Hear Indo-Canadian Artist Skinny Local Take to Frenzied Cyberpunk on ‘Project Kalyug’
Dystopian themes go over electronica, industrial and even nu-metal elements in Bhaveek Makan’s follow-up to the 2020 album ‘Radio Bombay’
In the fictional thematic universe created by Canadian artist Skinny Local aka Bhaveek Makan, chaos and satire are key to creating electronic-industrial bops which are harsh and groovy at the same time. His latest EP Project Kalyug is exactly that, featuring children’s rhymes as the launchpad for something much more dystopian and dark.
Makan, a filmmaker, photographer and producer, released his equally dystopian and genre-hopping debut album Radio Bombay in 2020 and says he wanted to create something that added to the canon. “In this case, [it was] the world being in pure chaos where teachers are now robots, and classrooms filled with Androids, Cyborgs, humans, and maybe aliens?” he says. Songs like “Chandni Choke,” “The Crow” and “Gol Gol Rani” all take from rhymes that were part of most Indian childhoods, while “Robot Rock 2.0” is a homage to French duo Daft Punk’s song with a similar title. Makan clarifies that he wrote the track in January this year, much before they announced their end. The track is populated with screams by Justin Iverson as well as artist Crispy Cuffs performing on it.
The bulk of Project Kalyug stems from Makan’s own fascination with the end-times concept of Kalyug in Indian mythology. While Indian epics are something that inspire his work as a screenwriter, he also found it ripe for Skinny Local’s music. “The idea of a Kalyug being a time period is interesting, because at what point do we believe it’ll begin? Has it begun already and we are in the middle? Will it happen thousands of years from now? Does it even exist? These existential questions keep me up at night (specifically around 2:30am), so my only way of trying to make sense of it is through chaotic music,” he says.
Over shapeshifting drops and tempo changes that traverse walls of noise as well as screams and Punjabi-English verses from frequent collaborator Saint Soldier, Project Kalyug is terrifyingly disorientation yet grounded in some structure. Up next, there’s a collab-heavy record releasing via South Asian diaspora-focused label Snakes x Ladders. Makan calls it “pure bangers” and adds, “Amongst the doom and gloom lately, I felt I wanted to create something fun, and wild. A more Hip Hop focused record for sure. It’s gonna be fantastic.”
Listen to ‘Project Kalyug’ below. Stream on more platforms here.