Maati Baani

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Webster’s dictionary defines collaboration as ‘working with another person or a group to achieve something or do something’. But a young talented music duo have quite successfully managed to give this word a whole new spin!

Nirali & Kartik collectively form the sensational Maati Baani. There are few projects as fresh as Maati Baani. They have made waves in the independent music scene and on social media platforms with their one of a kind sound and jaw-dropping process. Religious worshippers of music, they aim to break down any form of superficial boundaries, be it geographical or lingual.

They have collaborated with several musicians across the world solely via the internet. Yes, it’s exactly what you think it is. They search for musicians with distinct, quirky and baffling sounds on the internet, manage to contact them, discuss at length about the space they want to enter with their music and put out a beautifully weaved musical masterpiece.

This is definitely one of the acts you absolutely need to know about. Just to give you a snippet of how cool these guys are, below are few things you need to know about Maati Baani :

  •   First off, they are a YouTube sensation. Their massive reach along with a loyal fan following have led them to perform at the YouTube Fan Fest, twice.

 

  •  Talking about YouTube sensations, they have also collaborated with Superwoman.
  •  Through their platform, they have raised concerns about several issues including the environment. Which reminds me, they happen to have Russel Brand in one of the editions of their video-logs ‘Horn OK Please’.
  •  Having a series of beautiful collaborations, one of the earlier one’s that stood out was with another YouTube sensation, Shankar Tucker. They happened to have collaborated with him again.
  • This fantastic music duo are married. Kartik first saw Nirali on, I-kid-you-not, ‘World Music Day’. I mean, how cool is that?
  • On International Women’s Day, they dropped a stellar collaboration consisting of female musicians from India, New York, Brazil & Germany. And it’s a banger!

Before you go into a all crazy Maati Baani binge after being enamored by these cool facts, here’s our insightful interview with Nirali which you simply must check out!

 Q1) ‘The Music Yantra’ is a global musical collaboration consisting of artists across the world. What inspired you to start this project?

 Kartik and I come from vastly different musical backgrounds and hence our canvas to paint our imagination was vast. What inspires us is the need to constantly come up with new and original music.

From our very first single that came out Mitwa, we have had one or more collaborators. The idea of collaboration felt so refreshing, we continued with it  and expanded it to a bigger scale with The Music Yantra. The uniqueness that each artist brought to the songs, made this project one of a kind. Moreover, we love surprising ourselves and our fans by presenting a fresh sound each time we come out.

 Q2) After working with countless musicians, what do you think is the most important aspect to a creative collaboration?

 Each artist should be on the same page and aligned with the concept.

Many a times, collaboration over the internet, which has become ‘our’ style of collaborating with artistes from other countries, it may take quite a few days. And of course, the changing time zones add to our difficulties, However it’s the dedication and willingness from each artist, which is of utmost importance. Luckily, we have never fell short on that!!!

 

Q3) You guys have travelled a lot and collaborated numerously. Could you share some interesting memories during this journey?

 There are countless memories associated with each song in The Music Yantra but there are a few we remember particularly. Bart and Jesse, the musicians from Amsterdam that we are collaborating with, their forte is in the western Balkan and Gypsy Jazz genre; nevertheless, they learnt Indian classical raag to perform in our song based on Sarang. We were so impressed!

Also,  while shooting for our song Lagan Lagi on the subways of New York, a photographer was passing by and he started clicking our pictures! As a small token of this memory he presented us with prints of his pictures which now hangs on our studio wall, reminding us of that sweet incident.

 Q4) What do you think is the state of Hindustani Classical music in today’s times?

 Indian classical music forms the root of all the music that a lot of composers do. And I think it’s a great way to avoid being the prototypes of musicians in rest of the countries of the world. Both Indian Classical and Folk music forms the musical identity of our country and it adds such  uniqueness in the sound. There are many musicians in Indian Classical who passionately pursue the art and it’s going to be here forever because it is based on scientific principles and all of it is present on paper, hence it is called Shastriiya sangeet 🙂

 Q5) You guys found several of your collaborators via the internet. How do you think the internet has changed music and musicians alike?

 Ah! what would we do without this invented blessing of internet! We have found our best collaborators through the internet . Yes, the process of creating music with a musician from an entirely different country and considering that it’s a stranger at first, the final result makes all of it worth it! In fact, it has changed our outlook on creating music, for the better. When we get to work with a musician from a certain genre where it actually originated, we get the authentic sound. It’s like having a Gujarati thali in Gujarat versus, a Gujarati thali in Chennai. The authenticity is what we crave and want to present to our audience!

 Q6) Nirali, what advice would you give to young female musicians?

 Music is a full time job – if you want to pursue it professionally then there has to be complete dedication towards it.

Using social network and making your presence felt on it is important but also do meet people in person because that’s when the work comes to you, not only through sending messages.

