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In The Studio: Daira are Outsourcing Finishing Touches to Serbia

Their third full-length album is louder, crazier; currently being mixed and produced by Voja Aralica

Anurag Tagat Jul 05, 2018

Mumbai rockers Daira at Benchmark Studios, Thane. Photo: Arshad Bhati

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Out in the arid desert state of Rajasthan, Mumbai rockers Daira found a connection to Serbia via multi-genre festival Ragasthan earlier this year. Serbian rock band Naked were performing and when Daira heard their music, drummer Pratik Kulgod says they were looking for mix engineers for their upcoming third album.

Kulgod adds, “We asked them [Naked] about who had mixed it and they gave us Voja Aralica’s contact. The first mix we got was brilliant, so we went ahead with Voja.” With around eight or nine tracks, the Mumbai band recorded their as-yet-untitled album in February this year at Benchmark Studios and now have Aralica – a veteran who’s been at the recording decks for movie soundtracks and Serbian/Yugoslavian artists – working on mixing and donning the hat of a producer in Belgrade. Kulgod says of their new producer, “He’s adding his own inputs, he has these ideas about how the music can propagate further – some embellishments that give it a better touch.

Serbian producer and recording engineer Voja Aralica, who is working on Daira’s upcoming third album. Photo: Courtesy of Daira.

Daira released their wildly improvisational, psychedelic second album Vipreet Buddhi in November last year. The record was a major sonic shift from their 2015 debut album thanks to the contributions of new members–bassist Aswin Lal and guitarist Shivam Pant. While Kulgod notes that Lal is adding his own bass tones and style to the grooves, the songs on the album have guitars written between guitarist Vikalp Sharma, former guitarist Chaitanya Bhaidkar and Pant. Songs such as “Poshaaq,” “Sahaafi,” “Raat Ka Kinaara” and “Ailaan” bear the beginnings of Pant’s trademark additions to the sound.

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Behind the kit, Kulgod says he tries as often as possible to incorporate his current influences. He says, “Like in ‘Sahaafi,’ I was experimenting with some swing and those kind of rhythms. ‘Poshaaq’ was just written after an Iron Maiden Tribute, so I used the same drumbeat from ‘Run to the Hills’ in the intro riff.” Of the eight or nine songs, Only “Ailaan” retains the jam-based influence of Vipreet Buddhi, but it’s something they’re happy to move on from.

Kulgod recorded live drums on an acoustic kit at Benchmark Studios with all the members in the same room (vocalist Piyush Kapoor had his own vocal booth), although guitars were recorded dry so as to avoid any amplifier mics from feeding back. “The signals were later re-amped using a Mesa Boogie Amplifier and some more Logic and digital amplifiers. Everything happened in one go and later we re-amped,” the drummer says.

With mixes coming in and a title yet to be decided, Daira are meanwhile amusing fans with social media updates in the vein of kaleidoscopic street hoardings that commemorate festivities and birthdays of local leaders. It was the combined brainchild of  Ashwyn Warrier (who works with the visual identity of the band) and manager Savi Shrivastava, who promise there’ll be more memes incoming for the next two months, when the album is out in September. Kulgod adds, “Everything is two or three notches above what we did with the last album.”

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