An artist who describes his music as “Dream-like introspective spaces,” Abhinav Saxena is a classical guitarist, composer, and music producer from Mumbai. His journey into music which started 20 years ago shaped into finding his perspective of music when he learnt the Vipassana meditation technique in 2006. He is someone who believes that music is a language of emotion that allows the listener to leave the realm of conscious thought. He has indeed brought this out very efficiently in his music. His debut album ‘Look Up and Smile’ was released in 2020. Since then, he has been taking his audience on an inward journey which, he tells us has been his musical pursuit.
His latest EP ‘Other Side of Light’ is an EP that every listener will experience differently. Released on the 30th of September, it has four songs. Using a lot of electronic ideas in his production, Saxena has tried to adapt the hypnotic nature of electronic music in the production as well as the guitar play. It was mastered by Rohan Vengurlaker, who has also mixed two songs in the EP.
The EP’s first song, ‘Starry Lullaby,’ like the name suggests, resembles deep sleep music that makes you feel as though you are travelling amidst galaxies and planets. With the electric guitar in the lead, the song slowly progresses with the addition of drums in the second half of the song. It has a soothing and other-worldly vibe to it like passing through the different stages of a deep slumber.
As we move on to the second track, ‘Sea Creatures,’ the tone of the EP shifts. This song is similar to horror and detective scores – bizarre, mysterious, and terrifyingly beautiful. The underwater effects used in the song make you experience the deep sea and the emotions it can evoke within you. It can make you realise that the ocean has many secrets, which will reveal themselves only if you are courageous enough to dive deep. This song can also be interpreted as an analogy to the self. It ends with the sounds of what can only be understood as a sea creature.
The third track of ‘Other Side of Light’ is titled ‘Smoove Grooth.’ The word-play can allude to the chaos of the mind where things are topsy-turvy. The song is filled with echoes and has a smooth-jazz tune playing in the background. It has a slow build with drums and has a dark, hedonistic tone to it.
The EP concludes with the fourth song called ‘Bombay’ which starts with a deep cello intro. This time, the electric guitar that runs throughout the EP is accompanied by the saxophone and the sounds of doorbells and the violin. ‘Bombay’ is relatively fast-paced, which can be interpreted as an ode to the city. It evokes the feeling of running on a treadmill that never stops. The monotonous rhythm of the song is also coupled with comic tunes now and then.
On the whole, this EP has tried to convey a lot without the use of vocals. Saxena has succeeded in taking his listeners on an inward journey through the ‘Other Side of Light.’ It also has a certain meditative quality to it. With just the electric guitar and his DAW skills, the artist has created something unique. As the title of the EP suggests, it has a very, psychedelic, alienated and otherworldly feel to it, thus letting you experience something your mind cannot grasp in those 23-odd minutes.