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Posts Tagged ‘post rock

aswekeepsearching

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aswekeepsearching are no strangers to this blog. I interviewed them in 2015 after the release of their debut album, Khwaab. Last month, they released their second album Zia. The album is a unique take on post rock and is unlike anything I have heard before.

Read my interview with frontman Uddipan Sarmah on Nine Circles

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May 17, 2017 at 10:05 pm

Aswekeepsearching Interview

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Post rock has been growing in India over the last few years. In the past 3 years there have been releases from bands like The Eternal Twilight, Kaav, Until we Last and others. Polish post rock act Tides from Nebula and Russian electropost rock band I Am Waiting For You Last Summer toured India. Festival organisers have taken notice of this new movement, this year Scottish post rock band Mogwai and American post rock act Explosions in the Sky will be headlining festivals later this year.

Earlier this week, I came across Aswekeepsearching and was really impressed by their single ‘What if_?’. I spoke to Uddipan Sarmah (Vocals/Guitars) about their album Khwaab, their tour of Russia and other plans for the rest of the year.

AWKS

Gautam Deb (Drums) , Shawn Gurung(guitars/keyboards), Uddipan Sarmah (Vocals/Guitars) and Bob Alex (Bass) (from left to right)

There are not many bands from Ahmedabad and Gujarat. How did you start out?

Uddipan: Just like how every band starts.  Me and shubham wanted to record some music and while doing it, our friend did the drums and so it shaped up to a studio project. From there, it was all our determination to get out of the city, play to new people and spread our music. That led us here.

How did you’ll get into post rock?

Uddipan: Let me not talk about a genre. I would say, music like post rock was always there from quite sometime in our lives. It’s just that we recorded it late. Also, me and shubham has been working on different projects, but this kind of music got us to connect more. In short, we realized, we love emotional stuff.

I am influenced by lot of post rock bands and to name a few would be God Is An Astronaut, Caspian, This Will Destroy You, Mogwai, Mono, Maybeshewill. I would say, as a genre, post rock to me came from these bands. It’s not a very commercial genre yet, its still underground. And I am happy of the fact that in India, people have started talking about it.

You are one of the few “indie” bands that sing in Hindi. What is the reason behind it?

Uddipan: I am sure there are lot of indie bands who sings in hindi. In fact, we have very minimal vocals on our songs. There is no planned reason behind us doing hindi vocals. We wanted to stay true. And while writing music, we felt more connected with hindi lyrics and alaps. Also, I have been singing in hindi for sometime and that helped me to write some words for aswekeepsearching. Also, now after 2 years with the band, I realize we made the right choice, as singing in Hindi has got us doing something new. Rather it helped us to stand out of many indie bands.

Your debut album Khwaab is out tomorrow. Tell us a bit about your album.

Uddipan: Khwaab, as the name says, is like a dream to us. Starting from a place like Ahmedabad, where you have no scene, no venue, no festivals happening, working hard day & night and finding a way to come out of the city, travel my bus, train, save money to perform at a different city, come back home only with empty pockets, yet keep doing it to reach a place where we are now, all like a dream. I know the world is not over and we have a long way to go, but it feels good to look back and realize from where we started 2 years back. The album is dedicated to everything that has happened in our journey until now.

What was the recording process for the album?

Uddipan: We have been writing the songs from more than a year now. Constantly analysing and re writing parts while performing them live. It took some time for the songs to get matured and give us the confidence to hit the studio to record. But finally on Aug 9th  2015 we started tracking the album. For the 1st time, we had a deadline to complete the album as we were getting signed to a label and they wanted files in time. So yeah, we had to prepare ourselves, plan things well and make sure the we do things when we are supposed to do. Recording started with Drums and Bass recorded together at That Studio, Sion, Mumbai. It was in presence of some experienced guys & actually we were a bit nervous initially, which later vanished on their extended help and support. Rahul Hariharan (Bhayanak Maut) let us use his snares and also got one floor tom on rent for us. Abhishek Kamdar (Devoid) let is record Bass with one extra signal via his pedalboard, which definitely added the required texture in the sound. Anupam roy, to set up everything, Adhiraj Sing to track and patiently bare our mistakes. Lol. It was a great experience.

After that we tracked guitars. As we are not a band with good gear, so we had to ask for favors and we are so lucky to have some amazing friends around. I went to Siddharth Basrur’s house and tracked my guitars, as i wanted to use a fender for the clean tones. Later in Ahmedabad i borrowed a friends Epiphone & Gibson to complete the dirty parts. Vocals were tracked at my studio, Bluetree Studios in ahmedabad. We have added 3 songs from our EP as we think its important for those songs to be in the album considering the change in our sound and the way the band has evolved.

