The Humours of Autorickshaw

by Autorickshaw

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Travis Whether you take up the deep, reflective traditional songs with the charming ones and allow them to co-exist on the same album or allow them to stand separate is one's own choice, but I invite anyone reading this to experience everything with ears open and you'll surely enjoy what technical prowess and an infinitely open mind can do for music these days. Thanks to everyone who worked on these recordings; you've at least made a difference in my life, and hopefully in many others to come! Favorite track: Kapi-Wallah.
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Producer's note:
After what has literally been years of talking, dreaming, deciding, tracking, editing, re-tracking, arguing, mixing and re-mixing, keeping and discarding, shuffling and shifting, ebbing and flowing, starting and stopping, and finally pushing through, into the world comes Autorickshaw’s fourth studio effort. I am so honoured that the two extraordinary musicians who form the Autorickshaw brain trust allowed me to exercise such tremendous creative freedom with them, and with their material. While both Suba and Ed are deeply versed in the north and south Indian Classical music traditions, they are also both contemporary Westerners, living in perhaps the most ethnically and socially diverse city on the planet. We did our best to weave many of their musical influences into a seamless fabric, to create a sound that is simultaneously referential and yet totally unique. We’re very proud of the product but you can judge whether or not we were successful in our endeavour. At the very least, we hope this album humours you, in the best way possible.
-Andrew Craig, October 2013


released November 10, 2013

Produced by Andrew Craig and Autorickshaw

Bed tracks and overdubs engineered by Andrew Craig at the old Arraymusic Studio, Toronto, Canada
2010 sessions assisted by Clark Barnes
Vocals engineered by Andrew Craig at the Manadon Palace, Toronto, Canada
Edited by Andrew Craig
Mixed by Dylan Bell at FreePlay Studios, Toronto, Canada, except “Sunrise” and “Raj Kumari”, mixed by Andrew Craig at Das Machineraum, Guelph, Canada
Mastered by Andy Krehm at Silverbirch Productions, Toronto, Canada Photography by Cameron Ogilvie
Design and Illustration by Krishan Jayatunge

Rich Brown plays MarkBass amplification & Jim Dunlop strings
Adrian Eccleston plays Gibson guitars, Mesa/Boogie amps, T-Rex Engineering, Empress Effects, Dunlop picks & Dean Markley strings
Ed Hanley plays Mukta Das & Haridas Vhatkar tabla
Patrick Graham plays Cooperman drums
George Koller plays Rikhi Ram dilrubas
Larnell Lewis endorses D'Addario, Yamaha drums, Zildjian cymbals, Evans Drumheads & Pro Mark drumsticks

Special thanks: Trichy & Lalitha Sankaran; William, Anthony, Christine & James Hanley; Retrocity; Dylan Bell for marathon mixing and a thousand nips and tucks; Rick Sacks and Sandra Bell of Arraymusic; Sameer Sheriff of Greyhound Bus Lines; Graham Clarke of George Charles Productions; Laura McNeilly; Kathi Nicoll; all musicians, past, present and future.

This album was supported by the Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.
This recording was made possible through the assistance of the Canada Music Fund and the Music Section of the Canada Council for the Arts.
We would like to acknowledge funding support from the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.


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Autorickshaw Toronto, Ontario

Canadian Indo-fusion ensemble Autorickshaw has been called one of the most interesting acts on the world music landscape. Their sound showcases the sultry, sophisticated vocals of Suba Sankaran, anchored by the driving bass-lines & beatboxing of Dylan Bell over a bed of intricate tabla grooves by Ed Hanley. Autorickshaw has toured extensively across Canada, the US, the UK, Europe, India & Nepal. ... more

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Track Name: Snake Charmer
Nandhavanathil or aandi
avan naalaru mathamai kuyavanai vendi
kondu vandhaan oru thondi
athai koothadi koothadi potudaithandi

I am known as the Great Snake Charmer
With my voice I control; with my song I will entice you
Feel my melody hypnotize you
You are powerless to resist
With my melody I delight you
Feel the sway of the great snake charmer

