Karsh Kale (pronounced Kursh Kah-lay) is an Indian American musician, producer and composer, and is considered one of the pioneering figures in defining the Asian Underground genre by mixing disparate genres of music such as Indian classical and folk with electronica, rock, pop and ambient music. In addition to production, remixing, and DJ work, Kale is known for his tabla drumming and film composition.
Born as Utkarsha Kale on November 1, 1974 to Indian Marathi speaking immigrants in West Bromwich, England, Kale was raised in Brooklyn, New York after his parents relocated in 1977. Kale took an interest in drums and eventually became a tabla player. Kale's father introduced Kale to a broad range of music, which included traditional Indian music, classical, rock, and even early hip-hop. From this broad range of influences, Kale, who was self-taught, developed his own style, which eventually led to his "electric tabla".
Tabla Beat Science
In 2000, Bill Laswell founded Tabla Beat Science, inviting Kale, along with Zakir Hussain, Talvin Singh, Trilok Gurtu and Sultan Khan. Together, the group released Tala Matrix that year. The album is considered to be one of the most influential Asian Fusion albums to date, and the group embarked on a tour, of which one of the shows was later released on DVD.
While a Music Production and Performance student at New York University, Kale began playing in bands and working as a session musician. In 1999, Kale began work on his first EP, Classical Science Fiction from India and began hosting bi-weekly "Futureproof" events, which consisted of DJ and electric tabla sets. These events attracted the attention of San Francisco label Six Degrees Records. Soon after, Kale became the first Indo-American to be signed to a solo recording contract in the United States, a move which was followed by Kale's first full-length album, Realize, in 2001. Realize, often considered as a major milestone in what Kale called "Asian Massive", was followed with 2002's Asian Massive Tour, which also featured Midival Punditz and Cheb i Sabbah, and 2003's Liberation.
Kale's third album, 2006's Broken English, was predominantly set to English lyrics, a shift from his previous albums. His follow-up Breathing Under Water, released in 2007, was the result of a two-year collaboration with sitar instrumentalist Anoushka Shankar. In 2011, Kale released Cinema, which draws influence from Kale's experiences in composing for Bollywood.
Kale has composed for crossover and Bollywood films including Chutney Popcorn, Indian Cowboy, Ocean of Pearls, and Pyaar Impossible!. His tracks have also been featured in shows such as HBO's True Blood and Real Time with Bill Maher. Two of his songs were included in as sample music in Windows Vista by Microsoft.
Kale's songwriting credits include songs with Sting and Norah Jones, and has remixed songs by artists including Paula Cole, Yoko Ono, and The Cure. Kale also worked with Midival Punditz on a rescoring of Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon.
In 2012 Kale was one of an esteemed group of music producers selected to take part in MTV India's music incubation project: Coke Studio for its second season. Working with Indian artists including Monali Thakur, Benny Dayal, Apeksha Dandekar and more, he produced some of the series most innovative and well received tracks including Glorious, Shedding Skin and a new twist on the 'Umrao Jaan' classic - Dil Cheez.
- Realize (2001)
- Redesign: Realize Remixed (2002)
- Liberation (2003)
- Broken English (2006)
- Breathing Under Water (with Anoushka Shankar) (2007)
- Cinema (2010)
With Tabla Beat Science
- Tala Matrix(2000)
- Live at Stern Grove Palm Pictures (2003)
- Talaman Soundclash, Live at the Filmore (2004)
- Bright Like This (1999)
- Classical Science Fiction from India (2000)
- Play (1999)
- Pause (1999)
- Back Seat Lavni (1999)
- Distance Remixes (2000)
- Beautiful Remixes EP (2007)
- Manifest Remixes EP (2006)
- Indian pop
- 1.0 1.1 Hollywood Bowl. About the Performer: Karsh Kale. Hollywoodbowl.com. Retrieved on 2012-07-07.
- 2.0 2.1 Karsh Kale: Artist You Should Know. Blogs.kcrw.com (2011-07-06). Retrieved on 2012-07-07.
- 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Biography. Last.fm (2012-06-26). Retrieved on 2012-07-07.
- World Music Central.org. Karsh Kale Biography. Worldmusiccentral.org. Retrieved on 2012-07-07.
- Karsh Kale: Realize. Ethnotechno.com. Retrieved on 2012-07-07.
- Karsh Kale: Music With Echoes of India, America and Much, Much More. Kqed.org. Retrieved on 2012-07-07.