New Music: ‘Hibernate’ EP By Monophonik
27 July 2016
Shatrunjai Rai Dewan is a Mumbai based musician and producer known best known for his work as one half of analogue duo Paraphoniks, with Sid Shirodkar. After over a year of making music, signing to an agency and performing around the country, Dewan has decided to branch out under a new solo moniker – Monophonik.
“Hibernate is a result of exploring the world of Eurorack, and capturing the potential of modular synthesizers. Each sound on this EP has been handcrafted from a single sine wave, bringing a unique texture to the sound of Hibernate.” - Monophonik
Much like Paraphoniks, Shatrunjai Rai Dewan makes music that celebrates the warmth of hardwired modular synths. It’s similar overall in more ways than one with it’s 80s pop-influenced melodies and dancefloor beats but Dewan’s solo project definitely feels a lot more compact and better thought out. There’s an obvious focus on highlighting the gear and production techniques, which is evident in the quality of the EP, even if there were points where we felt that the actual composition took a back seat.
Overall, there are definitely some solid ideas in there. However, we’re not quite sure what exactly sets Monophonik apart from Paraphoniks other than the fact that its solo vs. duo (the disappointingly indistinct alias’ don’t help). It’s not just the analogue worship (which we have no problem with); their sounds are similar to the point where you can neatly insert tracks from one SoundCloud account to another without anyone noticing. What’s the point of a solo identity of the music is virtually indistinguishable from group projects?
Still, ‘Hibernate’ is only the first of more music yet to be released and there are many positives in there, especially if Dewan manages to find his voice as an artist. Plus, there's this incredible snippet of his live show for Gently Altered - so good. We’d love to see his solo venture reach fruition with something truly original, because there’s a whole lot of potential in there.
Words: Diya Gupta