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In The Studio: Kolkata Electro Rock Band Zoo On Their Debut Album

The four-piece band on striking a perfect balance between organic and electronic elements on their debut album, ‘Atoms and Combinations,’ set to release in June

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Anurag Tagat Mar 05, 2014
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Zoo vocalist Tanya Sen recording at Sonic Solution in Kolkata. Photo: Margub Ali

Most artists launch side projects to explore alternate musical influences, but Kolkata-based electro rock band Zoo’s guitarist Bodhisattwa Ghosh has turned the idea on its head. Ghosh, who also plays with experimental rock band Boddhisattwa Trio has been bringing jazz influences into Zoo and introducing drum and bass into Bodhisattwa Trio. “We like to put in whatever we’re learning from other projects. I never thought of doing projects to keep them separate to begin with. I let the two projects influence each other,” he adds.

Zoo, who started out in 2011, released their debut EP, The Attic Sessions, in October 2012. While the EP explored themes that seemed to be influenced by life in the city in tracks such as “Blinding Lights” and “Metropolis,” their new album Atoms and Combinations has a “larger point of view,” according to Ghosh. Says Ghosh, “We’re all made out of atoms, just like the universe.” Less metaphysical themes on the album include the abuse of power on a track titled “Bond” and adherence to social norms on “Ride On,” a track where Zoo also collaborate with German dubstep duo Raggabund, who the Kolkata band met while performing at the Cama Festival in Vietnam in October last year. Says Ghosh, “We sent them the finished track and they sing in German and Spanish, so it’s sounding interesting.”

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The band started recording their six-track album last month at Kolkata’s Sonic Solutions studio, with Ghosh and the band members taking over production as well. Says Ghosh, “We do the programming on a computer first, and then Tanya [Sen, vocalist] comes in and adds vocal lines. When we’re happy with the arrangement, we jam on it and add a few parts.”

The four-piece band plan to return to Vietnam as part of a South Asian tour they are currently organizing, including shows in Hong Kong and Thailand. Says Ghosh, “We plan to take it [the album] out in June and have an Indian tour after that.”

Check out Zoo recording in the studio. Photos: Margub Ali

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