Babble Fish Productions gave us The Dewarists, which also was a major promotion for Bacardi’s Scotch Whisky brand Dewar’s. You know the connection right? Basically, the stage at Bacardi NH7 was called ‘Dewarists’, and the artists who performed on that stage later featured in the show by the same name.

Now, Babble Fish is back, this time in collaboration with MTV. And well, if you haven’t really followed Indian television over the past one month, you should. ‘MTV Sound Trippin’ is one show you need to check out! It premiered on 14th April, 2012 at 8:30 P.M. on MTV. The production team of MTV Sound Trippin’ ventures into a specific city/town that has a cultural heritage to speak of. Sneha Khanwalkar, Oye Lucky Lucky Oye-fame musician goes around that particular town/city collecting sounds that define its culture. At the end of the show, the sounds are placed together to create a track. Never before in Indian television, has a city been explored through its sounds.

The arrangements and sound editing has been very consistent across the four episodes that have been featured till now. The use of sounds, samples and synth makes the whole track sound really groovy. And the track does complete justice to the cultural demographics of the place explored. But what draws your attention to the show are the stunning visuals, the edgy camerawork and painfully synchronized video editing. Especially, in the Benaras episode. The show manages to capture the essence of Benaras through the Ganga Aarti, boat ride, Sadhus and Rama. The cinematographers and video editor/s have managed to successfully capture the cultural richness of the place. The shots are so well synchronized with the tracks, that we can’t help but ‘watch’ music. Also, the treatment of every music video is different from the other. Be it the ‘Old Film Effect’ in ‘Yere Yere’ or the ‘Psyched out’ effect in ‘Ram Ram’. They are really Tripping on the sounds!

Well, initially I was skeptical about the ‘Yellapur’ episode of Sound Trippin’ regarding the portrayal of the Siddhi tribe[The African descendants living in Yellapur, Northern Karnataka]. Their homes shouldn’t end up becoming tourist spots. Their intentional isolation is the only way the Siddhis can preserve their culture. But, it worked out well in the end. And we realized that in spite of being geographically isolated from Africa, their music has a rich African musical tradition. The latest episode of the show offers us insights into the Nautanki of Kanpur, which earlier was unknown to a majority of the audience.
The Qila Raipur Rural Olympics captured the authentic slice of Punjabi life. And the song ‘Tung Tung’ was the essence of this. Sneha Khanwalkar has done a brilliant job, especially in the Goa episode, where she composes the track ‘Susegaado’. Here, she already has a basic structure in her mind, before starting the whole process of making the song. The result is a very well arranged, recorded and composed track that is possibly the ‘definition’ of Goa. My personal favourite from the Sound Trippin’ album. It includes all the Goan surnames, beaches, places and what not!

Sneha Khanwalkar has a strong screen presence. She is extremely creative and a talented composer. MTV has a traveled a long way on this journey, from a dud season of Coke Studio to MTV Sound Trippin’. I am glad, that they are making shows where women are not reduced to mere entertainment-glam quotient. Shows like Roadies and MTV Splitsvilla have reduced women to mere objects where they are supposed to ‘bitch’ about and abuse each other on screen. And here is a show where the focus is completely on the impeccable skills of Khanwalkar. Let’s see how the show progresses from here. Kudos to MTV and Babble Fish for churning out an original concept out of India!


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