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Dhamakapella

Case Western Reserve University

Radioactive / Jiya Jale / Dil Se Re / Ae Ajnabi - Single (2014)

4.0

Review By Kyle Yampiro

April 3, 2015

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South Asian fusion group Dhamakapella attempts to take one of the most oft-covered songs of the recent past and combine it with its own unique flavor by adding three distinctly different Hindi songs to the mix. While the idea for Radioactive / Jiya Jale / Dil Se Re / Ae Ajnabi is great, the group's inconsistency of execution in a pivotal spot takes away from the overall effect.

The familiar introduction of Radioactive is produced very cleanly and the phasing effects are gripping, but it's followed by a very matter-of-fact delivery of the verse by the first soloist. Still, praise be to the arranger for a mix of emotional tenors when Jiya Jale begins in earnest at the first chorus. The group has light, soothing backup vocals from Radioactive to create a cool, subdued effect to accompany the Hindi melody.

The track builds to a climax after darting artfully through the three Hindi songs over Radioactive's chord progression while avoiding the strong, familiar chorus until the end. Unfortunately, the low-level intensity of the soloist and backup vocals are incongruous with that of the percussion and background. The boost of the soloist here provides a piercing effect with no dynamic motion and is the only real misstep in the studio work on this track, which otherwise captures the group's blend of styles beautifully.

Despite a strong start, low energy and an absence of clear, unified motivation keeps this track from excellence. But with its experience in fusion and innovation, Dhamakapella has immense potential for making moving art. With more unilateral commitment to polish and energy, this group will be one to keep an eye on.


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