RAAJA BEATS is the musical project of Bangalore, India based producers Raka Ashok and Malfnktion who share their explosive new self-titled EP. Featuring previously released singles ‘POONGATRU’, ‘NINNUKORI’ and ‘RAJA RAJATHI’, the nine-track project encapsulates edits of iconic songs from Tamil film composer and songwriter, Ilaiyaraaja. A wonderful blurring of Eastern and Western sounds, ‘RAAJA BEATS’ is one of the strongest instrumental EP’s you’ll hear all year.
New Delhi based artist Seasonal Affected Beats aka Tarun Balani teams up singer/songwriter KAVYA on the enticing ‘Let the Light In’ taken from his ‘2°’ EP. Soundtracked by a sweeping set of electronics and sizzling synths, ‘Let the Light In’ shine brighter with KAVYA’s sweet and delicate tones. Check out the fantastic single and it’s stunning visual accompaniment by Parizad D, Mohit Mukhi, Jahaan Noble & Michele Ricossa here.
Goa, India based producer and DJ Anish Sood teams up with Lisa Mishra on the dance floor ready anthem ‘Running Back To You’. Serving as the follow up to previously released singles like ‘Mountain of A Man’ and ‘Castles’, ‘Running Back To You’ sees a classic electronic beat sweeping across the soundscape as Mishra adds her gentle and sweet sounding vocals on top. Check out the uplifting and energetic single here.
Mumbai based producer Sandunes shares an eclectic and meditative EP in the form of ’11:11′. Opening with the clattering electronics of lead single ‘Eleven:Eleven’, which features vocals from Landslands, the five-track EP is a free-flowing journey of magical sounds. From sparkling synth melodies and sharp notes that bounce, glide, trickle and speed across on subsequent tracks like ‘Shift’ and ‘Glock’, Sandunes, real name Sanaya Ardeshir, sets herself apart as one of the most exciting musicians and producers to come out of India.
‘Jaago’ is one of the most critically acclaimed albums to have been released by an Indian independent artist this year. Lifafa is the solo project of Suryakant Sawhney who is also the frontman at Peter Cat Recording Co. that came to life as a part of a quest to find his identity. Adopting a more organic approach, the album builds up as a live set to an audience would, the tracks start off slow with prolonged harmonium and gradually build up to more danceable disco worthy grooves. A perfect combination of vintage soulful Bollywood in a modern electronic setting bridges or eliminates the gap between the highly commercial movie industry and the independent music scene.
Mumbai based producer and vocalist Your Chin has recently dropped new single ‘Horticulturist’ his first release in three years. One of India’s most seasoned artists, he has never failed to impress listeners with his whimsical take on electro-pop. His music often comes across as effortless mood music, but there is a solid groundwork of talent and aesthetic sense that supports it all. Rich layered beats with catchy choruses giving out a sombre message disguised in feel good metaphors, resulted in a multifaceted sound totally unique to him. Highlighting a contrast when listening to music, that of being a joyous experience to thought provoking the artist returns to his sonic roots making this the first of many releases lined up for the year.
Three Oscillators consists of Brij Dalvi and Avit Rane who strive to give their songs an identity and character of their own while narrating stories through this wonderful, limitless medium we call electronic music. Their sound leans toward, but doesn’t limit itself to genres like post-dubstep and glitch hop, sometimes with a slight deviation towards bass music. Having released two EPs, the duo aim to make a lasting impact and have more ears listening to their music in the coming years. ‘Drowning’ is a collaboration with singer song writer Karshni who often makes all her music via an app called Bandlab where the early version of this track was found was built upon adding the finishing touches to the production.
Paraphoniks was formed when Shatrunjai Dewan and Sid Shirodkar began to explore their shared love for modular synthesizers. In 2016, the duo promoted their second release, ‘Yarns’, with a string of audacious surround-sound shows that featured their music in an 8.1-channel incarnation. Since then they’ve continued to evolve into an increasingly genre-agnostic project, embracing various forms of electronic music with a unique sense of sonic experimentation.
Their latest offering, ‘Silhouettes’, was conceived during a two-week writing stint in the Himalayan hills. It retains the synth-heavy sound the duo are known for, while elevating the production levels, treading more expansive musical territory and conceptual ground. Featuring collaborations with singer-songwriter Azamaan Hoyvoy and drummer Sahil Shah, the album’s non-linear narrative takes inspiration from various modern-day cults and quasi-religious movements.
Ape Echoes represent the creativity of the nascent Indian independent music scene. The brainchild of Mumbai based producers and multi-instrumentalists Nirmit Shah and Sid Shirodkar, the project sees the pair combining traditional acoustic and electronic instrumentation with experimental sampling, weaving together a complex immersive musical narrative. The duo formed in early 2016, with drummer Sahil Shah joining soon after, and their debut EP ‘Ape Machines’ was released in August 2017, moving through territories influenced by crossover jazz, electronica, noise, hip-hop, prog-rock, funk, and soul to create a distinctive original sound.
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New Delhi singer-songwriter Kavya’s roots in music go back a long way, to memories of growing up with her mother and sister and their version of lullabies being songs by ABBA, George Michael and Boney M. A multi-instrumentalist, she encapsulates a diverse range of styles within her music, with her band Mosko dealing in upbeat party starters while her solo work features more understated sombre soulful vocals, ‘Underscore’, her latest solo release, expresses the gut need to not take things too seriously and the rewards of misdirection, as the best lessons in life are learnt when you dust yourself off after a fall. The shimmering lo-fi electronic pop number features Rohan Rajadhyakha laying down the mean piano snippets and Rohan Ramanna on production duties.
Mumbai-based live electronic act Madboy/Mink are known for their trademark electro-funk sound and high-energy theatrical performances. Delivering a cosmic disco sound with a sonic palette inspired by vivid synthesizers, their third EP ‘Persons. Elastic. Superior. Fantastic’ is a post-punk-infused psychedelic journey that is warm, lush and vibrant, and introduces the audience to a new side of the duo’s personalities. Both members hail from film backgrounds and share a keen interest in retro-futurism (a fictionality of how people in the past envisaged the future); as such, the EP’s standout track ‘Laika’ is a direct reference to the first dog to be launched into space, orbiting the earth in 1957. Contrasting with their previous louder, more club-oriented work, this latest project has an introspective and funky approach reminiscent of Daft Punk, making for a smooth listen whilst also carrying a strong political message about global issues, driven by the theme of space exploration and a perspective on the insignificance of life in the larger scheme of things.