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.
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.
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. …
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. …
Image: Still from 2009 Bollywood film ‘All The Best: Fun Begins’
Growing up in a world where whiteness was the default, South Asians gravitated to ‘the other’. Hip-hop – and Black culture at large – offered a protective umbrella to immigrant children, giving them an opportunity to belong in an unknown land and unfamiliar community. Indian-American comedian Hasan Minhaj expanded on this phenomenon in an interview with Hot 97’s Ebro Darden, by stating that the narrative hip-hop culture propagated was one that immigrant kids aspired to achieve, a hope that one day they would be treated as equals.
Image credit: Evolve Stills and Motion – Jamblu, REProduce Chhattarpur, October 2017
Speaking casually to a number of people in the Indian music industry, that’s the unified response I get when I ask why electronic music cannot seem to leave the main tier 1 cities (Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore). Interviewing several others, I repeat the question: how can electronic music spread beyond the congested spaces of major metropolises. The answer again is unanimous: “venues”.
You were wrong.
But don’t worry about it too much. With his recently released single, ‘You & Me’, Sahej Bakshi, the man behind Dualist Inquiry, has more tricks up his sleeve than even his best friends imagined.
Ikagar Saini is a man with no plan. He hates planning. So much, in fact, that he is committed to improvisation almost as a way of life. It’s what informs his music, his art, just about everything he does. His idea of expression is a spontaneous burst of emotion through his work, diverging from an abstract point of origin to a drastically different conclusion.
“It’s pretty self-explanatory. Azadi, freedom. Freedom for everyone. Freedom for us, freedom for the artists” says Mo regarding the name of one of India’s freshest independent labels, ‘Azadi Records’.