22-2 Volume 2: Seasoned and Budding Electronic Music Producers Craft A Niche

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The pandemic has caused a surge in artists releasing music. At such times, it is helpful to have compilations that serve as a one stop shop to discover diverse music by seasoned and new talent. After the success of their first compilation, 222 is back with Volume 2. This compilation furthers the concept of inviting 22 producers to co-create a sample bank and use it to produce one track each, by having each producer invite another producer. This compilation will be released with two sides, with one released on June 19 and the other one on July 3.

From the 44 producers in the second volume, there are some like Noni Mouse, Disco Puppet and the man who started it all, Oceantied himself, who have become familiar faces in the business. The compilation, though, truly stands tall in mixing it up with upcoming talent that deserves a platform to be heard by a wider audience. As with Volume 1, the listener is once again introduced to a myriad of genres from dub to footwork to house.

Artists, especially musicians, have a way of being vulnerable in their art that is rare to find in any other art form. When working on the same samples as 21 other producers, and running against a deadline to produce a track that is uniquely you, you would expect there to be a sense of competition, bordering on rivalry. It is heartening to see that the only thing that exists amongst the producers on the compilation is a healthy sense of respect for each one’s craft. 

On being asked about his experience of creating a track for the compilation, Noiz echoed the admiration. “This project was quite a unique challenge as normally I’ve participated in sample challenges wherein the samples were provided by the host. But this one was different because all of us submitted samples and flipped them. It was a unique experience overall. And I really enjoyed the fact that everyone is so helping and friendly, I never felt like I didn’t belong in the group, which I normally used to feel when added to a new group… 

So yeah, this was somewhat life changing for me because obviously my perspective about other artists has changed and I believe in myself a little more after this challenge”

Pooja B, a conscientious member of the music fraternity, channeled her rage at the death of an innocent elephant in her track “Everyone Deserves to Breathe”. “This was a very spontaneous project, and working with samples that I never imagined I would use was both challenging and refreshing. I had to use those sounds to make them work in my style of music, without the luxury of having time to tweak stuff till it was super tight. It was very cool to also see how others interpreted the samples and have contributed with some amazing tracks. When Zokhuma invited me to be part of this project, I was feeling a lot of anger over the elephant that was killed after eating the cracker-stuffed pineapple which was meant to kill wild boars…which is an inhumane way to treat any creature & I expressed that raw emotion via this track. Very glad to be part of this project and be able to help a good cause via what I love doing the most.”

Smokey, with her stellar DnB track “A Girl From Mumbai”, describes the process of working under the time limit as challenging yet fun. “This project was highly demanding and different from my other past projects. Definitely it was challenging yet fun, as there was a time limit. Secondly, the format was such that 22 producers had submitted in one sample each and the rule was to use all the samples mandatory. Sampling and processing each sample took the most of my time, I have used my own audio-midi Ableton preset chains and macros for this project, I started with Drums and baselines; after getting it into a satisfying state, I started playing around with other elements. I am overwhelmed to be a part of this compilation and it is a pleasure connecting with other 21 amazingly talented producers. I am excited to bring my experience to the table.”

The more you listen to the compilation, the more you realise that South Asian producers are stepping up and contributing to honing a unique sound for the electronic producers from the region. The path shown by flag bearers in the last two decades is finally finding artists to walk on it and produce music that does not ape the sound of the West and yet has listeners coming back for more. 

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