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Exclusive Stream: Guitarist Prateek Rajagopal’s Solo Debut ‘Mixed Episode’

The riffsmith from prog band The Minerva Conduct and brutal death metallers Gutslit releases his experimental solo project HOIA’s first song


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The Minerva Conduct Prateek

Guitarist Prateek Rajagopal launches his solo experimental/prog project HOIA. Photo: Prashin Jagger

When he launched his progressive metal project The Minerva Conduct with bandmates bassist Ashwin Shriyan and guitarist Nishith Hegde in 2014, Mumbai-based Prateek Rajagopal had mentioned he had been working on his own solo material as well.

After giving The Minerva Conduct his full attention for the past two years, Rajagopal began work in earnest for what he calls his “true calling” as a solo artist in January this year. Rajagopal says about his new project HOIA,“I think I’m a control freak and I love working on my own terms. I honestly don’t know what’s inspired this. Being alone a lot, moving outside less, delving inwards.”

HOIA, as christened by the guitarist for its peculiar connotations, has its first single out, called “Mixed Episode.” With dirge-like piano movements, sparse guitar layers that build into a wall of noise, Rajagopal’s major influences – prog artists like Steven Wilson – shine on the lead single. His next, “Design,” which will feature drummer Hamza Kazi (from prog rockers Coshish), is set to release next week, and so are plans to take it live.

Rajagopal adds about the seven-track album he’s working on, “The rest of the album has a similar, eerie mood. However, it’s definitely got a lot of instruments throughout and all the songs are structurally very different.”

Hear “Mixed Episode.”  Follow the artist here.

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