Posts Tagged ‘nh7

Indian indie goes digital

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A few days ago I came across this article in inbox that I had written for a zine in 2012. It did not get published for some reason. The article was about 4 new websites which had music by independent artists from acrossIndia on sale. From the websites listed below only Oklisten is still active. The Tagmuse website is online but has not been updated in some time. Musicfellas was acquired by in 2014. Flipkart shut down it’s Flyte store.

The “Big Boys” like Apple and Google are now in India with their Apple iTunes and Google Play. There has also been a shift with streaming services emerging in the past couple of years. The dominant players are Gaana and Saavn, however they feature a limited amount of independent artists.

The past decade has seen a rapid increase in the number of EP/Albums being released by independent bands in India, there were over 50 last year according to A basic problem for bands is getting their music heard and distributed; there have been many platforms, soundclick (does anyone still use it?) Myspace and reverbnation that have been around for a while; bandcamp and soundcloud are relatively newer. Bands in the past used to post their mp3s online for free. “No one will pay for Mp3s ” is a common statement I have heard by band members. However things are slowly changing, in the past few months, a few platforms have emerged in India that offer paid downloads.

music fellas Music Fellas is described as a “social, music discovery platform helping people have great experiences and meaningful conversations around music they love.” The platform was started by 3 techies from IIT Roorkee and BITS Pilani who are also music lovers, Mayank Jain, Shubhranshu Jain and Gaurav Shahlot. Currently it is invite only. Visit to get your invite


nh7-flyte-banner, the music streaming and discovery platform tied-up with the Indian e-commerce to launch digital music downloads featuring independent music, via Flipkart’s Flyte digital store. The store currently features over albums/EPs from over 50 artists ranging from folk rockers Swarathma to hardcore band Scribe. The singles are priced between Rs. 6 – Rs. 15 for singles and Rs. 20 – 150 for albums. You can download the songs up to 4 times. Visit for more information.


Ok Listen! was started after Vijay Basrur could realised that he could not buy Mp3s of a Indian rock band. He has over 16 years of experience working in companies like and Quikr. The platform currently features mainly folk and rock artists like Raghu Dixit Project, Indian Ocean and Parvaaz. The prices for singles range from Rs. 10 to Rs. 25 and albums from Rs. 60 to Rs.200. They is no limit on the number of times you can download the songs. The platform is pro musician as they receive 70% of the net sales. Visit for more information.


Tagmuse describe itself as “A double-octave space for independent artists to perform, connect, amplify and inspire the rest of humanity. Creating a launch pad for all musicians irrespective of race, language, ability, style, or genre. We appreciate it all.” They will be launching in another month or so. Sign up on and stay updated.

Written by trendcrusher

October 23, 2016 at 1:04 pm

Kunal Choksi

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Kunal Choksi, has been involved with the metal community for nearly a decade now, first with his website Diabolical Conquest and later a record label. Recently, he started a sub label Transcending Obscurity India which is focused on bands from the Indian Subcontinent. I met up with Kunal earlier this month to find out more about how he he started his webzine, record label and his plans for Indian bands. Read my interview with him below

Kunal Choksi

The Indian metal scene has changed dramatically over the past decade. International metal bands perform here regularly, while Indian bands are touring abroad – Kryptos successfully toured Europe in July while horror metal band Albatross are currently on a mini tour of Australia – at an increasing frequency. Things have been looking up for the metal scene in general, a fact we covered in our story ‘Metal Nation’ last year. The scene also has a few poster boys (this is a relative scale of course, and hey, they have all been involved in projects that have released posters) like Sahil Makhija aka the Demonstealer, Keshav Dhar of Skyharbor and producer Anupam Roy; people who are well known in Indian metal circles not just as musicians. Someone who prefers to stay in the shadows though is Kunal Choksi, the editor of metal webzine and record label Transcending Obscurity (previously Diabolical Conquest), who recently signed 13 up-and-coming Indian metal acts.

In 2004, Kunal launched a message board called Diabolical Conquest which was a tribute to the album of the same name by the band Incantation (which, incidentally, was the first CD he ever bought). Activity soon picked up on the board and Choksi decided to start a webzine that carried reviews of metal bands from around the world. “I contacted a few people who promised me that they would help me out but nothing happened. So, I learnt how to make a website on my own. Jill Girardi from Razorback Records gave me some tips on what software to use. I kept on experimenting and finally managed to have a website live on the seventh of March 2005,” says Choksi, remembering the initial struggle of handling the zine. “Initially, people did not take me seriously as they could not acknowledge that someone from India was writing about metal and they had to eat their words later as Diabolical Conquest later became one of the top ten sites in the world when it came to metal music.”

