Teddy Boy Kill slams the groove on
Delhi’s newest electronic outfit introduces us to their world
Teddy Boy Kill, the capital’s newest electronic band started out on two different planes in the indie music scene: former vocalist for Envision, Ashhar Farooqui and music producer Samrat Bharadwaj, crossed paths, after the latter produced Envision’s album Patterns and Mood Swings. Bharadwaj who plays the synths and beats, and Farooqui who handles vocals and guitar duties, quickly realised their strengths as collaborators. “I was confident with taking on other people’s music after producing the compilation Bombay Black and more recently Sahi Bol,” says Bharadwaj reminiscing about his producer days in Mumbai where he assisted Vishal Dadlani on Bollywood soundtracks.
Both Bharadwaj & Farooqui also have alternate avatars as solo musicians; Audio Pervert and Toymob respectively. Farooqui’s Toymob, for which he writes his own material, has an album ready waiting to be released. Whereas, Bharadwaj explains that the perversion in his music comes from the sampling used for his tracks. With the success of Patterns and Mood Swings, and an unreleased album, Melody and Felony, as Audio Pervert, the duo were well on their way to making music, but sadly not all of it was for them, as external projects kept the duo away from producing their own tunes. Trying to be unprecedented, they debuted under the name Sound Tree, at Delhi’s rock haunt CafÃ© Morrison, playing eclectic long format 20-25 minute tracks comprising of ad-hoc jams and sound collages. “After the gig people came to us asking, ”˜Where is the groove, man?’” recalls Farooqui.
So they scrapped the format and the name and adopted a new identity. Teddy Boy Kill [TBK] was born, they ”˜slammed’ it with a groove and the duo had arrived. They picked their name from the ’50’s Edwardian period, Teddy boy, representing conformance to a system. They were more interested in easing out, living life by their rules thus killing the Teddy boy. A year later, TBK played at CafÃ© Morrison once more. This time around, no questions, only awe, as the audience slowly absorbed the magnitude of their sound.
Talking about their music and first gig in Mumbai TBK explains the actuality of sampling. “It is in the cards an electronic musician holds,” explains Farooqui. Bharadwaj elaborates that after playing drums for years, all he’s looking for now is the groove. Asked about a sample used in their track ”˜Subterra Blues’ [from Radiohead’s Subterranean Homesick Alien] TBK confirms the track identified. “We give credit for samples where it’s due, hopefully Radiohead will reply to the all the mails we’ve sent,” smiles Bharadwaj. More than a sample, TBK elaborates it’s about the feeling behind the track – the sample is just the starting point to build over. So where do they scout out the samples from? “We listen to music without a bias, and that’s the most important thing a musician can do to evolve. The minute you have a bias and you don’t want to hear a particular kind of music then you have a problem ”“ the music never has a problem with anyone,” states Bharadwaj. “Listening is a trip, like ear candy, as long as you are not getting bored of your ears it’s a must to listen to as much music as possible,” adds Farooqui.
The future for TBK seems eventful. An album is all ready to be rolled out, provisionally titled The Exit Plan, once logistics are sorted. Â We want to create a buzz with our live performances explains Farooqui, as their goal is to perform at European music festivals. We just want to get our music out there, hoping never to be trapped in a typecast band image.