Madboy/Mink To Perform Debut Gig In Delhi This Week
The electronica project comprising Imaad Shah and Saba Azad also plan to release their debut EP in January
In an age when musicians are taking on global collaborations before you can say SoundCloud, Imaad Shah is happy to have found his musical partner at home. For his newest electronica project, Madboy/Mink, Shah roped in vocalist and girlfriend Saba Azad. “We have been working on a bunch of tunes for a really long time now. Since we are at home together, we save a lot more time and can be far more productive. We do all the mixes at home, so all the real studio work is done there,” he says.
Old friends and actors, both Shah and Azad have previously worked together in theatre productions and even films, but Shah toyed with the idea of a music project when he heard Saba sing. “This was a couple of years ago when I first heard Saba at a late night jam at a friend’s house. She has a remarkable voice – soulful with a jazzy vibe. I wanted to get her to try a vocal style that was different from her soulful style… a little grimy and dirty,” says Shah, who is also the frontman of the seven-member funk rock band The Pulp Society.
Their vinyl collection and love for “dancefloor jazz vibe” were also why Madboy/Mink fell into place, adds Shah. “Both our roots are in punk and disco. We love that. The 20s-30s jazz and swing music was the most popular, effective and accessible dance music there was. Ours is a modern take on old-school swing and will have this late 70s New York disco vibe,” he says. Expect Robert Johnson, Blind Lemon Jefferson and Billie Holiday to get a Madboy/Mink makeover. “There may be a famous Robert Johnson blues track, but instead of using the main vocals, we have taken one trumpet line and sampled it— speed it up or slowed it down, messed with the tempo and pitch,” he says. “We have also taken some new samples and given them a warm, vintage vinyl sound.”
Shah first had a shot at electronica in 2010 with his solo project, Madboy, gigging on and off, but mostly releasing his new tunes online, while Azad lent her vocals to guitarist and Blue Frog co-founder Ashutosh Phatak’s The Petri Dish Project besides guesting with acts such as Blackstratblues. Madboy/Mink is an extension of their solo outings and Shah assures that the project will have the funk-disco vibe of The Pulp Society, yet sound different. “Madboy/Mink has a lot of funk and dirty synth sounds, but at the heart of it, it’s funky and completely unpretentious, dance music.”
Ahead of their debut gig in Delhi this weekend, Shah and Azad are working on their debut untitled EP, which they plan to release in January 2013. The project in fact has been a work-in-progress for a while now. In songs such as the French electro sounding “Pimp The Disco” on the EP, Azad turns rapper and on “Lemonade” Madboy/Mink explores a mellow, classic funk sound. Azad has also taken on production duties on the EP. “She’s good with software and chopping off samples,” adds Shah. Madboy/Mink hope to bring in horn players on the EP. “Horns are a big part of funk. So far, I’ve been programming the horns on the computer, but we are not happy with the sound, so we may get some buddies who are horn players into the studio to record a live horns section. That would be amazing,” he adds.
For their stage debut at Cocaine in New Delhi, Shah will bring his guitar along. “It’s a live set. The guitar and synth are a major part of my sound. Saba will run Ableton Live and sing and process her vocals, while figuring a bunch of midi samples,” he says.
Madboy/Mink will perform at Cocaine, New Delhi on December 28th and at Bonobo, Mumbai on January 9th