Hear Producer Duo Jay Rana and Skopos’ Chill, Escapist New EP ‘Magic & Pasta’
The New Delhi artists go from summery lo-fi to horn section-aided electronic beats across four tracks, featuring vocalist Akanksha Sethi and pop-rock band Kapow!’s Mayank Mittal and Vinod Arora
New Delhi producers Jay Rana and Skopos aka Lakshay Nanda have two explanations for the title of their collaborative EP Magic & Pasta. The official one given in their press release cites Italian film auteur Federico Fellini’s quote about how “Life is a combination of Magic and Pasta.” Over a video call, however, Rana says jokingly, “I made a lot of pasta during this lockdown.” Skopos is quick to add, “And I did the magic.”
The four-track EP – released via Delhi NCR label Paradigm Records – is certainly a product of the pandemic and its subsequent restrictions. Rana and Skopos first met last year when movement was eased and finished the record in December. It combines Rana’s lo-fi hip-hop and jazz leanings with Skopos’ more electronic leanings as well as cinematic elements, plus guests such as vocalist Akanksha Sethi (on “Summer Evening”) and pop-rock band Kapow! (with vocalist Mayank Mittal on “Taste Me” and guitarist Vinod Arora on “Crossfire”).
Magic & Pasta starts off in sublime lo-fi chill-hop fashion with “Wake Up,” employing an inspiring vocal sample, while “Summer Evening” is roomy and mellow, keeping the momentum. Rana and Skopos inject new elements in the next two tracks, with punchy yet seductive soul-pop on “Taste Me” and “Crossfire,” the latter offering late night guitar-shred and euphoric club sounds, punctuated by choral vocal samples and a powerful sax solo.
The goal throughout, as Skopos mentions, is about making “happy music.” He adds, “A lot of people went through mental health struggles and are continuing to go through it as well. We wanted to give everyone something to groove on and something to chill on.” Stressing on the diversity and friendliness of the sound, the duo feel that Magic & Pasta is for a wider audience, featuring music that can be enjoyed alone or with friends, family or a partner. “We made it for all,” Rana adds.
Watch the video for “Taste Me” below.