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Articles Nov - Dec 2019

Dev Electronics – India’s Most Preferred Pro Audio Technologies partner!

Success can be elusive for many trying to make their presence felt in an increasingly crowded pro audio marketplace of channel partners, distributors, and dealers. This naturally entails embodying a certain boldness of spirit..... read more

DJs Scratching on Favourites

There is no better way than ending 2019 than listing out some of the best DJ gear from some of the best DJs in the country..... read more

SNL Pro Ups the Ante at the OnePlus Music Festival

Curated by OnePlus, the OnePlus Music Festival “merged the wonder of music and the power of technology” to bring an immersive experience at the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai on 16th November..... read more

Sohel Dantes - Audio Systems Engineer of the Year

A career in live sound is now more competitive than ever, and few live sound engineers have been able to stand out and make their presence felt..... read more

Vibhor Khanna - Corporate Executive Excellence in the INDIAN PRO SOUND industry

PALM Sound & Light honoured VIBHOR KHANNA with the award for Corporate Executive Excellence in the Indian Pro Sound industry for changing the business model and setting up the distribution network for Bose in India....... read more

Ansata hosts Loudness Seminar with Avid, Dolby, and Netflix

On 11th October 2019, some of the most prominent audio industry professionals gathered in Mumbai for the Loudness Seminar hosted by Ansata..... read more

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“Homegrown Music Producers Round off The Year with A Popping Array of Releases”




The last few months have seen a slew of new releases from homegrown artists across a range of genres. With debuts from new and upcoming talent, to quality follow ups from established names, this is certainly an exciting time to have your ears on the Indian music industry. Simultaneously It is quite impressive to witness the range of styles that are developing within our country; permutations and intermingling of classic, traditional instrumentation with modern synthesis and drum production. The rise and popularity of such quality independent music is in turn challenging the status quo of India’s Bollywood centred music identity, and the reach and influencing power of independent labels such as Artist Originals, Azadi Music and Gully Gang Records is comparable to that of many major motion picture soundtracks and popular dance songs. Needless to say it is going to get trickier for me to decide which releases to highlight, but my basic philosophy is to try and cover a range of different styles and sounds. And so for this review we’ll be looking at a couple of releases from different musical backgrounds and sensibilities.



Dhuan Dhuan

First up is a single from singer-songwriter Ankur Tiwari titled ‘Dhuan Dhuan’ that was released on JioSaavn’s Artist Originals music label. Aptly named for the heavy smog filled conditions that have recently been engulfing cities like Delhi, the track is driven by his trademark sound with poetic and hard hitting lyrics. The production is top notch with beautiful stereo imagery, intimate, warm vocals and a rich clarity to the instruments. This genre of music doesn’t usually have much presence in the bass frequencies (say below 300 Hz) however it was quite a pleasant surprise to find well-rounded percussion elements sitting tightly with a smooth bass-line in this low-mid space. The style is very nostalgic, inspired by the dreamy and romantic soundtracks of the golden age of Hindi cinema. Adding to the satirical narrative of the track, the lyrics are graceful yet evoke the harsh reality of the dire situation at hand. A quality release that showcases the creativity of the artist, executed with smart intent both on the musical and lyrical front.

The production of Dhuan Dhuan is top notch with beautiful stereo imagery, intimate, warm vocals and a rich clarity to the instruments. This genre of music doesn’t usually have much presence in the bass frequencies (say below 300 Hz) however it was quite a pleasant surprise to find well-rounded percussion elements sitting tightly with a smooth bass-line in this low-mid space.



