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Hear Mumbai Duo DefGiant’s Blazing Experimental EP ‘In Another World’

The outfit includes guitarist Reinhardt Dias and drummer Varun Sood of rockers Blakc

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David Britto Apr 29, 2020

(From left) Drummer Varun Sood and guitarist Reinhardt Dias. Photos: Courtesy of the artist (Sood); Tanmay Kothari (Dias)

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When Mumbai musicians, guitarist Reinhardt Dias and drummer Varun Sood, were working on scratch tracks for their rock outfit Blakc at their home studios in 2014, they also began experimenting with synth bass and alternative drum ideas in their spare time. “We had no plans on releasing and so we just put the tracks in a folder called DefGiant,” says Dias. Fast forward to 2020 and after coaxing from friends and peers, the pair are now out with their debut three-track EP titled In Another World which stemmed from those early sessions.

The new record opens with a hypnotic rap-rock offering called “Man In The Cell” featuring Mumbai hip-hop artist Tienas. “It is about a true story of a nine-year-old girl who got raped by an elderly religious man somewhere in India. This man was sentenced to prison and was set free on bail later,” says Dias. On the melodic and weaving “Outside the Lines” we hear the pleasantry of singer-songwriter Shubhangi Joshi’s vocals where she sings of “a dog eat dog” society. The EP closes with the nu-metal track “Neon Dream” featuring one of DefGiant’s early supporters, multi-talented Mumbai artist Pratika. The track which touches upon toxic relationships also includes some stellar grooves by Sood as well as Dias’ melodious guitar lines. “Pratika was always going to find a place in at least one of our songs,” the guitarist says.

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In Another World also features different bass players for each song. Mumbai death metal band Atmosfear’s Shawn Phulpagar handles the low end for “Neon Dream” and Blakc’s Sourya Mukherjee plays on “Man In The Cell.” Sood and Dias also roped in Blakc’s former bassist Roop Thomas to track “Outside the Lines.” Dias says, “Roop has been a brother in our journey with Blakc from its inception. He has been extremely supportive of DefGiant from the day we began those scratch tracks.”

The guitarist even mixed the record. Dias says he encountered a challenging time mixing the tracks, given the diversity of vocals, but calls it a unique learning experience. He adds, “A lot of online tutorials with varied mix engineering perspectives had to be learned [and] unlearned in order to get things sounding like the way they sounded in my head.”

Dias has spent most of this pandemic lockdown period adding finishing touches to the EP, while Sood has been uploading playthrough videos of drum covers to stay busy. Next on the pair’s agenda is to head into the studio with their bandmates from Blakc to continue work on the group’s upcoming fourth record. With their focus shifted for now to the band, Dias says, “We cannot promise any new material from DefGiant yet.”

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Stream ‘In Another World’ below:

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