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MTV India Gets Its Groove Back With Sound Trippin

If one judged a show by its promo, we would have definitely not risked watching MTV India’s most recent one. As if composer Sneha Khanwalkar coaxing a shop keeper to repeat the name of the show in the most annoying manner wasn’t enough, her screeching “Trippin on your sound” made us hit the mute button […]

Lalitha Suhasini Apr 17, 2012
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If one judged a show by its promo, we would have definitely not risked watching MTV India’s most recent one. As if composer Sneha Khanwalkar coaxing a shop keeper to repeat the name of the show in the most annoying manner wasn’t enough, her screeching “Trippin on your sound” made us hit the mute button instantly.

Khanwalkar at a cricket bat factory in Jalandhar

Despite the disastrous promo, Khanwalkar’s creds helped. Her bold, new sound for films such as Oye Lucky Lucky Oye and Love Sex Aur Dhoka ensured that we’d be curious enough to check out the first episode that was shot in Punjab. Khanwalkar has constantly traveled in search of new sounds for every soundtrack she’s worked on ”“ across India and other parts of the world including South Africa ”“ so hosting a show like Sound Trippin, which does exactly what she’s been doing over the past couple of years, was just another day at work.

The episode opened with Khanwalkar making her way to the Qila Raipur Sports Festival or the Rural Olympics, which have been held at the Qila Raipur stadium since the pre-Independence days. The event made for fantastic visual footage and some terrific ambient sounds including a participant’s robust vocals. Khanwalkar’s genuine enthusiasm to record new sounds was also a refreshing change from say, watching reality show participants fake their way through a show.

Khanwalkar at Qila Raipur

By the time Sound Trippin moved to Jalandhar, the sports goods capital of the North, the composer had a fair idea of the sound she wanted ”“ a gidda folk song meets a dub step track. Sirens, juicers, cricket bat manufacturing machines ”“ Khanwalkar seemed to have a fantastic time stocking up the sounds on her recorder. But the sound came alive when Khanwalkar added vocals. The composer had previously tracked down Jyoti and Sultana, granddaughters of the celebrated Sufi singer Swarn Noora, during one of her recce trips for Oye Lucky Lucky Oye and felt their vocals fit right into this new experimental track. Once the hookline had been written – “Tung tung da sound  vajda/tung tung da saaz” ”“ paying tribute to the single-stringed tumbi, it set the tempo for the rest of the track, which took three days to fall into place. When we watched Khanwalkar bouncing in her seat, barely able to stop herself from busting a move, we were convinced that she was splicing together a dance hit. The final track didn’t disappoint.

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With pacy editing and impressive shots, the first episode managed to inspire us enough to look forward to the next that’s being shot in Varanasi. The show, which is a salute to the sights and sounds of unsung India, had succeeded in renewing our faith in MTV India, which had clearly lost its plot and followers as soon as it decided to favor entertainment over music.

Watch the episode here.

Sound Trippin shows on Saturdays at 8.30pm.

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