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Paraphoniks: ‘It’s Very Easy to Make an EDM Banger’

Mumbai electronica duo stay away from “formulaic” four-on-the-four kicks and play with retro-futuristic sounds on their new release

Nabeela Shaikh Sep 30, 2016
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Photo: Rahul Nair

Shatrunjai Dewan and Sid Shirodkar of Paraphoniks. Photo: Rahul Nair

Despite being an electronic artist himself, Shatrunjai Dewan is fairly discerning of the current EDM explosion. Says the Mumbai-based artist and one half of synth-loving duo Paraphoniks, “It’s very easy to make a commercial EDM banger with a four-on-floor kick. There’s a certain formula [to it] which is not a big secret. The thing that inspires me more is people who are pushing boundaries using these tools to achieve something that’s not been achieved before.”

Paraphoniks, also comprising audiophile and modular synth fanboy Siddhant Shirodhkar, prefer to draw from more experimental acts like jazz/electronica artist Tennyson, UK electronic artist James Holden and Radiohead, evident on their new EP Yarns. The five-track release sees Dewan and Shirodkar dabble in retro-futuristic sounds and playful tunes, crafted out of three months’ worth of experimentation with modular synthesizers and live instrumentation.

Artwork for 'Yarns'

Artwork for ‘Yarns’

And as is the case with much electronic music, Paraphoniks preferred to work on material in the studio and on the spot: “There’s less thought given to the process that we want to follow, explains Dewan. “I don’t want to get into a monotonous process of composing; it’s more of an in-the zone approach.” While in the zone, the duo bring a warble-y galactic explosion on “Slip,” whereas “Polymath” enters a gaming dimension with glitch Nintendo-esque samples. “Rooster” holds a similar playfulness, before Paraphoniks turn to club-friendly tunes with “Blue Shift” and finally turn up the energy on “Frissons.”

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It’s only fitting then, that Dewan and Shirodkar stepped things up for their EP launch gig at Mumbai performance venue Antisocial Khar earlier this month with an ambitious 8.1 surround sound set-up. A shot-in-the-dark DIY attempt, Dewan explains that they figured out the technicals from scratch by “taking 8 speakers, putting it in a circle around us and playing with the sounds and the space around the audience.” It helped that they got support from their management at Mixtape and eventually pulled off a successful experience, which they plan to build on for future shows. Says Dewan, “This is not something I can go to YouTube, and type a video tutorial on ‘How to perform in 8.1 sound’ because there’s not many people doing that. Or if they are, don’t want to disclose the way they’ve routed things. It was a huge risk from our end… but fortunately it was really successful.”

 

Listen to ‘Yarns’ below.

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