The Score Magazine April - May Issue

Page 1

ISSN 0974 – 9128

Vol 04 Issue 02 April -­‐ May 2011

` 50/-­‐

www.highonscore.com

YOUR ONE STOP GUIDE TO ALL THINGS MUSIC

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Score’s Top Ad Jingles

PENTAGRAM Bloodywood

17 years of Accumulated Determination

ESCHER’S KNOT HMI’s

V.Selvaganesh Carnatic pro On why Fusion is the next big thing!

First Metal Band of the Month

Anil Srinivasan and Sikkil Gurucharan “Fusion is a term best left to scientists”

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the edit PAD Editor-in-Chief Nikila Srinivasan

Asscociate Editor Shirin Albert

Creatives Director George Vedamanickam

Strategy and Planning Ajay Prabhakar

Operations and Marketing Pragash VM

Production Fayaz Mohammed

Creative Co-ordinator Paul George Vedanayagam

Content Manager Tara Rachel Thomas

Executive Advisor Siddharth Vipin

Content Advisor Solomon Porres

Photography S Srirama Santhosh Pretika Menon Madesh Varun Sikka Paul George Vedanayagam

Illustrations and Creatives Francis Xavier

W

e thank all of you for staying with us as we finish our 3rd year in running. We keep our anniversaries a secret, and only those who read our editorials ever get to know about them. It’s part of the tradition we want to create. We deliberately want to focus on the things that we think matter. We feel it certainly does not matter that we have accumulated 3 years to get to our many achievements; it’s the achievements themselves that give us great pride. When we started of this year, we spoke of a new destination in unchartered waters. We spoke of creating markets that didn’t exist. We spoke of being pioneers and pirates. In our cover this month, we carry Pentagram who epitomize all these values we speak of. We are very proud to feature them and we are grateful for their immense contribution to the scene. Our editorial team has done a wonderful job to make this magazine truly National. We paid close attention to all the feedback we were getting. A lot of our readers wrote back to us, telling us that we were considerably South Indian in our outlook. I truly believe we have come closer to overcoming this with this issue. Keep those feedbacks coming! As we continue on our path to creating a music media company that promotes non-mainstream music along with several other genres, we appeal for greater cooperation between various people who form vital pegs in this very small community. We need collaborations that extend beyond commercials or deliverable. We need collaborations that truly help us pool resources to vitalize the diminishing market and take music across to thousands if not millions. If we don’t, our patrons and sponsors will see us as disorganized, unpopular and arrogant and we run the risk of being treated with skepticism. To put things in perspective, after nearly 2 decades of existence, almost no one can earn a full-time living doing music unless they do classical or films. If we don’t act now, we risk loosing all that we have spent countless night mulling over. As we look forward to our Fourth year, I have more affirmation that we will achieve everything we set out to become. We welcome you to join our revolution.

AJAY PRABHAKAR Director, The Score Magazine

Marketing Executive Sneha Ramesh

Studio Partner

brand partners “The Score Magazine” is wholly owned and published by

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PRESENTS

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ONE NIGHT OF SALVATION 24 Our account of the Pain Of salvation gig with frontman Daniel Gildenlow that left us all awestruck!

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PENTAGRAM

The rebels are back with Bloodywood - “It’s a lot more ballsy, gutsy and definitely a lot more bloody.”

FIRST LADY

18 OF EDM

If EDM is the oyster, we found the pearl! DJ Pearl makes her mark with her recent album - The Pearl Compilation.

HMI’S

32 BAND OF THE MONTH

Escher’s Knot are Score’s First Metal Band of the month. By dedicating their professional lives to the Metal scene, will they get their due?

THE

40 HELLBORG THEORY

A Score exclusive with Internationally renowned artist, Jonas Hellborg, who seems to have all the right answers.


I NSIDE

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SCRIBONOMICS

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With the success of their last album “Mark of Teja”, the pav bhaji-loving band Scribe has grown to be a phenomenon. We guarantee entertainment with these fellas!

Score’s Top

SRI KUMARAN STORES ARTISTE OF THE MONTH

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Ad Jingles Page: 22

Catch our next daring diva Subhiksha Ranagrajan as she makes waves with her breathtaking vocals and flirty outfits.

TYLER WARD

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He is cute, talented and a Youtube sensation! Find out why his fans adore him.

THOSE TEN THINGS

TWO’S COMPANY

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20

Introducing Aditi Singh Sharma. The fresh new face in B-town.

GETTING TO KNOW SELVAGANESH

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Subtle and sweet are the two things that came to our mind with our next double take couple - Betty and Neil Mukherjee!

The percussion maestro tells us how he relates to music, his observations, interests and his encounter with Michael Jackson!

QUIRKS ‘N QUERIES

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ANGELS FROM THE NORTH-EAST

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He’s “chiq”, loves his rock and has long silky hair. We caught up with the very interesting Arjun Dhanraj.

THE GRAMMYS 2011

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A recap of the Grammys this year - the good, the bad, the confusion.

Shillong Chamber Choir was recently in Chennai and blew us away with their performance. Catch our Exclusive interview with the choir and conductor.


