• Tue, Apr 23, 2024

Bengali Ambient-Classical Duo Umi Get Tastefully Inventive On 'Falguni'

May 05, 05:28pm

The track uses very little to sound absolutely gorgeous

Pretty simple story here: Umi is the name of this duo. It consists of Subhas Mazumdar (who produces) and Bhargab Bhattacharya (who sings; he’s learnt some Indian classical and some Rabindrasangeet). Their music combines their two musical lanes into one in a satisfying and coherent way, which is not usually the norm. This has been said a million times before; a ‘fusion’ between two musical worlds (whether separated by geography, culture or sound) usually ends up being one of three things.

  1. Shock value: Whoa bro this is some crazy stuff, I can’t even count these patterns and while in my heart I know it just sounds a little grating and out of place, I have to appreciate the virtuosity
  2. Marketing: Oh my god X made a song with Y? Greatest crossover since Infinity War
  3. Not Great: I mean, whoever decided this would sound anything but terrible was on something for sure… Give me the aux now, it’s time for my crazy playlist that is actually kinda mid

‘Falguni’, the song being featured in this article, does not fall into these categories because it goes over well, and its constituent parts make up a cohesive whole. And it’s really pleasant to listen to.

Subhas and Bhargab understand a core principle of making this kind of music, which is to first find complementary vibes. In this case, it’s mellow, wistful, and sad; both of them work towards this feeling together, and that’s why the song works. It’s just 3 minutes long, but it has this sort of sorrowful warmth that is so comforting to listen to. The production is fantastic; every single motif change has so much weight to it and turns everything around it that little bit darker each time. Strings, guitar, ambience, all knocked out of the park. So are the vocals, which are quiet and almost whispered at times. They’re layered, reversed and tinkered with as well, so some vocal lines have that distinctive reverse ‘whoosh’ as they come in. This is an understated, elegant treatment of both genres, and it’s great to see that Umi has such a light touch when it comes to combining genres. ‘Falguni’ is great for an introspective, melancholy three minutes. It’s going on our playlists for sure.



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