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Gig Preview: Mumbai’s Fusion Act Panchattva Hit New Delhi This Week

Sitarist Sarang Vechalekar and drummer Jignesh Patel talk about writing material and always giving each other space to go wild

Anurag Tagat Jul 24, 2019

Mumbai fusion band Panchattva. Photo: Tushar Dhanawade

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Mumbai fusion band Panchattva are entirely instrumental and sitarist Sarang Vechalekar believes this is important when it comes to presenting their music. He doesn’t mince words when he says in Bollywood music ensembles, “the singer is the hero.” He adds, “This is not the case in fusion. The musicians have something to say as well.”

Formed earlier this year, Panchattva comprises Vechalekar, drummer Jignesh Patel, keyboardist Niranjan Joshi, bassist Ralph Menezes and mridangam/morchang artist K. Dakshinamurthy Pillai. As is the norm in fusion acts, there’s a curious blend of backgrounds. Patel says, “Sarang comes from an extremely classical space, I come from a pop and Bollywood background. Niranjan comes from a jazz space while our bassist Ralph is really into trap. Our mridangam player, of course, comes from Carnatic music.”

One of Panchattva’s first releases – the electronic-leaning “Eternal Voyage” – came out in October 2018, but under Vechalekar’s name. Patel says they’re now readying two songs to head into recording next month. There’s the jazzy, funk and somewhat dark space with “Confluence” and a drum and bass approach to “DNB.” The band’s live shows run high on jazz and classical improvisation as well, with every member getting introduced with a solo.

After performing at festivals such as Music Flea and venues such as The Finch in Mumbai, the band heads for their first set of shows in Delhi NCR this week, performing at The Home in New Delhi on July 24th, followed by Café Nowhere in Gurugram on 25th and back to the capital on 26th with a set at Turquoise Cottage. Patel says, “We have a few musician friends we’ve invited who are coming over and we’re excited about that. You can’t mess up in front of musicians. When the crowd is into the music, you strive to do even better.” Vechalekar, for his part, has festivals such as Bacardi NH7 Weekender in mind for Panchattva. He jokes, “Everything else is almost like a paid rehearsal.”

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Panchattva New Delhi Shows 

July 24th – The Home, New Delhi

July 25th – Cafe Nowhere, Gurugram

July 26th – Cafe Turquoise Cottage, New Delhi

Watch the video for “Eternal Voyage” below. 

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