Monday, July 23, 2012

Music of Wasseypur 2

A fan poster by Neeraj Ghaywan. 

Music: Sneha Khanwalkar
Lyrics: Varun Grover, Piyush Mishra

I am trying to do a similar post as I did on music of Gangs of Wasseypur Part 1. (Read here.) So, not (very) much of a review, again. Now you know my history and geography to reason why I could "connect" myself with this North Indian folksy album. But that didn't let soar my expectations sky high with the second part of album but left me us with desperation for the album to release. Finally, the album released last week. Listen songs and hum along: here

Now, the characters have changed in this part. They are too modern. Also as the synopsis of this movie goes, the rivals have come out of coal mafias and does scrap trade on Internet! There doesn't seem much room for hardcore rustic folk songs to happen in this part unlike the last one but something unusual is expected.

Starting with the one of the oldest form of folk of UP/Bihar: Nautanki, where the artists dramatise as they sing. The group who performs or the place where a Nautanki is performed is called an akhara. No, they don't wrestle there but the singing require too much power as the audience is too large. Aabroo is that folk song of the album. Starts with a Qawalli like arrangement but the singing is heavily inspired from the akhara style Nautanki. The percussion at 01:43 throws you into that akhara. The singers here, Bhupesh Singh and Piyush Mishra, are in verbal kushti, insulting each other and even sometimes self-deprecating. Piyush Saab's lyrics are bang-on, interesting enough to keep you hooked throughout the song. This is the Bhoos (from GoW1) of this album. That animalist masculine feel. The antara is based on a raag which reminds me a track of a very different genre from Hum Saath Saath Hain! OK. Forget it. Haji maula, Haji maula, Haji maula! 

"Taar bijli se patle hamare piya, O ri saasu bata tune yeh kya kiya" These are the lines from a very old folk sangeet where women tease their husbands and their families. The Taar Bijli track, sung by Padmashree Sharda Sinha and chorus of other womaniyas, is based on these lines but the lyrics later goes on a political note. The arrangement is retained to be a serene wedding sangeet.
There are 2 other version of this song: Electric Piya and Electric Piya - Fused, both sung by Rasika D. Rani of Trinidad. We already know the Trinidad-Bihar connection of chutney music, thanks to The Hunter song. Electric Piya is on similar lines. Calypso meets Bihari folk. The comparison of the thinness of the groom with an electric wire (taar bijli) undergoes more weird (funny) treatment and we get the crackling term Electric Piya! Lyrics makes you crackle more: "Riding donkeys my horse-rider piya!"
Whereas, in Electric Piya -Fused all the calypso arrangement is replaced by the electronic sound for party mood. It hardly serves any major reason and just adds on the pile of the tracks.

Sneha Khanwalkar is already known as the sound tripper. Just as on her MTV show where she converts sounds into music, she does something exactly same here with Bahut Khoob. With a bunch of non-studio-friendly, young kids of Musahar village, Sneha guided them to recite a poem and recorded it with their giggles, chit-chats and also sound of a chirping bird! You can even hear Sneha instructing them: "Ssshh.. koi hasega nahi."
Bahut Khoob 8-bit takes you on a backward journey to your childhood  days of 8 bit video games. Yes, sound of 8-bit video game (Mario, probably) finds its way in the dubstep version of a track which is ideally not a soundtrack! Ms. Khanwalkar, Bahut Khoob! Bahut Khoob! Bahut Khoob! 

Another dubstep track of the album is Chhichhaledar. Sung by a 12 yr old girl who used to sing in Mumbai local trains! After listening to her, you can't even imagine this song in any other voice. Super fast paced sound makes you do some slo-mo dance steps. And the absurd lyrics makes you sing it all day! And when was the last time you heard a word like Chhichhaledar in any Hindi song? 

Those who had waited till the end credits of the movie roll over in theaters, would have been lucky to have listen a piece of Kaala Rey. And since then the haunting sound would have stuck in their minds. This very Vishal Bharadwaj-ish piece has the darkest lyrics for being a romantic song. It squeezes out everything dark (black) in this dark world, right from the coal to the black wallet (metaphor for black money), to sketch the character of Faizal Khan, played by the dark (and handsome) Nawazuddin Siddiqui. 

Calypso is here again with my favorite track of the album: Moora. This Caribbean style, easy listening track makes you feel relaxed just like lying under the coconut tree on sands near the beach and having Sneha Khanwalkar singing it beside you and Robbie Styles holding the guitar backing her. Lyrics, with some pop North Indian words like nervousana, frustiyaana, sakpakana, are encouraging.  
Moora - Morning, sung classically by the same 15 years old Deepak Kumar of Humni Ke Chhodi Ke from the first part, is again the same feel good song (minus Caribbean) with an ambiance. 

Now that we are already amazed by the character names from this upcoming half of the movie, one of them has a theme in this album. Who else but Perpendicular, the guy who has already won hearts with his blade chewing stunt in the trailer. Percussion encapsulates the brass band style trumpet which also plays a filmy tune (can't recollect which). Not grand but fun!

Another instrumental piece is Tunya. Woman is Womaniya, so Tune is? Yes, you got it right! 
Harmonium + some Electronic sounds + peppered vocals completes the track with nothing much significant.

As I said in my post of Music of Wasseypur, Keh Ke Loonga is a cult. Enough to explain why a track is simply titled as KKL. It should click your mind right. This is one roller coaster of a track. The beats and the haunting feel is retained from the original song and Sneha gives you another dubstep. 

When I said, there's not much room for rustic folk songs in this album given the modern characters of the film, I didn't mean that it should be filled with electronic sounds and dubsteps. That's the only disappointing part of the album. There ARE folk songs in this but only 2 out of total 13! On the whole one may remember this album largely for dubsteps and, I fear, gems like Moora shouldn't be tagged as under-rated in future. Too many versions leads to some unnecessary tracks leaving 9 out of 13 as original. Still not a bad ratio of original to remixes when compared to other Bollywood soundtracks. 

With 2 diverse, power-packed albums, Ladies and Gentlemen, this is Sneha Khanwalkar for you! The lady who dug the soil of India and left us spellbound with her non-conventional troupe of singers. Who has glowed the ray of hope among small town local singers and even a beggar to find the unexplored talent within themselves. I hope to listen more such talents in future and expect other composers to get their backpack ready set to travel India! 

No comments: