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My Favorite Music: Gaurav Raina

Electronica producer and one half of Midival Punditz, New Delhi’s Gaurav Raina lists classics like Radiohead’s “Creep” and The Prodigy’s “Smack My Bitch Up” as tracks that have inspired a generation

Rolling Stone India Aug 20, 2015

Midival Punditz’ Gaurav Raina aka Rrain. Illustration by Ishan Rathod.


“Whole Lotta Love”  Led Zeppelin, 1969

During my college years, this song was my induction to the rock scene. An epic classic with the most psychedelic breakdown. It had been my morning anthem for a long time and honestly, what better way to kick start your day.

“Where The Streets Have No Name” U2, 1987

A true classic that inspired some of the most popular bands of our time in to being: read Coldplay. Edge’s lush, biting guitars became a benchmark for many in the pop rock scene. This takes me back to my school days every time. It was my stepping stone in to popular music.

“Smack My Bitch Up”  The Prodigy, 1997

The song that influenced a whole generation of electronica heads. The combination of such pure energy with hard beats, it was something that had never been experienced before. For me, it was a revelation of sorts, that this was possible too. And there is no denying that it greatly influenced my career as a musician.

“Jaan” Talvin Singh, 1997

Talvin created what was to be later known as the Asian Underground and what many bands followed after. This song came out at a time when the UK was the hub of everything new in music. In the midst of the rising of Drum n Bass and the Breakbeat scene, Talvin managed to create a sound that reached out to a whole generation of Indians. He created a sound that they could wholly identify with.

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“Creep”  Radiohead, 1993

By far, the greatest song writers of my generation. The intense vocals and lyrics of Thom Yorke and the crazy and bizarre guitars of Jonny Greenwood are, for me, what make Radiohead my all time favourite band. And of course the line “you’re so fucking special”¦”

“Block Rockin’ Beats”  The Chemical Brothers, 1997

Coming out of the 90’s Rave Revolution, this song became a regular in all my sets. The way The Brothers combined live instrumentation seamlessly with gritty and brain wrenching electronica, never ceased to amaze me. They always held down a party like nobody else. A guaranteed mood-lifter for me.

“Ash/Black Veil” Apparat, 2011

One of my recent favourites, from the still-emerging, cutting edge Berlin Electronica scene. Apparat has defined a whole new sound, which combines live musicianship with emotional electronica. The way he moves between organic textures and electronic sounds is pure genius.