Wild City's Essential Roundup Of Releases In 2014... So Far
7 May 2014
Almost half way into the year and we’ve seen a number of new releases - many in the form of EPs and remixes. We know it can be hard to keep track of every single one so it made sense to draw up a roundup of all the artists that caught our attention - keep in mind, this list is in random order and doesn’t include every single release. These are albums which we love, new artists that show potential and anything else that might have made us prick our ears and want to take a closer listen… enjoy!
‘1010’ is Pippins latest offering and had us hooked soon after its release. The EP prettifies unconventional and unsettling synths and uses sound sparingly and only when necessary, taking time to layer, resulting in some intensely introspective and fluid tracks. The album is a difficult one to pigeon hole though Pippin’s sound is often placed within the unidentifiable zone of post-dubstep. ‘1010’ isn’t meant to shock you out of your senses, but ease you in gently; it’s made of versatile stuff that fits well on the dance floor or at home with earphones plugged in. Go ahead and download the EP, you won’t be disappointed.
Nikhil Kaul has been in the spotlight for a while and with good reason. His EP ‘Swimmers’ released last year and delivered some exemplary tracks, so to create a remix EP that would sound fresh must have been quite a challenge. The ‘Swimmers: Remixed’ EP demonstrates a broad range of sounds by negotiating subtle synths with weighty percussion and bass. By sourcing remixes from some of the country’s most forward thinking acts (with the addition of some beautiful vocals to his own re-take), Frame/Frame has managed to retain his peculiarities whilst creating an EP that stands apart from the original.
“There’s something about the songs which makes you feel like the city’s travelling with you.” – I couldn’t describe Raxit Tewari’s charming little four track EP, ‘Scatter Nature’ better myself, with its good natured sincerity and catchy lyrics. Twinkling melodies and heavy, desolate drums are offset perfectly with Tewari’s pleasantly drawling voice. The perceptible indie-pop release dropped earlier this year and unsurprisingly went on to receive generally positive reviews. ‘Run Along Little One’ - an expressive track that sticks in the head is worth a listen. You can stream it here:
“Gitano, literally is a feeling embodied in the many different sonic landscapes wandered in and out of across the ten track release, touching on Latin, Celtic, flamenco, funk and jazz influences within its house music foundation.” – Hamza
The word ‘Gitano’ according to Delhi house producer and Wind Horse Records Hamza, is the Spanish translation of ‘gypsy’. If you have a listen you’ll agree that this is a really good name for an album that explores the sounds and styles that Hamza frequently incorporates in his work.
‘Inside’ is Delhi based electronic outfit Tankbund’s second production and first EP. Their previous self titled album displayed the bands tendency towards doleful, pensive tunes so the new EP is definitely a departure from what was expected, even combining elements of trip-hop and noise. Tankbund have a long way to go and are still struggling with their own musical identity but ‘Inside’ is a good first step towards things yet to come. ‘Outside’ and ‘Don’t Stop’ are definitely worth a listen.
The terror twins of funk, Imaad Shah and Saba Khan a.k.a Madboy/Mink dropped their debut EP in April, much to the delight of many in India. The duo have built up a reputation for their energetic live performances and ‘All Ball’ doesn’t disappoint with songs that feel like a million electrically charged sounds packed into 4 or 5 minutes slots. On the flipside, the same jam-packed music can feel congested and their grimy Harlem vibe and often simplistic lyrics aren’t for everybody. Still, Madboy/Mink have the potential to be very commercially successful and I suggest that anyone even remotely interested in the Indian music scene keep their eyes firmly peeled for these two.
In March this year, The Bicycle Days ex-frontman, Kathik Baskar and producer Faheem Hasan, together known as Klypp, released ‘Manifest’, a compact but impressive EP. The Bangalore based outfit manages to evoke a lot more through just four tracks than one would assume. Klypp combines lo-fi synths and fluid beats with chiming, melancholic vocals, producing a whimsical little EP that screams potential. We can’t wait to see what’s coming next and when and where we can catch Klypp live. Till that day arrives, you can stream912509'Manifes912518' here:
‘Hive Plot’ is Delhi based musician Angad Bagga’s debut EP as One Sock/Placebo. I wanted to know what the name meant and apparently, a hive plot, according to the first link I opened on Google, is a perceptually uniform and scalable linear layout for network visual analytics. There you go.
