IndiEarth At The Park: Mayhem On The Dance Floor
“It was a very enthusiastic crowd, a pretty intimate space but it might have gotten a little rowdy – when I stepped off the stage I also noticed it was broken.”
When a night ends with a broken stage, you know it was a good night. This past Saturday night celebrated the re-launch of IndiEarth At The Park – IndiEarth’s monthly independent gig series – and needless to say, things got a little surreal.
“When I spoke with IndiEarth, they said they wanted to expose people in Chennai to something new and fresh, to what’s going on outside of Chennai –and that’s what I like to do most!” said DJ Su Real after his heart thumping, sweat inducing, body convulsing set at the Leather Bar. “I played a mix of old school hip hop with modern club hip hop hits as well as sub-genres like twerk and trap, and there was a long period that night where I played a lot of dancehall.” The floor lapped it up and things started to get wild – hence the eventual stage breakage. “I was pleasantly surprised that 2 – 3 weeks leading up to the IndiEarth gig in Chennai, one of my SoundCloud tracks Aatankwadi was getting a lot of hits!” he continued, “and I had a lot of people coming up before my set asking me if I was going to play the track. Right now I’m producing a lot of stuff between 100 and 110 BPM – a lot of twerk and moombahton with a lot of Desi flavours – a big mash up.”
Aqua on the terrace of The Park Chennai set the tone for a very different scene – featuring the worlds of Nicholson and Fuzzy Logic coming together in celestial sonic symphony. “My sister played piano, and so I sort of just started playing by ear as a kid,” begins a soft spoken Nicholson. “There was always a lot of music being played around the house too by virtue of the fact that my dad’s a music fanatic. So that’s how I got into it – post which I had a few wonderful piano teachers who were very patient with me. I was a pretty bad student; didn’t really want to conform. I realise now that it meant I wanted to write my own stuff and not learn other material.”
Fuzzy Logic aka Arfaaz Kagalwala’s musical influences lean towards the more house / techno side of the sound spectrum. “I’m into this housey garage kind of space influenced by German house and techno sounds,” begins Arfaaz. “I use a bunch of analogue synthesizers from the KORG Volca series – the Volca Beats, Bass and Keys – so all the sounds are live and analog in that sense, nothing digital or pre produced.”
Though the two musicians come from rather different artistic territory, instead of separating themselves by drawing borders between genres, they choose instead to find common ground between their two approaches to sound. “The way our collaboration came about was pretty cool, I was homeless for a little bit,” Arfaaz recounts, “and we started hashing out some ideas at Sohrab’s place, playing around, jamming, and people would come over and they really liked it – we jammed quite a bit at home. Our collaboration is about bringing Nicholson’s melodic jazz music space into my dance music beats space. For me, I play Fuzzy solo and it gets lonely sometimes, so it’s nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of and play live with.”
“Our tastes are quite similar – at least when it comes to dance music, so it’s an easy fit,” agrees Sohrab. “I think we both gravitate towards lush pretty sounds – it helps that we’re good friends too which makes it a lot of fun to collaborate.” With a UK tour in store this May, this young artist has quite a lot to look forward to. “Wild City has given us an amazing opportunity to showcase our work at the Great Escape Festival as well as the South Bank Centre in London. It’s pretty exciting to be able to play abroad so soon. It’s also a bit nerve-wracking!”
Check out the photographs from the night here, and stay tuned to this space for the announcement of next month’s performing artists.
All images: Shravya Kag