Sid Vashi : The big theme of ‘Azuma Kazuma’ is fear.

Cover.jpg

“The big theme is fear. We are so uncertain about what we want to do next. So it’s really about coming to terms with your fear and saying, fuck it, let’s do this shit”, Sid Vashi on his starry debut album ‘Azuma Kazuma‘.

Born and raised in the suburbs of Detroit, Sid had a varied spectrum of influences. His music is an eclectic mix of different genres structured by elaborate instrumentation and accompanied by sparing appearances by his distinct saxophone playing. Formally trained in jazz music, Sid insists everyone should dwell a little in music theory for it fosters creativity. He says, “It’s new ways to categorize your expression.”

Image result for sid vashi

A fan of music first, Sid tries to listen to a different album every day. Currently rocking out to some Beach Boys, African artist Francis Bebey and the new Brand New album – ‘Science Fiction’. Sid doesn’t shy away from his Bollywood influences and is nostalgic of the over the top, synth driven music of the Burman era. He says, “I never saw it as the establishment music”. Given how visual his music can be, it’s no surprise that he cites the likes of Mani Ratnam, Vishal Bhardwaj and Anurag Kashyap as some of his favorite Indian film directors.

Image result for sid vashi

After returning to India couple of years ago, he channeled his emotions of being an outsider in his home country into a heavily Bollywood sampled EP called ‘Motherland Tourism’. But later having felt that it didn’t represent him completely, he decided to take it down. He made a rather elaborate return with his extravagant album ‘Azuma Kazuma’.

Image result for sid vashi azuma kazuma

The story of ‘Azuma Kazuma’ revolves around a prospector in a large space mining conglomerate who undergoes a near death experience and decides to take control of his life. The story mirrors the time when Sid was bed-ridden for six weeks and decided to make this album. The album is two-part out of a trilogy, which shall be completed in Sid’s next album. Sid decided to work with visual artist Johnny Ghanta for this visuals to serve as an aesthetic guideline to the entire experience. “He’s one of the most inspiring people. He’s so creative he’s so driven and so interesting to be around”, Sid on his collaborator.

Where the album shines is the details in the overall experience. There are minute sonic detail which make the album all the more interesting. “I think of mixes like sonic architectures, you are creating an environment”, says Sid on his choice of sounds. Another standout factor would be the use of samples like the iconic vocals from Nicholson’s ‘For What‘ on the track ‘Paper Bones’. Indie artists rarely do covers or remixes of other acts, but this kind of sampling format has been dominant in hip-hop for the longest time. “That’s how you build a culture by being referential within it” , says Sid.

Given how geeky the Azuma Kazuma story is, it comes as no surprise that Sid happens to have a degree in neuroscience and philosophy. He makes no distinction between his artistic and academic side and embraces both wholly. He says, “I think all explorations, academic or artistic, are ultimately trying to determine what is true.”

Sid also is a part of Salvage Audio Collective which is group of producers  who provide audio solutions for several commercial and indie projects. Sid says it really helps him try different things. He continues, “I see other projects as an opportunity to be a sonic chameleon.”

Image result for salvage audio collective

It’s been three odd months since Azuma Kazuma has released, but Sid doesn’t feel the pressure to put anything out. Besides the conclusion to his debut album, a possible reinterpretation of ‘Motherland Tourism’, Sid plans to drop couple of remixes and B-sides of Azuma Kazuma. With the festival season  around the corner and couple of DJ sets along the way, it’s pretty safe to say that this space boy is ready to go to infinity & beyond!

Image may contain: one or more people, crowd, concert and indoor

 

 

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.

Advertisements

Easy Wanderlings : Decide what you want people to experience.

Cover

“You gotta be worried when things are alright”, says Sanyanth Naroth. His infectious enthusiasm cuts right through the lazy Sunday morning vibes. He’s equally grateful and vigilant to the overall appreciation his band, Easy Wanderlings, have been getting lately. He continues to passionately talk about music, his journey, the band, and of course their debut album, ‘As Written In The Stars’.

