Touching bass

Updated: Apr 27, 2020, 15:53 IST | Shunashir Sen | Mumbai

Plug into an album with elements of drum 'n' bass that fuse with Indian classical music

Azaan with father Shujaat Khan
Azaan with father Shujaat Khan

In these unsure times, no one can gauge what the future holds, and we are gripped with a sense of uncertainty that is in tune with how Ethnica begins – Azaan Khan aka Instinct's new album under the record label Noosphere. There is an ambient grimness in the first tune, The Portal, where Khan uses samples of Ustad Bismillah Khan's shehnai, which isn't surprising given the fact that he hails from a family steeped in Indian classical music. But it's in the second track, The Growthling, that the musician's drum 'n' bass sensibilities start filtering in, giving the record a sense of direction.

It's not that Khan isn’t offering any hope, though. As you make your way through the tracks, he progressively lifts your spirits, especially in Midlife Respite, which replaces the earlier foreboding with a feeling of joy that makes you want to dance in relief. Is that how we will be some time from now, once it’s clear where the pandemic has taken us? That remains to be seen. But meanwhile, treat Ethnica as an apt soundtrack for the times we are living in.

Azaan Khan
Azaan Khan

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