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Chor Bazaar Brings Worlds Together On Their Interesting Debut

Feb 27, 04:23pm

Their single ‘Love Jihad’ is far from generic, and it achieves it by looking into the past

This is a strange one; an instrumental hip-hop (?) track with old-school Bollywood samples and a very overt nod to the bling era of the 90s and early 2000s. If the very idea sounds alien to you, it’s most probably because it kind of is….? It isn’t something you find on a playlist on any given weekday. The song in question is a collaboration between two producers; Spek (from Canada) and Ray Ahmed (from Assam). They come from completely different places musically; Spek from the now vintage hip-hop movement of the 90s, Ray from the thriving metal scene of North-East India (that is still solo-carrying the culture of the genre in this country) and a career doing soundtracks. One of the biggest advantages the duo have is that there’s no way to pigeonhole their collaborative output. Their single ‘Love Jihad’ lives up to this notion in that it sounds like nothing else.

The song itself is in the vein of an instrumental interlude that would have landed on ‘Donuts’ or even ‘Madvillainy’ in an alternate universe not so far from ours. At least, that’s the vibe it brings. Both Spek and Ray seem very attuned to what they’re pulling from and do it justice. The production, for example, is impeccable. Every sound is well crafted and confidently occupies its place in the mix. The sampling itself is pretty inventive, employing everything from a straight-ahead approach to some house chops, some old-school scratches and variations galore (DJ Premier is rightly mentioned as an influence, but this song equally echoes the elastic nature of Sunship, Q-Tip and the like). The duo has the foresight to use a sample as a melodic and rhythmic key to the song, not just something one could copy and paste into a pirated DAW and pass off as a simple flip. While that approach has made many a hit in the last decade, Chor Bazaar have a much more detailed attitude towards things. ‘Love Jihad’ is less than three minutes in length and very direct in its impact, but you can’t help but notice just how much nuance there is. This is a track you can throw on whenever you want to, but it’s also one you can sit and analyze for a while. That’s the biggest compliment one could give a piece of music in this style.

 

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