Sickflip Goes Cinematic on New EP
The Mumbai-based producer’s latest release is dark and menacing, and nothing like his previous works
While his 2014 EP The Ladakh Project was a picture of calm, Mumbai based producer Sarvesh Shrivastava aka Sickflip has added mystery, power and rage on his latest release Dark Ages. The switch wasn’t intentional, says Shrivastava. “I don’t pre-decide. My music is inspired by what’s around me, or what I am seeing and doing during a particular time.”
The 23-year old explains that the two tracks featured on Dark Age — “Mad Max” and “Desert Bae”— were not written with a theme or an EP in mind. “I made the songs separately but when I listened to them, it felt like they fit together.” Both tracks feature a thumping groove and have Middle Eastern leanings. While “Desert Bae” is a slower and bass-heavy with a haunting melody, “Mad Max” is more anthem-like. “It was inspired by a cinematic, larger-than-life vibe,” says Shrivastava of “Mad Max”. “There are big drums, some grunge and there’s rage.” With adrenaline-filled vocals and multiple build-ups leading to a crescendo, the track could well be part of a superhero movie soundtrack.
“Desert Bae”, on the other hand, mixes hip hop and trap and features the darbuka [a percussion instrument from the Middle East] and the kemenche [a type of Persian violin]. Although the instruments featured in the track are high definition pre-recorded plug-ins, they create a convincing illusion of live instruments. “It sounds like a lot of musicians but it’s just me!” he laughs.
Imagery also plays a large part in Shrivastava’s music, especially when it comes to titling his tracks. He shares that although he wrote “Mad Max” before the release of the 2015 film of the same name, he wanted to name it after the film. “I don’t title songs until they’re fully done, so when I saw the [Mad Max: Fury Road] movie, its vibe and rage reminded me of the song.” In a similar way, the title “Desert Bae” was inspired by the imagery of deserts, created by Middle Eastern instruments. The Ladakh Project was similar, with sounds of birds and water in the tracks depicting mountains and forests.
Shrivastava is also looking to release a full-length album later in the year. “I have a whole bunch of new material I’m working on,” he says, “But I plan on doing some shows before I go into hibernation mode for the album.”
Dark Ages is available as a free download here.