For a band raised on the Solitude Farm in Auroville, in Pondicherry, Emergence manages to further elucidate their spiritual leanings and lifestyles with their music. The organic activism that sustains their lifestyles comes through in the soothing, yet convoluted Carnatic jazz fusion they’ve mastered in their tenure.
Their newest single is So Full. Krishna McKenzie opens up with ‘pleasure is like a blade getting blunt’, echoing an existential boredom. In some ways, it’s a more straightforward jam, that tends to lose the radicalism in McKenzie’s deep throated cry and turns preachy at certain instants.
But Karthick Iyer’s soulful Tamil verses are a wonderful counterfoil, even if you don’t understand what they mean; the gentle modulations in his voice make it sound like an instrument accompaniment unto itself.
And when he isn’t joining in McKenzie’s invocations, his violin does, occupying the same emotions and scales as his voice.
Suresh Bascara and Mishko M’ba, the other two purer jazz breeds in the band, reign in their ingenuities and maintain a composed rhythm section that perfectly complements Iyer and McKenzie’s vocal excursions.
It’s all melancholic, but still celebrating clear blue skies. Have a listen just to get away
Emergence will be featured in the December issue of The Score Magazine!