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Premiere: Swadesi and Bandish Projekt Return with ‘Antariksh’

The Mumbai hip-hop crew and electronic music veteran unveil their second collaborative record ‘Khulle Naagde’

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Anurag Tagat May 15, 2019

Mumbai hip-hop crew Swadesi (left) and electronic music producer Bandish Projekt aka Mayur Navrekar. Photos: Jacky Nayak (Swadesi); Ravi Purohit (Bandish Projekt)/Courtesy of Azadi Records

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When Ahmedabad-bred electronic music producer Mayur Narvekar’s Bandish Projekt last teamed up with Mumbai hip-hop group Swadesi for Katal Kalaa EP in 2016, they were arguably ahead of the curve – fusing seismic bass drops, scurrying beats and sampling Indian instrumentation over incisive lyrics in Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati.

MC Tod Fod aka Dharmesh Parmar says, “It had flavors of folk, konnakol, regional languages and much more. So after performing it live and seeing the response on social media, us and Mayur knew that we have to do more of this. We were enjoying it.” Narvekar for his part says that the artistic bond between him and Swadesi became stronger, which shows on their upcoming EP Khulle Naagde.

Set to release on Azadi Records and Narvekar’s own Bheja Fry Records later this month, the six-track Khulle Naagde builds on the unique pairing and pushes in different directions. For starters, there’s the spacey drum and bass-leaning opening track “Antariksh,” featuring MC Mawali aka Aklesh Sutar at his verbose best. As a voice sample counts down, Bandish Projekt launches into a wobbly synth backdrop for the rapper’s quickfire verses, describing in great detail something unknown, perhaps a woman. Mawali clarifies, “I feel ‘Antariksh’ was my attempt in writing words for that which leaves me speechless. The infinite universe, the life force and everything I see in Nature was its influence.”

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Narvekar says process-wise, he listened to the group’s lyrics before he worked on the music. On Khulle Naagde, there’s not just Hindi and Marathi, but also Bengali from rapper Maharya aka Yash M. Mahida and new energy from Amravati-bred wordsmith 100 RBH aka Saurabh Abhyankar on songs like “Raukto De,” which has been a recent live staple. “We hope for more impact, ‘cause it’s more languages now with the bass music by the genius,” Tod Fod says, referring to Bandish Projekt.

Watch the video for “Antariksh” below.

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