Hyderabad On The Beat
While the electronic music circuit in Hyderabad may not be big, it certainly doesn’t lack talent and quality. The city is one of the top destinations for many international DJs and producers touring India where they receive a lot of appreciation from music enthusiasts. However, the city also appreciates and supports local talent.
It’s definitely encouraging to see hands up in the air on a Sunday night for Hyderabad based DJ/producer Karthik Sivasankar aka Tatsama. While there is no contesting Karthik’s skills and prowess as a DJ, his role as a music producer is equally strong. “I always wanted to know how artists created the music I was playing in clubs and once I learnt a little (still learning everyday), I was truly hooked,” he laughs. Karthik is busy with releases this year on labels such as Juicebox Music (Bangalore) Suffused Music (Lithuania), Superordinate (UK), Massive Harmony Records (Buenos Aires) and Progressive House Worldwide (PHW) who are based in Sweden, Serbia and the USA to name a few.
For Karthik, while music production is a thrilling experience, it also gets challenging, “The most frustrating part of the production process for me at times is figuring out when to stop adding sounds to the track. The old saying ‘less is more’ can be easy to overlook when you are in the flow, in the studio. Taking a break and re-evaluating the track helps at times.”
Sri Rama Murthy aka Murthovic says the most difficult part of being a producer is choosing the right sounds for a project. “Since most of the music I wrote in the last few years has been for ad films/games, depicting the befitting emotion is cardinal for me and that many times is a challenge too”.
Murthovic followed his passion for music by collecting and DJing which eventually lead to producing music. “Being a DJ exposes you to a vast plethora of music and many take that inspiration to further make their own stuff, including me,” he notes. His production is not restricted to electronic music. Some of his most exciting projects include Mash Machine, “It’s an intuitive touch surface game where you can hang with friends and live remix which is fun! Other than that I have been doing production work on Antariksha Sanchar which is Blot’s Avinash Kumar’s videogame projects that explores South India’s culture, dance, architecture and more; VR (Loop reality); and Murthovic Ensemble which is a collaboration with Shri (vocals), Aniruddha (violin), Pradyun (guitars), Hitesh (percussion) and Somalya (sarod),” says Murthovic.
When you listen to a piece of music, it has the ability to transport you to a different place and while it may sound wonderful and like a lot of fun, it definitely involves a lot of hard work and boundary pushing “Music production has been an eye opening experience for me […] I started producing around 4-5 years ago and after a lot of trials and tribulations, I seem to have found my sound,” says Vineeth aka Midnight Traffic who has recently signed to Delhi based label, Qilla Records.
“Qilla Records is phenomenal. I’m working on a lot of new tracks but I quite love one production called ‘Calypso’, soon to be released. Other than that, a couple of remixes: ‘Walking with Kings’ – Ayan (Midnight Traffic Remix), ‘Falko – Imaginary Dreams’ (Midnight Traffic Remix),” he says. “It’s been a long journey but studio time for me is my number one priority in life,” he smiles.
Vineeth believes that his city has global potential. “We have stars like Arjun Vagale, SHFT, Kohra, SEQUE3L, who have really surprised the world music scene. Hyderabad is a surprise the world should watch out for.”
Another well known name in Hyderabad is music producer and Zephyr label owner Phalguna Somraj. His journey in music, like many others started with DJing, eventually leading to music production with his music finding home in some good labels. Having his own label however, gives him multiple perspectives. “Being a producer certainly enables me to experiment a lot. However, being a label owner opens a different dimension and the way I look at a track is not the same anymore, because it’s a responsibility of sorts. I cannot violate the benchmark that has been set,” he observes.
Phalguna has a lot happening this year. “My latest EP is called ‘Atlantis’, released on Polish label Electronic Tree. I have some more releases lined up in the coming months on my own label. Also under my alias FALKO 33, I have just released an EP on the Italian label Society Music Recordings. I am also really looking forward to the first showcase of my label this year in Amsterdam on October 22nd. I am quite excited and looking forward to host some incredible artists including Difstate, Tuxedo, Rafa’el and Hyderabad based DJ – Vinay Ganji. This is going to be a defining moment for my label.”
Hyderabad based producer Raj Dorai aka Aardy who co-founded Hydrozoa, releases futuristic house and techno and has had some success being a platform for some well-known international music producers. “It was founded two years ago. I think it’s done great in very little time and I’m honored to have some really great names like Reset Robot, Wehbba, Skober, Clint Stewart, Philip Bader, Adapter, Loco and Jam, Stiv Hey, BEC and many more who have put out their work on Hydrozoa. We have great plans of the next 12-18 months too,” says Aardy who performs in the city regularly and as a producer, has had releases on his label.
“It’s very crucial yet tricky to keep a track simple and also make it sound exactly the way you want. Most times I start with achieving a proper bass line then move to finding the right kick and so on but there are times, when I am inspired by a particular sound, a synth, chord or a groove and that becomes the starting point,” he says describing his process. Aardy’s choices as a music producer aligns with his choices as a record label owner. “As someone who runs a label, I select tracks which I would play in my sets.”
written by Shri K