KOCHI: ‘Thaikkudam Bridge’ started off in 2013 performing covers on Kappa TV’s show Music Mojo. Since their inception, the collective has done things its way, made music that mattered to the band and its audience, who religiously followed its rendition of familiar tunes from the past.
Probably one of the hardest criticism this Kochi-based act had to face was being called ‘genreless’. But the industry slowly watched it embrace it and grow—a journey that made Thaikkudam Bridge the first Indian band to perform at Summerfest in Wisconsin—certified by the Guinness World Records as The World’s Largest Music Festival—alongside Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, Jennifer Lopez and over a hundred other international artists.
After ‘Navarasam’ that released in 2017, the act’s upcoming sophomore album is an international release—a multi-artiste 10-track LP that features 11 accomplished artists, including Jordan Rudess from Dream Theater, drummers like Chris Adler and Marco Minnemann, mohan veena maestro Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, and Avial’s ex-vocalist, Anandraj Benjamin Paul. Thaikkudam Bridge’s frontman and violinist and music director Govind Vasantha calls this his dream project, one that has been in the pipeline for almost two years now. “It has been a long-term project and I have been patiently working on it. This album is definitely a new chapter for Thaikkudam Bridge,” he adds.
Ashok Nelson, lead guitarist of the band remembers how the associations with artists worked out. “Some of those were completely unexpected. We were once in Colombo airport, sleepy and tired when we saw Dream Theater walking buy. We met up with them and exchanged numbers and that is how Jordan Rudess came into the picture,” he says. The keyboardist features on a track named ‘Saalaikal’, one that stands in contrast to his regular style of music.
“Saalaikal is a happy number that speaks of harmony and friendship. So is Jeele ji Bhar that features Ustad Rashid Khan. Saawariya with Padma Vibushan Pandit Ram Narayan on sarangi is a melody with no drums. The album is an assortment of sounds we love as a band,” says Govind.
Ashok chooses to call ‘Namah’ an offering. “We have brought together artists who defined music for us and have inspired us. There was never an idea for the album, rather we worked around it as it took shape,” he says, adding that parts of it will carry listeners back to the band’s ‘Inside my head’ that features drummer Marco Minnemann borrows its morbidity from Navarasam. ‘Thekkini’ is another beat-heavy track that brings together a peculiar blend of mridangam and drums, featuring Chris Adler and Umayalpuram K Sivaraman. The album will be officially released on November 30, at Forum Shantiniketan, Bengaluru.Listening session on November 28, At Mamangam, Palarivattom 7pm onwards