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Rahul Mukerji - Ma De Re Sha

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Press Reviews


From the first glance at his debut album, Rahul Mukerji makes clear that one of his chief qualities is an open mind. The cover reflects both sides of his background (born in India and now based in the eastern US) and the music within follows suit. His expressive guitar playing through Ma De Re Sha demonstrates a dizzying range of technique and tone, while the compositions make a highly electrified fusion mix that borrows from Joe Satriani as much as John McLaughlin.

These dynamic instrumental pieces stay most firmly rooted in rock mode, though it's an adeptly malleable one that always has room for exotic motifs. "I've always enjoyed the sound of tablas in heavy music and I decided to tailor the songs to that theme," Mukerji explains, and that flavoring does a lot to set this recording apart from the usual axe-slinger's shredfest. The supple hand percussion makes the disc's rhythms feel organic, even when trading with occasional electronic drum programs. Jazzy chord progressions are just as integral as heavy-metal chugging or Indian scales.

If a few light-speed solos might risk getting too technical for some tastes, they're still hung on solid hooks and driving jams. The likes of "Children of I-2" and "Zidd" make appealing ear candy out of vibrant high-flying grooves, while the guitarist is elsewhere content to add dreamier parts behind some airy flute, or perhaps channel a little Black Sabbath in crunchy moments such as "Sinner." Mukerji's fretwork in any mode is fluid and buoyant enough to make his excitement contagious, and the result is an album happy to weave and blend all those elements until it's easy to forget they're so different at all.

- All About Jazz



Indian born / Maryland-based guitarist Rahul Mukerji is making waves with his 2017 CD called Ma De Re Sha. Rahul’s music is very cinematic and his fleet fingered guitar work sounds influenced by masters such as Jeff Beck, Jan Akkerman and Al DiMeola.

- Pipeline Magazine, Issue #105, Summer 2017, pg 37



It would be easy to lump Rahul Mukerji’s fusion guitar music in with the tradition of John McLaughlin, but nothing could be further from the truth. Born in India and based in the US, Mukerji has given us a debut album that’s less about bridging cultural divides than it is about playing with the concept of genre. Ambitious, varied and at times full of energy, Ma De Re Sha has the feel of Indian cinematic music more so than Indian classical music.

And it is really good.

The title-track ‘Ma De Re Sha’ consists of an exquisite electric guitar solo flanked by muted flute variations on the main melody and light tabla ornamentation, over simple acoustic chords. ‘Event Horizon’, building layer upon layer of acoustic strings over a light synth ambience, could easily be mistaken for Al Di Meola while the Indian classical influence makes ‘Zidd’ sound akin to Baiju Dharmajan’s purer style. ‘A Path Less Travelled’ is exactly the sort of sad indie guitar music that features in TV shows about teenage heartbreak and ‘Train Ride from Siliguri’ is a modern track just waiting for a Bollywood movie about a lovestruck bachelor. It’s not quite a perfect album but, whenever the lazier prog-rock tracks begin to wear thin, they are punctuated by the unmistakeable cadences of classical Indian ornamentation on the electric guitar, or a deft tabla interlude that reintroduces some unpredictability. Mukerji is evidently still figuring out his sound, but it’s the breadth of his interests and potential that makes this an exciting debut.

TRACK TO TRY Zidd

- AMARDEEP DHILLON, Songlines Magazine, Issue #132, November 2017, pg 75-76



Guitarist Rahul Mukerji has released Ma De Re Sha, an album that is a joy to listen to but difficult as hell to define. The overall vibe is one of Indo-fusion. However, at any one moment the music is as western as you can get. Ever-shifting grooves come from many directions. Also interesting is that this is music you would usually expect to be presented in long form. On Ma De Re Sha, however, the tunes come in at pop music length. You barely have time to digest before the next delicious meal comes. The liner notes touting Mukerji’s guitar abilities are no hyperbole. This cat can play. Many influences can be heard, but I want to give Mukerji more credit than that. He takes those influences, and in some cases, is an improvement over them. I highly recommend Ma De Re Sha be listened to immediately and often thereafter.

- Walter Kolosky Author and host of the Jazz Rocks Podcast



Enchantingly aromatic album from a jazz-rock conjurer of magical imagery – alien and alluring.

