K.S. Chithra 's/t' 2xLP
• The electrification of K.S. Chithra and Kollywood pop. Known by adoring fans and devotees throughout South India as Chinna Kuyil (Little Nightingale) on account of her expansive vocal range and crystalline sweet voice, the uplifting and surprising sound of K.S. Chithra is, for many, best exemplified by the early plugged-in-pop she made in the 1980s with the man / machine who first introduced her to the Tamil film industry, Maestro Ilaiyaraaja.
• There are few records you will hear this year that combine the sounds of a child's choir, a DX7 bass line, three types of drum machine, a mariachi trumpet cry, a resampled forty-piece orchestra and an electronic bass line that takes the Moog Taurus by the horns and rides into the Indian summer.
• There is probably less chance of hearing a vocal performance so confusingly dazzling that it instantly detracts from the previously aforementioned wish list combination of bizarre instruments but for those intrepid enough to dig a little deeper and take a detour due East, pick-axing right where Lollywood meets Bollywood, prepare to be rewarded with a double, triple and quadruple whammy.
• Often locally discussed behind the limelight of her wider continental contemporaries such as Asha Bhosle and Noor Jehan it is almost impossible to find adequate comparison to K.S. Chithra. Try taking the yearning vocal energy of Turkey's Selda and the falsetto range of Morricone's best Italian choirs, add the playful existentialism of Poland's Urszala Dudziak and the cinematic pedigree of Asha then sprinkle some saccharine Jane Birkinisms on top and set your turntable pitch at plus 8 while you dream of ‘Dots And Loops’ era Stereolab or a Malayalam Mantronix. Or just buy this first-time compendium and press play.
• This compilation focuses on a small and select handful of Chithra and Ilaiyaraaja's developing collaborations from the formative years of their relationship between 1986 and 1991, a vibrant time where analogue recording techniques and digital technology first overlapped and Chithra, as a developing vocalist, adapted to the sounds and arrangements of a classic maverick composer pushing the boundaries.
• Following the label’s previous compilation of the earlier Ilaiyaraaja film music with their ‘Solla Soll’a compendiums Finders Keepers Records continue this relationship with the original rights holders, to bring these rare Tamil recordings the a wider global audience, never previously released on CD and considerably rare on their original vinyl pressings.
Catalogue number: FKR051LP
Year of release / Country of release: 2012 / UK
Label: Finders Keepers