Hip-Hop Artist Ayon Mukherji and Producer Marcel Collab On Transient Album ‘Temporary Play’
The pair are also releasing a zine with the record
For someone who was born in New Delhi, lived in Singapore and now resides in Germany, hip-hop artist Ayon Mukherji has been able to build a network of friends and acquaintances in pockets around the world. “I’m a third-culture-kid, raised outside of the place I can trace as my ‘home,’” he says.
It’s in the town of Heidelberg where he began an artist group called Mercury Creative Collective and met producer Marcel through a mutual friend. The pair began collaborating quite a bunch with Marcel contributing heavily to Mukherji’s 2019 record The Come Up. “That was comprised of a few great singles, but we didn’t really give it the album treatment and focused more on singles possibly because that’s what our resources allowed,” says the hip-hopper. Now, the pair are out with their collaborative 12-song LP Temporary Play.
Although they were promised a handsome offer from a southeast Asia indie label, they decided against it as they didn’t want to be constrained to deadlines. Mukherji says, “The first thing we set straight was that we would take our time.” He adds, “Most of the songs and productions followed this motive of subconscious feeling before conscious planning.”
According to Mukherji Temporary Play is “a meditation on transience.” The record includes hooky beats from Marcel while the rapper spits reflective bars on loss and permanence in quite a poetic fashion. “I think another reason we kept the bits of meaning in the album aethereal and didn’t allow things to be too concrete was because we really value various interpretations of the art,” says Mukherji. On “Language” the pair set the mood for the record, roping in vocalist Panthera with her powerful voice which is about “how everything is essentially motion.”
Singer Omisha Chaitanya joins in on the lo-fi “Elegies” while the synth-filled “Computer Generated” and “Bag (Confessions)” take deep dives into the “roots and consequences, of a widely-felt generational sense of insecurity, angst or confusion.” Overall Temporary Play is brimming with clever and profound lyricism juxtaposed with dynamic delivery and polished production.
Temporary Play was recorded at co-producer Lovis Voss’ home studio called the MukkeBude where the artists built each track from the ground up, working on just over one song a day. “Our process was homely, informal and so very special at the same time,” says Mukherji. In between sessions they indulged in cooking, watching shows such as South Park and Rick and Morty as well as going out on midnight strolls. “I can heavily recommend anybody making music to save that studio time budget on buying decent quality equipment for yourself and creating a more personal space to paint your songs,” says the rapper.
Marcel and Mukherji are also giving the project a visual identity with a zine which will include photographs, stories as well as poems and lyrics that didn’t make it to the record. The hip-hop artist says, “In a time of hyper-digitization it felt right and consistent with the mood of the project itself to be able to put something ‘real’ in people’s hands.”
Next, Marcel has already begun work on a beat tape while Mukherji has a collaboration with New Delhi producer This is Cosmos coming out soon. The Indian origin artist has also reached out to creators in Kolkata and Mumbai to possibly work on more art. He says, “I can’t wait for my next trip back to India, and to be able to open new doors for us there.”
Stream ‘Temporary Play’ on Spotify below and on other platforms.