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Hear Kalmi and Karan Kanchan Conjure Cinematic Trap on ‘Torii’

The Visakhapatnam-Mumbai electronic producers’ second collaboration is released by French label Otodayo Records

Anurag Tagat Jul 20, 2018

Karan Kanchan (left) and Kalmi (right) team up for "Torii." Photo: Courtesy of the artist (Kanchan); Shitabh Pillai (Kalmi)

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A food court in a mall, the last day of college, contacting an American J-Pop YouTuber – these are among the settings for Mumbai-based producer Karan Kanchan to turn on his laptop and get cracking on a song. As it often happens in the world of producers collaborating online – Visakhapatnam-based Kalmireddy Nikhil and Mumbai’s Kanchan teamed up for their first single “Nuri” last year. “After that release we knew that there’s something special about combining cinematic sounds with the Japanese classical flavor,” Kanchan says.

For round two, they worked on “Torii,” which is the Japanese word for “a gate in front of a shrine.” Nikhil, a classically-trained tabla player who took to EDM and then became deeply engrossed in film scores, brings his foreboding intro the song that crackles into trap energy when Kanchan takes over. Nikhil says, “The music is very much like a Japanese war movie. As Karan uses a lot of Japanese sounds to his bass sound, I tried to soothe the atmosphere and give more story to the track with cinematic elements.”

Kanchan breaks down the track’s samples, which includes grand piano, strings and war drums (from Nikhil) and Japanese three-string instrument shamisen, in addition to synth, drums, bass and percussion. More importantly, the producers worked both offline and online for “Torii,” which they say helped greatly. Nikhil adds, “Karan is like a mentor to me, he taught me a lot of stuff in terms of production and how life is too. He has become a really close friend of mine now. We’re coming up with more stuff together.”

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Listen to “Torii” below

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