In India, techno is rising. It has been for a decade or so, and those who were at the forefront of the movement, have begun gaining recognition in international circuits. Not without reason, though. Thanks to the pioneers and the increasingly blurring borders, electronic music is no longer lying undiscovered in a dusty room of a legendary design institute. Indian artists are now being sought after by DJs to play in their sets and for labels to release their music on. In this piece we look at a few artists who have recently released music on International Labels and list a few who should be!
Anyasa – Anjunadeep
Anyasa (aka Anish Sood) released his debut four-track EP Gaya via Above & Beyond’s Anjunadeep label on August 12, 2021. After an illustrious 13 career, spanning many gigs, and one that exerted significant influence on how dance music shaped up in India, he finally landed on the label that is a dream for all deep house & techno electronic producers across the world. Anish collaborated with a number of well-known artists in the scene to put this album together; Bawari Basanti, Isheeta Chakravarty, Amira Gill and Avneet Khurmi.
Kohra – Sol Selectas
Kohra is a pioneer of how to break the mould, yet still make it work. His sound is offbeat and somehow manages to resonate with listeners across the world. At home he has started the Qilla Records label, and released on several labels across the world. One of our favourites is when he released his single ‘Maaya’ on Sol Selectas Records, who specialize in deep tribal dance music, incorporating folkloric sounds and ancient rhythms, bringing them into a modern electronic realm of deep house, downtempo, chill out, and techno.
Arjun Vagale – Axis Records
It is borderline impossible to speak of India’s techno scene without mentioning Vagale. Over his career of 20+ years, he has travelled the world, playing for Awakenings, Boiler Room, DGTL and Sonar. He has risen to the forefront for the quality and depth of his productions and DJ / live sets, while always staying true to his roots. In August 2021, he released of his debut album ‘EXIT FRAGMENTS’ for The Escape Velocity on Jeff Mills’ AXIS Records – one of the most influential Techno labels of all time.
Dot Dat – Symbolism by Ben Sims
One of UK’s leading DJs, Ben Sims released the second volume of his compilation series ‘Synchronicity’, clubbing together 20 tracks from fresh and exciting techno talents from around the world which includes the Pune-based act dotdat. While it is not the same as releasing on an international label, Ben Sims is a techno legend and to be on his compilation is a big deal!
Vridian – Magician On Duty
2020 proved to be a good year for Vir with his EP Mulberry Dreams ending up on Magician On Duty. VRIDIAN picked up speed when he was in Vancouver, but once he came back to India, Vir has really helped the scene grow by expanding the definition of the sounds that get the dance floor going.
Another powerhouse talent, Kollision’s sets are industrial techno that will keep pumping the entire night. Her release on fluctuat records, a techno label run by French techno artist COQMAN, lends a peek of what her sound entails!
BLOT! is a pioneer of bringing techno to every listener’s ears. He’s released EPs and singles on International Labels, with a recent one on the Spanish Label Seven Villas. The EP is a look into his characteristic melodic sound that showcases his masterful work with his synths.
These artists have put a foot in the door. With the growing crop of quality techno acts in India, it is time to push that door wide open and see our artists on international stages.
There are hardly any artists who match Jay Pei’s knack for mixing melodies with beats. He’s well known in India for his Live Sets and has been releasing music pretty consistently. It is high time an international label picks him up to expose him to global domination!
A very promising face on the techno scene, Zequenx has her own signature sound that is dark and edgy. She’s been on more and more lineups in India and we hope to see her on an international label soon!
Another force to be reckoned with, Oceantied’s been featured on a bunch of compilations at home and with each track, he gets closer to a sound that would resonate globally.
Chhabb comes from the early generations of DJs in India, born and raised in Mumbai. He is one of the artists who have moved mountains to make a difference to the Indian electronic industry. His releases are packed with a punch!
Corrections: Previous versions of this story stated that Kollision and BLOT! have not released on International Labels. This has been corrected, thanks to the artists and their teams for pointing it out!