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Free Download: Frame/Frame’s New EP

Delhi producer Nikhil Kaul talks about his latest work “Pariah,” which is a departure from his early glitch hop sound

Rolling Stone India Feb 16, 2015
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Frame/Frame | Photo courtesy Vital Agency

Frame/Frame | Photo courtesy Vital Agency

Laser lights and neon glow sticks seem to be a front for the unhappy, lonely world of electronic music. If you listen to Delhi-based producer Nikhil Kaul’s new EP you’ll agree. The producer tells us that his new EP took shape from his sense of feeling alienated from the EDM scene and hence its title “Pariah.” Says Kaul, “Pariah is an outcast or an outsider, someone who doesn’t belong inside regular society. As far as the emotional character of the EP is concerned, I think the desolation is pretty apparent.”

Kaul, who started out as solo singer-songwriter while he was still in his teens, is a self-taught guitar player. Feeling the need to collaborate, Kaul joined trip-hop band Constellation project in 2007, which released two singles followed by a few live shows, before they disbanded. Moving on, he joined hands with Curtain Blue aka Abhishek Bhatia, singer for Delhi experimental rock band The Circus, and roped in a few more of Circus’s band members to form Switch Bitch, named after a collection of writer Roald Dahl’s short stories. It was only in 2013 that he began Frame/Frame. Says Kaul, “Things have gone around a full circle and I have gone back to playing with someone now and I am actually I am enjoying more than ever before. I definitely think that this is the live translation that I want to do more and more of but, I think DJ sets are a no-no for me. They always have been, pretty much.”

"Pariah" EP artwork

“Pariah” EP artwork

To promote his new EP, Frame/Frame roped in Sahil Mendiratta, drummer of Delhi-based psychedelic rock band Indigo Children for their gigs. Says Kaul, “We like weird things and different sounds. We never intended for people to jump up and down at our gigs and lose their clothes, you know? We just want a general nod of understanding, like, ”˜I feel you bro’ and put them in that kind of mood.” The four-track EP, produced, arranged and mixed by Kaul, has live drums by Mendiratta. Besides percussion for the tracks “Pariah” and “Papillon,” Mendiratta has also played a hunting whistle for “Papillon.” Says Kaul, “Even though it is dance music, we have tried to stay as far away from EDM as possible. In that sense, it is like an outsider looking in to a new world.”

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After playing at several music festivals including the Bacardi NH7 Weekender Delhi and Pune editions and Magnetic Fields Festival, it became easier for Kaul to plan his release. “A lot of songs became longer. ”˜Rivals’ was a modest five-minute song and then it became closer to seven minutes. The interesting thing about dance music is that the longer you keep a groove going, the longer people seem to be inside of it. They need more time to soak it in,” says Kaul. “Papillon,” which has a jazz section with jangly bells, was written almost three years ago. Adds Kaul, “It was on my SoundCloud and something didn’t feel right. When Sahil came down into the song, he played a swing beat and I decided to give the whole song a jazzy character at the end. As it is, it starts off as an ode to bells!”

Kaul already has two more releases in the pipeline. He says, “The next thing we are going to do is a downtempo kind of release, followed by which we can make dance music again, followed by which we might even tend towards song-driven [music]. For the downtempo EP, we did a track with [Pune-based electronic act] Big City Harmonics and [Austrian beatsmith] B.Visible. It’s very downtempo but still pretty angry. It is very different from Pariah.”

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Download Pariah for free here

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