When the zine started out, it didn’t feature too many Indian bands, and Kunal explains why, “Bands were not releasing albums back then. Many bands showed potential but never got down to recording an album and releasing it. The bands that I covered on the website were the ones that appealed to me and took their sound forward. Here in India, there were many clones at that time that sounded a lot like Cannibal Corpse or Slayer.”

After years of running the webzine, keeping readers abreast of happenings around the world of metal, Kunal branched out in the year 2010 and started Transcending Obscurity Records. His first release on his record label was by an Australian death metal band, The Dead. “They were a band that did not know their potential. I really liked their sound and reviewed their discography on the site. After interviewing them, I decided I needed to do much more for the band and that’s when I decided to start my very own record label.” This was followed by releases by Polish death/black metal band Preludium in 2011 and Drug Honkey, a doom metal band from USA in 2012.

Last month, Choksi started an imprint of Diabolical Conquest Records that is focused on bands from the Indian subcontinent and signed 13 bands to it. Yes, you read that right. 13 bands. The bands on the label include thrash metal band Devoid and horror metal band Albatross and even death/doom metal band Dionysus from Pakistan. Read the complete list here. The first release from the label was Forever in the Realm by Bangalore doom metal act Djinn & Miskatonic. “The band is doing something of their own. Gautham’s vocals and their bass driven music make them really unique,” says Choksi.

It’s 2013 and in this age of music being available easily online via non-artist-approved sources, Choksi feels that a label is still relevant, not only give support to a band, but to give bands that are just starting out a stamp of credibility they might not get elsewhere. “I believe in promotion as it is a key element for the success of a band,” he says. “There are thousands of albums on Bandcamp and people are torn on which one to listen to first.” According to Choksi, another important element for a band is how it presents itself, “I feel things like artwork should be comparable to international standards. There are some bands that are doing a great job with their artwork like Bevar Sea (whose guitarist does their artwork). Gaurav Basu (of Inner Sanctum) is another great artist as well.”

Making it in metal isn’t easy, but Choksi’s Transcending Obscurity label seems to be headed in the right direction to make a mark in the global metal scene. The Djinnn & Miskatonic album is the only release from Transcending Obscurity this year, but the label’s gearing up for a lot more releases next year and possibly even a gig with label-only artists.

Written by trendcrusher

October 30, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Nathan ‘Barley’ Philips (Basick Records)

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Last month NH7 announced the launch of its Music store as part of Flipkart Flyte. The store also included a few titles by non – Indian bands, they were from UK based progressive metal label Basick Records,one of my favourite metal labels.
I spoke to their label boss Nathan “Barley” Philips to find out more about their plans for the Indian market.

Congrats on having the Basick Records title available in India via platform on the Flipkart website. Tell us a bit about how the deal came about.

Thanks, we’re really stoked to finally have our albums available for our Indian fans to get into!
We’ve been working with the NH7 guys on a whole bunch of other stuff in the past, so when one of the guys at Only Much Louder (OML) came to us and told us about their plans to hook up with Flipkart, we just knew that we had to be involved. It took a bit of time to iron out all the details, but it’s great to see that store is finally up and everyone can now check out our releases on there.

Do you have anything special planned for your Indian fans?

We’re always looking for new ways to interact with our Indian brothers, so right now we’re working ways of getting some exclusive products out there as well as having early discussions about getting some of our other bands on shows out there. It’s an exciting time!

For those not familiar with Basick Records, tell us a bit about early days of the label.

BASICK began nearly seven years ago when my brother and I decided to run a label from our parents spare bedroom in order to help a few local bands (Enter Shikari, Fellsilent, etc) reach a wider audience. Music has been my life for as long as I can remember and starting a label was something that I had always wanted to do, so we just got on with it and made it happen. It took pretty much four years of solid work to be able to get to a point where we were starting to make real progress. And the rest is history!

How did you come across Skyharbor, the only Indian artist signed to your label?

I’d heard of SKYHARBOR quite early on actually, when Keshav Dhar had started posting out demos of his previous solo project a couple years ago. So I kept some quiet tabs on him to see where things would lead and It was great to see how things developed. After a while Keshav started really honing in his sound and then got some great inspiration from collaborations with other artists, which helped the sound no end. Then a mutual friend from India hooked me up with the brand new vocal version of the album and we hooked it all up from there.

