Song Review: Quest

Acclaimed mridangam player Vivek Rajagopalan has been garnering a lot of attention thanks to his unique mix of Carnatic, Hindustani, jazz, folk and electronic music.

Fusion has become a bit of a dirty word in the independent scene thanks to a plethora of inane acts that use the fusion shtick as nothing but a marketing gimmick. Rajagopalan’s music, on the other hand, manages to sound both global and indigenous at the same time, a curious blend of the familiar and the exotic.

Helter Skelter: Vivek Rajagopalan
Vivek Rajagopalan.

On the August 15, Vivek released a new track, ‘Quest’, featuring acclaimed violinist Embar Kannan on violin and vocals, and electronic artist Shri (of Badmarsh & Shri fame). The track features a mournful violin melody, set over a pulsating, ominous bassline and the steady beat of the mridangam and the kanjira. Shri’s bowed bass adds an element of melancholic theatricality to the track. Embar Kannan sings a haunting melody written by Tamil poet and freedom fighter Subramania Bharati.

Over five minutes long, the song builds up tension and energy as it goes along, before ending on a dreamy, funereal note. A great track that makes you hope that these collaborators have an album in the works.

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You can listen to ‘Quest’ at this location.

Bhanuj Kappal is a former correspondent for Rock Street Journal. He works as a music programmer and moonlights as a freelance writer. He is waiting for the million pounds promised to him by the Prince of Nigeria so that he can quit his job and work on his plans for world domination.

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