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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

NINE – A Mystical Journey

When everyone around is busy churning out remixes, courtesy few classics by the previous generation musicians and dishing out bhangra-hiphop, courtesy ABDC (American Born Desi Singers) and Rappers, who act as if they are struck by a fit of paralysis as soon as they appear on camera to croon, NINE, by Pankaj Awasthi cuts the ice and brings much needed freshness.

The 9 tracks album is the debut work by Pankaj Awasthi, a self-styled composer, song writer and singer. Now this chap is a typical Rock and Roll guy in your neighborhood - long locks, unconventionally suave looks, with a strange uneasiness, yet paradoxical calm, floating on the face.

But all this is not essential to be a rocker or is it.

NINE as an album has tip-toed in the lounges and social circuit who prefers music with a difference – a hint of mysticism in it. It’s not a music which appeals to mass. Far from the obvious cacophony of Bollywood-ish crescendo and remixed distortion, it’s a fine blend of mystical lyrical ballads and haunting beats and rhythm.

The tracks are well organized and complement the totality of the album. NINE maintains a consistency all through the listening yet proves to achieve certain versatility as each track unfolds its characteristics to the listener.

Nine is an album which takes the listener to a different world – the world of soulful music, weaved through lyrical genius. The album captures an essence of a time, and thus, it’s a journey, taking you to a different surface.

NINE has sounds which may remind of you of Junoon and the likes who fused Rock Music and Sufi essence together, but it’s distinct too at the same time. While the previous fusion works were purely mystical, it has a heavy dose of enigma with it, which induces you and slowly grows on you. The after effects remain for quite a time and take you to a trance.

NINE is also an ode to Pankaj’s love for music, his toil for years, his dedication, his undying spirit of perseverance and his self-belief. It’s also an ode to his city, Mumbai. Pankaj’s talent reflects in his music and love in his melancholic voice.

In NINE, Pankaj talks about love, humanity, spiritual elevation, selfless-self, inspiration and hundreds other emotions. And this is perhaps what makes NINE click with its audience. There’s no particular time to listen to NINE. Driving, lounging, contemplating, showering and many other activities will only get better with NINE playing in the background. A must for those who love some serious, soul stirring, thought invoking music.