Review: BLOT! - Snafu
30 April 2013
Gaurav Malaker of BLOT! is least satisfied with stamping ‘DJ’ on his curriculum vitae.
He feverishly works the cranks on his original Ableton Live compositions; his partner-in-tricks, Avinash Kumar engineers striking visual displays. Together they create immersive live experiences that, on their count, have ached India’s nightlife contours to accommodate performances of international acclaim. To think of artists that have as much control over their performances in the Indian electronic blitz, the north star of Indian electronica Dualist Inquiry, frivolous gear junkie Sandunes and Pune’s Big City Harmonics come to mind.
Great, we’ve named four artists that know how to push more than a few buttons here, let’s tag them as the cognoscenti of Indian electronica; we’re instantly fans because incase you missed it, they make their own music, and they play it live.
But what if we refuse to be led by draught?
We dragged BLOT’s debut album 'Snafu' out onto the streets as we would any other eclectic live music project in the country right now, be it virtuoso flair or harmless digital foreplay, and reactions were confounding.
The disc finds its footing with “9283”, staggering beats, jubilant horns and an intuitive major bassline progression to set the tone for the entire record. The follow up track, “Vxv” moves a bit more dexterously, with espionage synths and adroit melodies thrown into the mix. “Tatemate” (featuring Peter Cat Recording Co’s Suryakant Sawhney) brings back a concealed bassline progression parallel to the album opener; only this time a cathartic vocal take presides over – yes, there’s cohesion in this wild transformation and more importantly, a voice.
Tracks like the namesake “Snafu” are where the project starts to get a face, translating emotion to expression, as any good 21st century electronic record should. “Hydra” is that fully evolved, slow, thumping techno monster – a straight four-by-four beat smirking over break-neck dance synths.
Yet, a producer’s work is never done; it’s a maxim that resonates heavily throughout Snafu. By the time the experimental “Scurry” bares it’s teeth, twisting Montron-esque patches over a persistent, whispered ‘Scream’ sample we’re unable to reach for any semblance in musical genre.
We’re left choking for words, and that’s a good thing.
You can listen to a preview of the entire LP below. Really, you should go buy it.
Words: Gaffer Wolf (Border Movement)