Pangea guitarist Shadaab Kadri will release his debut album called ‘Reminiscence’ later this year. Photo: Satya Naren
Over the last four years, Mumbai-based producer/guitaristÂ ShadaabÂ KadriÂ has been writing riffs — as well as electronic sections –Â for hisÂ instrumental metal band Pangea. While the mind-bendingÂ progÂ guitar work is what brings most people to their gigs,Â KadriÂ says he’s met fans who like more than just the riffs. “I have had Pangea fans come up to me and tell me how they enjoyed the ambient tracks in the album and that they would like to hear more of that,” saysÂ Kadri, who was been working on his solo ambient/drone material, set to release under the monikerÂ Riatsu.
Like a lot of other Japanese words, it takes more than just a word to explain the meaning ofÂ Kadri’sÂ project. The producer explains he picked the name after getting hooked to the concept of riatsu inside anime seriesÂ Bleach. SaysÂ Kadri, “RiatsuÂ is spiritual pressure or the aura/vibe that surrounds a person orÂ place. It’s the basis of everything for me.”
KadriÂ began writing in earnest in January this year, with a five-track album calledÂ ReminiscenceÂ now under way for release later this year.Â Like his Pangea bandmateÂ AkshayÂ RajpurohitÂ [fromÂ hardcoreÂ band Scribe and electronic music artist Aqua Dominatrix],Â KadriÂ is also a fan of synthesizers and saysÂ RiatsuÂ is completely synth-based music. AddsÂ Kadri, “It’s going to be very spacey and dark/dronish so I don’t expect a lot of people bobbing their heads to this one.” Although originally more interested in drone music,Â KadriÂ was turned to more ambient music by his friend and Mumbai-based videographer AdityaÂ Sankhe. SaysÂ Kadri, “HeÂ shared some amazing content with me. This content has been in the form of documentaries, movies, speeches, music etc. I think he unknowingly played a major part in evolving my music. I took elements from all of this and created something different.”
ReminiscenceÂ features fairly long tracks that are perfect for headphone listening, the layers of slow sound complemented by the occasional voice sample, like on a track tentatively titled “The Path is Grey.”Â KadriÂ goes more drone with an ominous bell toll on another track called “Cromwell Street.” The musicianÂ likens it to soundtrack music saying,Â “There is something about having that perfect piece of music playing in the back of that perfect video.”
‘Reminiscence’ artwork by Siddhartha Iyer
With composing out of the way,Â KadriÂ is roping in visual designers from across the country to work on album art for each track onÂ Reminiscence.Â This includes Gurgaon-basedÂ SiddharthaÂ Iyer, whoÂ is creatingÂ aÂ cover photoÂ for the project, along with a friend ofÂ Kadri’s,Â MihirÂ Ashok,Â creating art for a couple of tracks.Â SaysÂ Kadri, “There’s some insane talent in this country.”Â Undeterred knowing that the demand for drone/ambient acts isn’t too high in India,Â heÂ does plan to takeÂ RiatsuÂ live. SaysÂ Kadri, “I will be recreating the tracks especially for a live set. There’s a lot of work remaining on that.”