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Taal Tadka, spiced up rhythm

By Suzanne Sen
December 2012
Taal Tadka, spiced up rhythm

The width of a tie, the height of eyeglasses, the thickness of a platform shoe—styles fade away for years and then come back with some twist to look new. For group singing, this has happened again. A capella groups (singing without the accompaniment of musical instruments) used to have the reputation (at least for some people) of being a little formal, a little esoteric, something done by a few people in ivy halls—not for everyone. Now, according to Taal Tadka, the Georgia Tech group, a capella has been making a comeback and becoming popular.

This particular a capella group has an added style, South Asian fusion. But that doesn't tell all! When they begin to "sing," there are no words—rather, some glorious bass rhythms and sparkling percussion—from the mouths of two men, respectively! The group chimes in with a harmony of sounds, then words, with a rhythm and lilt and lift that moves the audience along with them in their chairs. Remember the boom of bass singers like Bowser ? And the pleasantness of barbershop quartets? How could anyone not smile with this sound! It sounds "totally new" today, or to someone older, it sounds like a happy return to the "old music" or even the barbershop days of 100 years ago.

This group's singers take turns in solos or duets with backup, often with lighthearted dancing reminiscent of soul music. Songs tell the ups and downs of emotions, all the stronger with the distinctive beat of voiced "bass" and "rhythm section." Finally, this fusion is a blessing for second and third gens and non-Indians, since the group enjoys "mash-ups" with English as well as Hindi/Bengali/etc. Appealing in so many ways, this young group was the hit of the night at Pujari's Durga Puja program (day 1 of 3) at Berkmar High School on October 19, 2012.

Website Bonus Feature



Taal Tadka

Bowser with the Sha Na Na



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