Various - India SoundPad

India Soundpad marks the collaboration between veteran UK music producer, John Leckie (cf. The Stone Roses, The Bends), and four up-and-coming Indian bands. If on paper it sounds a bit worthy, with the British Council and the University of Westminster also involved, there is enough decent material here to justify its existence.

The compilation has a broad range due to each band's distinct sound. Advaita and Swarathma are at the ethnic end of the spectrum, both utilising traditional instruments. The former are perhaps a bit too mellow (i.e. boring), while the latter - singing in native tongue, the most challenging act here - are not dissimilar to Cornershop in their blending of east and west.

In contrast, you'd be hard pushed to identify either Medusa or Indigo Children as Indian. Beyond incorporating a few beats, neither of Medusa's contributions are particularly memorable. Ironically, then, it's the most trad and Anglophilic-sounding band that leaves the greatest impression. Indigo Children's tracks have some cracking guitar work, both in the rocking out and the subtle flourishes. They run with the Stone Roses and Arctic Monkeys influences better than any new band I've heard recently from these shores.



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