When we talk about Pentagram, we talk about the vanguards to an impending revolution. They are misfits, rebels and standouts. In India, where music innovation is controlled by Bollywood market forces, this band is screaming out to set a precedent.

PENTA TV Penta T V is one of the band’s latest additions to their website. Shiraz felt that with the Internet playing a major role in everyday life, it would allow fans to experience what the band goes through -‐ from gearing up for concerts that have gotten cancelled last minute, creating albums, to shoots and regular guy talks. Randolph added, “We were all exposed! It got deeper and deeper into each others stupidities.“

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ASWATH NAIR & AJAY PRABHAKAR

P

entagram has managed to stay at the top of the Indie Scene in India, spearheading this niche market and continuing to set precedents; the latest of which is their album, Bloodywood. Their tone carries both unmistakable frustration and determination. The acerbity of the situation demands nothing less. I was part of the euphoric crowd that gathered to watch Pentagram live at the Invasion Fest earlier this year. The most significant aspect of this show was that the crowd knew all their songs, sang along with them and egged them on to insanity. What brought about this meteoric rise of Pentagram that gets them recognition comparable to International music stars is an incredible study. It was not accidental; it took 17 years no less.

AGAINST ALL ODDS In India, when we talk about mainstream, it is a direct reference to film music. It is the easiest to make, market and make a living off of. There has always been a relatively popular parallel industry for Indie-pop, Hindi-Rock and original fusion music that continue to thrive and have massive patronage . However, the demand for English rock by Indians is painfully limited, and in the last 21 years where we have seen an amazing outburst of non-Bollywood music in India, this segment has been left way behind.

It is a pervasive notion that English Indian musicians will neither make it nor will their music ever become mainstream. Needless to say, Pentagram suspended this disbelief long ago. They tout Bloodywood as an expression of their outrage against such discrimination and rightly so. Pentagram comprising of Vocalist Vishal Dadlani, Guitarist Randolph Correia, Bass Guitarist Papal Mane and Drummer Shiraz Bhattacharya have a long road ahead of them yet. But let us see where they come from.

THE PATH TO BLOODYNESS The early ‘90s saw an explosion for original non-film music in India. Propelled by MTV and Channel V, it set the perfect incubation and platform for dozens of musicians. Not surprising then that many bands like Colonial Cousins, Euphoria and Parikrama were all formed at this time and achieved insane mass popularity simultaneously. With all the buzz that surrounded them, Vishal and Shiraz set out to make their

fame. Randolph and Papal joined them subsequently to give Pentagram its final shape. Pentagram was always clear with its goals. “Even in college we made it a point to come up with our original tracks,” says Shiraz. It was not easy and the demand was incredible for cover bands. The original acts did not pay too well. Infact, very often Pentagram went on to play original tracks when asked to play covers and when questioned used to claim it was a relatively unknown song of various popular bands. The strategy worked, the hapless and uninformed organizers bought the story and Pentagram got what they wanted - popularity for their originals. 1996 was the watershed year for Pentagram. When we spoke to Randolph, he reminisced with fondness about their tumultuous past. “In 1996, we had won all IIT fests and got a record deal to do an MTV video. That was when we thought ‘Alright this is gonna work!’ We were very conscious about making our own music which had to be of certain standards and were left with no choice except to use that as our only weapon.”

Photography: Varun Sikka

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We Are Not Listening was the band’s first album. It was a statement in title, and it was equally impactful. It was listed by Rhythm House as India’s fastest selling Rock album. With all this momentum, they went to make their second album Up. It showed an evolution into a more definitive electro-rock sound, a trademark of theirs at that particular point. Finally, it was their third album It’s OK, It’s all Good that propelled them into mainstay. With that along with their success at the Glastonbury Festival, Pentagram etched itself permanently into the music conscience of thousands.

BOMBAY TALK Bloodywood, their latest album, brought with it a lot of well-justified speculation on its theme and intent. This 14-track album is the fierce sound of a quartet that represents a national counter-expression. “Our main inspiration comes from the city we live in.” points out Randolph. He goes on to add “Bollywood is synonymous with the city; you just can’t avoid it. All our tracks have personal stories”. The theme of the album bears the definitive and dark overtones of the frustrations and the ambitions of the band. Says Randolph, “We are sick of all the negative attention, media propagation and politics and thought it time to make our tribute. Even with the terrorist blasts in 2009, we wanted to pay tribute to all the unsung heroes, people who did not get their due for their bravery, the underbelly. It’s more bloody gutsy, ballsy. Not at all entertaining or glam.”

