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New Music: Kolkata Metal, Assamese Acoustic Folk, South Indian Hip-Hop and More

We round up the latest, must-hear tunes from Mumbai duo Second Sight, rapper Hanumankind, Mangaluru metallers Hollow Creed and more

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Anurag Tagat Jan 22, 2020

Kolkata metal band Ronin. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

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Order Vs Chaos EP by Ronin

Starting out in 2017, Kolkata gets yet another fine addition to the modern metal scene with Ronin’s debut EP Order Vs Chaos, which released last month. The four-track record heaps on frenetic energy, metalcore-edged riffs from Saptarshi Basu meeting surging basslines from Ritam Mitra and destructive drumming from Kaustav Deb. Vocalist Randev Dey alternates between growls and soaring hooks on songs like “New World Order,” while he’s singing about modern enslavement on “Abasement” and quick-paced on “Bushido.” Featuring swirling djent riffs much like Animals As Leaders’ heavy days and the intensity that wants to match U.K. metal stalwarts Architects, Ronin are off to an impressive start.

“One” by Second Sight ft Princeton

After releasing evocative, moody singer-songwriter tunes on their debut EP The Violet Hour in 2018, Mumbai duo Second Sight move to groovier, funkier jazz terrain with their latest single “One.” Featuring vocals from Mumbai artist Princeton Ogoeze Aguocha, “One” stays true to Second Sight’s soothing duet-employing vocal style but also adds much more laidback vibes to their sound, led by vocalist Anusha Ramasubramoney and vocalist-guitarist Pushkar Srivatsal. On this track, support comes from keyboardist Vatan Dhuriya, bassist Ralph Menezes and drummer Shivang Kapadia. Catch the song live in action at their set at crowdfunded festival Control ALT Delete next month.

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Kalari EP by Hanumankind

Following a K.O. set at Bacardi NH7 Weekender in Pune last month, Bengaluru-based rapper Hanumankind is finally out with his debut EP Kalari. Signifying his Malayali roots, the rapper taps producers such as Kalmi on the playful “Wildshit” and the emotional, soulful “Bottle of MH” that addresses mental health with vocalist Soorya Praveen. Then there’s Chennai beatsmith 47K who dives into cavernous South Indian percussive elements as Hanumankind flexes his rap flow on “Southside.” Kochi producer Parimal Shais rolls up with a bass banger on “Daily Dose,” on which Hanumankind lays into negative forces and emerges victorious.

“Home Ground Disadvantage” by Arshaq and 47K ft Smokey The Ghost, Simaran Vohra, Kaushik Manikandan & Ashwin Natarajan

Bengaluru rapper-producer duo Arshaq Malik and 47K address the idea of parental pressures and how “family constructs” impact an individual. On the buoyant three-minute track, Arshaq – along with a guest verse from Bengaluru rap veteran Smokey the Ghost – discuss their vulnerabilities and insecurities over interacting with their parents and their decisions. 47K adds an almost subtle horn section, anchored by bass licks from Ashwin Natarajan, flittering guitar lines from Kaushik Manikandan and a vocal hook by Simaran Vohra.

“Skies of Grey” by Hollow Creed ft. Nichelle Monteiro

Hailing from Mangaluru and inspired by Australian metal bands such as Northlane, Hollow Creed showcase a refreshing, made-for-headphones atmospheric djent sound on their second single “Skies of Grey.” While there’s hints of screamo, metalcore and post-hardcore, guest vocals by Nichelle Monteiro ensure that the track builds up to the dissonant sound. It’s only in the second half that the six-minute track brings in chaotic breakdowns.

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“Boi Jaa” by Abhilash Choudhury

Guwahati singer-songwriter Abhilash Choudhury is earthy and openhearted on his latest single “Boi Jaa.” Strumming his guitar and aided by a colorful horn section that juxtaposes moods, Choudhury sings in Assamese about how life and time keeps on flowing, meditating bittersweetly about what he describes as “the never ending cycle of love, loss, regret, happiness, sadness and fulfillment.” The accompanying music video, directed by filmmaker Milon Jyoti Hazarika, intersperses shots of the singer-songwriter by the river and glimpses of rural life in Assam.

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