Space Jams: Sailing Forward With Bhavishyavani’s Youngest Recruit
21 March 2013
To prick India’s electronic scene is to instigate an unhealthy bout of hyperventilation and rants on its true origins. Luckily, I’ve traced a few artists along that bloodline that speak lucidly, for the music alone. Space Jams, humbly introducing himself as Yohann, is one of those artists – fun loving, laconic, and for the night. He’s a member of the venerated party-squad they call Bhavishyavani Future Soundz.
Bhavishyavani today is a medium for independent and commercial expression, wrapped into one enterprise. The full-services-agency-slash-booking company started off as a group of idiosyncratic electro-hermits – the likes of Tejas, Mukul, Insat, Loopkin, Mat and Charlie. The crew would strike dilapidated venues in the nineties such as Razzbery Rhinoceros and Shooters to push less pretentious brands of electronica to the forefront, or at least to the ten odd punters that would have it. With time, they tested their efforts as a galactic mixed-media hub, hovering over the competition and sucking in commercial frequencies as well.
Posters of past events expose this phenomenon at best. Take for instance, a print for their monthly residency at Bonobo, ‘Heart Beat’ featuring a quirky modified version of the King of Hearts or the nostalgic ‘Wednesday Deluxe Drum n Bass Sessions’ that features a post-apocalyptic rickshaw meter displaying the date of the event. The visual antics and edgy programming prove that the crew has always had full creative control over their excursion into the unknown – be it their own mystifying parties or commercial agency conquests.
“I was their first and youngest recruit,” Yohann exclaims proudly. “I had just come down from Australia and landed a job working in the Aurus Kitchen. I hated being behind the scenes when all the music was being played outside.”
Yohann quickly responded to an ad put out by the original Bhavishyavani members on Facebook – ‘Looking for Help with Aurus Sundown’. Few lines of Morse code later and Space Jams was adopted into the fold as both architect and disciple, spinning glimpses of techno and acid house, but mainly some ‘funky-ass-retro-disco.’
Yet, it was a trying year to have made the ranks of a Bhavishyavani acolyte. The Good: The agency had only recently extended its operations with ‘The Hennessey Artistry label.’ The alcohol moguls had approached the collective to curate a cathartic discharge of alternative talent doctored on two Bhavishyavani trademarks: third eye programming and faultless production. The Bad: The once esoteric collective had rummaged through the rough and were allegedly weary of their own properties; the aforementioned ‘Sundowners’ had become a trend in the nation, often bastardized by glowing raves and inflated brunches.
“We try not to get too comfortable,” Yohann confides, scrolling up to the Bhavishyavani motto – ‘Better Than Tomorrow’s Party.’ “With so many similar events choking up the city’s nightlife, we decided to do something different, something away from the venues themselves.”
“We set out to sea.”
The Boat Parties were a call to arms – a quaint shot-out to the crew’s original supporters and close friends. The agency rallied around fifty escapists from their mailing list, got a floating liquor license (one can dream that’s an actual term) and hired a yachting agency to get them sailing uninterrupted. The first boat set out from the Gateway of India, October last year, to a cozy minimal-tech stepper curated by ‘The Mole.”
How often will parties like this take place? “We have to keep them low-key,” Yohann warns. “Anything that packs too much attention will pack a thousand more permits. We plan to have them as surprises, whenever possible and whenever we feel like moving away from the city. Where many alternative agencies have their eye on much younger age groups, I can say Bhavishyavani has always managed to cater to that additional segment of expats, models, designers, and you know, hipsters (laughs). We enjoy keeping things inner circle so people mingle with each other and we can maintain that vibe.”
From a shock of electro bandits to a secret society of electro purists with refined tastes, the Bhavishyavani crew is on a ravenous quest for reinvention. Yohann hints that a full-fledged Bhavishyavani Festival is in their stars. “We plan to go all out and work in a very diplomatic way with our sponsors,” he reveals. “The only thing we can guarantee right now is that there wont be any cheesy additions – expect some big international names, with some underground talent to balance it out.
Words: Gaffer Wolf (Border Movement)