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Ranjit Barot

As technology and mass-media continue to shrink the globe, allowing once-disparate traditions to intermingle instantaneously, musicians are given unprecedented access to a range of influences unthinkable mere decades ago. Forging an artistic identity in the midst of this post-modern global exchange and its onslaught of possibilities is no mean feat, yet it is a challenge that Ranjit Barot welcomes. Raised at the intersection of two cultures, Barot comes from a family with deep ties to Indian classical traditions of music and dance, and yet he spent considerable time absorbing western culture in England. That palpable dichotomy inhabits his music. It is a tribute to his brilliantly inventive musicianship that these elements remain tangible, but only serve to compliment one another, elevating and enriching his compositions. “I want my playing to be the duality that I am,” he reflects. “I am an Indian, but I dream in English.”

Despite his vast experience in every element of music-making, from production to composition to performance, Bada Boom—to be released on November 16th, 2010 by Abstract Logix—is the first album to bring together every facet of Ranjit Barot’s gifts and display them simultaneously. The sum effect is staggering. As a writer, Barot honed his skills by crafting songs and scores for the thriving, prolific Indian film scene in which music is a highly-regarded, essential component. Although capable on a range of instruments, his weapon of choice as a performer remains the western drum kit, on which he has cultivated a unique voice that internalizes and refracts his musical and cultural influences. As a drummer, he has performed alongside such formidable improvising composer/instrumentalists as John McLaughlin, Ustad Zakir Hussain, Pandit Ravi Shankar, Charlie Mariano and Don Cherry. Citing the pathbreaking music of Mahavishnu Orchestra and Shakti, Ranjit counts McLaughlin and Zakir Hussain as two of his biggest influences—a respect that is reciprocated as McLaughlin contributes a blistering solo to Bada Boom’s opening track, “Singularity,” and Zakir Hussain provides the driving force for “Supernova.”

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Bada Boom

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From: Bada Boom
By Ranjit Barot

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