And of course, never miss practicing!

 Q7) What change would you like to see in the Indian Music Industry?

In the Indian Music Scene there is vagueness in the monetization and collection of royalties – every other country has it and because of this, a lot of times, the musicians cannot monetize on the content that they should rightfully have. That’s one thing we would absolutely like to change.

Q8) What’s the future like for Maati Baani?

 We will keep on fascinating people who have loved our music. Maati Baani is here to stay. 🙂

For more cool stuff check out their YouTube channel & Facebook page. We thank Maati Baani for this lovely interview!

Thank you for reading! If you want to talk about a band you love, or a band you think everyone should know about, please leave a comment or send in your mails to indiebullhorn@gmail.com. You can also mail us if you have any articles you’d like to send. To see more cool stuff like interviews, album reviews, release updates and lots more, stay tuned. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Ambient Rock Bands – Part 2

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Here are some more bands that we really think are worth checking out. Find more awesome bands in Part 1 of this series.

Celestial Teapot

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In their own words, Celestial Teapot is an antithesis to a capella. The description is certainly one that fits, with the awesome Pune based instrumental quartet making some great music over the past year which all culminated in the release of their stellar debut album, ‘One Big Sky’. Full of heavy riffs and melodic progressions, this record serves as an emphatic statement about both this band’s as well as the instrumental rock scene’s enormous potential.

Check out the interview we did with CT.

Until We Last

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When it started off five years ago, Until We Last was a one man bedroom project started by the immensely talented Ketan Bahirat, otherwise known as the electronic music producer Oceantied. Now, several additions and a kickass debut EP ‘Earthgazing’ later, the Bangalore based act is truly making waves in the circuit with their brand of music. One listen to Earthgazing and it is clear why Until We Last has been billed by many as one of the most promising acts in the country’s post rock scene.

Mushroom Lake

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Mushroom Lake is one act that gives you everything it promises – a substantial high with a lot more where it came from. Based out of Kerala, this five man band has been around for a long time making them one of the first psychedelic/post rock acts in the indie scene. And their debut album (which was recorded live) definitely showcases why there can never be enough of their music out there.

Space Behind The Yellow Room

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All that you need to know about this peculiarly named band can be found on their debut album ‘Conversations that Determine a Life’. Versatile, unpredictable and genre-defying, Space Behind The Yellow Room is truly a beauty to behold when in full flow. It really doesn’t take a lot of ‘Beautiful Repetition’ of their tracks to make them teach you how to dance.

Cat Kamikazee

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An act fresh in the scene, Cat Kamikazee might be just over half a year old, but they surely have hit the ground running. With three tight singles out already, this Pune based quartet is definitely one to keep an eye out for over the coming few months. They show great promise.

Thank you for reading! If you want to talk about a band you love, or a band you think everyone should know about, please leave a comment or send in your mails to indiebullhorn@gmail.com. You can also mail us if you have any articles you’d like to send. To see more cool stuff like interviews, album reviews, release updates and lots more, stay tuned. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Sandy Mittal

 

 

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There is something inherently captivating about artists. Be it a painter, dancer, filmmaker or musician, artists in general are a breed of their own. What separates us normal folk from them is one crucial thing, passion.

So why should you know anything about Sandeep Mittal? For starters, back in the day he used to run Gigpad. Gigpad was an online forum which was the fulcrum of the scene. It was instrumental in many ways to give the scene a tangible sense of community. Musicians met musicians, discussed about gigs, reviewed them and what not. You see in a time where there was no ‘scene’, Gigpad was the online platform which helped mould one.

But no I’m not talking about Sandeep who ran Gigpad, or Sandeep the guy who runs a firm or even Sandeep the father. I’m talking about an inspiring musician. For Sandeep Mittal has successfully managed to put out a rather delightful album named Riven, that you all need to check out.

So you must be thinking that songs/EPs/albums are dropped daily, what’s so special about this guy? DIY to its core, Sandeep managed to record and mix this exquisite album along with his talented collaborators Shamir & Prasun at home. Sonically seductive to its core, this album righteously demands multiple listens given it’s circumstances. This album is Sandeep Mittal and Sandeep Mittal is a charismatic amalgamation of DIY, independent, robots, wolves and guitars.

But more than anything, Sandeep Mittal is inspiring.

We got to speak with Sandy about the Gigpad days, the process of making Riven and his journey so far. Check it out!

Q) Could you tell us about the Gigpad days?

All kinds of ups and downs was the defining feature of the Gigpad days. The high of creating something which takes off and helps define an 8-10 year period in the scene is pretty awesome. Seeing the bands that came together over Gigpad, the people that got talking for the first time, the fights and trolling, the spin offs that got created then and are now much larger establishments, all of it.

