Piping Hot

French guys forming a band called 'Masaladosa'. Now this is what we call fusion in its real element! "Masala is a mix of spices, and the dosa's shaped like an LP, but let them come, for they will speak with full passion," Masaladosa's manager Stephanie fills in the initial blanks. In walk Pierre-Jean Duffour, his brother Brice and drummer Franck, and we get a more elaborate recipe. "Our approach to music arrangements is exactly the way you cook...just like the mixing of many spices, masala is symbolic of mixing, the eastern and the western music in this case," Pierre, his leg in a cast, puts aside a very funky pair of crutches painted with Indian symbols and shares his 'bharat darshan'. "Courtesy Pandit Ravi Shankar and Trilok Gurtu," he smiles. Now, why aren't we surprised! "I heard him play the sitar, and came to India to learn the instrument in Varanasi," he rewinds. For Pierre, Indian music is something that goes deep into feelings and techniques, and has a strange hypnotic effect which infuses a desire to gain more knowledge about it. As he reflects on the many influences which come together in their third album, Electro World Curry after Baraka and Chill Aum, he takes us on journey they've been on - from London to Kolkata, Kingston to Pushkar in Rajasthan where they picked a lot of percussion techniques and folk elements. "Rajasthan is like this hub of folk music, and we're totally into it, and if you hear, then tyou'll know our music draws its influences from diversity of cultures, the subtle alchemy of Indian music and Jamaican grooves, delicately spiced with electronica," Pierre adds as Brice gears up to 'spread the sound'. "A unique one, and that's what keeps us going." explains Brice adding how UK is the hub of fusion, and they in France, are perhaps 20 years late. "With free downloads, these aren't the best times for music industry," tells Brice to which Pierre and Franck counter that "in a way these downloads are making their music reach far and away, so it's good in a way." It is, and to add to their impressive discography is a list of awards, performances and compilations for films like Sita Sings The Blues, For Real and Garam Masala. In fact, they even have a mobile recording studio, "through which we keep capturing sounds, recording our work as we travel, like the one we did in Delhi. The train was delayed by nine hours, and we sat and recorded a melange of voices at the station. When we go back, we'll use these as samplers," Pierre's excited about their collection, and how this fusion acts a bridge between cultures. "We've been back and forth India and France, and we are world's apart yet, the music connects us," he wraps up.

In city courtesy the Alliance Francaise and The Indian Express, catch the group live at the Sector 17 Plaza on Thursday, February 26 at 7pm with city's tabla player, Avirbhav.

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