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Premiere: Hear IJA’s Spaced-Out Adventures on New EP ‘Pyaas ”“ The Thirst’

The electronic duo comprising Ashhar Farooqui and Sahil Mendiratta traverse hip-hop and psychedelic on their second release

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Anurag Tagat Mar 30, 2017
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IJA's Ashhar Farooqui and Sahil Mendiratta live at Ziro Festival of Music 2016 in Arunachal Pradesh. Photo: Neha Dixit

IJA’s Ashhar Farooqui and Sahil Mendiratta live at Ziro Festival of Music 2016 in Arunachal Pradesh. Photo: Neha Dixit

There’s no arguing that the world of electronic duo IJA is a parallel universe. When Ashhar Farooqui aka Toymob (based in Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand and part of electronica act Teddy Boy Kill and Donn Bhat + Passenger Revelator) and New Delhi drummer-producer (and now rapper) Sahil Mendiratta released their debut EP VitaAmin Sex as IJA in 2015, it took the fucked-up parts of Teddy Boy Kill and made it psychedelic, set to a concept story line about a girl name Molly who gets kidnapped an “evil mastermind” named Nunni.

There’s plenty to read into with the names and the metaphors, which go completely next-level on their second EP Pyaas ”“ The Thirst, a four-track hallucinogenic-laced trip that draws from hip-hop (courtesy Mendiratta), seedy Bollywood dialog samples, deep-bass beats and Farooqui’s unmistakable vocal lines about carnal love. While the EP comes with the story note that details how Molly and Nunni are now in a never-ending forest, they’ve “mastered the black arts under the tutelage of two world famous hakims” under what is the duo’s new monikers, Ashraf and Mehndi.

When asked about the film dialog samples, Mendiratta simply says, “What you think to be film samples are samples from real life actually. Later dubbed into movies. There is this guy up in the mountains that has a mountain full of samples. He’s our guy.” Ask them what influences them on this EP, and Mendiratta says it’s “supernatural nature.”

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With a tour set for April, there’ll be plenty of dark corners of the mind and clubs across the country for IJA to explore with Pyaas ”“ The Thirst.

EP Artwork by Divya Singh.

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