No Stranger Here

Rating: ***
Shubha Mudgal, Ursula Rucker, Business Class Refugees,
EarthSync, $9.99

This triangular collaboration is actually a square, formed
by classical vocalist Shubha Mudgal, American spoken-word artist Ursula Rucker and the two guys from Business Class Refugees, music producer Kartick (Patrick Sebag) and sound designer Gotam (Yotam Agam). Together they toss jazzy rhythms and poetry (both modern and by Kabir) into a slowly turning cauldron, stir in Hindustani classical vocal styles and let it simmer.


Composer and bassist Eyal Mazig’s lushly orchestrated strings tie the flavours together, sometimes echoing Mudgal’s voice when she sings “deewana deewana” on “Drunk In Love”; sometimes washing all over the soundscape like a gauzy sheet which ripples with the rhythm of the double bass as on “Outsider”. In some songs such as “Searching For You”, the strings prance around like they are meant to accompany a piece of choreography.

The blend of Kabir’s poetry and shimmering jazzy rhythms sparkle on “When I Was”, and Rucker’s ominous lyrics stand out best on the sparse composition “Something Is Still Missing”. It’s the kind of CD that you can have playing in the background while you go do other things. If you want to pay attention to the words, you can, but if you want it to fall back and become tapestry, it will. Aditya Kundalkar

Source: Time Out Mumbai -