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Listen: Mumbai Producer Zain Calcuttawala’s Solo Debut as Bulli Bainbridge

The sublime ‘Just This Once’ EP features everyone from Spud In The Box’s Rohan Rajadhyaksha and Siddharth Talwar as well as guitarist-vocalist Jishnu Guha

Anurag Tagat May 09, 2017
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Zain Calcuttawala

Mumbai Producer Zain Calcuttawala. Photo Courtesy of the artist

Serendipity might just be Mumbai-based drummer-producer Zain Calcuttawala’s middle name. When he sat down one night to compose songs last June, he had no idea “what it was going to become.”He picked out his trip-hop project’s name – Bulli Bainbridge as part of one of those match your birthday to get your pirate/pornstar name charts – even before he thought of making music.

And then, he came across a photo of a friend at Burning Man Festival. “I wrote to her and said it’d be cool for an album cover. This was even before I had an album,” Calcuttawala says with a laugh. Even his compositions on the five-track debut EP Just This Once came to match a loose theme of a night out and the feelings that are often associated with it, set to a smooth set of compositions inspired by the likes of jazz keyboardist Robert Glasper, ambient artist Tycho and late Japanese trip-hop artist Nujabes.

Bulli Bainbridge Main Album Cover_Square

‘Just This Once’ album cover. Artwork: Courtesy of the artist

“The vibe of the compositions worked out quite serendipitously. I named the songs only after mixing them. I had called it Just This Once to say that it would be a one-off EP, but it just got this other theme,” says the producer, who has been a part of albums by indie artists such as Siddharth Basrur (from alt metallers Goddess Gagged) and Jishnu Guha aka Short Round.

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It’s no surprise that Bulli Bainbridge’s collaborators include Guha on the signature trip-hop tune “When It Hits” and alt rock band Spud In The Box’s keyboardist-vocalist Rohan Rajadhyaksha and guitarist Siddharth Talwar on the sprawling opener “Pregame.” Calcuttawala adds, “Siddharth actually helped me with a lot through the EP. He and I worked together for ads and short films, so I’ve always had insights from him.”

He assures that Bulli Bainbridge is definitely a studio-only project. But there might be more on the horizon. “This was just a milestone to prove to myself that I could do this [a studio release]. But I am toying with the idea of a second EP, maybe sometime next year,” he says.

Listen to ‘Just This Once’ below:

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