Earlier this year in April, Roadrunner Records shut down its offices in Europe and Canada. Where do you think the future lies for metal record labels?

I feel very sad for the staff at Roadrunner that lost their jobs – there were some great people working there, but overall I think Metal labels still have a very strong future, if they play their cards right. The fact is, people’s interest in this genre hasn’t waned, if anything it’s getting stronger. And labels that are adopting the correct approach to the current climate are managing to weather the storm. Undoubtedly, times have changed and some of the bigger labels that are owned by the corporate majors (as Roadrunner were to Warner Bros) are inevitably going to suffer, purely because they have huge overheads and cant live large like they once used too. But on the flipside, you have forward thinking indies like ourselves and Metal Blade for instance, that are experiencing growth in a time of austerity. Labels need to get leaner and smarter, that’s all.

Advice for bands that are just starting out and looking to get signed?

Honestly, just be yourselves and work your arses off to be as good as you possibly can be. Be as active as humanly possible and network yourselves like a bitch too. I’m a believer in fate and vereything happening at the right time for a reason; so don’t force it. Just apply yourselves and out yourselves out there in the most driven and professional way you possibly can. Real talent will always shine through. Us finding SKYHARBOR is a great example of that.

What artists/bands are you currently listening to?

I’m actually listening to a whole bunch of Electronica artists right now, like Claro Intelecto and Enabl.ed. Go check out anything released on Concrete Plastic and Ai Records if you’re into that underground UK sound.

What are you plans for the rest of 2012? More releases planned?

Yep, lots more in the pipeline; new releases, new bands and new corners of the globe to preach the good word BASICK! Looking forward to sharing all of this with you guys!

Written by trendcrusher

August 29, 2012 at 12:45 am

Demonic Resurrection + The Supersonics

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Last week I did a couple of interviews for Indianrockmp3 with Demonic Resurrection and The Supersonics.

Mumbai metal band Demonic Resurrection are performing for the first time in UK at the Bloodstock Festival. I spoke to Sahil “Demonstealer” Makhija about their plans for the Bloodstock festival, their live DVD and also their 4th album.

Demonic Resurrection 2012

Hey Sahil, next week you will be performing at the Bloodstock festival in the UK. What are your thoughts about it? Excited? Nervous?

Sahil: We’re definitely excited about this gig, the UK is a place we’ve been wanting to play for a long time and last year we were gutted when our visa’s didn’t get approved and we had to cancel our appearance at Sonisphere and also our subsequent UK tour. We’ve been wanting to play Bloodstock for a while and since Sonisphere got canceled this year we’re very fortunate that we were able to get booked for Bloodstock and so stoked to be making our UK debut at the festival. The bill this year is amazing with big names like Dimmu Borgir, Behemoth, Testament, Machine Head etc it’s going to be EPIC! We’re really looking forward to kicking some ass and giving the UK metal heads a taste of Indian metal.

Do you have anything special planned for your set at Bloodstock?

Sahil: Not really, we’re just going to get out and and play our best gig. We’ve put together a setlist that we think best represents Demonic Resurrection and we’ll let the UK metal heads see and hear what DR is all about.

Which artists are you looking forward to see perform and meet at Bloodstock?

Sahil: The entire festival lineup is really awesome and I think we want to catch as many bands as possible including many artists we’ve not heard off, but definitely I’m personally looking forward to meeting George Kollias again and I want to definitely catch Behemoth, Dimmu Borgir, Nile, Testament and Iced Earth among the list and probably even catch some local UK talent like Flayed Disciple, Ancient Ascendant, Aanal Nathrakh etc.

You plan on releasing a Live DVD with video footage from Bloodstock along with footage from you gig at Blue Frog on 22nd July. What else can we expect on the DVD ?

Sahil: When we say DVD we’re at this point only referring to the content because our fan funded music video got a little side tracked due to logistical issues and some financial issues as well but we collected a large part of the funds despite hiccups and we asked the fans if instead of a music video they’d like to get a copy of our performance at Bloodstock UK and they were all excited about it since it costs quite a lot for us to get the footage but it’s going to be 6 camera shot with multi-track audio so we’ll have a nice little package for the fans. We also shot the Blue Frog gig which we’re giving as a nice little add on so fans will get these concerts if they’ve contributed. When and how we release the footage later on a DVD is yet to be planned out but if it’s happening it will be along with our new album, probably in the form of bonus material. We’ll probably have a UK video blog series like we did for our Norway trip but that again will be online most likely.

