Listen: IJA Releases Debut EP ‘Vitamin Sex’

26 March 2015

IJA is a brand new electronic outfit made up of Ashaar Farooqui (Toymob), Sahil Mendiratta (Inspector Maal) and Punit Jantu. They’ve just released their debut 4 track EP ‘VitaAmin Sex’ (the extra A being imperative here). Before we go on about ‘VitaAmin Sex’, an informative excerpt from the story behind IJA:

“Ashhar, Sahil, and Punit, have a common friend called Molly. A fun loving girl who we've had great times with. A while ago we heard that she was kidnapped by an evil mastermind, Nunni. Molly's father is a member of the property mafia . He hired the three of us to go and get Molly back, and bring Nunni dead or alive. Its been a year now. We've tried and failed multiple times. But, we have learnt a lot about Nunni, he is a tough guy to find first of all. So right now, we're underground, devising plans and making some hooks to get people to join our force and get Molly back. Nunni is pure evil, we need to be wise about every step. Aur aise ye GANGWAAR shuru hui, aur abhi, samay hai NUNNIRAAJ ka!” -IJA (via RSJ Online)

Moving on.

It’s quite clear that IJA had a good time making their idiosyncratic first EP. And we mean idiosyncratic in every way - right from its story, concept and artwork to its stripped down, grinding production and fittingly aloof vocals. ‘VitaAmin Sex’ and IJA doesn’t take itself too seriously, like so many of their contemporaries tend to do. Its playful, tongue-in-cheek approach to drugs, sex and general depravity is fresh and instantly likable.

We love the way IJA has put thought into restraint while producing ‘Vitaamin Sex’. They’ve condensed it down to the basic beats and vocals with intermittent electronic affectation and the addition of drawling synths and Bollywood samples that fit the mood. ‘ViaAmin Sex’ keeps it slow and easy in ‘Hips’ and ‘Molly’ (the Droopy Eyes song) and gets wicked in its hip-hop influenced closer ‘O.G. Naga’.

Of course, we’d be doing injustice to ourselves and IJA if we didn’t mention the sinister artwork by Ari Jayaprakash, best known for the ‘Kuru Chronicles’. Imagine the Donnie Darko rabbit on steroids straddling a giant red and white pill with ‘IJA’ tattooed in a heart on his (its?) massive arms, and you have the symbol which, at least to us, represents IJA’s degeneracy best.

There’s a bit of room for improvement on this EP, sonically. While we loved IJA’s drawling, sultry sounds, we felt there was an element of audaciousness and loud confrontation – so apparent in their concept – that was lacking.

Still, we strongly suggest that you give this a listen. The (Gunda inspired?) ‘VitaAmin Sex’ EP can be streamed in its entirely below. We’ve heard that they’ve got a new video coming out very soon and you can follow IJA on Facebook and SoundCloud for updates.

Words: Diya Gupta
Image credit (thumb): Damini Parashar
Image credit (main): Ari Jayaprakash



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