Deep India (Deep Forest – Eric Mouquet and Rahul Sharma)

The tribal voices in Viva Madikeri are minimal, while Rahul’s santoor takes the lead with an absorbingly off-note tune. Eric’s pulsating percussion and backgrounds add punch. With vocals from Sarmishta Chakravorty, Bihu is stereotypical Assamese folk with limited additions. Rajasthan too plays true to its global appeal – a Manganiyar folk song by Suguni Devi, with Bhapang by Umar Farukh. The Village offers the quintessential Deep Forest sound where the Algoja played by Shakur Khan overpowers the santoor. Its other version – Sounds of the Village – is more basic and muted. Rahul’s santoor is truly apt in its native state – Mountain Balad (Jammu). Gorgeous tune with a smattering of the Kashmiri yodelling. Maharashtra’s Dhol Lejhim, with its groovy, goose-bumps inducing percussion plays superbly with Eric’s psychedelic backgrounds. Kerala’s Thillelo, sung by Priyadarshan and chorus is where the santoor blends perfectly with the native tune, while Eric’s haunting backgrounds throw things into a delightful frenzy! Punjab picks an earthy melody, sung by Nanak Shah and Manak Ali, and layers it wonderfully with trance’ish sounds from Eric. Maharashtra, Kerala and Punjab lead this interesting Deep Forest experiment where Rahul’s santoor forces itself as a pan-Indian instrument than what it deserves.

Keywords: Rahul Sharma, Eric Mouquet, Deep Forest, Deep India, 200, #200