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Mumbai Rapper Microphon3’s New Group To Debut At Control ALT Delete III

The hip hop quartet will also feature Bhayanak Maut guitarist

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Megha Mahindru Sep 30, 2012
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Microphon3

If it wasn’t for television, Tanmay Bahulekar aka Microphon3 may have still been a lone rhymester, writing free verses, rapping and ranting about life in Mumbai. It was while shooting for a reality TV show in Manali that Bahulekar first met drummer Niraj Trivedi (ex-PDV, Scribe). “I was thoroughly impressed when I first heard him. I had not seen someone go seamlessly from English to Hindi, without a stutter,” says Trivedi.

About four months ago, Trivedi decided to join Microphon3’s one man act, lending his neck-snapping drumming to Bahulekar’s freewheeling rhymes. The band fell into place quickly. Last month, Romit Ranjan (ex-Them Clones) joined in on the bass and now Microphon3 is all set to make their debut as a band at the crowd-funded gig, Control ALT Delete”” III, at Sitara Studio tonight.  Joining them for their half-hour set is Bhayanak Maut guitarist R Venkatraman aka Venky. “It was new for me and something I wanted to do. We have just jammed twice and for me, it’s fun jumping around and changing patches. Though I still have to see where I fit in with Microphon3,” says Venky.

Calling himself a “failed tabla player and guitarist” Bahulekar feels a band works better for gigs. “You need some drama on stage. How long can an audience watch a single guy rap?” he says. With a set of metal heads joining in, has the band now become a set of angry young men? “What pisses me off is the lack of empathy in people around,” he says and his song, ”˜Wake Up Mumbai’ reflects this anger at the collective ennui of a city and its people. “We [as a band] haven’t got angrier. But it was difficult working with ”˜real musicians’ who talk in terms on B flat and A minor. I know how much patience they need to understand someone like me,” he adds.

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For Bahulekar, Indian hip hop is just picking up from where Baba Sehgal and Devang Patel left it. “Microphon3 is never gonna be about guns and bling and money and chicks.  My music will always have a distinct Indian sound”¦ it’s about what we see around us. And hip hop has to stay true to its roots,” he feels.  Bahulekar, who has written songs about Mumbai like “Forever Bombay,” “Mumbai Local” and “Yari Road,” recently released “Inga” produced by Su1 Productions and Midicore Studios. An ode to Kolhapur and its local delicacies like ”˜tambda rassa’, a spicy mutton curry, “Inga” features on the sixth edition of Indian indie compilation Stupid Ditties 666 ”“ Satan Lives. “I always wanted to make a song about Kolhapur. I have lived there for eight years so I’m pretty familiar with the language,” says Bahulekar, who plans to shoot a video for “Inga” in Kolhapur next month. The song, however, will get a makeover tonight as the newly-assembled ensemble brings in real instruments, sans decks and electronic samples. “It will be nothing like it sounds on the album,” he promises. “With the lead coming in, we have changed the structures a bit. It sounds epic,” he adds.

At the gig, you can look out for songs such as “Brown Is Beautiful,” “Lost Respect” and “Stags” as part of their set list. Niraj says, “It’s fun and challenging and something new for us. The lyrical content is heavy and there’s much to be said so you’ll see us freestyle on drum and bass.” Bahulekar adds, “The venue [Sitara Studio] will lend a raw vibe to the gig, and that works well for us as a band.”

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Control ALT Delete III starts 3.30 pm today at Sitara Studio, Dadar (W).

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