Karma Yatri Travel And Art (KYTA) 2018: Expanding Creative Enquiry Via Art, Culture, Travel & Experimentation

As is the case with most national projects that wish to inject sustained government surveillance into isolated territory – first comes the excuse for development followed by the highway or the road that eventually gives way to a burst in tourism or an inflow of outsiders. Kullu’s Parvati Valley suffered a similar fate when, by the end of the 20th century its potential as a resource rich land (to provide electricity to neighboring states which are richer and more ‘developed’) was recognised.

Set in most minds of amateur backpackers now, is Parvati Valley’s slowly (but hopefully), fraying reputation as a place limited to cannabis, psy-trance and ‘bhaijis’. The mid-range Himalayas are possibly one of the most soil and mineral rich mountains in the world; embalming floral habitat of medicinal value within evergreen mountains and meadows which give way to crystal blue glacial waters.

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NEWS - 09. January 2019  

National Animal’s Deep, Dark Delhi Limbo

Image credit: Arka Alam

One day in 2017, after working on his music for 12 hours straight without a break, (“not long after quitting his job”) Somdev Thakur came to a realisation. “Maybe this is something I should be doing,” he says. “I don’t seem to be bored, I’m not complaining about the long hours. It makes me happy.” And thus was born National Animal, under which name Thakur released his debut self-titled album earlier this month.

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NEWS - 27. December 2018  

Celebrating Diversity, Equality, Love & Light: Magnetic Fields Festival 2018…

Image credit: Vishakha Jindal

An ode to interconnected spaces where layers of interaction between structures and light seamlessly blend artistry and sound, Magnetic Fields Festival is a celebration of craft, intelligence and self-expression. Creating an experience seeped in visual and aural mystery, the core theme of the contemporary arts and music festival this year is illumination: an exploration of light and its defining properties — speed, reflection and colour.

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NEWS - 13. December 2018  

Theresa’s Sound World: A Glimpse Into The Golden Diskó Ship

Image: Golden Diskó Ship by Sara Perovic

It’s an odd kind of dichotomy that drives Theresa Stroetges. She’s hyper-prolific, juggling multiple musical and creative identities, constantly writing and creating. “I feel almost like, the more I do, the more inspired I am. The less time I have, the more productive I become. It’s strange,”

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NEWS - 06. December 2018   CITY - Kolkata ARTIST - Golden Diskó Ship Project - Border Movement Residency

Shoegaze In The Time Of Insurgency: How Manipur Based Lo! Peninsula Fought Odds To Release Their Dazzling Debut EP

Image: Lo! Peninsula by Naman Saraiya

Listening to shoegaze for the first time is a lot like falling in love. Fuzzy notes slow dive into you in dim-lit cafes that house more cats than humans. Their owners have 90s hearts. Your ears perk up to psychedelic notes dipped in blankets. Before you know it, you’re downloading albums and appreciating pillows. Shoegaze has happened to you. You’ll move onto other things, people and genres. Your Spotify playlist will thrive with less familiar forms of life. But you’ll always come back to shoegaze.

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NEWS - 03. December 2018   ARTIST - Lo! Peninsula

Berlin Through The Eyes Of Nigel Perera: The People I Met Have Made A Huge Impact On My Views About Music & Life

“Music has always been my way of connecting with people. I often feel the most comfortable getting to know someone just by playing, listening to or making music with them. My first exposure to music as a child came from my parents. My school friends and I listened to Sinhalese pop music. Even though the local pop scene is a far cry from what I’m into now, I often revisit those tracks. I feel they have a certain quality which draws me to them even now. Not the songs as such rather certain details or moods that resonate with me, all these years later. I’ve gone through a lot of phases throughout my life — always trying to learn new things — but music is the only thing that has really stuck with me,” says Nigel Perera, a Colombo-based producer, DJ and visual artist whose influences draw from a broad range of funk, jazz, hip-hop and varied sub genres of electronic music.

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NEWS - 21. November 2018   CITY - Berlin ARTIST - Nigel Perera Project - Border Movement Residency

The Commodification Of Hip-Hop In India: A Discussion

Image: Prabh Deep by Nishant Jhamb

When describing Indian hip-hop, the word ‘nascent’ may as well be crumpled up and lit on fire amongst other cliched terms like: game-changing, fledgling, budding, out there, and breath of fresh air. Indian hip-hop has been around for a while; through acts like Panjabi MC, Street Academics, Raftaar, Bombay Bassment and others, the genre has been cemented, though maybe not as visibly as it is today. Over the last few years, the mainstream has taken notice of a different type of hip-hop: slowly building momentum through the streets, gaining popularity via the internet’s recycling of likes, re-tweets and shares, it snaked its way through the back alleys of major metropolis’ and has now rooted itself in corporate boardrooms.

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NEWS - 12. November 2018  

Unraveling The Meticulous Sonic Architecture Of Siavash Amini’s Music

Image credit: Aram Tahmasebi

There used to be these stores that Siavash Amini would visit back in the late 90s or so. This was around the time that the shift from tapes and CDs to MP3s was beginning. Amini had already been introduced to rock music through the pirate tape culture in Iran — growing up in the port city of Bandar Abbas, he recalls travelling to Tehran to exchange pirated tapes and bootlegs.“Trading, recording, exchanging collections,” he says. “And you always find out the strangest stuff in there; all these strange bands that are not metal, but somehow found their way into the collection.”

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NEWS - 26. October 2018   ARTIST - Siavash Amini

Natasha Humera Ejaz: Moments of Magic in Berlin

Earlier this year, Natasha Humera Ejaz visited Berlin, from July 10 to September 9. The Pakistani artist, who produces music under the name Stupid Happiness Theory, was in the city as part of the Border Movement Residency. She had a plan: she was going to learn about the business of music; collaborate with artists; perform; introspect. Somewhere along the way, though, she threw it all out.

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NEWS - 22. October 2018   CITY - Berlin ARTIST - Stupid Happiness Theory Project - Border Movement Residency

A New Perspective For Plastic Parvati: Goethe Talent Program 2018

A cooperation between the Goethe-Institut and Pop-Kultur festival, the Goethe Talent Scholarship (now going into its 4th year), is an immersive 10-day programme where 10 music makers from around the world get to experience Berlinʼs rich and diverse music scene; learn and unlearn musical processes and in general gain new perspective on their craft. I have heard only the most wondrous things about Berlin and so it felt a little surreal when I finally landed on a hot summer morning and met the other fellows.

Below is a summary of highlights and images from my experience….

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NEWS - 12. October 2018   CITY - Kolkata ARTIST - Plastic Parvati


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