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Music

Arushi Jain: Under The Lilac Sky (digital, Leaving Records, July 2021)

This was a love-at-first-listen album for me. The first track, Richer Than Blood, opens with this sort of ambient crescendo of creaks and hums, and then a delightfully smudged vocal (in, I think, some flavour of Hindustani) soars over it, and that’s me gone. Jain, who was born in New Delhi and lives in New York, apparently has a mission to teach the world to love Indian classical music, and this is a pretty great way to go about it as far as I’m concerned.

What we have here is six ragas arranged for modular synth. They’re richly textured, swirlingly melodic, and a perfect balance of the intricate and the spare. Sonically, you could point to resemblances to anything from kosmiche to Caterina Barbieri, and there’s one sound that gives me a Proustian rush as I’m swept back to a Radiophonic Workshop cue on a BBC fantasy drama from my ’80s childhood. The mood I would characterize as quietly joyful. The source material is intended to be played at dusk, and the climax of this record would be the perfect soundtrack to a perfect sunset. A stunning debut.

I bought this from Bandcamp.

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