Sure Gigpad defined the scene for a while, but it’s not like Gigpad made so many things happen by itself, it was just some kind of glue that turned up at the right time, and we got the chance to witness an important period in the scene. Strange how so many folks from then are still so vital to the scene now.

Q) How do you think handling Gigpad and being at the fulcrum of the scene at that time influenced the musician in you?

It did to the extent that one got to hang out with some awesome musicians and see them at work, pick up the odd lesson from Warren etc, hear demo albums by the dozen. It definitely created a strong conviction around writing original music. It also helped shed some of the classic rock that clung to one’s skin at the time and got me to listen to new music.

So strange as it may seem, the biggest influence of Gigpad has been on one’s perspective, not one’s music. Perspective on what matters to you as an artist – the musicianship/ the songwriting/ the creation process – that’s what  Gigpad exposed me to, and I’ve learnt from it.

Q) What are the similarities and the difference in the scene between the scene during the Gigpad days and now?

So hard for me to tell as I’m not really into the scene anymore. But from a very peripheral and perhaps nostalgia biased view – the core is different. Instead of Razz, the venue is now Phoenix. Everybody seems to be fitter and happier. Everybody seems to be playing in 5 bands, 3 solo projects and participating in some art collective at the same time. Everybody seems to have an unused DJ mixer to sell. It’s happysad.

Q) Which are the musicians from the scene that have influenced you over the years?

I’ve liked strong songwriting. So Sidd/ Zero, Pentagram, Colourblind, AFS, PDV, Them Clones, Nikhil and Tajdar Junaid, Siddharth Basrur, new stuff from Tejas and Jishnu, the guitar work of Warren, Sunny. To be honest there’s no one that dominates from the local scene, but you’re always a product of your influences at some level so yeah – all of these and more!

Q) Which are the fresh acts from the new scene that you really dig?

Don’t follow the new scene like I used to but I’ve liked what I heard of Tejas, The Mavyns (not that new though), F16s, Short Round, Sky Rabbit. Ah hard one; I really am so not in touch with the scene!

Q) Tell us about your album.

It was a long time in the making. Songs written over 3-4 years and then recorded and mixed at home over another year. Pretty much a project you do to push yourself – so I learnt mixing, and I found people to collaborate with for drums and vocals and figured the production process.

I played with a band briefly in the 2010-2012 years – The Second Shift – and we put out a (demo) album that was decidedly amateur, though I must say some of the songs were really good. So I wanted this to be less amateur, at the same time I wanted to keep it DIY. So that really took effort, but in Shamir and Prasun I had some really good collaborators – not pros, guys in white collar jobs, same constraints as me, but with the drive to push hard.

So songs like Riven, that got written in no time, is about a feeling is separation which you think you can live with (the name came from the PC game I played 20 years ago). Put On Your Face came from mourning a death. Sweetness Follows came from being in love and knowing how precious little time you get. River’s Edge came from looking into the future to the time when your kids grow up and you need to redefine your life. Fireflies is a tiny movie unto itself.

Q) How has time and being a family man influenced your music over the years? Would the album sound the same if you had written it during the GigPad days?

Time is such a precious resource. I’ve got a full time job to keep at and a young son, so they take top priority. Music is a late night and weekend thing that I’m crazy about so I manage to give it some time pretty much every day, but it’s not much time. But family gives you perspective in the songwriting, it gives you things to talk about, it also pushes away the need to be anything but you.

I don’t know if the album would have been too different in the Gigpad days. Impossible to tell really, but I think there’s more depth to the writing now – back then the songs I wrote would often try too hard.

Q) What’s your plan for the future?

I’ve got so many songs inside me, so now that I know I can do an album it’s time to get out the next batch and do it better. Record it in a studio, expand the collaborations etc. And then do yet another by which time I should have some mastery over the craft – and make that a wider release, perhaps play the songs live. As you get older, you also get better at making plans that build slowly but surely. I’ve also wanted to do different sounds from the ones on Riven – more orchestral stuff, more layered music, and sometime, completely stripped down music too. I’ve been generally shy of doing music for others “to a brief” but am attempting that now, doing music for a play – but that’s not likely to become a regular feature. Much more likely is a series of albums, EPs, Singles…

I’ve been told the real deal is the take it all live and I want to do that – its the only way to build an audience. But that’s going to take a while. Perhaps some day I’ll take a sabbatical from work and get a live band together!

A big thank you to Sandy for having that interview with us. Do subscribe to his YouTube channel to keep up to date with his latest releases! Also do check Riven out; it’s up for free download on Bandcamp.

Thank you for reading! If you want to talk about a band you love, or a band you think everyone should know about, please leave a comment or send in your mails to indiebullhorn@gmail.com. You can also mail us if you have any articles you’d like to send. To see more cool stuff like interviews, album reviews, release updates and lots more, stay tuned. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.