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Mike Dillon
Kharma Bums



1. Kharma Bums Overture
2. Driv’n to Kumbh Mela
3. Ignatius Finds a Ghat
4. Paddle Cry
5. Sector 6
6. A Most Auspicious Day
7. District Master
8. Tabla Flood
9. Samosa Stop
10. Tabla NOLA
11. Ganga Interlude
12. Capsized
13. Tabla Rickshaw
14. Dry Season
15. Kharma Bums
16. Cloud Burst

SKU RPF 1921 Categories ,


Mike Dillon’s original score on the Kharma Bums documentary follows a journey down India’s Ganga River during the largest gathering of humans on the planet, the Kumbh Mela. Mike’s driving percussion, melodic vibes, and meditative tabla rhythms entwine seamlessly with the story and imagery of the film; four friends on stand-up paddleboards adventuring 140 miles down India’s holiest yet most polluted river.

The score can best be described as a musical confluence of the Mississippi and Ganga rivers, orchestrated by your favorite punk rock percussion captain, Mike D. Multi-instrumentalist Rick Nelson, from Polyphonic Spree, recorded and co-produced the score with Dillon at Marigny Studios in New Orleans. From the opening notes of “Kharma Bums Overture,” you are suddenly transported to the hazy banks of the Ganga, invoking the smells of incense, chai, and sewage. This overture is reincarnated and woven throughout the score, in “Paddle Cry” and the danceable theme song “Kharma Bums” featuring Mike D vocals.

“Drivin’ to Kumbh Mela,” featuring the classic rhythm section pairing of Mike D and James Singelton, conveys the fast pace of India’s bustling cities. You can imagine yourself zipping through the streets, crowds, and cows by tuk-tuk. This melody is later re-explored in the more relaxed “A Most Auspicious Day,” which juxtaposes the tranquil vibes of river life with the frenetic energy of the Kumbh Mela.

A centerpiece of the score, “Ignatius Finds a Ghat,” is a NOLA soaked psychedelic river jam that will have you groovin’ on the ghats of Varanasi. Reappearing later in “Tabla NOLA” as a deconstructed piece for vibraphone and tabla, the theme is featured as the sun sets on the crowded river. From the wild interludes of “District Master” and “Ganga Interlude” to the somber and emotional ballad “Dry Season,” Mike Dillon’s soundtrack takes you on a river adventure much like the film. This beautiful collaboration showcases Dillon’s masterful ability to orchestrate a cohesive yet diverse collection of music that excites, entrances, and moves the audience. Jeremiah Kent, director of Kharma Bums, says of working with Dillon, “Working with one of my favorite musicians was a true pleasure. He was able to create a musical backdrop that captured the essence of India, but was also completely original and unique, just like our journey down the river.”

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