Amogh Symphony on Becoming ‘Accessible’ with Their Two-Part Album ‘IV’
The multinational experimental band launched their fourth full-length album via their own label, Vmbrella
For a band with a rep as monstrously avant-garde and experimental as Amogh Symphony, the word “accessible” might just sound like an insult. But their long-awaited fourth album IV is certainly close to presenting a palatable sound through the course of 13 tracks. Guitarist, composer and producer Vishal J. Singh says, “There are fans who told me the same that IV is very ‘bright’ and the most ‘accessible’ album. I totally agree. Response is good so far.”
Multi-instrumentalist and producer Derick Gomes, who’s based in Portugal, adds, “People have been saying that this album feels so simple yet complex at the same time, beautiful and fucked up… for us it’s just a reflection of who we are and where we are at this point in the world.”
Originally intended as a single volume of work, the band not only decided to release it in two parts (in the span of two weeks) but also via their own record label Vmbrella. The latest addition to the band, German multi-instrumentalist and composer-producer Tom Geldschlager, is helming the label as CEO alongside partners, which includes Singh and previous collaborators such as Jimmy Pitts, Ukrainian producer Fatum Black, Amogh Symphony bandmate Andrey Sazonov and more. Singh adds, “The idea behind this label is to bring bands and artists who play very original music and are often rejected by record labels for being ‘unpromotable,’ according to their publishers and marketing guys.”
Another first for the band – perhaps an acknowledgment of the wider appeal of their music – is the decision to release music videos for “(Everything is now) in the eye of the sun” (co-directed by Bengaluru-based Niranjan Raghu) and “Birds,” for which they commissioned Pune-based filmmaker Mayank Dhasmana aka Consumer. Gomes calls it a “natural gravitation” towards filmmakers to work with them, while Singh adds, “I see myself more involved in filmmaking and film direction since I met these two genius guys. It wasn’t too hard for me to creatively connect with them because both Niranjan and Mayank are good ambient and electronic glitch music producers as well.”
The sonic collaborators on the two-part album range from singer Kasturi Nath Singh adding Hindustani harmonies (on the opening track “His Master’s Voice” as well as the closing song “Third Eye Awakening”) to Assamese tribal horn player Deep Saikia (on the madcap “Birds”) and American drummer-producer Sean Reinert (founder of experimental metal pioneers Cynic, on the shapeshifting “Enduring Freedom Since 1947”).
It’s been three years in the making (and waiting), but Amogh Symphony agree it’s worth it. Singh says, “We have a very niche fan base and not at all a large audience, [so] it gives us plenty of time to work on the sound that we want.” The question of going live – something the multinational band considered crowdfunding towards – is still up for consideration. Singh answers diplomatically, “We are always excited to tour and play shows but we simply do not want to do the same mistake of putting our own money into this and go bankrupt later. If things work out financially, we would love to share this music on stage.”
Stream and buy ‘IV’ below.