Tuesday, August 22, 2006


One day, accidently I happened to buy a Junoon cassette. Azadi. They had released it at Pakistan's (and thus India's) 50th year of independance. Though I did not know music back then and wasn't even a big music fan (My favourites included Boy zone and Bryan adams and lots of hindi songs). The songs were really nice. Two years later, they released Parwaz. I bought it too, later I got hold of Junoon and Inquelab.

Years passed by. Junoon accompanied me studying for my JEE, a lot. The only thing I could recognize then was the range of Ali Azmat. Generally, a good hinusthani classical vocalist is able to go from the kharja Pancham to taar Madhyam (On a western scale, the fifth below the root to the 4th of the next octave which is nearly 2 octavaes) I am sure this guy could manage atleast 2 and a half.

Years passed by, I was introduced to The doors, zep, beatles and the others. And Junoon happened to be a forgotten love. Only in my junior year I got hold of some 8 songs of the band. And they sounded completely different and awesome. I don't like fusion music much because most of them would just add beats or mediocre chords to a more mediocre hindusthani classical figure (eg Reincarnation by Bangash brothers, a piece of crap IMO). But Junoon appeared to be the perfection in terms of fusion (The blues band which performed at MI 2005 was very good as well)

Most of Indian fusion would start with one artist performing and others backing him, then in rotation, everybody will get a chance for a solo. This summation of discrete musical parts will then be named fusion. And remarkably, Junoon sticks to the western group/orchestral structure with every performer playes for the group and not to show his own skills. What comprises of Junoon music is heavy bassline, indian and western percussions, fast raga based riffs and leads on bluesy distortions, acoustic rhythm, high ranged vocals and on the top of that soofi poetry. I must say, Junoon is one of the best efforts to create world music.

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