Zenguin

Zenguin

The name is a bit self explanatory itself. If you’re into feeling like a penguin swimming through an ocean of zen-worthy lush soundscapes, Zenguin is probably for you.

A duo based out of capital city, Zenguin serves as yet another testament to the quality of the booming instrumental scene in the country with their take of electronic ambience infused with live elements which, while not being a novel concept in itself, comes as a breath of fresh air by virtue of their impeccable execution.

The act has wasted no time in making their mark on the scene, with two EPs out in quick succession over the past year, the latest of which, Toska, was released not long after the start of 2017.

 

 

Ambient, fresh and intricate; that’s Toska in a nutshell. It may only be a couple of tracks long, but that’s enough to give you glimpse of what the new project might have in store for you.

Coming not long after their debut EP Binary Breakfast, another release that’s worth listening to, Toska sees the band move in a bolder direction, with clear improvements seen on their previous work as they get more comfortable with their identity. Taking a more experimental approach, the duo employ the use of subtle tempo changes, unconventional drumming and math rock-esque guitars, all while maintaining an all encompassing atmosphere through the wise use of electronic elements that gels brilliantly with the foreground.

Zenguin has definitely set the tone for what looks like a prolific year ahead for them with this timely release. With their next EP Kensho coming out in a matter of days, It’ll be interesting to see where the act goes from here. 

Q) How did Zenguin come to be? What is your aim with this project?

ZENGUIN happened through sheer coincidence or synchronicity, when two school mates met years after passing out from school and decided to make music. Although there is a myth that ZENGUIN has been around since prehistoric times, being by taken up by various musicians through the ages.

Our aim has always been to generate large quantities of quality music.

Q) Can you tell us a bit about your latest EP Toska and your upcoming release Kensho?

TOSKA is about isolating yourself from the world and entering a contemplative state for self reflection and KENSHO is about expressing the insights gained from such an experience.

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Q) What is the creative process behind your compositions? Do you find your work influenced by any non musical aspects?

The creative process of our compositions revolves around finding the right blend between : analog-digital soundscapes, modern-vintage vibes, chaotic-easy listening, complex-simple arrangements.

The distinction between musical and non-musical sounds is a blurry one, we tend to find inspiration from movies, books, people and everyday experiences.

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Q) You guys have released two EPs now and a lot of singles apart from those in a very short period of time. Would you attribute this prolificacy as a result of you guys being in a good space creatively? Or are these tracks something you have been working on for a while and feel that it’s the best time to showcase?

Its actually a bit of both. Also, like we said :

Our aim has always been to generate large quantities of quality music.

Q) Both your EPs feature some incredibly detailed artwork revolving around Buddhism, the making of one of which has been shown in your video for Toska. Could you tell us a bit about how they came to be and how they relate to your music?

The TOSKA artwork was a result of our collaboration with a group of incredibly talented artists, where the artwork and music complemented and inspired each other.

We don’t really subscribe to or wish to promote any one particular religion, but we often find inspiration from Zen ideas and philosophy.

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Q) You guys have stated that you will be collaborating with various artists during your live sets. What do you look for in a collaboration? Is this a format Zenguin prefers to follow?

ZENGUIN is primarily a duo, where the two of us write and produce the music.

Our collaboration with different musicians depends on what we feel is the best way to perform the songs according to the particular set or setting.

Q) What’s your take on the music scene? Do you feel that experimental acts like yourself get enough love in the country?

The quality of music that is being made by people from the scene today, some of whom are our friends and peers, is absolutely incredible.

Its great to see a lot of experimentation and new ideas being explored.

The amount of love and recognition that we have got already in the short span of time we’ve been around, is amazing!

And we hope that it only grows from here on out.

Q) On a similar note, are there any acts from the country you look up to? How different do you feel is it for an act to get its music out now as compared to around 10 years ago?

We really dig a lot of acts from the country like : Zokova, Submarine in Space, Perfect timing, Corridors, Skyharbor. to name a few.

Technology has made it much easier to get your music out nowadays as opposed to a decade back, both in terms of producing, as well as promoting.

However, there is a flip side to this as well, since there are a lot more acts and hence its harder to make a space for yourself.

Q) Two EPs down and another to come shortly. What’s next for Zenguin?

We’re looking forward to releasing a lot more content, and playing lots of Live shows, Starting off with our upcoming gig on 23rd March at AntiSocial, Delhi!

Cheers to Zenguin for that interview! Like them on Facebook and follow them on Instagram to keep up to date with the latest releases including the imminent Kensho EP.

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, Instagram and Twitter.

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Iram : Azal EP.

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In an almost fairytale like story, Neil Simon and Gaurav Govilkar met at a local gig. They were smitten by their common affinity for soulful acoustic sounds. They formed a band called Iram and started composing music. One year down the line they finally gave birth to their lovechild in the form of a great debut EP, named ‘Azal’!