Since the ’60s, raga’s been an exotic Eastern spice on Western musicians’ table, but nationally flavored fusion doesn’t come from India all to often, if at all. That’s why Rahul Mukerji’s debut, a good decade in the making, feels so refreshing, the guitarist’s move to America enriching yet, fortunately, not changing his amazing palette – a vertiginous mix of tasty colors.

The listener’s sucked into this majestic vortex with a non-invitingly titled “Exit 13” that melds meandering drone onto a rock framework before letting the tabla-led and bass-spanked groove seep in to contrast a swirl in an Eastern pattern. Riffs and a shred adding textural details to the tapestry make for a Mukerji method – to outline a tune and then flesh it out in harmonies and weight, or even shape a heavy metal sheet around melody, never more so impressive as in “Sinner” – but the filigree of acoustic pieces like “Fingerprints” reveal an immense emotional depth to his lace. Fluid licks flurries on “Zidd” and delicious dewdrops on “A Path Less Travelled” may be not as blinding as a the title track – bound between sharp attack and blissful release – yet even these shorter cuts are mesmeric.

Moody as “Hope Anew” which can serve as a display of Rahul’s tone, or playful as on “Children Of I-2” where the beat gets appropriately simple, the most immaculate marriage of Indian music and jazz would be “Train Ride From Siliguri” whose interplay unravels various instrumental threads that are the very fabric of this album. All of them arresting, “Ma De Re Sha” is a rapture throughout announcing the advent of a new force on the fusion scene.

- Dmitry M. Epstein - Let It Rock



Indian born American guitarist Rahul Mukerji has had a 15-plus year career performing live on the US East Coast and in his native India, on numerous recordings as a featured player, and has even done some soundtrack work overseas. Now after all these years and five years of composition and preparation, he presents his first solo album of instrumental tunes, Ma De Ra Sha (the title tune is the battle cry of his close friend’s two year old daughter!), twelve succinct tunes that showcase his compositions and chops, brilliant melodies and inventive arrangements, one foot in his Indian culture and the other foot firmly in American instrumental rock, drawing influences from both and freely superimposing them on each other. Mukerji plays all guitars, guitar synths, tablas (exceptional percussionist!), and there’s a picture of an e-bow next to the credits, which speaks for itself. Joining him are bassist Ruben Rubio and drum and percussion programmer Bruce (no surname given), plus others doing the production backline, mixing and mastering.

One is just as likely to find tasty dreamy classical licks layered over one another in a warm emotional context, as one might find an abundance of blistering electric shredding over a roadbed of tablas and percussion, with driving bass moving the rhythm forward. There’s a lot of variety among these dozen cuts to absorb, all performed with impeccable power and precision. Let's hope there is more to come.

- Peter Thelen, Exposé Online



Ma De Re Sha is a great electric guitar album by Rahul Mukerji, an Indian musician living in the Washington D.C. area. Mukerji combines powerful rock guitar hero licks with jazz-rock fusion, Middle Eastern beats and Indian music influences. He also uses a note bending technique that gives it a South Asian flavor and sets him apart from western guitar players.

- Progressive Rock Central



If you are in the mood for some intelligent instrumental guitar-centric rock music look no further than the latest platter by India born musician Rahul Mukerji. The disc is titled Ma De Re Sha and is the work of Mukerji (guitars, guitar synth, e-bow, sampling, tablas, drum programming) and Bruce Ng (additional drum and percussion programming). The disc was produced and arranged by both musicians.

Western rock is married with more exotic elements like tablas and Eastern flavoured motifs. This is a muscular album due to the exceptional guitar ability from Mukerji. His heavy grooves can be heard on the catchy opener "Exit 13", an excellent beginning to the album. The riffs and lead guitar work is exceptional and the tablas offer those Eastern tones developed in his homeland. On the pretty "Sita" mellow guitar arpeggios and flute samples turn into more heavier sounds as an influx of intense guitar and ultra-fast soloing ups the pace without losing the song's melodicism. Proving his versatility the artist delves into wonderful acoustic playing on the absorbing "Fingerprints". His nylon work is absolutely spellbinding here. Another excellent track is "Children of I-2" showcasing tasty acoustic rhythms and lightning fast soloing, a sort of fusion neoclassical sound. This is perhaps the catchiest track on the disc. The calm "A Path Less Travelled" features wonderfully clean toned guitar, very pretty from both a melodic and harmonic sense.

All guitar fans need to hear Mukerji play his guitar. It's really that simple.

