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Bengaluru Electronica Duo Mode.AKA to Release Debut Album

Comprising members from electronica groups ViceVersa and The Burning Deck, Mode.AKA’s songs “Andov.a” and “Chick.n” featured in Bollywood film ‘Detective Byomkesh Bakshy’

Rolling Stone India Jan 29, 2015
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Mode.AKA - Manas Ullas and Sandeep Madhavan (from left). Photo: Vyshnav Balasubramaniam

Mode.AKA – Manas Ullas and Sandeep Madhavan (from left). Photo: Vyshnav Balasubramaniam

When the production team of Bollywood director Dibakar Banerjee got in touch with Bengaluru electronica duo Mode.AKA late last year, they had no idea who was asking for their tracks to be used in the upcoming crime thriller Detective Byomkesh Bakshy. Says Mode.AKA bassist Sandeep Madhavan, “He [Banerjee] had heard our music and wanted to use it. I’m not into Bollywood, so I Googled him and then thought, ”˜Wow, this guy is big.”

Banerjee, best known for directing films such as Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! and Love Sex aur Dhokha, had previously selected Delhi nu-metal band Joint Family’s song “Life’s a Bitch” for the first trailer of Detective Byomkesh Bakshy. The production team asked Mode.AKA, comprising Madhavan and producer Manas Ullas [from hip hop/electronica group ViceVersa], to send them more music that they could use for the film’s second trailer, which has now received nearly 1.5 million views. The trailer includes “Andov.a,” one of the first compositions by the duo who started out in 2013, and a new song called “Chick.n,” which was among the seven new “more cinematic” tracks Ullas and Madhavan created for the film.

Mode.AKA is now planning to release a 10-track album to coincide with the film’s release in April. Like both ViceVersa and Madhavan’s electronica band The Burning Deck, Mode.AKA is collaboration-friendly. Says Madhavan, “We’ve got Mana [Santhanam] from [Bengaluru choir] the Choral Riff on some songs, and [vocalist] Vyshnav Balasubramaniam, who did ”˜Andov.a.’ Stuff we wrote with him is more aggressive. We’ve got some songs with an alt/punk rock edge, although it’s still synth-heavy.”

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The bassist, who also heads electronica group The Burning Deck, says he was surprised at the response their music has received by audiences who listen to Bollywood music. Says Madhavan, “I was expecting a backlash from the Bollywood crowd, but it seems to be working.” In addition to Joint Family and Mode.AKA, Detective Byomkesh Bakshy will also include songs by Delhi psychedelic rock band Peter Cat Recording Co. and electronic music duo Teddy Boy Kill, among others. Says Madhavan, “It’s a good time for all involved. I think it’s going to do wonders.”

Listen to “Andov.a”

Watch the trailer for Detective Byomkesh Bakshy

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