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New Music: Bengaluru Jazz-Hop, Bengali Rap, Power Trio Prog, Trap and More

Tune in to formidable debut releases from Karbi Anglong trio Hotaru, Chennai’s Wascally Wabbit and Bengaluru’s The Flying Turquoise Panthers, amongst others

Anurag Tagat Dec 30, 2020

Kolkata-based Bengali rapper Archiesman Kundu in a still from his new video "Seeth Kaal." Photo: Jasprit Singh

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“Mnemonic” by Hotaru

Matching playful prog fretwork with string-bending calisthenics we’ve seen from artists like American act Polyphia, Assam band Hotaru have released their debut single “Mnemonic.” Formed earlier this year in Diphu, Karbi Anglong, there’s guitar shred as well as stomping rhythms from the trio, comprising guitarists Angthik Kro and Anong Timung and drummer Longbamon Bey.

“Dreams” by Paranox

Electronic music producer Paranox aka Parakh Mathur has, like most DJs, clearly been yearning to turn a club dancefloor topsy turvy, but he’s also been at home like most of us regular folks navigating the pandemic. His latest track “Dreams,” comes across as something that’s fantastical and lush in its chill-hop hooks but then he moves into trap territory with a savage, chaotic bass drop that can get everyone moving.

“Baatein/Adhoori” by Athul Prabhu

Following up his 2020 singles such as “Tu” and “Khaali Si Rooh,” Mumbai-based singer-songwriter Athul Prabhu offers “Baatein/Adhoori” as a cinematic tune that’s aided by string sections as well as roomy drum work. At the center of it, of course, is the artist’s own voice, delivered with a quality that makes it sound like he’s in the same room as the listener, even as the track takes off dramatically.

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“Summer’s Day” by Khwaab and Trisalien

The jumpiest bops seem to be the best space for epiphanies, philosophizing and sadness. While sad-boy hours aren’t really the major concern on composer-producer Khwaab aka Nishant Nagar and vocalist Trisalien aka Shagun Trisal’s new synth-pop track “Summer’s Day,” there’s more to it. Over bright pop production, Trisal sings about “how sometimes the things that we are addicted to the most are the things that are truly bad for us,” honing in on lucidity that offers another perspective on how addictions do provide meaning and direction.

“Who Ate the Wabbit” by Wascally Wabbit

Coming straight out of Chennai are instrumental power trio Wascally Wabbit, comprising guitarist Vikram Vivekanand (from hard rockers Grey Shack), bassist Aravind Murali (part of contemporary act Yodhakaa, amongst others) and drummer Vinay Ramakrishnan (from rock band RJD). On their debut single “Who Ate the Wabbit,” they not only provide roving visual references in the music video, but also surging prog in the vein of Rush, proving just how impactful a combo of guitar, bass and drum can be.

“Seeth Kaal” by Archiesman Kundu

Teaming up with Guwahati producer Rawhit aka Rohit Dey, West Bengal hip-hop is on the map with rapper Archiesman Kundu, who’s released his new Bengali-English song “Seeth Kaal.” Originally from the town of Garhbeta in Medinipur district, Kundu moved to Kolkata in 2017 and kickstarted his hip-hop career, even opening for hip-hop star Raftaar. The rapper vibes along smoothly for most of the track, invoking winter in Bengal but also his passions and fulfillment.

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“Gatorade” by The Flying Turquoise Panthers

The latest lo-fi hip-hop and jazz-hop act on the block are Bengaluru’s The Flying Turquoise Panthers, whose name concerningly shortens to FTP. Their tunes, however, starting with the silken debut single “Gatorade,” are nothing close to gangster, playing up hyper-charged guitar work (from guitarist Bharath Kashyap), fist-tight basslines from Alan Santosh, keyboardist-producer Rohan Kamath’s wavey melodies and R&B/pop artist STEVIE helming mic duties. The band also includes rapper Dhanush H.P. It might be a stretch to call this a supergroup but they’re well on their way.

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