| Krosswindz: New horizons. Picture by Subhendu Chaki
The winds of change are sweeping across the Atlantic. In a “first time” reverse of the trend of western names filling the racks of music stores in India, an album featuring city-based rock band Krosswindz will soon be out in the US markets.
The album, entitled Music of the Globe, is a truly international compilation, with acts from Romania (Sahara) and Iceland (Hjortur), Australia (Mark Pengilly) and Africa (I-Jay) finding place beside the Indian band. It is being brought out by Joe Anthony Productions, an independent music label that promotes old genres like doo-wop, Latino, rock and Christian music.
Says Clarence Steele, the man behind Joe Anthony Pro, over e-mail: “A couple years ago I heard some great pop/rock music from India and fell in love with it. There is not a lot of exposure for Indian music in America. But everyone I have talked to in the US has had positive feedback about the idea of featuring an Indian band in the album.”
This set Clarence to search on the Net about Indian bands. “Krosswindz was a group that stood out mainly because it has its own sound, based around rock and Indian folk. Also, the band is very tight, musically.”
Another fact that tilted the scales in favour of the band was its collaboration with well-known jazz musician Herbie Hancock during his Calcutta tour.
The band members obviously are delighted. “The offer came out of the blue. It is a great honour to be the first Indian band to be featured in an international album,” gushes guitarist Vikramjit Banerjee.
Talking about the two songs chosen for the album, he says: “We have long been working on what is the world music sound. Both One world and Mahoutbandhu have an international texture. While the former starts with sarangi and goes on to use a variety of instruments like djembe, an African drum, Mahoutbandhu, despite being a folk song, has a western background.”
The album has come out on November 11. It is available online with such merchants as Amazon.com, CDNow, BarnesandNoble.com, and TowerRecords.com.
“After its online release, we will be obtaining pre-orders with record shops in both the US and in select overseas markets,” Steele says.
Though the album may not be available in Indian music stores right now, Krosswindz plans to distribute copies among “friends and well-wishers”. “JoeAnthony Pro just might decide to tie up with a local label and bring it out here later,” Vikramjit says.