For the longest time Easy Wanderlings had been quite the faceless band. Communicating solely via their music and artwork, not even the ardent of fans knew where the band came from or how many members it had.  Sanyanth insisted that the art had to come first and all he wanted was people to – “hear some good music, sit back & relax”. Things really blew up for the Wanderlings when their single ‘Enjoy It While It Lasts’ made it on the playlist of the YouTube channel ‘Mostly Strings’ and garnered international recognition.

The band was co-founded by fellow wanderling Malay Vadalkar who happens to also be the recordist/mixing engineer for the album. Both have known each other for 10 odd years making even the most intense of creative disputes feel like “fighting with a sibling”. Pratika Gopinath was brought on board when her mesmerizing vocal chops perfectly fit the melody of ‘Enjoy It While It Lasts’ and the songs that followed. Soon enough the wanderling family easily expanded to more members and even more places, with the wanderlings hailing from the likes of Pune, Darjeeling and Denmark.

Describing their sound as a ‘music journal’, the 8-track debut album is the testament that the wanderlings have come a long way from their first entry of home recorded singles. The entire album chronicles multiple stories of love, loss, ambition and everything in between, laced beautifully together with soulful acoustic melodies. A personal favorite would be ‘Dream To Keep Us Going’ as an intriguing intro if followed by some energetic chirpy tunes.  Sanyanth insists on always delivering a high quality product and giving it your best. He says, “Decide what you want people to experience.”

The wanderlings have currently cherry-picked only 8 songs for ‘As Written In The Stars’ and have kept some for future records. They have couple of exciting gigs on their way including the Barcadi NH7 Weekender later this year. They also have a music video out for ‘Enjoy It While It Lasts’. Due to the single’s initial international success, they have found a great following overseas and when asked if they plan to tour abroad, Sanyanth says, “We have to. There’s no question about it!” So it’s safe to they have already taken steps to write the next chapter in this music journal, but we just might have to wait for a little while. Till then, enjoy while it lasts!

 

 

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.

 

 

Akash Vincent : ‘Singer-songwriter’ is not a genre.

Cover

“For a long time I really had a problem with how ‘singer-songwriter’ is referred to as a genre”, says Akash Vincent. This statement is perfectly applicable to Akash who  recently dropped his sophomore EP ‘Polaris‘ which creatively explores varied sounds palettes like pop and r&b tied beautifully together by his voice and songwriting skills.

 

 

Akash’s music journey started off with being a metal drummer back in college but he finally found his footing in being more of a solo act. His influences range from the likes of Sting, Bob Dylan to local acts such as Soulmate, Donn Bhat & Red Mawkin. This 5-track EP is a follow-up to Akash’s debut effort ‘Postcards’.

 

Initially to be named as ‘North Star’, this EP is a reminder to be true to one self. This expression is encapsulated perfectly in the bouncy opener ‘Who I Am’. In an era where electronic music is on the forefront, it can be tough for ‘traditional’ singer-songwriters to find their space and be honest to their craft. Akash says, “It’s really easy to lose track of who you are and who you want to be.”

Staying true to the opening statement, there’s not one song that sounds remotely similar to the next. He manages to soulfully use a variety of instruments and meshes them together to deliver a distinct sound. His creative efforts were equally critiqued and supported by his collaborators Nikhil Mawkin, Abhinav Khokar & Gaurav Chintamani. Akash also keeps the band in mind while writing the songs and welcomes any sort of feedback. He says, “Musicians come in with their own colors and it is always welcomed.”

Band.jpg

A personal favorite would be the track ‘Anyway’ which has an overall sense of excitement and tension created by the cello melody flowing through the song. Inspired by how much effort gets put in to the packaging of albums like ‘Meteora’ by Linkin Park, Akash made sure the EP had a visual appeal. Each songs has its individual artwork created by the artist Nadini Bansal.

EP.jpg

At this very moment, Akash is tirelessly trying to push the EP and honing his craft as a live performer for the gigs in the upcoming months. It’s evident that his presence can no more be ignored as one patiently waits for his next set of songs. With EPs like these, Akash is likely to become a star of his own in India’s independent music galaxy!

 

Akash Vincent - live at Depot29

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.

Phatcowlee : ‘Cinema EP is an extension of self-expression’.

