The Rhythm Method
As regular readers will have noticed, those of us who contribute at Border Movement tend to be interested in the ways that musical traditions collide and collaborate. Given the focus of this blog, our reflections tend to center on the ways in which Indian musicians are recontextualizing the American conceived and European gestated electronic music movement. Often, this means looking at artists who take one element from the Indian musical tradition, say, Hindustani classical vocals or folk percussion, and integrate them into a broader electronic framework.
In the case of Rhythm Method, however, the sonic pastiche is far too encompassing to pigeonhole into a glib descriptor like “dubstep meets bhangra” or “electro desi-folk”. Rather, the group makes electronic music that brings together diverse threads from the South Asian cannon; rural folk, Carnatic, and Hindustani classical. Though the desi elements in the music are far ranging, they’re rooted by the vocals of Carnatic singer Mahesh Vinayakram. What’s more, Vinayakram also bring a certain pedigree to the group; his father is the Grammy and Padmashri awarded T.H. Vikku Vinayakram.
The electronic elements to Rhythm Method’s music, produced by Laiq Qureshi and released on Inroom Records draw on an equally far ranging palette. Psytrance synths on one track give way to mellow breaks on another, and serious drum and bass on the next. Tracks like Wallpapered come dancefloor ready, while I See You begins like something off of an early 2000s ESL label comp, and ends like one of the more banging tracks from Kruder and Dorfmeister’s Conversions.
But it’s not all Indian tradition mashed up with computer music. Thanks to bassist Joshua Rodrigues, a grounding in groove and funk is omnipresent. His subtle but driving bass riff, reminiscent of the Big Beat era, is the force behind Divine Image, which features the French soul artist Yoann Freget.
Freget is merely one of the many artists, Indian, European, and North American, with whom Rhythm Method has collaborated. This rotating cast of players, cosmopolitan mindset, and willingness to disregard convention means that Rhythm Method is always ready to catch you by surprise.
We’re looking forward to finding out what’s around the next corner.
Rhythm Method will be playing at TLR, New Delhi, on 14 September, 2012.They will be accompanied by Zeeshan Khan.