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Karsh Kale

Karsh Kale

Karsh Kale is widely regarded as a pioneer of global fusion and electronica as his music has inspired and defined the worldwide club phenomenon known as "Asian Massive" or "Asian Underground" in the early part of the decade. Today Karsh's music has travelled far past the underground club scene and has been featured on stages from Lincoln Center to the Burning Man Festival, and from the Barbican Center to the Hollywood Bowl. Karsh's diverse musical talents - whether as a world-class tabla player/drummer, producer, composer, songwriter, remixer or DJ - have led him to working with some of the world's leading artists such as Pandit Ravi Shankar, Sting, Zakir Hussain, Herbie Hancock, Lenny Kravitz, Anoushka Shankar, Yoko Ono. Bill Laswell, DJ Spooky, Shujaat Khan, Vijay Iyer, Chaka Khan, Paul Oakenfold and many others. As if his existing list of accomplishments and talents were not enough, Karsh has established himself as a cutting edge film composer in India's fast paced "Bollywood" film industry while continuing to score independent and crossover films in the West. Kale and his production partners (MPKK) have also recently composed original music for a musical directed by Academy Award nominated director Shekhar Kapur ("Elizabeth: The Golden Age"). In the past ten years, Karsh released 4 critically acclaimed solo albums and has toured the world with various ensembles including Cinema Live, Timeline, Realize Live, Tabla Beat Science (w Zakir Hussain), Breathing Under Water (w/ Anoushka Shankar) and live with the Midival Punditz. Describing the effect of having so many platforms at his disposal, Karsh states, "Having many outlets for my sound has opened up the possibilities of what that sound can actually be for me. I often find myself moving quickly between a live set with my band to composing strings for a film to DJing a dirty dance set to writing an acoustic song within a short period of time. My sound comes from finding inspiration from those moments in between all of that madness."Cinema is Karsh's most ambitious album to date. Despite the myriad of influences pulsating through him during the two years it took to produce Cinema, many of the compositions were written on an acoustic guitar or piano - often while Karsh was either on the road, or in a studio. But as the title "Cinema" suggests, the process of scoring films has had as much impact on this album's sound as Kale's usual palette of progressive electro-rock and fusion influences. "Cinema" is the aggregate of these diverse inspirations, experiences and musical expressions within one cohesive vision.The album begins with the enigmatic Island. The track retains both a retro and progressive feel borrowing from both nu-school electronica and an 80's new wave guitar sound. The track features Kale on vocoded vocals and acoustic guitar as well as master flautist Pandit Ajay Prasanna on what sounds like an instrument straight out of a Frank Zappa composition. This track was inspired and born out of the film scoring sessions of Ashes (a film directed by and starring accomplished actor Ajay Naidu)."Other tracks like Supernova, Man On Fire and the title track Cinema, though disparate in their stylistic approaches, were also created and inspired by some of Kale's film related world. Supernova - created while Karsh and his long time collaborators "the Midival Punditz" undertook the commissioned rescoring of the 1973 Bruce Lee classic, "Enter the Dragon" - brings together an urgent santoor line with Kale's signature electric tabla sound, driven by a powerful breaks groove and glitched out production that could only be inspired by Bruce Lee himself. Man On Fire is an ambient wash of blissfully distorted sitar performed by Pandit Sunil Das and keyboards performed by Kale and plays like an oasis from the otherwise loud and sometimes aggressive sound on the record, and is inspired by sounds of cremation of a human being on the banks of the Ganges.

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