All files were sent to Adhiraj at Refractor Studios, Pune for post production. What followed next was sleepless nights, constant review of mixes and exchanging edit mails. It was a super 60 days. And yes, we completed everything in time,

 

How does Khwaab compare to your EP, Growing Suspicious?Khwaab

Uddipan: Its completely different from our Ep. Though we have the same emotions like that in Growing Suspicions, but the emotions have gone a little aggressive. We as a band have evolved with our sound and songwriting, I won’t talk much about it and leave it completely to the listeners to figure out and see how they can connect to the new sound.

The album is being released by Russian label Flowers Blossom in the Space. How did the deal come about?

Uddipan: I have been in conversation with the CEO of the label from 2014. Sharing our old music and also scratches from the album.  We have been planning things and waiting for the right moment to release the news. And I guess it is happening at the best time when we are releasing a full length album. Our meetings were on facebook and emails, to figure out things and plan ahead on how the band will grow. Yeah, that’s it, nothing fancy.

 

You are heading on a five show tour of Russia this week. How did it come about?

Uddipan: So we are releasing the album under the label Flower Blossom In The Space, which is from Russia. They are also a booking agency and have been doing lot of big instrumental, neo classical events worldwide. I have been in conversation with their CEO form quite a long time now, right after release of our EP Growing Suspicions. We have looked on the possibility of expanding aswekeepsearching’s reach and try to push the band as much as possible. The label has booked us for a tour on the album release. We will be going to Russia for 12 days and will be playing 5 shows. We will be supporting I Am Waiting For You Last Summer on their Album launch tour on 4 shows. All details in the poster attached.

What are your plans for the rest of the year? More tours?

Uddipan: We like being on roads. We are working on Indian dates, or it must been out by now. November we tour in India, then shoot our music video. December we might play couple of festivals. And then 2016 is in the planning. New music on the go always.

Listen to ‘What if_?’ below and pick up a copy of Khwaab from here

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October 14, 2015 at 10:00 am

Introducing: Deadstar

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image

Who: Deadstar is the instrumental project of Nihal Anand.

Where: Bangalore, India

What:  Last month, Deadstar released his debut album “In Between Dreams“. “Well its quite varied for the different songs on the album. A lot of the mood is based on travel and places I was lucky enough to see during the time I was writing the album.” said Nihal about the album. “Other songs are based off of TV shows, other bands, people that I know well and people I’ve never met. So it’s basically anything that really pushed me to feel something over the last 4 months. I think most of the songs are quite happy on the surface, but they all make me a tiny bit sad, so I think that’s the perfect vibe for this album.”

How:  “I’ve been writing songs for the album since May this year so its been about 3 months of writing, I usually finish writing/recording a song in a day so its still fresh, so I guess its 10 days of those 3 months that I actively spent writing songs.” said Nihal about how he went about writing the album. “A lot of times I didn’t feel like I could come up with anything nice if I forced it so I just picked up the guitar when I felt like. I probably spent more time travelling and collecting ideas in those months. Since I play and record alone, the songwriting process is completely linked to the recording. I’ll start off recording the riffs I have in mind, then add in second guitar and whatever drums I have in mind and from there it just keeps going. I rarely I have complete songs written when I start recording, because I need to know how all the parts sound together.”

“So that way, the actual recording was about 10 days and then I sat and obsessively mixed it for a few weeks, adding in keys, electronic bits and field recordings.” said Nihal about the recording process. “I do everything at home on my own, I recently bought this really nice Focusrite sound card and since I have an amp simulator I can record at any time, but it’s usually in the wee hours of the morning.”

Listen to “In Between Dreams” below

 

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September 28, 2015 at 10:00 am

Tides from Nebula Interview

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In 2009; I lived in Wroclaw, Poland. During the first month living there, I attended a music festival called Asymmetry. Some of the bands playing on that day were This Will Destroy You, Minsk, Blindead and also a new Polish band called Tides from Nebula. The band won a competition to play the gig and put on an impressive set. I really enjoyed their set and bought a copy of their album “Aura” which released a couple months earlier. The next year, 2010 I watched them live at the Knock Out Festival in Krakow. Since moving back to India, I have kept up with Tides from Nebula through their Facebook page and noticed that they have been touring a lot across Europe. Earlier this month, they announced a tour of India. I spoke to their guitarist Maciej Karbowski about the tour, their latest release “Live sessions” and more.

by Irn Bru

Band Photo by Irn Bru

 

“Feels awesome man! We never toured Asia before, it feels so unrealistic.” said an excited Maciej about their tour put together by promoter Karan Mehta (Outrage Festival).“I am waiting for the moment of leaving the plane, probably then I’m gonna realize that it’s really happening.”

