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Exclusive Stream: Riatsu and Neil Gomes Team Up on the Eerie ‘Just Like A Fool’

Mumbai-based ambient producer Shadaab Kadri and multi-instrumentalist vocalist Gomes will release their collaborative album ‘Safe With Me’ this month

Anurag Tagat Oct 02, 2019

Shadaab Kadri aka Riatsu (left) collaborates with Jose Neil Gomes on his upcoming album 'Safe With Me.' Photo: Satya Naren (Riatsu); Courtesy of the artist (Gomes)

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Shadaab Kadri aka Riatsu and Jose Neil Gomes may have known each other for more than a decade now, but it took a double booking in 2018 to bring them to collaborate.

Ambient producer Riatsu, who is now prepping to release his debut album Safe With Me with multi-instrumentalist Gomes, says about their coming together, “I was booked to perform at [visual artist and designer] Sajid Wajid’s [art showcase event] Amygdala Anomalies and fortunately, Neil was booked for the same show. This logistical error started it all. We had a brief chat on the phone and decided to collaborate for this gig. Soundcheck for this show was the first time we worked together as a duo and a few shows later we decided to create music specifically for this project.”

Of course, the two had established an onstage rapport through another connect, French jazz trumpet artist Erik Truffaz, whose live band for a 2017/18 tour included Kadri and Gomes, along with percussionist Anand Bhagat. Riatsu firmly believes that the six shows they played together “changed our lives.” Gomes adds, “That Truffaz India tour paved way for a healthy musical bonding and mutual admiration.”

The first offering from the nine-track album – which releases fully this month – is a chill yet unsettlingly morose track called “Just Like A Fool.” It builds on instrumental synth and guitar layers before Gomes’ spectral vocals kick in over the beats. The vocalist mentions he wrote keeping in mind the swelling mood that Riatsu had already created. “’Just Like A Fool’ is about a person who is convinced about life patterns that are not normal, and sticks to them in spite of being ridiculed or questioned by his/her peers. Being labeled a fool is not always a bad thing. It means you could be right to believe and act the way you want to.”

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Born out of “repeated improvisations” between the artists at their rehearsals and gigs over the span of a year, Safe With Me even features Truffaz on a track called “As Far As I Know.” After all, it only made sense that the artists invited the catalyst. Kadri adds, “Thanks to Erik, we look at music and approach live music very differently now.”

Stream “Just Like A Fool” below. Riatsu x Neil Gomes perform as support for Aswekeepsearching on October 10th at Antisocial, Lower Parel. Event details here.

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