Friday 6 November 2015

Mrinal Banerjee: Harano-Prapti-Niruddesh (1975) / Illaiyaraaja: Meendum Kokila (1980)


Two non-Bollywood EPs this time. I must admit I know nothing about the Bengali (Tollywood) production 'Harano-Prapti-Niruddesh', nor its music director Mrinal Banerjee. I think it might have been the cover art that appealed to me when I came across the record... I'm happy to say then that I find it delightful through and through.

'Jar Nijer Pockete Nei Paisha' has become a particular favourite of late. A wonderfully compelling song with a unique sound; part Hawaii, part Brazil, kind of folky, deliciously poppy (imagine an Indian Jonathan Richman perhaps) with a great 60s beat; fantastic stuff. 'Chokh Mukh Hashi Taar' has much of the same chirpy vibe, and 'Halaph Kore Bolte Pari' is cool lounge-type song, oddly reminiscent of 'Teddy Bear's Picnic'. (That might be just me though.) The remaining tracks are slightly more traditional; 'O Pakhi, Pakhi O Pakhi' being especially lovely.

Meendum Kokila

I've dabbled in Illaiyaraaja previously (I fear further exploration might result in an obsession), and the two scores by him posted have been Hindi dubs/remakes of Tamil films. Both are highly recommended. 'Meendum Kokila' is a Kollywood original; its songs imbued with the same wonderful sound that characterizes his Bollywood efforts. Synths, light orchestrations, quirky instrumental details and superb melodies combine on these tracks; 'Ponnana Meni' and 'Hai Ooraayiram' upbeat and poppy, 'Radha Radha' low key and beautiful.

Track listing, 'Harano-Prapti-Niruddesh':
1. Hemanta Mukherjee: Jar Nijer Pockete Nei Paisha
2. Arati Mukherjee: Janina Ki Kore Bolbo
3. Kanchi Bandyopadhyay: Ei Dhara Dhame
4. Manna Dey: Chokh Mukh Hashi Taar
5. Arati Mukherjee & Tarun Banerjee: Halaph Kore Bolte Pari
6. Sravanti Majumdar: O Pakhi, Pakhi O Pakhi

Track listing, 'Meendum Kokila'
1. K.J. Jesudoss & S. Janaki: Ponnana Meni
2. S.P. Balasubrahmanyam & S. Janaki: Radha Radha
3. K.J. Jesudoss & S.P. Sailaja: Chinnanchiru
4. S.P. Balasubrahmanyam: Hai Ooraayiram