Sapta Get Extraterrestrial on New Album ‘Heart Disk’
Producer Marti Bharath on involving drummer Tapass Naresh in a bigger way on their eighth album, led by the concept of going to the moon
Chennai-bred producer and keyboardist Marti Bharath probably has to think twice before calling his keytar a weapon of choice now. After a gig in Thiruvananthapuram in April, the founder of electronica act Sapta had asked a show organizer to send the instrument via air courier. That’s when his troubles began.
Bharath says, “The airport officials saw this thing and said it looked like it had explosives in it, even though it was a battery inside it that was causing concern. They called in the sniffer dogs, a bomb squad and even the press was there before it all cleared out.” But things like that don’t deter Bharath in the least when it comes to lugging around two pillar-like synth and live production setups for Sapta, which also includes Tapass Naresh (from Chennai rockers Skrat) on drums. The vertical synth boxes still blows people’s minds, according to Bharath. “Some say, ‘We don’t care if you’re coming, just send the boxes,’” he says with a laugh.
Thanks to changing up casing from aluminium to carbon fiber, Bharath coolly says they now weigh only 35 kilograms, compared to their original heft of 75 kilos. The rig is at the center of Sapta’s sound, which scales up to eight albums, with the release of Heart Disk last week. Bharath has mentioned that travel plays a big part in the kind of emotion he channels into the tracks he writes, before sending them to Naresh for his inputs. A few songs off the seven-track album, like the opening track “The Run,” has already been road-tested at shows across the country. Bharath, who now lives in Pune, wrote material in Pondicherry, Mumbai and his former home in Chennai. He adds, “Some of the songs are five or six years old. They came back to life.”
Thematically and sonically, Sapta channel a retro sound aided by dreamy pop vocals, roomy drum work and of course, tripped-out synth. Bharath says, “Our last album [The Gifted Madness, 2017] had a lot of heavy stuff and I felt it was a bit random. I liked listening to albums as a whole. So this has the hardest, softest and cheesiest songs.” With the concept album, Sapta have also roped in Pune-based audio-visual artists Harsh Patel (aka Blink) and Tarun Jakhodia (aka Kosa) to work on a 360-degree animated video for “Who Built the Moon,” and have “new costumes,” according to Bharath. “We’re getting into visually explaining the music now. It’s exciting.”
Bharath, like any good producer, is prolific when it comes to writing music. He says Heart Disk has been holding him back in some ways, mostly because he was music set for the next three years and is now finished releasing eight out of a total of 16 planned albums. The producer adds, “We would’ve put out more music often if I wasn’t moving around. This has taken two years. We’ve got releases to keep us going until 2020 already.”
Listen to ‘Heart Disk’ below.