Sartek is searching for, he finds.
Verdict: A catchy piece of folk fusion.