Cover

Rajan Shrestha’s moniker originated by superimposing a huge cauliflower on a cow’s head, much like how his influences are a delightful amalgamation between the likes of Tool, Perfect Circle and that of Mathew Herbert and Trent Reznor.  His debut effort as Phatcowlee has been making waves in the indie scene for being raw, ethereal and well, cinematic.

Logo

Predominantly known as being the bassist of Nepal’s stellar rock outfit, Jindabaad, Rajan first dipped his toes in electronic music production two-three years ago. Having an experience of being a musician for years, along with the confidence stemming from his days as a co-producer and recording engineer, Phatcowlee seemed like a natural metamorphism.  He doesn’t see much difference working alone or with a band. Both have their pros and cons. Being in a band and collaborating helped him grow as a musician, but Phatcowlee felt more like an intimate form of self-expression. “Sometimes we need to express ourselves in our unique way and I felt Phatcowlee is that extension of me”, says Rajan.

Released by India’s very own Consolidate records, this EP is really eargasmic. He chose his samples from famous old Nepali films and named the songs after them. Wooed over by the surge of nostalgia he faced while randomly flipping through channels, he record all the samples from the T.V. or YouTube. Even the cover art is from the film ‘Chino’. Terming his genre to be ‘Post Adhunik’ music, this EP is everything you expect it to be. Perfect blend of nostalgia with modern aesthetics.

It’s clear how visual Rajan is as a creative entity. From the EP name to the samples, there’s no doubt that films have influenced him. It should come as no surprise for he happens to be a video editor along with a photographer. So there might be a music video somewhere down the line.

Talking about the lack of a viable ecosystem, Rajan describes the Nepali music scene as, “bubble which might expand, but won’t burst.”  The lack of collaboration along with the dearth of long lasting entities to provide a sturdy platform for young artists seems like the every other day for this scene veteran. Amazed by the response to this EP, Rajan feels that collaboration is where the world is headed. This EP is a testament that in the internet era, you can find fellow creatives and help them out. It just might result in your art being experienced by an entirely new audience.

phatcowlee1-photo-cred-Prasiit-Sthapit-768x513.jpg

Photo Credit : Prasiit Sthapit.

With the Sine Valley Festival this October, Rajan has decided to dedicate the rest of the year to his band Jindabaad, however he has already started working on the next album for Phatcowlee. And all we can say is that we can’t wait for his next endeavor!

 

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.

 

Worm’s Cottage: ‘To Each Their Own’ EP Review

17855480_404547353271876_4695908256840690718_o.jpg

Worm’s Cottage of the Bangalore Consolidate family combines outdoorsy acoustic elements with soft electronica to deliver a crisp four track folktronic EP.

There’s a noteworthy sense of precision in choosing the sounds. He takes a minimalist approach to give a very raw and groovy feel. Tribal elements are abundant throughout. All the songs feel fresh, airy and light. The opening track ‘The Simplest Thing’ has some beautiful guitar parts. It’s exciting to see heartfelt acoustic elements pushed on the foreground in an electronic record.

 

Rocky at some parts, the entire EP does seem very cohesive and flows smoothly from song to song. Worm’s Cottage has been churning out music every year exploring different sound spaces. It’s going to be exciting to see where he goes next.

 

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.

Tej Brar : The Manager Behind Your Favorite Indie Artists.

tej

Tej Brar, the Head Of Artist Management of Only Much Louder,  manages some of the cutting-edge fresh sounds of the independent music scene like Nucleya, Dualist Inquiry, Sandunes, Nicholson, The F16s and more. He was very much a part of Nucleya’s exponential trajectory over the past three years. With Sahej Bakshi aka Dualist Inquiry he also has a record label namely Dualism Records.

We had chance to pick his brain and he helped us dwell into a variety of things from his journey with Nucelya, his ‘branding approach’ and the favorite tracks of the artist he manages. Check it out!

Q) What did you see in Nucleya that made you work with him three years ago when he wasn’t doing so well? What do you look for in an artist musically?