It’s not surprising that the band mentions the likes of Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree as their key influences. The entire EP reeks of lush dreamy sounds. With rich acoustic elements at its helm, these five tracks maneuver you through a somber atmospheric trip.

Neil’s control over the Urdu dialect matched with the sufi-ness of his voice and introspective lyrics really drive this EP home. It’s a treat whenever the subtle instrumentation fervently blends with the powerful vocal arrangement.

There’s a great instrumental track called ‘Descend’ to freshen your sonic palate. The EP seems well arranged and mixed. A personal favorite track would be the delightful ‘Aaina’, the more urgent and heavier of the lot.

Sometimes the EP seems arduously long and needlessly lingers in certain sonic spaces. It could have been a bit tighter and thus more impactful. However, it’s a solid debut effort to say the least. There’s no doubt that the duo are a nostalgic gem in the growing sounds of the electronica. ‘Iram’ means shining and we hope these crazy diamonds shine on!

Q) What’s the first thing you saw in each other that made you to start this band?

The common affinity we had for music that is sound and melody driven. We both have never felt the need to do more than what is absolutely necessary for the song which is what the basis of minimalism is, that is when we felt we could work together.

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Q) Who are your musical influences from the Indian music scene?

Coshish, Nicholson, Parvaaz, HOIA, Parekh & Singh to name a few.

 

 

Q) Tell us about your debut EP.

Azal which was released in December last year is our shot at arriving at something tangible after years of writing and composing. Lyrically it speaks of how generations of abuse in various forms have put empathy for life in the backseat.

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Q) Is the creative process easier or harder with only two people in the band? What’s the dynamic like?

Honestly, recording was easier, as in easier to find and manage the time between just the two of us. There were times when we did have a few difference of opinions when it came to what sound suits particular parts of the song. But we could always agree on a common ground without compromising the quality, which can be attributed to the common influences and the musical intention we had, right from the beginning of this project.

Q) You recently played your debut show. Tell us about that experience.

It was indeed a pleasure to be invited for a debut gig at a festival which was a complete DIY effort. Zero Gravity Festival in Hampi was beautiful. The surrounding Boulder Mountains across the lush green paddy fields made the entire experience, an ethereal and immersive one.

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Q) How do you approach the lyrics. Did you ever feel of singing in English to appeal to a larger audience?

While writing we are philosophical in our approach. We love the idea of the universe being one with us and believe that a divide exists only in thought.

To me Hindi and Urdu feel more natural than when I sing in English so the thought of singing in English never occurred.

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Q) In a world where electronic/club music is at the forefront, what’s your take on the position of bands such as yourself with more of an atmospheric and acoustic sound?

Music is a very subjective art form and even if you have connected with one mind you have done a lot. That said, we also believe that, for an artist, writing music is a very selfish act, as in He writes/composes music for himself and not for a particular audience in mind. It is here, when that music sounds more genuine and ironically it develops a stronger potential to appeal to a wider audience. We hope to touch more minds that are looking for an atmospheric and a minimal approach to song-writing.

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Q) What’s 2017 like for Iram?

Playing live as much as we can, and working on a few nascent ideas so as to convert them into another complete release.

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Cheers to Iram for that interview. Like them on Facebook and follow on Twitter and Instagram to keep in touch with the latest updates.

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, Instagram and Twitter.

When Chai Met Toast : The Joy of Little Things EP Review

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Happiness needs to be elicited delicately through the medium of music. You can sugarcoat your lyrics, glitter your sounds and force feed your way into a listener’s playlist, but that won’t last. To linger in someone’s mind, truly connect, musicians need some kind of honesty to their craft. And a young band from Cochin have successfully done so with their debut EP, ‘Joy Of Little Things’.  

 When Chai Met Toast. If the band name doesn’t crack a teeny smile, I don’t know what will. Effortlessly euphoric, saying anything mildly negative about this band’s music is like complaining how your grandma feeds you too much. It’s just love. With great passion and sincerity, the band aims to evoke a single feeling, joy. It does so via great instrumentation, groovy hooks and upbeat vocals.

 The music is powerful. Happy genres sometimes can be bland. But this EP is sonically mesmerizing. There is a variety of instrumentation dealt with precision in each song. It’s hard to believe that it started off as a two-piece collective that has expanded and has been winning hearts in such a small span of time. For someone who has had the pleasure of seeing them live, it’s magical to see these young lads pushing themselves to the fullest to lift the crowd’s spirits. They don’t fail to deliver live and they haven’t failed to deliver with this EP.

The only complaint, that it might be too sweet for someone’s palate. It’s only so many times that one can loop this and embarrass themselves whilst dancing in public. But then again it’s like going to the Chocalate Factory and saying, ‘Um, Mr. Wonka, do you have anything spicy in here?’. This is what you’ve signed up for. So use the golden ticket and enter the world of When Chai Met Toast as they make you sing, dance and most importantly, smile.

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, Instagram and Twitter.