Rajesh Hardwani | Black Asia, Vol. 2

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Black Asia, Vol. 2

by Rajesh Hardwani

Black Asia Volume II is not just a musical journey, but a complete sensory experience, incorporating the visual and textile into Hardwani’s soundscape. The listener/reader is guided by Hardwani on a pilgrimage that will ultimaely end within.
Genre: Electronic: Trip Hop
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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Intro: Karanguni
0:33 album only
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2. My Name Is Raju
4:16 $0.99
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3. r-H Is In Da House (Radio Friendly)
3:55 $0.99
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4. Interlude: Beijing Busker
1:44 album only
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5. An Indian Lost In Beijing
4:38 $0.99
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6. Interlude: Bird Needs A Life Jacket
0:32 album only
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7. Play With Me
3:58 $0.99
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8. Horn Ok Please (Radio Friendly)
4:07 $0.99
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9. Anfractuous
4:02 $0.99
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10. Madrastyle
3:48 $0.99
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11. A Song To Grind To
4:15 $0.99
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12. Coil
4:51 $0.99
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13. Peace
5:23 $0.99
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14. Dishoom
4:13 $0.99
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15. Interlude: Beijing Here I Come
0:55 album only
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16. r-H Is In Da House
6:18 $0.99
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17. Horn Ok Please
5:00 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
“Music brought me here (Beijing). Music gave me new friends. Music bridged the cultural divide. No formal introduction was needed. We weren’t worried about faux pas. It was wonderful…it was wonderful not having to justify why I do (we did) what I do (we did). It was strange to feel normal.” — Rajesh Hardwani

Those words by musician/producer Rajesh Hardwani capture the essence of Black Asia. Black Asia is not merely a band or consortium of musicians and producers. It is a cultural movement, which celebrates the synthesis of distinct yet complimentary musical genres from the West and the East. Black Asia is a cultural medium through which individuals from different backgrounds come together to speak the same language and share the same experiences. Black Asia is an arena within which our questions about life, religion, and identity can be asked with candor and explored without inhibition.

Black Asia Volume II is the second installment in the Black Asia series. Black Asia Volume I, released in 2005, was not only our introduction to Hardwani’s comprehensive musical philosophy, but also the embodiment of his vision for Black Asia. Hardwani truly understands and unabashedly explores the symbiosis between hip hop, funk, and soul from the West and East Asian genres and instrumentation. This exploration and experimentation resulted in Black Asia Volume I. The material on Black Asia Volume I — tracks such as “Liquid” (with its Indian chants and driving tablas), “Lemon Grass” (with its Thai vocal samples combined with its funky hip hop beat), and “Indian Blues” (with its classic blues guitar riff)—epitomize the eclectic yet balanced nature of the album as a whole and the underlying artistic philosophy behind Black Asia. Yet, Black Asia Volume I was only the beginning for Hardwani. Since the release of Black Asia Volume I, Hardwani has collaborated with a myriad of artist/musicians, culminating in invitations to perform at high profile events.

As Hardwani so succinctly points out, “Black Asia is not just about coming together as one, but as one race (human), one colour (blood), a universal language (music) and one faith (love). The music here has no boundaries…” This continuing evolution of the concept of Black Asia has led to the second edition — Black Asia Volume II.

Black Asia Volume II is a more ambitious project for Hardwani. In particular, it highlights Hardwani’s all encompassing perspective of the Black Asia movement as a visual, social and spiritual medium. Black Asia Volume II is not just a musical journey, but is a complete sensory experience, incorporating the visual and textile into Hardwani’s soundscape. Black Asia Volume II combines a seventeen track sojourner across the West, Southeast and Mid-Asia with an in depth travelogue chronicling Hardwani’s travels from the Danshanzi Art District to the Ba Da Ling segment of the Great Wall of China in Beijing. The travelogue, in turn, is a photo journal rich with visual texture and cerebral insights. True to Hardwani’s altruistic and generous nature, Black Asia Volume II is also a vehicle for promoting other like-minded visual artists. This is evident by the last section of Back Asia Vol. II which is devoted to highlighting the works of visual artists Yan Yun Chan, Sara Chong, Joseph Nair, and Xiao Qian Li.

Ultimately, Black Asia Volume II is a continuation of Hardwani’s broader vision for Black Asia — to coalesce our cultural, ethnic, and religious individualities into one source. It is in our nature to create boundaries and divides between ourselves and others. It is equally as natural for us to shy away from the emotions and occasional pains of our lives. Yet, we all experience the same emotions regardless of these boundaries and divides. We all bleed the same color (red) and have the same faith (love). Black Asia Volume II attempts to lead one to this realization through a series of sensory journeys. The listener/reader is guided by Hardwani on a pilgrimage that may begin in Beijing, China but will ultimately end within.

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