I just thought he had a really unique sound, and he still does. There’s a bunch of producers out there trying to replicate it nowadays and pull off the desi-bass sound, but people can tell immediately if it’s a Nucleya track. I find that super interesting, the fact that a song can come on and people instantaneously know it’s a particular artist. In addition to that he was just a really humble good dude. He had no airs about him and I knew he was ready to put the work in. Now, 3 years down the line he has kept up his side of the deal (music, performances) and I like to think I kept mine (management, bookings). The work has paid off, but that’s not enough to become complacent. We’re working harder than ever right now and pushing towards the next set of goals. As far as what I look for in an artist from a musical point of view, it’s just to have a sound of your own. Be as unique as possible, don’t try to imitate an artist or a sound just because it’s popular. I think most of the acts OML represents have done that successfully from Dualist to Sandunes to Nicholson, etc everyone has a pretty well developed and refined sound that is immediately recognizable as them.

nucleya_x_tej_brar


Q) According to you, there’s some basic ‘hygiene’ work that each artist needs to do. Could you highlight what that comprises of for upcoming acts in the scene?

Sure. Hygiene is basically the stuff that every artist needs to have, it’s the basics that allow you to function as a professional musician. It goes without saying that your production and performance needs to be solid first. I would say the stuff that makes hygiene up on a base level is the following – press shots, tech rider, logo and social media channels across platforms. The next step up from this would be trademarking your name & logo, ensuring your music is distributed across as many stores as possible and having some documentation that shows the rights to your music are all held by you. As an artist grows the kind of hygiene needed changes and evolves with scale, but hygiene is basically the stuff you need to have in place in order to function.

Image result for tej brar


Q) A lot of emphasis is put by you on the branding of your artists. What, in your opinion, is artist branding done right? How should bands and artists approach it?

I believe that each artist is a brand themselves. They represent a certain aesthetic and that is ultimately what their community connects with across mediums, be it the music, the image, the artwork etc. I think it’s really important for an artist to have a really clear idea of who they are and what they want to do. Once the artist has that kind of clarity, it’s my job to flesh it out and package it in order to put it across to their audience the best I can. In some cases the packaging is done to make the artist more commercially viable, but in other instances it’s done just because we want to show what the artist stands for and believes in or even just because we think stuff is cool and it fits the vibe of the artist. I don’t know if that adequately answers the question, but this is kind of how I’ve approached it. The vision & direction comes from the artist and then I build the marketing and positioning around it just like you would with a traditional brand. Possibly the best example I can think of of an artist branding themselves and really fleshing out that brand over time is Snoop Dogg. His audience knows exactly what he stands for and what he represents across music, aesthetic, artwork etc. Because his brand is so strong itself, there are tons of other actual real brands that want to associate with him to get that “snoop” factor – he has got literally every endorsement and product out there from sneakers to vaporizers to energy drinks to smoking paraphernalia. And what really stands out is that it all makes sense, his personal brand aligns so well with all of these endorsed brands that the products make sense. Artists just need to really know what they stand for and who they are, that is the essence of what their “brand” will ultimately become.  

tej-along-with-some-oml-artists


Q) You regularly work on the ‘image’ of your artists so that they can be described in a sentence. Could you describe the following artists in a sentence for us? Also, what’s your favourite track by each?

i) Nucleya – Little Lotto

BADASS GLOBAL BASS MONSTER.

tej-nucleya

ii) Dualist Inquiry – Sleepwalker

DIVERSE TREE OF LIVE ELECTRONICA WITH ROCK ROOTS.

tej-dual

iii) Sandunes – Crystal Pink.

INSTRUMENTAL ELECTRONICA THAT IS SYNTH & PERCUSSION HEAVY. 

iv) Nicholson – Videogames (Lana Del Rey cover)

LUSH AMBIENT ELECTRO ACOUSTIC LANDSCAPES.

v) Anish Sood – Radiohead Reckoner Remix.

THIS DUDE CAN MAKE ANY PARTY DANCE, SUPER VERSATILE AND SKILLED DJ.

Image result for anish sood

vi) Reggae Rajahs – Indian Girl Dubplate

INDIA’S FIRST REGGAE SOUNDSYSTEM, THE PIONEERS OF REGGAE ACROSS INDIA.


Q) What are your expectations from the scene in the future?

 Bigger, better, faster, stronger.

tej

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.