Notwithstanding the name (maybe Angad can explain it to me later),913277'Hive Plo913287' is a terrific first EP with Bagga experimenting with a wide range of unconventional sounds. It includes some wonderful tracks, like the uplifting ‘Superconscious Waffles’ and ‘Chasing in Cars’, which is a strangely hypnotic mix of blips and plinks tempered beautifully by the voice of Nisa Schette.913588'Hive Plo913598' is still far from being ‘Album of the Year’ - OneSock/Placebo needs to create a more definite structure on many of his tracks, but it’s a great first start and we’re looking forward to seeing what’s in store.
One man powerhouse, Kamal Singh - a Delhi songster who writes and records all the music that ‘Hoirong’ performs live as a band, released an EP this March titled ‘Nursery Lies’ – a punk/noise rock interpretation of classic children’s nursery rhymes originally written for his two-year-old daughter. Hoirong has gathered a cult following in Delhi after the release of915257'TROTPOWAHVHP
DJ Jai Vaswani’s avatar; Nanok, has been gaining popularity with Indian audiences over the last few months and916305'Death By Shoelace916324' doesn’t disappoint. Very clean, very cheerful, and very danceable, the album’s strength lies in a comforting familiarity that Nanok manages to produce without sacrificing his own style. The collaborations with Dualist Inquiry, Avinash Vohra and Sahil Dhandhia are all worth a listen.
SLM a.k.a. The Ebullist, has released some impressionable work in the past and his new EP, which is a B side to the album ‘Vaccuum’, is a whirling, looping, xenolithic expression that is meant, strictly, for headphones listening only. The man behind the music is the notoriously evasive Sean Pereira, who has somehow managed to make his music known despite generating a deliberate gap between himself and the social side of the Indian electronic scene. His albums have a distinctly ethereal quality to them and I highly recommend that you give the EP a listen and then take a look at the video for ‘My Interstellar Love’.
Last year saw the launch of Sandunes impressive EP ‘Ever Bridge’ and the remixed version came out in February this year. Though the album leaves a lot of room for experimentation, it does feature some great collaborations with the likes of Paralights, SICKFLIP, Pippin, Nanok and Frame/Frame. The remix EP is a compelling listen and transforms ‘Ever Bridge’s tracks into more robust sounds. ‘Won’t You’ with When Pandas Attack (Ankur Chauhan) is an impressive mix for the relative newcomer and worth a listen.
Last year, music producer and the face behind Dualist Inquiry, Sahej Bakshi decided to provide a much needed platform for alternative electronic music. He proceeded to collect seven artists and ‘Subterra’ is a compilation that features some of the best producers in the Indian electronic scene. Despite playing it very safe and unabashedly catering to a pre-existing audience, ‘Subterra’ is a commendable effort for the fledgling label. This is positive step and we’re looking forward to what Dualism Records has yet to present.
After his long break and move to the US, the now Los Angeles-based Indian producer formerly known as DJ Nasha and now B.R.E.E.D just released his first full length debut album ‘Binate’, this January. The bass heavy album was featured on multiple electronic and glitch-hop charts soon after and received stellar reviews. The album is named ‘Binate’ to signify the merging of the soul and the digital side. B.R.E.E.D. does that well by producing almost symphonial pieces with glitch/hip-hop and synth sounds.
In Febuary this year, electro veterans Shaa’ir + Func dropped an acoustic LP titled ‘Re:cover’. Described as ‘morning after’ music, the release features stripped down, acoustic versions of some of their older material. Certain tracks, particularly ‘Juxtapose’ do better with this more minimalist sound and it’s interesting to hear more of Func’s voice on tracks such as ‘Freedom’.
Words: Diya Gupta