In December last, after our hugely successful Manganiyar Seduction show at Purana Qila, we embarked on a series of ambitious journeys. Fascinated by the music of the Manganiyars, a 400-year-old community of Muslim musicians, we criss-crossed Rajasthan to look for the finest among them. We wanted to research and document their rich musical heritage, and most of all, we wanted to record their music in its purest form: with traditional instruments all in one take and acoustic.
That these recordings were made in the homes of the musicians or in their natural surroundings, shows in the ease and freedom of the performances. The album has an unmistakable fidelity of both character and sound. The analog setup we used helped immensely in remaining faithful to this. We found such formidable talent during our first trip, we made two more, notably one in April 2011. By the end, we had recorded more than 50 musicians and had over 1400 minutes of tape. After countless hours spent holed up in the studio digitizing, editing, mixing and mastering, we were ready with a set of field recordings that present the finest and purest in Rajasthani folk. This music isn t only for the purist, however, as anyone who hears it will know. We also believe it has the power to move people from all age groups and cultures. This is world music, and it deserves a world audience.
"A heart-worn exile from India, I played these recordings and almost wept. The syncopation of Rajasthani village life, the relaxed perfection of the technicians Amarrass has scouted out, the beauty of their music, all this and more is here. Mitha Bol is easily the best new album I have heard this year." ---James Astill (author of the The Great Tamasha: Cricket, Corruption, and the Turbulent Rise of Modern India)