Krishna’s Temple Rock:November 1, 2013
The song which actually caught my eye while browsing through Indiearth, was Bhaja Govindam. I always had a faint remembrance of my mother singing the song during my early childhood. There have been numerous renditions of this well known bhajan and I was tempted to check out what Krishna’s Temple Rock had to offer to the song. And I did like what I heard. The song is probably rendered in half the original tempo and slow jazzy treatment with keyboards and guitar added a very different vibe to the song. The song tempted me to check out other possibilities the band might have to offer as well as some history on the band itself.
The brainchild of lead vocalist Krishna Kumar, the band brings in an eclectic fusion of traditional Indian instruments layered upon Jazz and Blues tunes. Devoid of drums or modern beats but resplendent with Indian percussion; the Krishna’s Temple Rock creates a smooth flowing layer of Taal supporting the guitar, the bass and the keyboard. Krishna’s vocals carry the confidence of a trained vocalist. He is accompanied by accomplished musicians completing the lineup as:
Krishna Kumar (vocals, kanjeera)
Mishko M’Ba (bass guitar)
Matt Littlewood (saxophones)
Aman Mahajan (keyboard)
Jay Sithar (electric guitar)
Viji Cheyyur (electric guitar)
Sowri Rajan (tavil, ghatam, morsingh)
The band is based out of Pondicherry as are all of its members. Every single one a master in his own art, they bring together global and international tones to the Carnatic tunes vocalized by Krishna.
Pa Pa Pa is another song which is listed on Indiearth and the band takes the simple Sa Re Ga Ma Pa to work on a tune which is fast paced, simple yet superfluous. The band’s music on Indiearth got me hungry enough to search other avenues for more on their music and I was able to dig out Siva Siva and Ta Ta Ri. Again very addictive numbers!
Another peculiarity about their music is every song starts with its own introductory musical piece before moving on to words and lyrics. The genre in which the band falls is definitely fusion but the music is a class apart. Traditional Carnatic ragas and western tunes intertwine to form a love form which can simply be defined as sublime.
As I wind up this review on the little I have on the band, I go back to Indiearth to play Bhaja Govindam which seems to have stuck to a corner in my head.
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thank you vinayak gole, very positive and encouraging review!~ krishna and the ‘templerock family’.