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Aswekeepsearching Announce Russia Tour, New Single

The Instrumental/ambient rock band on their new album, evolving as a band and their upcoming tour of Russia

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Anurag Tagat Oct 07, 2015
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Aswekeepsearching - Gautam Deb, Shawn Gurung, Uddipan Sarmah and Bob Alex (from left). Photo: Adhiraj Singh

Aswekeepsearching – Gautam Deb, Shawn Gurung, Uddipan Sarmah and Bob Alex (from left). Photo: Adhiraj Singh

If you want to know how heavy things are going to get on Ahmedabad post-rock band Aswekeepsearching [AWKS]’s new album Khwaab, you just need to take a look at the personnel involved. Says guitarist-vocalist Uddipan Sarmah, “More than half of [Pune experimental metal band] Noiseware is working on this, so you can tell.”

In addition to enlisting drummer Gautam Deb and bassist Bob Alex from Noiseware, Sarmah, along with original AWKS guitarist-keyboardist Shawn Gurung, have roped in Noiseware’s  guitarist-producer Adhiraj Singh to take over recording duties at his Refractor Studio.  Compared to the band’s first release, Growing Suspicions in 2014 that gained them fans for using Hindi vocal melodies over mellow guitar lines that often burst into crescendos, Khwaab is much more attuned to the band’s live sound. Playing five gigs back-to-back as part of the 2Stroke Tour in June helped the band evolve too. Says Sarmah, “Everyone enjoyed what they were doing.”

The 11-track album, due this month, was funded by the band’s gig earnings and a crowdfunding campaign they ran in September. Says Sarmah, “Whatever funds we had from gigging have gone into recording, but we thought, ”˜What next?’ We want to get CD production, merchandize, artwork and promo work like a music video too.” In addition to recording drums at That Studio in Mumbai and bass at Refractor Studios in Pune with Singh at the helm, Sarmah recorded guitars at his own BlueTree Studios in Ahmedabad and in Mumbai and Pune. How did the producer in Sarmah relinquish control of production duties to Singh? The AWKS founder says, “Actually a lot of burden is away from Adhiraj because I know what I want. When it comes to guitars, he left it to me.”

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AWKS are chiefly concerned with live performances while recording Khwaab, but Sarmah adds that the recorded sound is still important for a band that started out as a studio project. With Sarmah in Ahmedabad, guitarist- keyboardist Shawn Gurung in Mumbai with Deb and Alex in Pune, the band exchanged ideas over the Internet every day. In addition to two songs [“Banshee,” “In Circles”] being retooled from Growing Suspicions, the album is inspired by post-rock bands such as the Irish act God Is An Astronaut,  and instrumental and ambient rock. The occasional vocal melodies find their way through in songs tentatively titled “Ativa” and “Other Side.” In addition to an all-out weighty closer “B-303,” they meld melancholy with a crescendo on “What If _?” Says Sarmah about the track, “There’s a darkness to the track, but the music rises to reflect how we can be happy despite sadness in life or society.”

That sounds like the perfect vibe for a place like Russia, where the band is heading on a five-date tour to promote Khwaab between October 16th and 25th, with shows in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kazan and Ekaterinburg. The tour, put together by Russian record label and booking agency Flower Blossoms in the Space, has been in the works for nearly a year now, when Sarmah first met festival promoter Danila Seliverstov, manager of Russian electropost rock band I Am Waiting For You Last Summer on an India tour. Says Sarmah, “He’s the post-rock guy in Russia. He’d heard us even before the band came to India and felt we should spread our music.” On their Russia tour, AWKS will be supporting I Am Waiting For You Last Summer on their own tour and playing one headline show. Sarmah says, “No matter what, we’re going to play every show like it’s our last one.” Not to say there won’t be an India tour to promote Khwaab. Sarmah adds, “We’ll always remember where it started.”

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Listen to their new single “What If_?”

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