- Jon Neudorf, Sea of Tranquility



You never know where your next favorite artist is going to come from as in the case of Rahul Mukerji (www.mukerji.us). He hails from India but now lives in the D.C. region of the United States. At least we can say something good is coming out of Washington at the moment. Mukerji is an amazing guitarist and instrumentalist who is drawing comparisons to players as diverse and acclaimed as Joe Satriani, John McLaughlin, Al DiMeola and Steve Vai on his 13-track debut Ma De Re Sha.

- Sights and Sounds of Note



The album’s tracks are rooted in a progressive rock approach and takes an overall spiritual direction paying homage to both the forces of dark and light. The music can be at times as gentle and expressive as a Ravi Shankar piece and others the mood veers to that of a hellacious heavy metal riff you might expect from Sabbath’s Tommy Iommi. Rahul’s “Fingerprints” are all over this instant masterpiece as his notable fretwork runs the gamut from blazing speed to focused finesse. Give this one a spin and you’ll have a holy cow moment – guaranteed!

- New Jersey Stage Magazine, Vol 4 No 8, pg 134



Performing all guitars, guitar synth, e-bow and programming, Rahul adds in sampled sounds, tablas for a traditional Indian percussive effect and modern drum programming to give the sound a solid rock edge. Ruben Rubio adds bass and Bruce is on additional drums and programming. Rahul Mukerji picks up from golden era of 1970s fusion and blends in a dose of 1980s electronic synth rock on his well-timed 2017 album Ma De Re Sha.

- Robert Silverstein. MusicWeb Express 3000



Ever heard progrock from an Indian? Well, this is your chance. Rahul has spent half a decade making his dream come true. Growed between the spices that provide spice of various musical styles, he works from Maryland to refining his moment of suprème. Do not expect 'east meets west' compositions. No, this is pure progrock on British reads with a (minimal) sniff of Eastern influences. Twelve instrumental songs distinguished by using Rahul's tablas, are spicy guitar solos, remarkable bass of Ruben Rubio and inventive percussion of Bruce Ng. The CD-ROM got a print from a viewmaster and should be viewed on a big screen with a projector? Surf sure to visit his website. In addition to free downloads, you'll also find wonderful art and video work, from poster designs to comic strips, and of course more experimental compositions. Everything from the hand of Rahul Mukerji. Rough and heavy guitar solos with synthesized beads on a bed of illustrations. What a guy, what a discovery!

- Keys and Chords (Belgium)



Born in India but based in the United States (NDR : Rahul Mukerji put his guitar lines on various soundtracks of animated films and other television series before deciding to box his first solo album entitled "Ma De Re Sha " . There is no need to go on "Google Translate" to find the meaning of this title in Hindi or Bengali, since, according to the musician in the booklet of his CD, 'Ma De Re Sha' does not correspond to anything Other than the favorite babbling of the two-year-old daughter of one of her close friends.

A long-term job, since the foundations of some of the titles appearing there were set some ten years ago, and the registration process itself began at the end of 2011. The technical, exotic, Music of Rahul Mukerji is not always easy to pin down. Fully instrumental and essentially guitar-based, it combines the virtuosic whirlwinds of the Jazz Fusion of artists such as John McLaughlin or Al Di Meola and the metallic hero's handfuls of hands such as Joey Satriani or Steve Vai . The exotic side of the case is obtained using percussion (sometimes sampled, sometimes played by Mukerji himself on Indian tablas). Although India is not really close to Mexico, the association Jazz / Rock and percussion guitars sometimes reminds a little of the work of Carlos Santana .

An endearing album, to put in the ears of any self-respecting instrumental guitar lover, whether he is a fan of Jazz Fusion, Metal virtuoso, or, why not, progressive.

- Music In Belgium



I will probably sleep a little while in class, but the name Rahul Mukerji was completely new to me and so, in the context of this review, I had to search a lot for the global web to find out that Rahul in India Born, but resident in the States, especially in Maryland, and he spent a good ten years in order to look into this debut album. That's why it became a period of shoveling and filming, from fuss and priegel to every nut, but the result is nothing but astonishing.

Whoever reads my writing books, I doubt that I am a man of many music, but also that there are a few genres that I do not really feel like. Well, prog rock is such a genre and yet I can only write about this album in superlatives. How it comes I do not know, but I know what I hear: from opener "Exit 13" you immediately hear that you're dealing with a guitarist who controls his instrument. He plays very cinematic pieces of music-the album is completely instrumental-and it is useful to take part in the work of the big examples: Di Meola, McLaughlin are names that instantly fade into your mind's eye, but when things get harder you think so Good Satriani or Vaï, all of them guys who do not make "my" music right away, but which I will never deny that they are fantastic musicians. Mukerji adds two things to what he received from the above examples: occasionally what electronics and especially a snuff Indian percussion on a regular basis make a track like "Sinner" a pleasure to listen to.

