Release Date: 27th September 2019
Label: Available on Bandcamp
Formats: CD, DL
Rooh meaning ‘soul’, sees the Post Rockers enhancing a slowly building reputation in a field where many ply their trade yet few stand out in the same way as the Indian quartet.
I was quite taken with Zia, released in 2017, especially as aswekeepsearching offer a bold USP of singing in their own Hindi tongue and blend traditional Western instruments with their own cultural soundscapes that offer a variation on the traditional Post Rock template.
Rooh is introduced as a musical adaptation of the band’s experiences, struggles, emotions and self-awareness over the years. A concept album – almost – but like all good authors, writing with the insight from one’s own experiences is always a relevant starting point. So with new drummer Sambit Chatterjee in place, Chasing Light proves a friendly reintroduction to their new material and paired with Green And Blue, offer a bright and uptempo opening to Rooh.
It’s left to Aas Paas to bring things down in that famous languid style with which Pink Floyd launched a thousand imitators, that drops down the gears into a smooth and dreamy vision before ramping up proceedings briefly during the closing passage. For all the introductory bluster, it’s an early highlight that contrasts with the underlying electronics that pulse through the brief Eneke Najaaba that serves as an aperitif to the title track centrepiece. A recurring guitar theme builds into a hypnotic four minutes that show the dynamism of aswekeepsearching as their best; at first delicately and eventually bludgeoning their way into the consciousness. A highpoint for sure and how do you follow that is the question. Normally you might have a cigarette, but the actual answer is that you don’t even attempt to follow such an epic piece.
Suffice to say that the instrumental pairing of A Night In Zottegem and Gangtey act almost like a coda in cahoots with the highly pleasant foray into the acoustic sphere with Aitbaar. It’s a slow coming down after the highs of Rooh and a model in track sequencing that completes an immensely satisfying journey. One that pushes boundaries, crosses cultures and creates soothing atmospheres and uplifting emotions. Super stuff.
Watch the video for the title track here: