EP Review: iTunes Festival, London 2010: Dharohar Project, Mumford and Sons and Laura Marling

By on Tuesday, 17th August 2010 at 12:00 pm

In December 2009, folk-favourites, Mumford and Sons and Laura Marling, both ventured out to India in order to meet and play with Rajasthani folk collective, Dharohar Project. This intriguing musical meeting went so very well that in June, Mumford and Marling decided to repay the favour, inviting Dharohar Project back over to England. This mystical journey between East and West ultimately spawned an EP (simply titled ‘Mumford Sons, Laura Marling and Dharohar Project’), which contained five collaborations between the three artists. Along with the EP, the troupe also hit the road, and performed two gigs in Bradford and London in July 2010. To celebrate, iTunes have released a further EP from the trio, which contains special live recordings from the London Roundhouse date. There Goes the Fear were granted special permission to hear the record this week, and to be frank, we couldn’t bloomin’ wait.

The record is as wonderful, exciting and mystical as you hope it would be. Mumford and Sons’ famous live energy – enjoyed so much at this year’s festival season – penetrates intensely through the speakers, as Marcus Mumford’s voice rumbles through the stomping crowd amid ‘The Cave’ and ‘Roll Away Your Stone‘. Laura Marling’s stage presence, meanwhile, is as captivating and strong as ever, as she spins her poetic tracks with a fiery attitude. Her striking voice kicks in all directions as she powers through ‘I Speak Because I Can’ and the incredible ‘Rambling Man’. Dharohar Project also have two solo spots on the EP. The tracks proving a truly spell bounding trip into the deeps of Delhi. The mind-blowing intricacy of the Rajasthani folk is dreamy, with the metallic twangs, hopping percussion and expressive vocals of ‘Mala Ramaniya’ and ‘Sakhiri Maha’ allowing for a wonderfully exotic contrast to the more familiar sounds of nu-folk.

The EP undoubtedly shines the most, however, amid the live collaborations between all three artists. Mumford and Son’s ‘To Darkness’ begins out sombre and heartbreaking, before launching into a energetic mass of Indian sounds swelling out across the Roundhouse. Dharohar Project and Mumford and Sons also join alongside Laura in order to perform ‘Devil’s Spoke’. An enchanting mix of Marling’s racy bluegrass sound with wisps of Indian strings, percussion and vocal makes this final track the true highlight of the EP.

To conclude, the connection between Dharohar Project, Mumford and Sons and Laura Marling is a truly beautiful one – one that flows so very naturally, too. This live EP is particularly outstanding as you are immersed in the passion, excitement and sheer joy aroused by the collaboration between these three artists – made notably evident by the delightful woops and claps from the lucky audience present at the gig. This EP is a true treat for the ears – I can’t recommend this magic enough.

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2 Responses

5:29 pm
17th August 2010

Bloody hell, these guys are everywhere! I heard that they’ve done 1million records too now… It’s so good to see a new band, (well, kind of.. I saw them when they’d just started a couple of years ago at least,) with their own sound, doing so amazingly well! Especially in a period where come-backs seem to rule. They’ve broken the back of that trend. Good for them!

1:44 pm
22nd September 2010

Hi there,
For anyone interested in Dharohar – an intriguing group of musicians
from Rajasthan, please go to http://www.dharohar.co.uk, we are making a
documentary about them.
Go to http://www.dharohar.co.uk for the story, music, clips and
features, we are also in the process of looking for extra funding via
Indie gogo – all details are on the site.
Many thanks!

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