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The Playlist Special: Sandunes

The Mumbai-based music producer throws in everything from prime Incubus to double bassist Charles Mingus’ jazz hits as her top tunes

Rolling Stone India Mar 21, 2016
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Sandunes. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Sandunes. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Mumbai-based Sanaya Ardeshir aka Sandunes might be making news for her laidback electronica and interesting collaborations with peers, but her playlist gives away her pianist roots and jazz leanings. She’s got everything from the rhythmic Groove Collective to Blood, Sweat and Tears and even The Meters on it.

“Better Git it in Your Soul” Charles Mingus, 1959

For me, this track was just such a pure studio moment of true expression. This whole album got me listening to the rest of the band and not just the piano player ”“ which was a new phase for me in the way that I was listening to music at the time. My favorite part of the song is this Gospel vocal far away from the mic and panned to the far right – “Oh yes Lord, I know!” – I think that idea was just so ahead of its time.

“Spinning Wheel” Blood, Sweat and Tears, 1969

The intelligence and creativity with which the song was written really appealed to me as a kid. The lightness and humor really comes through in every aspect of the track – especially with the way the song ends.

“Universal Traveler” Air, 2004
Lots of the music I was listening to while I was in college began to take my focus away from parts of songs that were being played and more to the spaces/ambience they were existing within. This track took me one step closer to developing an interest in producing music.

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“Everything is Changing” Groove Collective, 1999
On some levels, soulful dance music was always something that struck a chord with me and this track even made it to a few of my more recent sets. I’ve always loved the idea of using super soulful elements for loop based dance music.

“Cissy Strut” The Meters, 1969
I had a long phase with American funk [a phase I think everyone ought to have!] The Meters really set the parameters [no pun intended] for the kind of funk I was into and for an understanding of really laid-back grooves that were still tight.

“Aqueous Transmission” Incubus, 2001
Loved the world of sound and the approach with this tune. The lyrics were something that spoke to me, too. It was an unexpected end to their album Morning View but quickly became a favorite.

“To Build a Home” Cinematic Orchestra, 2007
This might still be one of my all time favorite songs. Its ability to create movement if not momentum in an emotional capacity is tremendous. I’m fairly certain I’ve been moved to tears by this one more than once.

“Treehome94½” Elaquent, 2014
This tune is really special to me on many levels ”“ I love this guy’s work, and his music shifted my focus from fouron- the floor approaches back to hip-hop, which really feel like home.

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