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Album Review: Tankbund ”“ Tankbund

The Delhi electronica group’s debut album is a bit long, but peerless in sound

Anurag Tagat Sep 10, 2013
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Delhi electronica group Tankbund

Delhi electronica group Tankbund

[easyreview cat1title = Tankbund cat1rating = 3.5 cat1detail = ” “]

tankbund art

Tankbund album art

Delhi’s electronica scene has seen the rise of club-friendly EDM acts such as Dualist Inquiry and Midival Punditz and newer artists such as trance act Hashback Hashish slowing gaining popularity. Over the last year, we’ve seen three electronica acts break away from the popish, bass heavy sound ”“ glitch hop artist Lifafa [aka Suryakant Sawhney of psych rock band Peter Cat Recording Co.], IDM duo FuzzCulture and more recently, electronica/noise/trip hop group Tankbund.

Electronica hasn’t been this moody since Bengaluru duo Sulk Station put out their debut album Till You Appear last year. But enough of the comparisons; if you take Tankbund for who they are, a five-piece act comprising Ritwik De [from psych rock band Mindflew], Radha Priya and Subhadra Kamath [from alt rock band Fire Exit] handling vocals and synthesizers, bassist Rohit Bhattacharya [from prog metallers Guillotine], drummer Ujjwal Kumar [from alt rockers Caesars of the Green] and percussionist Varun Gupta [also from Fire Exit], they seem pretty underrated since it’s everyone’s first try with electronica outside their main projects. Their prolific songwriting [the debut album, Tankbund, features 15 tracks], might be asking a lot from first-time listeners, but there’s more than enough in here to keep you tuned in for just about an hour’s length.

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On the first few listens, 15 tracks is a lot to take in, and there are few favorites among the the first 10 tracks. Of these, “Gaffe” is an upbeat opening with De rendering vocals with a lot of feeling. It’s a total contrast to “Reverie,” with warped synth playing over Radha Priya’s delivery, which is more sedate compared to De’s. “Seep” sits right in the middle of the album order, with its smoky, organ-led slow-motion trip hop.

The three-vocalist approach is what adds to the diversity of Tankbund, and when all three ”“ De, Priya and Kamath ”“ sing on the same song, as on “The Dissembler,” it ends up being the catchiest song  on the album.

Tankbund follows a progression from upbeat to downtempo, and that’s why the last five tracks are the most memorable, starting with “Tease” that leans towards rock, going on to rubbery synth lines over pacing drum and bass beats on “Let’s Run Away” and closing with an even-more-minimalist reprise of “Reverie.”

Additional tracks, like the cinematic pop bonus track “Open” and the psychedelic rock jam-outtake that is the hidden track [which is not really hidden, since it’s a separate track visible on the tracklist], show that Tankbund lives up to its experimental tag, diverse enough to net fans of psychedelic rock, trip hop, downtempo and noise ”“ a mix of which Delhi’s electronica soundscape has been missing until now.

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Key tracks: “The Dissembler,” “Seep,” “Let’s Run Away.”

Stream Tankbund’s debut album here

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