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10 Memorable Moments from BUD X Mumbai

Highlights from the second edition of the electronic music event saw intense Boiler Room sets, insightful panels, masterclasses and more

Rolling Stone India Mar 27, 2019

American artist DJ Pierre during his Boiler Room set at BUD X Mumbai.

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In December 2017, Dhanmill Compounds in New Delhi turned into a massive underground party with impressive Boiler Room performances, discussions and workshops for the inaugural edition of electronic music lab BUD X. This past weekend, the event made its way to Mumbai’s Mehboob Studio for its second edition with a focus to develop vastly expanding subcultures that are shaping the country’s music scene from techno to drum and bass and hip-hop.  

Over the course of the two-day event ”“ we saw insightful panels about the electronic and hip-hop scene, epic performances and also mingled with fellow enthusiasts. Although day two of BUD X Mumbai was slightly dampened by a noise complaint that shut things down for about an hour, it still didn’t take away the spirit of the music community that stayed till the end to watch a spellbinding headline performance by city-based hip-hop star Divine. Here are 10 big moments that stood out for us.

1. Talk the Talk

Both days of BUD X Mumbai kicked off with a variety of panels and masterclasses. The topics covered included ”˜The Challenges of The 21st Century DJ,’ where seasoned DJ Arjun Vagale spoke about how in this day and age he needs to be a DJ but also very active on social media just so that his name stays afloat. Day one also witnessed a slick masterclass by New Delhi producer Sez On The Beat, wherein he outlined his creative process, influences and even conducted a live demonstration.

New Delhi producer Sez on the Beat (right) discusses his creative process with Azadi Records’ Mo Joshi.

2. Action Sports and Electronica Go Hand In Hand

Apart from the performances and panels ”“ the BUD X Mumbai faithful also got a chance to watch skateboarding and BMX riders. The organizers had a skate ramp built in the middle of the Mehboob Studio quad where attendees gathered around to see tricks, flicks, showboating and more. The high energy of the performers fit in perfectly to the electronica music flowing through the event.

3. Boiler Room Turned Up the Heat

With the scorching Mumbai heat now back and here to stay for a couple months ”“ things were even hotter on day one of BUD X with four blistering Boiler Room Sets. The artists who performed included DJ/producer Mor Elian, Vagale who played under his alias Asymetrik, American DJ Matthew Dear and Chicago veteran acid house artist DJ Pierre. We witnessed attendees dancing, grooving and getting pretty wild during these sets especially while DJ Pierre brought the house down.

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4. Divine Delivers a Spellbinding Headlining Set

Day two’s noise complaints simmered things down for a bit, but leave it to Mumbai hip-hop star Divine to amp things up again. The rapper put on a power packed performance that included his hit tracks such as “Jungli Sher,” “One Side,” “Farak,” his Naezy collab “Mere Gully Mein” and more. What made Divine’s set even more impactful was his thrilling live band which included guitarist Randolph Correia (from electro-rockers Pentagram and one half of Shaa’ir + Func), bassist Krishna Jhaveri (of prog band Skyharbor), drummer Gautam Deb (from post rockers Aswekeepsearching), DJ Proof and hype man/rapper JD.

Mumbai rapper Divine.

5. Homegrown Talent

With the likes of New Delhi DJs Aamish and MoCity as well as Bengaluru’s _RHL, it showed once again that there is definitely no dearth of electronic music talent in our country. All three artists performed at the BUD X warehouse. DJ Aamish brought his deep house sounds to the table while DJ MoCity showcased a diverse set from world music to hip-hop and even reggae and _RHL’s set combined glitch and hip-hop bangers.

6. Similarities between Seedhe Maut and Foreign Beggars

Hip-hop is definitely a universal language. Take for example the similarities we saw between U.K. hip-hop and dubstep crew Foreign Beggars and New Delhi hip-hop duo Seedhe Maut who featured producer Sez on the Beat. Both outfits put on raging sets with attendees filling up the entire BUD X District where the performances were held. From their energy, to flow and even persona, it was encouraging to know that although Seedhe Maut and Foreign Beggars both hail from different countries; hip-hop is a language that shows us that no matter how diverse you might be, in the end music speaks volumes.

U.K. hip-hop group Foreign Beggars’ Orifice Vulgatron.


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7. Inventive Installations

BUD X Mumbai also displayed a bunch of fun installations at the event from merch stalls and pop up bars to counters in the shape of a Budweiser bottle and LED sensor boards which tracked your movements (plenty of pictures were clicked there). The fest also had a ”˜secret zone’ that involved finding your way out of a maze. If you were successful to come out within the allotted time, a goody bag awaited you.

8. Boxout.fm Showcase

Right in the center of the quad ”“ community radio platform Boxout.fm had their booth set up, with the sounds of electro artists Makin’ Bacon, producer Farhan Rehman and disco DJ Himay on day one while the following day witnessed Indo-Canadian drum and bass artist Sepoys and Boxout’s own Abhi Meer on the deck. Attendees frolicked around the tiny stage and grooved to the music in full swing.    

9. OX7GEN and Lifafa at the Top of Their Game

On day one, Mumbai-based producer Aditya Ashok aka OX7GEN transported the audience into new dimensions with a stellar audio-visual performance. Screens behind him as well as on the console displayed LED-fueled cityscapes and hypnotic geometric patterns. Blended with his brand of drum and bass, the right word for the entire experience is ”˜otherworldly.’ New Delhi’s Suryakant Sawhney aka Lifafa took a more atmospheric approach, flooding the stage with fog and red light to compliment his dreamy set. The producer entranced the audience with a slight reverb on his soaring vocals and got everyone swaying with their eyes closed thanks to his retro disco-influenced electronica.

Mumbai drum and bass artist OX7GEN.

10. Community Closeness

The one thing that BUD X brought was a sense of bringing the electronic music community closer. Producers and artists were able to share ideas with one another, fans got a chance to speak to their favorite artists and that’s only a good thing as the community grows larger and more people understand the arts. If this is the response to BUD X now, we can only imagine what it might grow into a few years down the line.

All photos by The Clique Photography

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