Medusa of Troy

Dang, Ami – “Hukam” – [Ehse Records]

Medusa of Troy   7/3/2019   A Library

Amrita Kaur Dang, who goes by Ami Dang, integrated noise, pop, Northern Indian classical and EDM into her debut album, Hukam. A sitar player since her early teens, this album was made back in 2010, when she was “stuck” getting a music degree at Oberlin College. There are songs in English and an Indian language (Hindi? unsure). Lots of wailing and vocal arpeggios but with a voice a little rougher than the sweet high tones one hears in traditional Indian music. Cacophonous and droning tracks are punctuated with sitar loops. Is rhythmic noise a contradiction? Because it happens here. Strong drumwork organizes the sounds into danceable beats “Treasure” – could be a traditional song from some part of northern India, but the staccato looping makes it feel more western. “A Strange Community” is perhaps my fave – tabla drum beats and sitar accents add to wailing chats and circular electronic riffs.

Some tracks stop abruptly and the subsequent songs will continue the old beat for a while.(1/2, 6/7). A noise fan might not consider this real noise, but if this were filed accidentally in the International section of a record (Ami is Indian-American from Baltimore), it would cause a ruckus.

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