Audio Pervert Readies New Release
Teddy Boy Kill’s Samrat Bharadwaj will release his second solo album, Dark Robot, this June
Music producer Samrat Bharadwaj prefers emails to telephone conversations. His cryptic answers to questions about his work are not too different from the abstract music he likes to churn out under the moniker Audio Pervert. When he talks about his latest release, Dark Robot, you are only sure of one thing”” it isn’t going to be a record that is easy to classify. “Dark Robot is a sort of an audio fantasy… wanting to write and dwell into many sound spaces and genres and forms. Dark Robot is like a machine with a consciousness,” he says. Â
One half of Delhi-based electro-punk band Teddy Boy Kill (TBK), Bharadwaj kickstarted his solo project, Audio Pervert, even before his band was formed. “It was in 2006. In some shady bourgeois joint called QBA. I can’t really remember what I was doing there,” he says about his first gig. While TBK’s debut album The Exit Plan released Â in 2009, a year after the band formed, Audio Pervert’s follow-up (his solo debut Melody & Felony came out in 2007) has been long coming.
TBK, who are active on the Delhi gigging circuit with crafty e-posters and guerrilla promotions to draw audiences to their shows, have been lying low for over six months now, giving Bharadwaj time to work on his solo project. Fans can expect a decade of music-making to reflect in the 20 songs that make up Dark Robot. The producer/ mix engineer, who has previously collaborated with acts such as folk collective Da Saz, now defunct rock band Orange Street and emerging acts such asÂ Hashback Hashish and Sulk Station, has roped in as many as 14 guests on his new album. Saba Azad (one half of Madboy/Mink), Nikhil Kaul (Frame/Frame), Ernest Drake (a punk duo from Cologne), Lionel Dentan (Da Saz), producer and guitarist Donn Bhat (Passenger Transit), Tanvi Rao and Rahul Giri (Sulk Station), Sarabjit Chadda (ex-Menwhopause) and Bharadwaj’s partner in TBK, Ashhar Farooqui aka Toymob all make it to Audio Pervert’s album. “There are a lot of friends on the album. Essentially people who are like-minded or even daring to experiment with sound and beats,” he says, adding, “Most of the music and voice was recorded at home. I used these as building blocks to create the tunes ”“ be it a voice, guitar, synth or even just noise.”
With an eclectic roster of guest artists, Dark Robot’s minimalist tracks are like a box of assorted candy that come with similar packaging (ambient and lo-fi) but can surprise the listeners with every play. “The complete album has too many tunes to actually define in one word. It’s a journey that’s sometimes cinematic, sometimes dance, sometimes song .. or just.. capacious?,” he says. The song titles, as is often the case with electronica, seek nonconformity (think Dualist Inquiry’s “Qualia”). “Espera”, Spanish for ”˜wait’, features vocals by Dinesh Garg (ex-Killer Tomatoes, Passenger Revelator), while “Gymnopedi”, based on French pianist Erik Satie’s composition, gives an electro twist to the classical composition. “Furio”, short for furious, is a glitch pop number featuring a sample of a 1958 narration by American writer Renata Adler. “Song names can be reflective of what one feels or want to send out as a message. Instrumental music especially. Like there is a song on the album titled ”˜Dicks have come around,’ as a backlash to the male chauvinism,” he adds.
In his latest album, Bharadwaj also features a “totally perverted version” of Ke$ha’s voice. Audio Pervert’s sample collection, drawn mostly from recordings of the Sixties and Seventies, feature visionary American minimal music producer Steve Reich’s orchestral pieces, jazz drummer Steve Gadd’s solos and more jazz in the form of Bill Evans’s piano compositions among others. “Mostly, the sampled sounds are collected, plagiarized, field recordings, Bollywood leftovers,” he says.Â
Recorded at home with the help of an Ableton live and Max MSP 4 Live, Audio Pervert’s synth-heavy experimental material is likely to release around the first week of June and will be available for streaming and download online. “I am yet to decide how such a long format album can be presented, especially online, in this day and age when the average attention span is five minutes,” says Bharadwaj, who produced some of the songs in February last year. Â
Currently, besides TBK and Audio Pervert, Bharadwaj is also working on an “internet broadcasting” project titled Live Room, which looks for “remote performances.” Live Room, which hopes to transform the home studio space into a live performance arena, encourages artists from across the world to come together online to perform on a virtual stage where listeners/viewers can log in. So when Bharadwaj talks about his upcoming album launch tour (“It will not be a standard club tour. We are working on some interactive visuals and sound concepts,” he says), we are not sure where to look. Be it online or on stage, Bharadwaj will definitely find a willing audience.
This article appeared in the May 2013 edition of Rolling Stone IndiaÂ
Sample tracks from Dark Robot here