How are things shaping up for the 4th album ? When can we expect it to be released ?

Sahil: Things are going well we’re more or less done writing the music for the album and we’re going to start the recording process once we return from the UK. We’re doing a much more elaborate production this time in terms of moving out of the more conventional way in which we record. I can only say that fans can expect the album early next year most likely.

Any Final words ?

Sahil: Cheers & Stay Demonic!

Kolkata post-punk quartet The Supersonics toured 4 cities around the country in the first NH7 Roadkill Tour this past week. I spoke to the band about the tour, their set list and also the new album they are currently working on.

Hey guys, what are your thoughts as you start a 4 city tour as part of the “Nh7 Road kill”?

Well we’re pretty excited. It’s the first tour since we got the band together again so everyone is charged up and looking forward to it. Also there have been a lot of guys who have wanted to see us around the country, and with this tour at least well get to hit most of the big cities so a lot of these people will get a chance to catch a gig.

Do you have a special set for the tour?

Well we’re going to use this tour to bring out some of the newer stuff so they get some stage time. Also we’ve reworked some of the older songs and opened them up a bit so there’s more room for us to play in. So you can expect a bit more jam oriented stuff. We’ll also be playing some stuff from Maby Baking so on the whole you can expect some old, new and some unexpected stuff

‘The Evil Fly” is a new song you recorded for the vinyl only compilation to be released by Puma. What is the song about?

Well it’s a commentary on how theres a lot of people who go through their entire life without a basic belief and value system, starting from your crooked businessman to your dirty politician. It’s a pity to see its these people who run our country and are systematically destroying it.

You are currently working on a new album. Tell us a bit about it.

Yeah we’ve been working on it. Like I said earlier, we’re going to be playing a few of these on the tour so they get some stage time. It’s important for us to play the songs out a bit on stage before we record them so that we understand every nuance of the song. Also it’s the only time you can really gauge the dynamics that exist in the song as the audience adds an energy that can really propel the song to the next level.

How does it compare sound wise to Maby Baking?

Well we haven’t started recording anything yet so it’s too early to compare and like I said earlier, we need to play these songs on stage a bit before I can define their sound as such. However, from a songwriting perspective I can say these songs are more straight ahead rock n roll tracks and as a band we’ve tried to treat them in that fashion.

Do you have any tentative release date for the album?

We’re hoping to get everything done by March next year.

Any final words?

Yeah we’ve released an ep in support of the tour. “We Are, We are” from Maby Baking has been totally remixed by our producer Miti Adhikari and all I can say is that a lot of people will be totally shocked when they hear what he’s done with it. It’s pretty amazing, even I was shocked haha. We have also released the second song that we worked out as a band, and even though it’s just a demo and we stopped playing that song six years back, it’s something for people to have till the second album comes out. There is also a song called Mundane Sunday which were putting on the same ep as well as a hidden track of sorts. You can find the ep on NH7.

Written by trendcrusher

August 12, 2012 at 1:50 pm


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Nh7 organized one of the best gigs I have been to this year, Nh7 weekender announcer party. What made the gigs special was that it was the first at Razzberry Rhine in 4 years.

I have great memories of attending gigs at Razz 5-6 years ago – Making friends with people I fought with on message boards/forums, hanging out in the parking lot and doing a lot of things that cannot be mentioned here.

The first day was a jam session curated by Warren mendonsa (Zero, Blackstratblues). The highlights of the set for me were Vishwesh (Scribe) covering Limp Bizkit “Break Stuff” and Sid Basrur covering Zero”Psp 12″. Prior to the start of the gig, a documentary of the Nh7 weekender 2010 was screened. I missed the screening as I was catching up with friends, one who came from Chandigarh for the gig.

The second day had a brootal line up – Godess Gagged, Demonic Resurrection, Bhayanak Maut and Scribe. I reached late and missed the set by Godess Gagged. Demonic Resurrection played a few songs from “A Darkness Descends”, the album which was released at Razz in 2005. Bhayanak Maut got the moshpits going with songs from their latest release “Metasis”. Scribe brought the night to an end with their set of “Bollywood-core”.

It was a great 2 days. I woke up the next morning with a  strained knee and bruises on my arms, its been a while since I was in the moshpit.

I heard that there might be a another gig at Razz this month, really looking forward to it.

Written by trendcrusher

August 29, 2011 at 11:33 am

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