Delhi producer Curtain Blue To Release Debut EP
Tentatively titled ‘Drones,’ experimental rock band The Circus’s frontman Abhishek Bhatia’s first solo is slated to release in September
Twenty-six-year-old producer Abhishek Bhatia is no stranger to the spotlight. As the vocalist of Delhi experimental rock band The Circus, Bhatia has spent the last six years performing for both indulgent and indifferent audiences across the country, with scarcely a thought spared for either. With his new solo electronica project Curtain Blue, which he launched in 2013, the artist has been exploring a whole different side of the music spectrum: IDM. Says Bhatia, “Initially it was a little awkward. When I’m with the band, I have my mic stand and that’s all that I need. But when you’re alone on stage, you need to really be aware of what you’re doing.”
As Curtain Blue, Bhatia’s sound rarely deviates from a mid-tempo groove, using layers of vocal effects, shimmering synths and dissected beats to create somber, glitchy compositions. Evident from his initial releases, Bhatia channels contemporary electronica artists such as English electronic musician Jon Hopkins, German producer Apparat and German electronic band Modeselektor. Says Bhatia, “Curtain Blue is very experimental, because I didn’t start it thinking of it as a dance project. But now it’s starting to sound closer to Berlin dance music, which is something I’m really into.” Building tension with a looper, a drum machine, a guitar and a collection of small percussive instruments, the producer treats his live performances like a one-man jam session. Adds Bhatia, “I sing live, but I use the same set-up that I use for The Circus. My next gig will be the first time I’ll play live over backing tracks.”
The Circus, which formed in 2008, are currently working on their follow up to 2013’s Bats, but have decided to put the album on the backburner and make room to pursue their individual projects. Says Bhatia, “It does get a little fucking frustrating when you spend most of your time with the same four people. Being with a lot of people all the time made me want to be on my own, take that time out for myself.” He mentions that over the years, the band has moved through different phases and is now “semi-electronic.”
Bhatia is now working on his debut EP, a collection of three tracks, which is tentatively titled Drones. Says the producer, “It’s a major change when you produce individually. With a band, there’s vocals, effects, synths and one person isn’t in charge of everything. With my own project, I have my own techniques ”“ some are really smart and some are really stupid. But it’s just an easy space to be in.” Among other surprises, Drones will feature vocalist Kavya Trehan, from Delhi-based garage/dance band Mosko. After releasing the EP, Curtain Blue has already been lined up for the Pune edition of Bacardi NH7 Weekender in November.
Listen to Curtain Blue’s “My Obscurity:”