Mallik Family Secret Colours

The Mallik Family is from Darbhanga, in Northeastern India near the Nepalese border. From the late 18th century they have built up an intricate, intensely percussive style of Dhurupad singing with a repertoire of ragas sung exclusively by their own family. They are also adept of other styles, and on this CD they sing in the Khyal tradition. There are two ragas presented on Secret Colours. The first, “Rag Basant,” is a raga for springtime; the second is a raga of marriage and merriment. The Mallik Family's style is relentlessly calling and responding (in that the roles of leader and follower are always shifting) between Bidur and Premkumar and the tablas of Anandkumar Malik. Sustained notes are neither singer's forte, but they will create long sustained passages by trading off on sustaining a single note creating an effect something like circular breathing in jazz. The Malliks really cook when they get into the faster sections where their rapid fire dual vocalisations and tablas reach a level of precision that is just astounding. One can listen to the perfectly paced ragas of Secret Colours over and over again finding new aspects to the vocals each time. (Shalimar)