Promoting his debut album as Bandish Projekt, Correkt, Mayur Narvekar sets sights on a US tour
In the year 2007, electronic music outfit Bandish Projekt became a one man show when founders Mayur Narvekar and Udyan Sagar each went their separate ways. Today, Bandish Projekt is Narvekar’s solo undertaking while Sagar has been establishing his identity as Nucleya. “We wanted to get into different formats and styles of music. He was less a musician and more a technical geek. But my background is rooted in hardcore Indian classical. Eventually, it came to a stage where it was going away from the music, because at the end of the day you are producing music not technology. He wanted to get into a different aspect of sound. So we decided to go our own ways, and I kept the name because I had conceptualised it,” says Narvekar of the split. For a long time the project lay dormant but with the digital release of the debut album, Correkt (Bheja Fry Records, available on iTunes, Juno and Blue Frog online) and national and international gigs Bandish Projekt is creeping back into the game.
Narvekar has shifted base from Ahmedabad to Mumbai, so he can better access his core audience and market. In the past Narvekar has played at major international festivals like UK’s Glastonbury (2007) and WOMAD (2006) and Sweden’s Clandestino (2005) and been highlighted on BBC as an artist to watch out for by the likes of Bobby Friction. The range of Narvekar’s music encompasses everything from trip-hop to DnB, hard core to dub step, which, he explains, is his attempt at “widening his scope of making electronic music that is global.” But he also clarifies that the electronic aspect of his music comes second to his core sound which is essentially Indian classical with electronica serving as a conduit to expose the world to his more traditional groove, “percussion is my forte, but I work within the Indian classical mould a lot – like say the thumri, I take it to a different level. If you heard the thumri with a dub step spin on it, it will still be a thumri but will be represented in a different format with a refreshing touch.” Another popular Bandish Projekt song, ‘Garba Rave’ – which features the vocals of a folk singer from Rajkot tweaked with some hardcore DnB – draws inspiration from Gujarat’s cherished cultural heritage. What Narvekar is very keen on doing now is playing full-fledged live shows, “I’ve been deejaying for so many years. Now I am more interested in performing with a vocalist and with live instruments in place which involves my whole kit of tablas and other assorted percussion.”
Narvekar is all set to collaborate with various artists like Last Mango in Paris, Nathan Flutebox and Arun Ghosh at the South Bank Centre in the UK this month. As part of the promotion of his debut album, Correkt, he also hints that a tour of the US is on the cards for later this year. “While following the social/music networks through Facebook, Twitter, MySpace etc, I came to realise that the biggest fan following for Bandish Projekt was in the US. That’s how my manager at Bheja Fry showed interest in this tour. We expect to play San Francisco, LA and New York.” If you want sample a sizzling soundbite of the Bandish Projekt groove today, watch out for Narvekar’s new single ‘Brown Skin Beauty’ – featuring UK based poet Last Mango in Paris and produced by Robert Koch aka Robot Koch (founder of Jahcoozi ) – releasing this month.