Will you rise and dance, snake?
Villai aadu pambe

I am the Great Snake Charmer
I can make you writhe in state of pain or pleasure
Rise for the great snake charmer
‘Til I’m satisfied, you will do your dance for me
I am the Great Snake Charmer
I will tantalize you far beyond all measure
Rise for the Great Snake Charmer
‘Til I’m satisfied, you will do your dance for me

Will you rise and dance, snake?
Villai aadu pambe
Will you come out to play?
Villai aadu pambe
Track Name: Humours of Autorickshaw
What we do, when we get to
Spend the time and do the things we want to
We like to play a tune
That jumps around, and activates the brain,
And then you see what we do gets inside you
Starts to move, and subtly excites you
Eyes widen, heart rate risin’
Bit surprisin’, fun on the horizon
Makes you come out of your seat just a little

We love when the elements of melody and rhythm
Dance, so much like two old-school hoofers in a battle
No one is winning, yet polyrhythmic phrases
Dizzy the mind with virtuosity and sense of play
So we say that you should just get up
And get into the groove, ‘cause

When you do as you ought to
And you let the melody and rhythm
Just slip down in your pants, and
Set your hips in oscillating motion
Then you will find that it stands to reason
Where the hips go feet will have to follow
Oh no! – the torso flow is good to go
And now we’re in control 'cause then you will see that
Everything is better when

You, all your friends and neighbours
Right across the world engage
In this polyrhythmic madness that we’re servin’
All that we want is for your hunger to be assuaged!
So let all the metric modulations make you sway
And they may allow you to get down
And get into the groove the Autorickshaw way!
Track Name: Kamalajadala
“Oh! Merciful one, with lotus-like eyes! You are an ocean of mercy and showed kindness to the elephant king, Gajendra. You, the lord of Lakshmi slew the demons Keshi and Narakaasura. Your exalted presence resides in the city of Velapura. You are the greatest amongst Gods.” - adapted from/translation by Chitraveena Ravikiran
Track Name: The Trouble With Hari
The trouble with Hari is she’s smart
Has iron will and a rebel heart
Mother tells her what not to do
“Don’t you play with paints - go to school”
But all Hari thinks of is her art

She makes giant pictures in the sand
She uses whatever is at hand
Images of Krishna, Arjuna
Characters from Bhagavad-Gita
The mythical tales of India land

Lakshmi Auntie lives just down the way
She sees Hari’s drawings everyday
She pays a surprise visit
To sit down with Ma and Pa
Tell them Hari’s head is in the clouds

“I have seen this kind of thing in the past
At this rate, she’ll marry out of caste
You’ve got to do something soon
To stop this bad behaviour
Or else your good fortunes will not last”

And Hari doesn’t know what to do
Arjuna’s struggle is Hari’s too
Why is it she cannot follow through
“I wish that Arjuna fashioned me into his arrow so that
he can shoot me high above my life, and all at once, I can be true”

The trouble with Hari is she’s smart
Has iron will and a rebel heart
Hari heard what Krishna had to say
Like Arjuna, finally made her way
Now her works adorn the Taj Mahal

The trouble with Hari is she’s far
From the only butterfly in this jar
When the Great Lord Krishna snaps the lid
Gives you freedom like a little kid
Tell me, my friend: what then will you start?
Track Name: City of Lakes
A wind invades your slumber at midnight
Bringing you poisoned mists of progress
Progress slips away in the pale moonlight
Leaving only pain and distress

Through the trenches, the noxious stenches
Form the clouds of impending disaster
Broken dreams and industrial schemes
Render you victim to the corporate bastards

Mothers without daughters
Daughters without fathers
Fathers without brothers
Brothers without mothers
Mothers without brothers
Brothers without fathers
Fathers without daughters
Daughters without mothers

In the city of lakes, the worst of our fears
A nightmare flow yields a river of tears
A pestilence, made of corporate greed
The blindness to life makes the soul bleed

Sister, your eyes burn with tears
Never again shall you see morning
Brother, you are riddled with fear
Holding your child, who from the mouth is frothing

The heart of India shattered
Bodies scattered
The fabric of society tattered
Still, the thieves dismiss the matter
Profit locks compassion’s cage

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