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Artists To Watch Out For: Sandunes

The Mumbai-based electronica producer is playing big stages following the launch of her debut full-length album, ‘Ever Bridge’

Anurag Tagat Dec 18, 2013
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sandunes_rolling stone_photo by naman saraiya_001

Sanaya Ardeshir aka Sandunes. Photo: Naman Saraiya

WHO: No sooner than Sanaya Ardeshir aka Sandunes returned to Mumbai in 2012, after completing a course in music production at Point Blank Music College in London, she was booked to play her first gig. Sandunes opened for Delhi EDM artist Dualist Inquiry aka Sahej Bakshi. Says Ardeshir, “I literally hit the ground running.” Ardeshir started out as a keyboardist in 2005, playing for everyone from Mumbai jam band Something Relevant to Dave Matthews tribute shows. In 2012, she released a two-track EP titled Temper Tonic. This year, she got together with Bakshi and Kolkata producer/ drummer Jivraj Singh to form the Dualist Inquiry Band.

SOUND: Sandunes’ music is mid-tempo electronica that often crosses over into glitch, IDM and downtempo territory. Says Ardeshir, “I was in the heart of the electronic jungle [in London] when I was picking up production chops.” After completing the course, Ardeshir stayed in London, playing synth in a post-rock band called Stop Motion and picked up a few solo shows. Says Ardeshir of her music, “Post-dubstep, future garage, whatever it’s called ”“ it was a natural evolution and it seemed like the scene [in London] was evolving that way. I needed to play synth and stop playing keyboard.”

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BIG BREAK: Ardeshir released her debut album, Ever Bridge, in September this year, collaborating with the likes of rock veterans Indus Creed’s vocalist Uday Benegal and alt metal band Goddess Gagged’s vocalist Siddharth Basrur.

WORK AND PLAY: If she wasn’t playing at clubs and festivals across the country, Ardeshir would have probably been a travel writer, who has a degree in Economics. Says Ardeshir, “I thought, ”˜I’ll do economics, I’ll do an MBA, I’ll get a job and I’ll be rich.’ But I just felt shortchanged by my education, even though the college [St. Xavier’s] had good tutors and great extra-curricular stuff, which is where the band stuff came from.” She knew that it had to be music or nothing during the final round of her job interviews. Ardeshir was all set to sign on the dotted line, but her employer questioned why Ardeshir wasn’t pursuing music studies if she was interested in it. Says Ardeshir, “It was so foreign to me, but she [employer] planted the seed.”

ON THE CARDS: Following the release of Ever Bridge, Ardeshir performs a solo set as Sandunes and as part of the Dualist Inquiry Band at the Enchanted Valley Carnival near Mumbai. She will also perform at the Bacardi NH7 Weekender Kolkata and Magnetic Fields Festival in Rajasthan. Says Ardeshir, who is also working on some new material. “We’ve reached a point in electronic music where people can push a track out in a day ”“ it’s sad but also brilliant in a way.”

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SPIN THIS: “Good To You,” a track where glitch beats meet Siddharth Basrur’s soulful vocals to make for a bouncy track with swelling synth lines. 


This article appeared in the December 2013 issue of Rolling Stone India

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