New Music: From Bengaluru Grindcore to Mumbai Political Rap
This month, we round up the latest releases from Delhi psych rockers Peter Cat Recording Co., Chennai heavy metallers Wolf’s Lair, Surat folk band The Tapi Project and more
“Helter Skelter” by The BottleFlower Seeds
The Bengaluru band, who have been on and off since the late Nineties, would have been just as popular as veterans like Thermal and a Quarter but life often caught up with The BottleFlower Seeds. The band’s only founding member Santhos Nataraja is now joined by bassist Prithvi Mark, drummer Steve Jaby and guitarist Noel Rambo and together they have released what is their first studio material, off an upcoming EP. As much as it’s live staple that dates back a few years, the grungy rock track has a modern edge to it.
“New World Disorder” by Wolf’s LairÂ
Here’s another comeback from the South. Chennai heavy metal band Wolf’s Lair have returned after a four-year break, armed with a new music video and single, along with plans for a new album slated for early next year. “New World Disorder” is a slickly produced fist-raising traditional metal number, scorching guitar and keyboard solos in tow. In addition to drummer Manu Krishnan (from thrash metallers Chaos and prog band Escher’s Knot), Wolf’s Lair comprises vocalist Mark Thomas, keyboardist Vivin Kuruvilla, guitarists Pharez Edwards and Senehasish Koch and bassist Arun Daniel.
“Brink” by Grossty
It’s about time psychogrind made its way to Indian stages. Bengaluru grindcore band Grossty have been around since 2011, providing the fix for the city’s love for the harshest underground metal, but they now have proper studio material set to go with their full-length album Crocopter, due out in November via Transcending Obscurity India. “Brink,” a 83-second opener from the album, is swift hammer to the eardrums. The artwork looks like a trippy treat to the eyes as well.
“Inquilab Zindabad” by Shaikhspeare
On the eve of Independence Day, Mumbai rapper Shaikhspeare released a new Hindi political rap video/single that addresses socio-political unrest in the country. As much as it’s a regular punching bag for the new crop of hip-hop artists in India, “Inquilab Zindabad” features Shaikhspeare Aamir keeping his flow steady against injustice and discrimination.
The Tapi ProjectÂ by The Tapi ProjectÂ
The Surat folk act, led by guitarist Yogi Saniyawala, vocalist Swati Minaxi and guitarist-keyboardist Anand Joseph Mani, bring a mix of calming and soaring contemporary folk on their self-titled debut album. From the soothing track such as “Dariya,” “Tapi & River Rising” and “Tishnagi” to the noisier “Suburban Zindagi” and their turn to quiet jazz on “Yuhi Kahi,” The Tapi Project has nine tracks which are as varied as it can get.
Intro to Doom IslandÂ by Stalvart John
Bengaluru electronic music producer Stalvart John has released a spaced-out new EP called Intro to Doom Island. A producer since 2011 and a regular in the city’s electronic music circuit, Stalvart John prefers to call his music “super galactic disco”. The three-track release, thematically centred around the journey towards the fictional planet labeled Keplar 852c, features steady beat loops over hypnotic disco bass lines and shimmering synth lines.
“Chronic” by Peter Cat Recording Co.
The Delhi psychedelic/gypsy rock band have been aiming to record and release a song every week as part of what will eventually become their third album, Transmissions. Essentially a collection of singles, the fourth transmission is a gloomy, waltzy song called “Chronic,” featuring trumpet by Kartik Pillai.Â It even has frontman Suryakant Sawhney’s signature mumbled musings about How he “was gonna park my dreams in you/But I flushed them down the toilet.”
“Ghar” by Ruhaan ft Daksh
Don’t let the hand-drawn pictures that serve as the music video fool you. Jaipur rapper Rajat Singh aka Ruhaan does have a message worth paying heed to on his new single “Ghar,” produced by fellow Jaipur beat-maker Daksh Vashisht. Ruhaan’s Punjabi verses (he also raps in Hindi and Marwari) tells a melancholic tale of the partition of India into two countries and the violence it spawned. Despite its simplistic visual imagery featuring only doodles, the video manages to weave a poignant narrative that is telling of how Partition continues to shape and influence identities in modern-day India.