Kaun Hai Tu

Gully Gang Records has been on fire lately, touring with packed shows across the nation. Founded by Divine, the label comprises of a talented group of writers, emcees and rappers that each have a signature sound, flair and style. Latest on their catalogue is the heavy and bouncy Hip Hop single ‘Kaun Hai Tu’ by Shah Rule and Raja Kumari, who have written the track along with D’Evil. With a brooding trap beat, the arrangement of this track is designed to deliver a punch and it does just that. Shah Rule’s strong vocals work together with a solo snare on the upbeat in building tension as the track kicks off. The instrumentation on the first line of the hook is pulled out and then the full beat drops with the second line, and personally this is a production technique that I really enjoy. It gives the hook much needed space while building the anticipation of the beat even if just for a moment. This makes the hook much more memorable, and it is no surprise to see crowds chanting the hook at festivals where the track is performed. With stellar production and catchy lyrics, this is definitely a strong single that has been around charts for a few weeks now. Produced by Shah Rule (who has also mixed and mastered the song), Karan Kanchan and Josh Petruccio.

Endless

Veteran composer and multi instrumentalist Shitalchandra Kulkarni has released a new guitar solo album named ‘Endless’ through the Songdew platform and is a treat for lovers of classic metal and heavy rock featuring big orchestrations, epic narratives and wide arrangements. This particular style could be classified as progressive metal, influenced by the long-form movements of acts such as Dream Theatre and Stratovarius. There is a strong focus on musicality of the instruments, spe-cifically on guitar technique demonstrated through freeform solos and changeups. The album fea-tures a balance of digital synthesisers that give the production a nice sparkly high end, and live guitars, pedals and amps to really bring that warm analog crunch to the sound. Recorded through Rhode, AKG and Neumann mics, the textures on the guitars are quite enjoyable, well mixed with crunchy and clean distortion. Shitalchandra has composed and produced the album and recorded at Chords India Studio in Pune. The mix engineer is Shridhar Deshpande and mastering duties were performed by San Page.

Visa On Arrival

‘Desi Bass’, in a nutshell, is the general term given to the mix of modern EDM and trap beats with strong Indian inspired toplines, “snakecharmer’ melodies and digital synths that imitate the timbres of instruments like a Shehnai or Nadaswaram. The catchy, high pitched melodies work very well indeed with driving kick and bass sounds, and this type of dance music has developed a huge following around the country. Amongst a few flag bearers of this genre is veteran producer Suhrid Manchanda aka Su Real. Fresh off his win on Amazon Prime’s The Remix competition, Su has just released his third album titled ‘Visa On Arrival’. True to it’s name, the release takes you on a global bass tour, offering up reggaeton, dancehall, moombahton and more, yet bringing a desi twist in one form or another. The production style is tight, big and punchy, dynamic at the right parts with a consistent balance between drum elements, vocals and top-lines. The tracks are all designed to fit right into DJ sets, tailored for the dance floor with build ups and heavy bass drops. And although this arrangement formula can get repetitive, Su manages to keep it fresh by featuring a different artist or collaboration over ten of the twelve track album. Guest artists featured include emcees and vocalists MC Zulu, General Zooz, Diggy Dang, Delhi Sultanate, GD47, MC Eucalips. Singer Tanya Nambiar, scratch turntablists DJ Skip and Doni Brasco and producers DISTORT and Dutty Deedz are also featured, With so many partners in crime, the bass music producer really brings some interesting elements to the mix. The track ‘Lala’ with punjabi rapper GD47 is a perfect example, where punjabi rap vocals meet infectious tropical beats and really sit well together in delivering strong rhythms for the dance floor. Produced by Su in his studio in Delhi and mixed and mastered by Dreadsquad from Poland.

An Unequal Music is a column that highlights quality Indian music releases across genres and styles. The objective is to discuss each release from a technical and creative perspective and what makes it special and unique. My process is to breakdown the production components, talk about musicality, arrangement and instrumentation. My background as a music producer began a decade ago in Los Angeles where I had the opportunity to work with award-winning studios and bands. I am currently a full-time music producer working with directors and artists across different genres.

www.producedbyabhi.com

For the purposes of this review, the aforementioned music was all heard through Audeze LCD2 headphones and Adam A5X studio monitors.


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