“Everyone of us been looking for other guys who would be keen to play more atmospheric rock music, more space and ambience in it.” said Maciej about how the band started. “We asked some friends for help and in January 2008 we formed Tides From Nebula. Of course we had some bands before, years of experience, without it we would still suck probably.” The other members in the band are Adam Waleszyński (guitar), Przemek Węgłowski (bass) and Tomasz Stołowski (drums).

Poland is a country known for its death metal and black metal bands. However in the past 5 years, Tides from Nebula have reached the apex of the post rock scene in Europe. “It was not a conscious decision, it just happened.” Maciej explains how they decided to play post rock. “We met, started playing and it sounded like our first album, just like that. Our roots are rather heavy rock/metal, so thats why we focus on heavy rhythm section, essential for us.”

Last month, Tides from Nebula independently released a live album “Live Sessions”. “Before our spring tour we thought that maybe it’s a good idea to record something live in the studio.” said Maciej about the reason behind recording a live album. “We love that kind of recordings, they show bands real live sound. We do own our own recording studio, so it was quite easy to do, we were rehearsing for a tour anyway, just setup a couple of mics, asked our friends to film it, and it’s here.”

Last year, the band released their third album “Eternal Movement“. “It is basically our most positive sounding record I think. There are actually SONGS on it.” Maciej describes the album. “I kinda love it even more one year after releasing, love to play these tunes live.”

After their India shows, the band will heading back to Europe for a tour with After The Burial, Monuments and Dead Letter Circus in October. Post that they will be headlining 12 shows across Poland in November and then 5 to 8 shows in Europe before the end of the year. A hectic few months for the band. Tides from Nebula are also currently booking a tour with sleepmakeswaves and Skyharbor for March next year, which I am sure is going to be awesome.

When asked what to expect from their live performances, Maciej said “We don’t know what to expect showise, hopefully some people will attend. From our side, we will rocks your socks off, at least we will try to.”

Catch the Tides from Nebula at the following dates:

Tides From Nebula India Tour Poster

Here is my favourite song by Tides from Nebula “Tragedy of Joseph Merrick

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September 23, 2014 at 12:17 am

Until We Last Interview

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Until we Last  are a post rock band from Bangalore. I first heard about them when I interviewed Noor from The Eternal Twilight. The band were also featured in my last post “Now Playing – August 2014” where I described their “Earthgazing” EP as “A short release of just 4 songs, I was left wanting for more’; looking forward to a full length released from them soon.”

I spoke to guitarist Ketan Bahirat about the EP, post rock in India and also their plans for rest of the year.

Until We Last

Band Photo by Myriad Hues

“I started the band as a studio project back in 2011, the current line up (Ralston D’souza on drums, Chaithanya Jade on guitars and Paul Dharamraj on bass) came together around March 2013, and we’ve been jamming ever since.”

The band released their first EP “Earthgazing” a couple of weeks ago to rave reviews from the websites like Rock Street Journal, MTV Indies and also newspapers like The Hindu. “Earthgazing is a sound we’ve been working on together as a band for over 8 months.” Ketan describing their EP. “The concept of the EP revolves around the moment or time frame that humans are going through between Creation and Destruction”.

“The songs were written probably back in July last year, apart from Water and To Space and Back (which we’ve re-recorded for this EP, I’d launched them as singles previously).” “We started recording it back in December with Rahul Ranganath (guitarist of The Bicycle Days) who engineered it and later we sent it to Keshav Dhar (Skyharbor) for mixing. It was quite a process and we learnt a lot from the whole experience. The EP was mastered at AIR Studios, London. The process took just above 8 months. We wanted to get it sounding as good as we possibly could.”

In the past couple of years, there has been a surge in post-rock bands across India. “I honestly don’t see many other bands playing genuine post-rock.”  “There are bands influenced by it, surely. I got into post-rock 5-6 years ago. In fact, only after getting into ambient music, with the likes of Sigur Ros, Hammock, etc.”

After playing gigs in Pune and Bangalore in support of their EP release, Ketan says “We plan on taking this EP out on tour, playing as many shows around the country as possible. Hopefully we can launch more material as well as start recording our full length!” The next show for the band will be in Mumbai, they are part of the line-up for Control ALT Delete 6 on 14th September. Follow their Facebook page for more show updates.

Listen to “Earthgazing” below

 

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September 5, 2014 at 12:45 am

Interview with The Eternal Twilight

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The Eternal Twilight is cross continental studio band made up of Noor, Abbas, Quinn and Christian. Last year they released their debut album, “Everything Resembles You” and an EP titled “Another Quiet Day“. They describe their sound as “First Tea/Coffee of the day with a cigarette on a shiny sunday morning amidst the high mountains while waiting for nothing but memories to come”. They released a new single, “The Landscape is not same without you” yesterday.

Find out more about their new single, how the band got together and also their plans for the rest of the year in my interview with Noor below

Hi Noor, Congrats on the release of your new release “The Landscape is not same without you”. Can you tell us a bit about it?

