Auntie Flo & Sarathy Korwar: Shruti Dances Review – India meets Ibiza | Music


DDrummer and composer Sarathy Korwar has made a career of bringing together unexpected collaborators. His 2016 debut album Day to Day featured folk music from the Sidi community of rural Gujarat, blending West African rhythms with classical Indian melodies, while 2017’s ARE project was a free-form jazz dance with the electronic producer Hieroglyphic Being and saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings. 2019’s More Arriving, meanwhile, paired Mumbai rap with an interplay of tabla and drums.

Auntie Flo & Sarathy Korwar: Shruti Dances album cover

Now Korwar teams up with DJ and producer Brian d’Souza, aka Auntie Flo, for this dancefloor take on Indian classical music. Much like the unfolding rehearsal of a raga, Shruti Dances unfolds like a trance-inducing sequence across its six tracks, backed throughout by a drone produced from a shruti box, while Korwar notifies the time with a 4/4 bass drum and processed electronically. tabla rhythms.

Lasting just under 30 minutes, it’s like a mini DJ set: it starts uptempo, with the techno-adjacent rhythmic regularity of Dha, before slowing down to the swirling melodic vibe of Ga and Ma, reaching Balearic euphoria via D’Souza’s arpeggiated synths on Ni, then closing in on Sa’s pensive warm-up.

The duet format and the fact that all the melodies are electronic gives Shruti Dances a certain rigidity – something that has been softened by Hutchings’ breathy saxophone on the ARE project. Where this disc consisted of edited snippets of sprawling live improvisation, Shruti Dances is tightly constructed, placing the listener into the coherent grid of dance music, and Korwar’s drumming rhythmic minimalism can be claustrophobic. .

In repetition, however, there is a difference; repeat the same word and its meaning will dissolve into something new. Korwar’s precise rhythms harmonize us with d’Souza’s subtle melodic changes, from the splashing major chords on Ni to the spatial panning of Sa. Their collaboration challenges us to surrender to the ritual propulsion of their music; it’s ultimately best experienced on a dance floor – whether outdoors or at home.

Also released this month

Ghanaian singer Frafra Linda Ayupuka releases an uptempo mix of choral vocals and bubbly 80s electro synths on God Created Everything (Mais Um). Burkinabe singer Kaito Winse joins forces with Brussels noise punk duo Benjamin Chaval and Nico Gitto as Avalanche Kaito, for their self-titled debut album (Glitterbeat) – Winse’s vocals rise above Chaval’s thumping drums, an energizing mix that has ample capacity to get darker and more distorted. Thai sound artist Liew NiyomkarnThe latest album, I Think of Another Time When You Heard It (Chinabot), is a beautifully soothing ambient soundscape of lyres and field recordings from his hometown: a nostalgic blur of memory music.


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