The record contains 15 tracks, but two of the last three are empty and the last one hears a toddler voice that shouts "Ma De Re Sha". That appears to be the voice of a daughter of Rahul: the child had made that cry to her trademark and debited him on all possible occasions, and that's how it works. Repeat-remember your own "Sjamayee" of the amazing Remo Perrotti - and this is true for this CD as you listen to the album more often, recognizes and teaches you -jaja, even the undersigned-really enjoying the guitar arts of Mukerji, assisted by Spanish bassist Rubio, also such a wonder child, and percussion by Bruce Ng.

Both players play their part in a decisive way, and add to the impressive compositions-you will notice all the things that have been working on here-to an even higher level so that you can now register this debut album on the list of "2017 discoveries" .

- Dani Heyvaert, RootsTime (Belgium)



This is a particularly strong album. It can be tough to pull off an instrumental disc that never really falters or feels redundant, but that's just what we have here. The mix of sounds are most often centered on fusion, but there is plenty of rock along with world music built into it. I think that the tinkering with balance from song to song is one of the elements that makes this work. No matter the explanation, though, this is an effective set with some impressive guitar playing.

- Gary Hill, Music Street Journal



I got this last week and I was blown away. This is a new guitar player thats coming out and we'll let the audience discuss ...

- NewEars Prog Show - WEMF Radio



Encompassing world rock guitar, even metal at times, jazz, ambient grooves, middle eastern percussion, and bringing together flavors of Indian music, Ma De Re Sha is a fusion album of the highest quality of musical excellence.

- Anne Carlini


Mukerji’s guitar style and various tones alone could make for a page-long exposé. The compositional themes jump from eastern rhythms to hard rock and jazzy progressive fusion-rock, with the guitar work front-and-center throughout. Sometimes clean and crystalline in it’s tone (especially on the acoustic tracks) but also tastefully processed electric sounds, which can inspire a dreamy ethereal introspective mood, as well as kick out a hard rock jam with the best of them.

- Maximum Ink Magazine


Otro especial de Glass Onyon Presenta, en esta ocasión, el soberbio guitarrista Indio Rahul Mukerji y su estupendo disco debut titulado "Ma De Re Sha" en una línea que combina rock progresivo, música de su país y guitarras explosivas;

(Another Glass Onyon Special On this occasion, he presents the superb Indian guitarist Rahul Mukerji and his great debut album entitled "Ma De Re Sha" in a line that combines progressive rock, country music and explosive guitars;)

- El Retorno del Gigante Radio Show (Argentina)



Rahul has a strong guitar presence and a style that you will definitely love. This twelve track album has such great cuts as Exit 13, Fingerprints, Children of I-2, the title track Ma De Re Sha, Event Horizon and much more. This album was very well written, recorded and performed. I highly recommend this album to your rock library.

- Oasis Entertainment



A strange duck of a record that finally got made because it just had to after all the frustration the artist endured. A wild mash up of everything, almost all at the same time, in the era of deconstruction, this is the kind of set that could speak to those looking to break through and feel thwarted at every turn. Wild, wild stuff that's the sum total of Murphy's Law, it could find an easy home in the ears of malcontents that have aged out of commercial malcontentism but are still looking for their sound and fury.

- Midwest Record



Fusion guitarist Rahul Mukerji is preparing the release of his debut album "Ma De Re Sha." Born in India, Rahul now resides in Maryland and uses his experiences to express himself through his music. He brings together the rhythm of his Indian culture with some fresh and exciting guitar licks on the album's opening tracks "Exit 13." He delivers an international sound, bringing both genres of music together with "Sita," while the smooth progressive rock feel of "Children Of I-2" shows off his outstanding guitar skills. He electrifies the album with the solo of "Zidd" and "Ma De Re Sha," before slowing the pace down for the Eastern tones of "Train Ride from Siliguri." The album closes with the acoustic finger-picking of "Event Horizon" and the hard rock assault of "Sinner." To find out more about Rahul Mukerji and his latest release "Ma De Re Sha," please visit mukerji.us.

- JP's Music Blog