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Premiere: Jorhat Guitar Whiz Parthiv Saikia’s Sparkling Prog Track ‘Depths’

The Assamese artist’s debut solo release channels vibrant prog in the vein of Plini and Intervals

Anurag Tagat May 19, 2021

Assam guitarist-composer Parthiv Saikia. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

Although he’s currently a professor at Assam Women’s University in Jorhat, Parthiv Saikia has been super adept at the guitar for more than a decade now. Part of erstwhile thrash metal band Farrago and currently part of metal band Quaint, Saikia began helming guitar duties for bands and worked as a session artist from 2008.

While he might have shown off how much of a soulful shredder he can be in the past — counting Frank Gambale, Steve Vai, Joe Pass, Jimi Hendrix and Chick Corea amongst his influences — Saikia’s debut instrumental release “Depths” takes a different turn. In the works for about one and half years, Saikia says the radiant song has been “curved and colored” with featured musicians. The overall result is a spirited, playful prog track that finds itself in the same space as guitarist-composers such as Plini, Intervals and a bit of Jakub Zytecki. As Saikia describes it, “Depths” is meant to be “easy on the ears, but, with intricacies and a sense of composed knowledge of [my] instrument from start to finish with layered textures.”

While the guitar is obviously the lead instrument, Saikia says the song was inspired by “piano music and chord voicing.” The track features Pune/Assam drummer Arnob Hiwale (from post-metal band Placid Aura), Jorhat-based artist Bedanga Ved Sharma (from heavy/hard rock band Filharmonix) and Mumbai/Assam keyboardist Mrinmoy Sarmah. Sukna-based producer and vocalist Aakash Sherpa helmed mixing and mastering duties on track.

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Listen to “Depths” below. The song is out on all streaming platforms next week via non-profit label Not Very Obvious Not Records.