After what seems like a long time, we’re back to compiling a review of the best electronic singles from Indian artists. Besides diversifying the playlist, singles give you a chance to explore new artists and join their early listenership. As an artist, the first few listeners of their work are often the reason an artist doesn’t give up.
1. Colour – Sublime Sound, KAVYA
The girl with the dream voice, Kavya Trehan, has been making waves on the indie music scene for while. A couple of years ago, she showed how deep her understanding of music really is, by flawlessly navigating the world of electronic music. Her collaboration with Anhad Khanna, under his solo project Sublime Sound, is a match made in heaven. Together they have produced a mellow track, almost reminiscent of the promise spring summer once held.
2. Promise Me – GMB
The producer behind GMB, Mehar Bedi, who has been releasing music consistently for a while now. She’s honing her sound, which currently is very nostalgic, lo-fi, with every release. Promise Me is a single that successfully evokes the feeling of having a promise broken or of breaking a promise. Mehar’s fine command on rhythmic melodies syncing with the atmospheres of her songs is a great joy to listen to!
3. Tokushima 徳島 – Pluto Monkey
This musical piece by Pluto Monkey tries to bring a post modern approach to the Awa Dance Festival, where people gather to perform traditional dance in ceremony with each other. Altogether, the video and the light beat, make it a nice piece for interludes and transitions.
He says “I just wanted to make a beat which could be played at the Tokushima festival one day and that’s how I approached this project. The sample in the track is ripped from a YouTube video of a woman playing an organic Japanese instrument. A lot of my musical ideas are drawn from the art of sampling, thus I ripped the instrument sample from Youtube produced drums, synth textures and bass, sequenced them and used a “live MPC sequence recording” technique to record the composition on a modern sampler known as the Maschine MIKRO MK3.”
4. Supernova – Sahamanyu
Supernova is a sonic soundscape into the inner workings of an otherwise busy mind. Supernova was inspired by Sahamanyu’s recent stargazing experience in a rather secluded part of Mumbai, India. The track explores an 80’s synth pop soundscape with a smattering of Indian sound brought in with ambient guitars & tabla samples. The artist behind Sahamanyu is a budding newcomer in the rapidly popularising field of spiritual electronica and with this track he has aimed to evolve his production to a next level.
5. Gambol – Amlan & Siduation
Bangalore based DJ and producer Amlan (Amlan Mukerjee) is back with his first single since Sept 2020 kicking the summer off with an afro house track “Gambol”. This time the producer enlists Siduation (Siddhant Prasad) on bass and guitar duties to add more instrumental elements to the colour of the song. Gambol definitely makes one head to the forest and flow with the trees, the leaves and the nature. The track flows through various textures of sound, creating an atmosphere of joy and playfulness. ‘Gambol’ is a celebration of the unrestrained and unquestioned way of life that we seek in an environment devoid of basic freedom. It is said that the ones in love gambol when they walk, sing when they work and laugh when they break bread. Inspired by West African vocals and dance styles this track is a birth child of many lockdown jam sessions in Amlan’s home studio in the heart of the city. Incorporating many downtempo and ambient elements, this tune shapeshifts curiously whilst supported by bouncy bass lines and melodic guitar fills
6. Courage – Rusha & Blizza
The first time I heard this song, I honestly thought it could be a Flume track! A sound that is heavily inspired by the artist’s yet unique in how it plays out with the composition by Rusha & Blizza, Courage is a breath of fresh air in the Indian Music Lineup.
The track features futuristic music meshed with synth patterns, bass beatdowns and vocals that create an auditory experience for a listener that’s new and fresh. Coupled with serene vocals and immersive sound, the music video for the track features an interesting interpretive in vogue dance piece by Russian director and choreographer Igor Glinskiy, which is truly a visual delight.
7. All The Things – Himay
‘All The Things’ simmers and thrives at the confluence of modern dance music and the classics. The track is an homage and a celebration of house music with acid tinged basslines, mesmerising vocals, invigorating piano riffs and dreamy breakdowns.
8. Gobekli Tepe – 4th Dimension
The journey that 4th Dimension has been on is a fulfilling one to see. The artist is a representation of how a unique sound can evolve if one keeps practicing. With Gobekli Tape, he’s breaking into a darker territory of deep techno. With flawless precision, he layers the different elements of the song and the result is a promising look into the future techno artist’s work.
9. Fighting Fear – Somatic
Coming from a dual heritage Indian-English background, Somatic (Somin Griffin-Dave) specialises in the sonic world as a sound artist, producer, DJ, sound engineer and tour manager. His command over the craft is apparent with this track where he takes tabla beats and layers them with pads that are characteristic of the UKF DnB scene.
Somatic wanted to shed light on the importance of normalising the conversations about negative emotions and feelings (especially for men) and how the track speaks to the mental battle that he and a lot of people were experiencing throughout 2020. The Kung Fu voice-over samples in the breakdown are a reference to the 90’s trope where artists such as Photek were watching lots of classic movies and dropping in fighting scene samples and ‘classic’ lines.
10. All on Black (Reprise) – Pav4n, Somatic
The fast developing scene for Jungle/DnB in India is quite heartening to see. PAV4N, always one to push new sounds with his label, has enlisted Somatic for a dark and heavy Jungle/ DNB reprise of “ALL ON BLACK”. Intricate and shredding amens and nasty synth work by Somatic take the energy up a notch and pay respect to a sound both artists are very fond of. Stylistically, it’s something he’s been wanting to do for a long time, and this track is an ode to the journey Somatic has been on.
11. All the Time – Angia (ft. Jogan)
This cover by Angia immediately takes us back to the Skrillex’s sound. The artist’s comfort with trap is apparent to see in the perfection with which the bass and rhythm interact with each other. About the track he says “The nucleus of the track was really just to return to the ‘hard trap’ sound I had always loved in a slower, more subversive way. Within the process of making it, between the actual production and working with Jogan (Joey Lahiri) and her brilliant ideas about the narrative of the song, it ended up being much more than a mere cover and I’m glad to see the attention it’s getting now.
The track, to me, is about subversiveness more than anything; injecting a fierce, almost violent life using the staples and notions of hard dance into the aesthetic of a particularly gen z sexually-charged anthem.”
12. All Of My Faults – Full Motion Disaster
The Sophomore single of the Filth Inc. label owner, Aniket, All of my Faults is a hybrid of a Ghetto House and Trance. Of the single he says “Thematically, ’All Of My Faults’ reflects upon topics such as sorrow and guilt over interpersonal dynamics and intrapersonal experiences that I’ve had in my life as well as deals with me coming to terms with what constitutes myself as a human being and I am addressing this through my music so I can move on to make art of a more lighter tone.” It is not often that we hear Ghetto House produced locally. Aniket marvellously manages to relate his personal feelings while keeping up with the mood of the rhythm.