Noor: Thanks! Well, this release is meant to be something a lot more personal (as you can guess from name). “This Landscape is Not the Same Without You” refers to this feeling you get when things change. I guess just like a beautiful landscape where you spent some memorable time with someone and that someone may no longer be there with you today. And that same place just doesn’t feel same now.

Was the songwriting and recording process this time different from your previous releases?

Noor: Not entirely. However, track ‘Lasting Moment and Embrace’ is quite different than most of our previous tracks. Its more experimental, minimal and sort of carries glitchy/electroacoustic feel to it. Both tracks are somewhat improvisational.

You released you debut album, “Everything Resembles You” in May last year. Tell us a bit about it. How was the response to the album?

Noor: Everything Resembles You is basically collection of songs we composed over two years(2009-2011). Response has been quite amazing. We were interviewed by MTVDesi. One of the tracks “Sky Is No More A Friend” was also featured on Ramen Music’s latest issue. Even today, I feel quite stunned when I open our last.fm page and see there are 1000 listeners and we are approaching 20k scrobbles. I think its a huge achievement for a small project like us.

“Everything Resembles You” had a limited edition release through Oxide Tones, a German post rock label. How did the deal come about?

Noor: Well, we first released the album via bandcamp for free. We were looking for a label to release even before putting it out for free download. But we didn’t fit into some and few didn’t bother replying. Oxide Tones was the last label I thought about emailing. And gladly, Adam(Oxide Tones) replied saying he liked our music and will be interested in releasing. That’s how it went on. It has been amazing journey so far. If you don’t know, Oxide Tones started functioning as a label in 2011. Its really mind boggling to find yourself among some of the known artists of the scene such as The Echelon Effect, Canyons of Static, Mooncake and so on. We also contributed a remix to “The Circle Project” which was curated by oxide tones.

Tell us a bit about it about the EP “Another Quiet Day” that was also released last year.

Noor: Another Quiet Day was more conceptual and cohesive release . Concept was about being in nature/outdoors. I just had this idea that I want to capture feelings of being in outdoors/nature in different time of the day. That’s why you also see tracks named “quiet morning” , “quiet afternoon” and so on. Also, Another Quiet Day we used a lot more guitar layers/textures than our previous release. Apart from that, we also released “Under the Starlit Sky” which was collaboration with this great band “The Sound of Rescue”.

Will Faulkner has produced videos to accompany the songs on “Another Quiet Day”. How did that come about?

Noor: Will is a visual artist from UK. He liked us on TET Facebook Page. I am also interested in photography. And so I checked his page out of curiosity. I loved photos he put on his page. At around same time, we were working on Another Quiet Day. So this idea struck and I asked him if he will be interested in making video for us. He agreed wholeheartedly. I really think visuals capture and enhance the essence of what you want to achieve. It adds another dimension of effectiveness to your work.

Abbas and You started Eternal Twilight in 2010. Tell us a bit about the beginnings.

Noor: In the beginning, we were sounding worse than we currently are haha. We also thought of this name “Eternal Light of Yours” But later changed to TET. Back then, I knew Abbas since a couple of months. We also released a split (Bleak Emptiness and Abyssed) at that time. There was hardly any project in sub-continent playing ambient etc inspired music. So we thought about starting this project. And yeah, here we are…

How did Quinn and Christian become part of the line up?

Noor: I made this sort of video for Quinn’s My Cats A Stargazer. I was in touch with Quinn for a bit. Abbas got busy with studies etc while the album was yet to be finished. I was looking for a guitarist to add some clean guitars on one of the tracks I composed. I asked Quinn to jam and he did brilliant job. After that, I think it was natural to be associated with the project. Christian’s another hell of a guitarist. I came across Christian from youtube. We just had a small talk about our love for Hammock. I sent some of the music I was working on to Christian. And even without asking, he added few beautiful lead guitars. And that’s how we became project mates. Even with lot of difficulties we face, we still enjoy working this way. Specially working on remixes (The Mountaineering club orchestra’s Mallory and The Echelon Effect’s What Makes Us So Uncommon) together is hell lot of fun.

What are you plans for the rest of 2012?

Noor: 2012 may turn out to be a little bleak. I may be shifting to Pune for higher studies and lot of things are changing around us day by day. Only thing we are aiming at the moment is to finish our split with Aurora Borealis. We have our second full length “A Beautiful Departure” to work upon. But We aren’t going fast. We will take our time to deliver the best we can.

Final Words.

Noor: Thanks for this opportunity. Lots of love to anyone who cared to check our music. Its really wonderful to see lot of Indian fans listening to ambient/post-rock etc these days. Nowadays, we also have awesome artists like Until We Last and Nitin Garg coming from our own India.

Listen/Download “This landscape is not the same without youhere