Neal Sekhri’s energy bounces off the wall: he fidgets, moves at a fast-pace and talks in an endless stream of thought. You see how this translates behind the decks as one-half of MadStarBase when he isn’t DJing, he doubles as the hype-man. Sekhri knows how to get the crowd on his side, to get them ready to party. Anant Ahuja is the counterweight to this energy. Ahuja is soft-spoken, bordering on shy. He’s laid back and pragmatic. His words are measured and never reveals more than what he wants. He’s the other half of MadStarBase – the New Delhi-based hip-hop duo.
“I dont think my journey as an ethnomusicology scholar has begun yet. It’s an interesting field of study, with its own setbacks. I believe neither I have nor can I immortalise anything. I feel more and more inclined towards the ‘making’ side of things than the studying of the making or makers within a culture,” says Rajan Shrestha a Kathamandu-based interdisciplinary artist whose work revolves around music, photography and videography.
Image taken at The Shift by Shubham Gupta
If you listen to ‘alternative’ electronic music in New Delhi, only a few venues in the city indulge your taste. After the clubs shut (1am, mostly) the after-parties start. The same several dozen people frequent both these places. Eager to trade names alongside lighters, they stay awake until the soft focus of pre-dawn. While most of the city sleeps, this particular group of people will share cigarettes while taking ownership of a scuffed up nook, a hardened piece of pavement. This is where conversations around ways to better the industry happen. They’re mostly repetitive and trite with people glowing in the shared confidence of the music that pulsates from another room. The romantic inside us wants to believe that all great ideas happen here, in these moments that seem to last forever. In reality, the conversations are just seeds being planted. It takes laborious, tedious work for one of these seeds to be fruitful. One of those seeds was Coven Code.
Image credit – Polina Schapova
For years, Gaurav Malaker and Sahil Vasudeva had been trying to figure out a way to work together. It was easier said than done; Malaker is BLOT!, and has been DJing and producing dancy electronic music for centuries (at least in terms of Indian independent music’s still-young timeline). Vasudeva, on the other hand, is a classically trained pianist, albeit one who’s constantly looking to push the form into the modern era, messing around with styles and formats and bringing those sounds into unpredictable spaces. “Nothing concrete came about,” says Malaker. “We’re from two distinct schools of music. Actually, I wouldn’t even call mine a school of music! We didn’t want to make this a fusion farce sort of thing, so it didn’t materialise.”
Image credit – Nadir Chaudry
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.
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.
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. …
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,” …
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. …