New Music: Bengaluru Black Metal to Bluesy Funk from Pune
From debuts to collabs and everything in between, we rounded up the catchiest of releases from the past month
By Anurag Tagat and Nabeela Shaikh
“Day 1” by Vayanamasi
Bengaluru vocalist-guitarist Karthik Basker sure knows how to keep his creative energy flowing. While there’s a new album in the works for his alternative band Blushing Satellite, he’s announced solo material under the moniker Vayanamasi, which takes its name from a miracle chant. Basker gets into a light-headed, spiritual-psychedelic space, playing with a Radiohead-esque sound [circa Kid A] on his first song “Day 1”.
Desperate TimesÂ byÂ Short Round
Mumbai songwriter Jishu Guha has been working on his solo music between everything from video and photography work since 2010 and now there’s his debut EP, released with his new folk rock band Short Round. Comprising friends such as bassist Adil Kurwa [also part of rock band Last Remaining Light and The Koniac Net], drummer Aditya Ashok [prog rockers Skyharbor, Shaa’ir + Func] and pianist RohanÂ Rajadhyaksha [from alt rock band Spud in the Box], Short Round’sÂ Desperate TimesÂ is a collection of simple, straight-from-the-soul tunes ”“ from the fast “Ex” to the quiet “Three Minute Record”.
“Spasmodic Coitus” byÂ Dark Desolation
The tumult of lineup changes may have left Dark Desolation with just guitarist Sred AJ on their team, but the last mark they leave is an infernal racket. Their latest video for “Spasmodic Coitus” descends into blast-beat hell, even featuring a guitar solo from UK black metal pioneers Venom Inc’s Stuart “La Rage” Dixon. The last song featuring the old lineup, Dark Desolation will soon announce their new lineup [rumored to include members from across the country] and finish their collaboration-heavy new album.
“One Chance to Live” by Siddharth Basrur, Chandresh Kudwa and Rahul Hariharan
Serial collaborator and vocalist-guitarist Siddharth Basrur’s contribution to this alt-rock anthem came not long after opening up about his battle with substance abuse””and incidentally seems to be inspired by just that. With its refrain of “One chance to live your life/Once chance to live your dream”, Basrur, along with fellow musicians Chandresh Kudwa [vocals and guitars] and [Bhayanak Maut] drummer Rahul Hariharan, delivers a message as hard-hitting as the song’s prog-leaning riffwork.
“Conspiracy (Re-done)” by Ocean Avenue
We don’t know much about Pune-based rock band Ocean Avenue, considering they’re only one song old [young?]””but the four member band [comprising vocalist Amartya Ghosh, guitarist Mikhail Khan, bassist Mihir Oak and drummer Aaryaman Basu] sure sound like they’ve turning out indie rock gems for a while now. Their debut single “Conspiracy (Re-done)” is, as they describe it, “about a dark, uncertain form of love,” and is all kinds of catchy””from the clanging punk-y guitars to the Smiths’-ian vibe.
“Funkacoaster” by Moonstruck Project
Live videos are always great for capturing a band’s raw energy, and that’s just the case for Pune-based funksters Moonstruck Project in their latest single “Funkacoaster”. Shot in [performance venue] Blue Frog Pune, the footage shows all five members frenetically working their respective instrument as they traverse the funky blues, boisterous refrains and cacophonous Doors-like keyboard fills as the audience cheers on through the rollercoaster ride.
“Dor” by Manish Khushalani
Mumbai-based singer-songwriter Manish Khushalani doesn’t hold back on the cheese in his latest video shot at Varanasi in and around the banks of the Ganga””what with the pan shots of the sky and boatrides by the setting sun. But that’s hardly a complaint, when this sweet acoustic jam plays out with only a ukulele and shaker, while Khushalani sings about how it’s okay to let your guard down sometimes.