Electronica has taken over the world. Look around you, go online and you will see what music has become and where it is going for you and me. And it’s more than what you and I think it is.
Sometimes as a musician and a fan, it’s hard to open up to music that isn’t the basic guitar-bass-drum combo. Some never warm up to the idea of beats and electronic music that has emanated from many an artist in these years. But give it a chance and some group or artist will garner your respect and make you feel something for this genre.
On 26 April, House Of Music played host to a duo humbly called Sulk Station. They placed a projector behind them and a deck of equipment in front of them. The master man on the computers, Rahul Giri and his wife Tanvi are all but prepared to start the show. The crowd line up filled with acquaintances of the artists and a few enthusiastic listeners. Flyers on the table say they are a trip hop duo. It is a label that Rahul Giri has admitted, “doesn’t encompass Sulk Station completely.”
A little bit of a sound-check is done and then, the music starts and you hear this hypnotic beat moving and hovering from one point in the ether to the other. It’s an amazing experience. You just don’t hear the music, it moves and shifts and calls you to it. The best parts though, are Tanvi’s impeccable serenades over these beats like a streak of light passing over a rabid ocean. While there is turbulence and so much happening below, her vocals are soothing and fascinating. You sway, you move, your head bops, and it all happens without you even knowing it.
Giri puts into perspective a few anecdotes from his first experience performing live in Kathmandu:
“The crowd was really into it and for this our first show in Kathmandu, all our friends turned up. It was a wonderfully strange experience playing in front of them.”
“Well we ran into a bit of trouble with the computer heating up and everything but the crowd was gracious enough to applaud even if we had to stop. Sometimes the machines just take over.”
“Almost all the songs we do are improvised on the spot. If you hear a song of ours online, it is pretty much made for the album but the same track can be given a completely different treatment live. It just flows on the spot and goes where it goes.”
I can vouch for the fact that yes ‘it does go where it goes’ and so much so, that it takes you with it. You can see Tanvi close her eyes as she hits those notes perfectly and Rahul right beside her swaying and pressing and turning and pressing some more to create this amalgam of sound and emotion that takes you on a ride to another world. They build up to their ultimate track Piya and then when it ends, it actually makes you miss it and want more. Well that’s where the CDs come in but all you crave for is for them to go on and on so you have the excuse to be in this alternate dimension, where beats are beings and the mesmerizing female voice you hear is the beacon your mind follows. All you really wanna do is just close your eyes and give in, to Sulk Station.