Vasudev arrived in the scene late last year with a massive and incomparable release. He dropped the Ghaziabad Mixtape (2020), a roughly thirty-minute mixtape which was followed, in a few months with a deluxe edition, with a runtime of a little over one hour with 28 tracks. The sheer breadth and size of the work demanded attention from listeners in the scene lacking in long-form releases.
Red Line EP, is relatively short but makes up for it by introducing a fresh sound. Clocking in a little over sixteen minutes, the EP is tied together with some lo-fi female voices and metro announcements sampled across the breadth of the EP.
Produced by RAKHT and Vasudev, there is sparse instrumentation in the EP which gives a feeling of spaciousness in the tracks. It allows Vasudev’s vocals to stand out. With ambient synths in the background and minimal beats which sometimes anticipate an off-kilter move, the listener is kept guessing whether the album will take off in a more ambient direction. The last section of “Red Pill” for example has a Burial-esque vibe but those moments don’t extend and we quickly return to Vasudev’s catchy hooks and rapped parts.
There is a moody quality to the whole EP. Vasudev moves from an invitation to having fun, to being fearful of falling in love to absolute admiration of the loved one in the final track. It is only in the last track “Kashmere Gate”, at the end, that the soundscape moves into some form of distortion like waking up in a metro ride. The whole EP feels like going in and out of Vasudev’s thoughts, probably high or drunk while zoning in and out on the Delhi Metro.
The EP ends at Kashmere Gate, a significant intersection on the Red Line of Delhi Metro, the first major intersection when heading towards Delhi from Ghaziabad. Vasudev repped Ghaziabad last year and he ends this EP at Kashmere Gate. Vasudev starts the EP by announcing “abhi Delhi bhi to napni hai” (Delhi is yet to be measured/explored/captured). But, ending it at Kashmere Gate allows Vasudev to evoke a cartography, a geography that far exceeds Delhi NCR. Kashmere Gate is after all the station where one gets off to take inter-state buses. But maybe Vasudev just zoned out at Kashmere Gate or needed to change the line there. If his social media updates are anything to go by his next project will be called Delhi Mixtape.