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Listen: Consolidate #10 FRNDS AND FMLY Mixtape

Rahul Giri has many avatars. He’s the face behind the abstract electronic sounds of _RHL, one half of Sulk Station and, as his music blog Consolidate proves time and again, Bangalore’s busiest music fanatic. Giri has just released his 10th mix for consolidate called the ‘FRNDS AND FMLY Mixtape’ (Or: What Did Vowels Ever Do To You?).

Believe us when we say that every consolidate mix released so far is worth your time. Mix #10, however, is a little extra special. Its sounds come from “the consolidate family”, which includes some of the most forward thinking, skilled and (we can’t stress this enough) utterly original artists from the subcontinent, all of whom we’ve been following closely over the last year. Outfits like Machli and _RHL, whose new music features in the mix, were also a part of Wild City’s Most Anticipated Releases of 2015, so we really couldn’t wait to tune in.

There’s a ton of new material on the FRNDS AND FMLY Mixtape. Machli’s instantly recognisable yet completely indescribable sounds and undulating rhythms kick things off on a promising note with ‘Lavender Marriage’, from their forthcoming debut EP. This mix also sees Machli’s vocalist Sandhya Vishwanathan’s solo project ‘Pardafash’ (which features some surprising 8-bit noises layered with her inimitable vocals) make its striking debut. Aniket Vidhadhar (Blent) teams up with Daisho for the dark, anxious and inventive tunes in ‘Scowl’, right before Tanvi Rao’s ghostly, classically trained voice wails over the odd percussive patterns of Sulk Station’s ‘Supressed’. We’re hoping that their new sounds mean that these acts will release new music in 2015.

A notable standout in the mix was Aniruddh Menon’s ‘Swollen Tongue’. Also a member of Machli (of course), Menon ingeniously manipulates chanting vocals to open one of the strangest, most oddly evocative tracks we’ve ever heard. Listen to it, really.

Rishabh Iyer a.k.a. Worms Cottage was one of our favourite Dropbox Talents last year, and we were delighted to see that his warped, deadpan brand of hip-hop made two impressive appearances. Rahul Giri distorts the originally upbeat ‘Bring Me Rain’ by Sridhar/Thayil into a beautiful tinkering, contemplative tune that fits the mood of the rest of the mix. Kloud and Iyer’s relatively well-known dancefloor banger ‘Constant Conflict’ transitions to the biggest surprise of the mix so far – a high bpm, footwork leaning track called ‘High’ by Oceantied – the solo project of Ketan Bahirat, of Until We Last fame, who "might just be India’s answer to the global 160 BPM movement" according to Giri.

We knew even before we heard it that the FRNDS AND FMLY Mixtape would be good, but using that insipid adjective after listening to it in its entirety would be plain wrong. The mixtape features some of the most original, innovative sounds we’ve come across in recent times and there’s really no other city producing the kind of music that Bangalore is (there must be something in the water).

You can listen to the full mix below and we suggest you follow Consolidate on SoundCloud and Tumblr for more.

Words: Diya Gupta
Image credit: Aniruddh Menon

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26 February 2015