Lean, economical and crisp, Anudrutam infuses a minimalist techno sensibility with acoustic percussion and naturalistic field recordings (collected by Sinha himself in Kolkata). While the bareness used by some similarly oriented artists tends to emphasize the cold, machine-like precision of each sound repeating ad infinitum, the clarity and simplicity of Sinha’s gestures tend to foreground the inner details of each sound. The clever yet uncluttered approach to rhythm also highlights the more organic facet of this sound world, drawing much on Sinha’s aptitude as a percussionist. Though full of pin-prick digital pulses and sleek synthetic flickers, there is a micro-level dynamism within each sound each time it juts out of the metric grid.
Sinha is also very sly about the way he manoeuvres live percussion into the compositions. Eschewing that well-worn dichotomy between “real” (instrumental) and “fake” (digital) sounds, he is very selective about the sorts of percussive timbres he uses, teasing out some very crystalline metallic chiming (such as the delicate gongs on The Palm Of Your Hand) as well as rich, woody tones that offset the electronics well. The sparing use of subtle processing on the acoustic percussion also bridges the divide. The Summit uses some heavy gating to get a terse, truncated feel from the hand drums, allowing some breathing room for the deeper reverberant sounds lurking in the background.
There are a mere couple of occasions where this seamlessness is missed, especially in the first two tracks, in which the field recordings seem to be employed more literally than elsewhere. As the album, progresses, however, the integration becomes much deeper, as diffuse soundscapes unfurl in the backgrounds and abstracted nuggets of voice punctuate the spare, osseous beats.