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Friday October 22, 1999
The Times of India

Folk hits from Swapan

Swapan Basu, the modern-folk icon, has recorded yet another collection of his 16 super-hit tracks. Among the numbers "Thakila Dobakhana" and "Bilaire" are set to new rhythm in tune with the changing taste in music. Swapan has recently completed his tour of the US and Canada, performing at more than a dozen shows, where he introduced his new style of fusion folk music. His next album, he says will consist of traditional and contemporary folk numbers Good Luck, Swapan.


Tuesday 30 July 2002 The Times of India

Swapan Basu hums Philosophical tunes for his Puja album

So you thought children were only interested in rhythmic songs, isn't it? But wait. If you were to listen to "SWAPAN BASU" experiences, you might want to change your views. "At the recently held Banga Sanskriti Sammelan, I was surprised to find chileren requestion me to sing serious songs - not the usual, funky numbers that we feel they'll enjoy," the singer recalled. Thus, when he decided to record a Puja album, Basu made sure that all the eight songs of his album were deeply philosophical. The recording for this album titled Matir Bichana is over. "The stoical numbers by Lalan Phakir are really ttouching," he said. The photopraph shows Basu recording Matir Bichana at a studio at Jessore Road.

The Times of India Wednesday 10 April 2002

City singers in tele-opera

Back in 1994, Chhanda Dutt, a teacher of St. Augustine's School, staged a musical based on Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist. And that was the starting point of Anjan Dutt's latest venture - Raja Opera, a 48 episode serial to be aired in ETv from May 15,9:30 pm onwards. This is supposed to be a weekly serial, The work for this production started around six to seven months back when Dutt started conducting workshops a various schools to find the child actors. Finally Abhryjit Sen, a student of St. Augustine's School was chosen to play the role of Raja, the central character of the story.

Though the serial explores the shabby by-lanes of antisocials and slum dwellers, it is framed in the Pratik Chowdhury, Shilajit, Swapan Basu, Indranil Sen, Usha Uthup, Anindya Bose (vocalist of the band Shahar), with the director himself chipping in as a naraator... are his fellow musician's reaction to the serial? Pratik Chowdhury, who plays the role of a corrupted landlord who wants to sell the slum for a highrise, said, " I haven't shot till date, but I'm extremely excited about the project, since I'll be working with my colleagues of the musical circuit."

Swapan Basu, who is a present shooting for the serial and is acting in the character of Baba said, "This is a serial that explores the crisis of survival - a factor that brings to and financial boundaries."

Hit city Monday 16 September 2002

Two Decades of Research Make Special Album

Over the years, Swapan Basu has earned fame as a folk singer. Of the albums to his credit, many still sell regularly. Yet, his latest album Matir Bichhana is closest to the singer's heart. Five of the eight songs in the album are special because it has taken Basu 20 years to gather them. "The songs have been collected through extensive research over two decades," he says.

The singer, who has won at least three scholarships from the government of India to research folk music, spent days visiting villages in Bengal and the Northeast to collect the songs, which include Haoar gari, Jokhon phool koli chhilo, Khat palanke shuiya re mon, Manush nai re eshe and O mor bharer deora, which have never been released before.
Says Basu, "I moved from village to village collecting the songs. It wasn't easy as most of them originate deep in the interiors of India."

Haoar Gari has its roots in the Alkap folk drama of Murshidabad, while Jokhon phool koli chhilo comes from the tea gardens of North Bengal and o mor bhrer deora is a bhawaiya from North Bengal.

Khaat palonke is a folk number from Bangladesh. Manush nai re deshe is a song by Mukunda Das. "These songs stan apart both in terms of tune and lyrics," says Basu. The album also includes two Lalon Fakir songs - Aami ekdino na dekhilam and Chirodin kaancha and Majoj Thakur's Parankale jodi."

Basu will make a video of Jokhon phool koli chhilo soon. A singer who has given us memorable albums like Amar Kalopakhi, Thakile Dobakhana, etc. Basu is confident bout song lovers will think of it as a collector's item," he says.

The statesman Friday 31 March 2000

A feel for folk

Swapan Basu scored again with his selection of heart-warning folk songs complete with janjo accompaniment and introductions in an evening of songs and poems at Kala Mandir presented by the CESE Cultural Association. His first presentation, "Ami marame mori" and the following one "Agey ke sundor din kataitaam" touched the hearts of listeners. They were followed by his latest "Jhin jhin hjan hjan", a foot tapping number.

The Tagore song, "Praner manush achhey praney" was a rare treat for his fans, as was the Jhumur song "Kunje asiben hari", a Radha-Krishna number from Orissa's "Mayurbhanj". It established Swapan Basu as a linguist and musician who can make his jabjo "talk".

The following presentation "Ami takdum takdum jabbai', a folk song with Bangla dhol as its main accompaniment (played beautifully by Debashish) brought the flavour of folk-rap, interspersed with amusing lyrics delivered as dialogues in aperfect tempo. Swapan Bose's musicians proved again that "teamwork" goes a long way in achieving perfection.

The concluding part of his programme consisted of his more popular songs like "Bilai-re", "Nandalal Debdulal" (the best presentation which brought the house down), "Manasuachharia" - a song set in Raga Shivaranjani, "Thakliey doba khana" and the song of Bihu.

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