By Anita Stewart, Tampa Correspondent
REVIEW: Soom T’s album Bullets Over Babylon
Soom T (Sumati Bhardwaj) is an Indo-Scot from Glasgow who is known for her musical melange of Dubstep, Hip Hop, Electronique, Reggae and Reggaeton and along with her eclectic, poetic, socio-political lyrics and versatile vocals has indeed created her own distinctive style and genre. She also adds in other modern and world influences with her music. The genre is called several different names and hard to pigeonhole into one genre but the new one that seems to fit the most accurately is “Digital Laptop Reggae.”
Even more unique about her lyrics and sound are all the other musical acts she has collaborated with. Her writing, producing, recording and worldwide touring schedule is constant and rigorous and her global fan base is already huge and still growing. She is probably one of the hardest working women in the music industry in Europe and has produced more than 50 releases since 1999. She currently is signed to Renegade Masters.
To get the music out, Soom T uses all the tools in the toolbox. She is online everywhere, with uploaded videos, sound bytes, photos and her presence on viral sites such as YouTube, MySpace, Spotify, Last.fm, Bandcamp, Soundcloud and more. “Bullets Over Babylon” was recorded as a collaboration and produced by Monkey Marc and was released on April 20th, 2015. Her upcoming recording, “Free as a Bird” is due to be released on November 13th, 2015.
This album surprises with lush instrumentation and dedicated lyrics, multi-layered synth, keyboards and electronique. No two songs sound the same…
Tracks from Bullets Over Babylon
“Slave” — darkness, slow, minor keys, rhythmic, synth and special effects, jazzy vocals.
“The Rebellion” with Combat Wombat — rapped lyrics, electronica, mix of dubstep and reggaeton, layered vocal riffs.
“Under the Rubble” — organ/keyboards intro and throughout, rapped and sung lyrics
“We’re Sick of it All” — spoken intro, rapped lyrics about corporatism and resistance, great special effects, vocals about the corporate culture.
“Storms Come” with Marina P and Solo Banton– slow rapped reggae by Solo Banton, dancehall rhythms, Soom T’s lyrics are soft and beautiful used in the chorus and as a backdrop for Marina P’s soul voice in the verses. Outro with the sound of rain and thunder. Definitely a standout track! This writer’s favorite.
“Aliens in Jars” — driving rhythm, looped drums, electronique, rapped lyrics, special effects with the vocals, reverbed keyboards.
“Bullshit” — world rhythms in the intro, rapped angry socio-political lyrics, lots of instrumentation, synth.
“Complex Simplicity” with MC Karma — Far East sounding strings and chord progressions, MC Karma rapping lyrics, chorus done by Soom T, yearning and melodic vocals, world music sound, some vocal parts sound Middle Eastern. Another standout track.
Soom T singing “Ganja Ganja” live (great performance)
Soom T and Naaman “freestylin” on live radio in Toulouse, France (spectacular jazz, dubstep and reggaeton)
Soom T singing “Boom Shiva” with the Reggae Rajahs in India
Grew up in a rock and roll radio station that her father owned and has a musical family. Spent a few years singing back up. Now sings in the shower! Plays ukulele and hand drums. Loves Alternative to Zydeco. Promotes bands and independent artists through ANITA STEWART PROMOTIONS.Female musicians through YES SHE ROCKS. Writes, fights for a green environment, pure water, clean food. Preparing for retirement. Knits, paints and explores in nature with her camera!