Music Issue 62 Jul, 2010
Text by Roshan Gurung

Yet another fusion album? Yes, but with a difference. The average fusion album is overridden with eastern sounds and perhaps too much of it, in an attempt to be inclusive, resulting in a cacophony of incoherent sounds. Murchchhanaa has wisely avoided overkill. The music has been kept quite simple, ensuring clarity and harmony.

“Instant Karma” is dominated by vocals and is based on the Jog raga. Born out of a jam session, it is built entirely on improvisation. ‘Murchchhanaa’ as explained on the sleeve is the coming together of four individuals from diverse musical backgrounds and pursuits in an attempt to explore.

The literal meaning of the word is ‘transition’, a kind of evolutionary moment one encounters in a spiritual journey within or without. Or it could be a move from one musical note to another. The musicians are Nabin Shrestha on tabla, Rabin Das Shrestha on vocal, Upendra Lal Singh on keyboards and Roshan Kansakar on bass. They have not bombarded the listeners with too much instrumentation, nor have they been too ambitious.

Track 2 is based on the Malkauns raga. Here’s a nice surprise.

Despite all their creativity, they failed to come up with a title for this tune, which is the reason given for calling it “No Name”. Dipesh Singh is featured on guitar only in “Resham Firiri”. However, one can immediately feel a change in the music. This melody has been done to death. But one should give them the benefit of the doubt, as they have played it differently. A lot of improvisation has gone into this track and truly speaking one has not heard it played like this before. Dipesh adds a jazz feel despite his rock background.

The album ends in a meditative tune, with a piano solo that has minimal accompaniment until Rubin Shrestha of Kutumba takes over on flute. One could easily meditate to this number. It is an attempt at inducing a nostalgic feeling with its moody, emotional sounds. The album is a welcome break from the run of the mill fusion we’ve been flooded with since the ‘70s.

CD Courtesy: East Meets West Music Box, Thamel, Ph: 4256411.