If you think Rave Deprivation is a myth invented by those who party often, then you’re only half right. It is true that its most adverse affects are felt those who party often, but it is most certainly not a myth. In the depths of reddit, there are stories of those who have sat for hours looking at disco balls, to recreate the memory of being at a rave. There are those in my circles who learnt how to program LED lights, so that whenever the next pandemic hits, their rave is safe.
A lover of the UK Rave scene and a dedicated dance floor enthusiast, Sentient or Madhav Jolly, channeled his dance floor vibes into his latest EP that he has released with Antariksh Records. On the first listen, the EP itself comes across as an interesting grouping of tracks because it shatters the notion of sticking to a genre while putting together an EP. Madhav describes the genre as a mix of trance and techno with jungle influences. He says “The EP itself includes warehouse techno, trance, jungle and acid trance. Each track in the EP has a different flavour, which adds variation and therefore categorising all the tracks into one genre wouldn’t do it justice. If the tracks were to fall under a wider umbrella it would be rave techno.”
On the first listen, the EP moves you to rave wherever you are, atleast in your head. On that front Sentient has hit the nail on the head. Once you know Sentient’s history with music, it becomes clear where his focus on trance and techno, with melodic riffs comes from. Of his journey, he says “I began journey into sound in school, as a part of a band where I played the bass and rhythm guitar. As a child I was always surrounded by my fathers vast music collection. Being around so much music as a child really fuelled me into learning different instruments and helped me venture into sound. As I grew older, my fascination towards sound also grew. I started producing electronic music eventually in design school. All my friends and I would listen to loads of techno and trance. This really shaped my sound. Being a designer I tend to draw inspiration from my artwork and surroundings. My influences and inspirations have been from the UK rave scene. Artists such as Mall Grab, Asquith, Julian Muller and Hadone are amongst a few artists who I’ve drawn inspiration from over a period of time.”
Madhav’s affliction towards trance and techno comes clear through the first two and last two tracks of his EP. In fact, they fulfil the new age rave scene where trance and techno blend to make a genre that is bass heavy with a lot of melodies and sound progressions made of up of retro synth sounds. All tracks except Skies of Purple, the third track in the EP. Skies of Purple moves away from the trance and techno vibe and towards a more break-core vibe which we’re seeing (and loving) more and more from Indian artists. Of this track and a deviation from the vibe he says “While writing the tracks for the EP, I wasn’t really going for a specific vibe as such. The songs I write most of the time end up taking on a trance and techno tone with euphoric melodies or hardcore rave stabs. I had a rough idea of how I wanted the EP to sound when finished but it took an interesting turn with Skies of Purple. I wrote the song to break the monotony from the previous tracks. Including a hardcore breakbeat track also added to the versatility and overall landscape.”
Perhaps the most refreshing part of his EP is the hopefulness of a youngster shines through it in the melodies, the vibe and the art. Often, as artists proceed on their career arc, they lose sight of why they began in the first place and get caught up in the puddles that are formed around industry processes. Not Madhav – he is very hopeful about how the rave scene in India is developing and where his music is heading. He says “The electronic music scene has been ever-growing and has been picking up pace recently. There has been a lot of trance in techno the past year, which I personally really like. There are DIY raves being held so much more now with the onset of Corona. It’s really interesting honestly. The underground music scene is also picking up with the harder trance-y sound gaining more and more popularity. I don’t really wish anything was different, the Indian music industry is still rapidly growing.”