INDIE MUSIC SCENE - THE UNSEEN MOVEMENT In our interview with him, Vishal summed up the indie movement, “There is a vibrant visceral underground scene which is growing substantially over the year and the world is taking notice of that. Indie Music is the antidote to the mainstream. It is all about personal expression. If everybody did their own thing, we would not be questioning ourselves. And the more we stick to our work, the more we

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inspire the next generation to follow suite regardless of the bad pay. Individuality should never be tampered with. Indie music is a personal statement.” Randolph added to this saying “As far as it being niche, well, we had nothing to do with this ‘scene’. Some Rock ‘n’ Roll fans loved us and our fan base has grown over the years. The scene just turned out bigger and newer. Our fans follow the same principles and philosophies as us. They relate to us and our music. Good music transcends boundaries and hurdles. That is why they come to us and we propagate these ideals for them.” But these ideals are evidently not idealistic and there are always fine lines to draw. Vishal himself derives a considerable income from the Bollywood film industry, which he has discredited quite vehemently with this album. It is an industry, where one cannot work with such stubborn insistence on originality. After all, it is the movies box office success that takes precedence over everything else. Vishal sums up this strange marriage in a very terse statement, “Pentagram is who I am, the rest of it is what I do”. We cannot blame him. After-all, are we not all culpable of falling prey to our survival instincts rather than following our fanciful ideals?

DREAMS MADE EASIER A decade ago, dreams of pursuing the fine arts or music as main job would not have been possible mostly because of financial constraints. Vishal, who is painfully aware of all this went on to create OML, Only Much Louder, an independent media company, along with partner Vijay Nair. In it’s spirit of independence, OML went on to create its own record label, Counter Culture Records, which true to the name, releases albums of independent artists, genre no bar. “It was basically a management company. I’ve backed out of it now. There were a bunch of companies under it. But it was specifically created for managing Pentagram. There are a bunch of companies affiliated to it ranging from film making to management to events and

fests like the recent NH7 fest.” says Vishal.

BUT FINALLY, THE FUTURE IS NOT SET IN STONE Though we applaud the significant effort of Pentagram and OML, there are significant challenges that lie ahead of them. There are many avenues opening up today, we can see a definitive change happening. However, the segment is still very niche and the most commitment people are willing to give is to take this up as a serious part-time job. Pentagram themselves are an example of this; all the four musicians have day jobs and other music projects running in tandem. Shiraz pointed out that most of the talented singers from the country end up in mainstream Bollwood leaving very little for the scene. “ The most natural thing to do is join playback singing. They join the ranks of Aamir and Shahrukh and you really cannot mess with the industry. It is too huge! So there is hardly any independent scene left, or rather, the attention paid towards it is limited. The music is for the movies and not for themselves.”

SO, WHERE DO WE GO NOW? There are many disconnected and disconcerted efforts to revolutionize everything about the indie scene. However, the scenario is not relegated to this segment alone. Indie - pop and Hindi rock have suffered similar fate of late, and there is a definite threat that non-film music is going to pass into obscurity. There are several markets like Bangalore where the audience for all this is above and beyond the national average. But this is an insignificant number to make any significant impact on viability. To make this segment truly successful, we have a strong need for a better eco-system with venerable venues, focused media efforts and committed full-time bands that can sustain themselves. What we are seeing with Pentagram and OML is a pre-emptive albeit guarded effort to test unchartered territories. We look forward to their success.


PAPAL MANE

RANDOLPH CORREIA

SHIRAZ BHATTACHARYA

VISHAL DADLANI

WHAT WOULD I CHANGE ABOUT “SHEILA KI JAWANI”?

WHAT WOULD I CHANGE ABOUT “SHEILA KI JAWANI”?

WHAT WOULD I CHANGE ABOUT “SHEILA KI JAWANI”?

Could not ask about “Sheila ki Jiwani” since he composed it!

He could not think of anything because he generally does not think in that direction (Bollywood that is).

I’ll change the lyrics, all the damn sounds. Man I’ll change everything! And I would change the name to Roxanne.

The track is damn hot! Katrina Kaif is hot! Drink four large whiskeys and see what happens!

PAPAL - That was his nickname since he was a kid. It stuck throughout college as well. Did you know that Papal is obsessed with tea too!

SHAA’IR AND FUNK - Randolph is also part of the popular Alterna-‐ tive Electronica band, “Shaa’ir and Funk”. On asking how he manages to do both he says, “It does not matter. I am more than happy to make music especially when I get along very well with the people I work with. “

SHKABANG! - Being in different bands is not a problem as long as it does not overlap. I love getting on stage and having fun. With Shkabang! (featuring Anoush-‐ ka) we are still trying to figure out our sound -‐ something more than dance mode. But we will still perform in English since we write in that language.”

THE BEST JOKE EVER - “A sardar guy (no offence to them), walks up to us and wanted to to take a picture. We all got ready to pose but then he suddenly realized that he did not have a cam. It was hilarious. We could not stop laughing about it the entire day! INSPIRATIONS - Michael Jack-‐ son when growing up but then later on, when I got to college, I came across Metallica’s Ride the Lightening. After listening to that I was like ‘Boss ye Kya Hai!’ It was awesome! I am completely obsessed with them!

HIS WORLD - Randolph loves meeting new musicians. He does not read the newpapers or watch T V and lives purely on music. He was once a shredder too! “I wasn’t much of a solo person so I gave up and stated making good music.” INSPIRATIONS - James Brown, The Police, Michael Jackson, Soundgarden, Pantera, RHCP and Dubstep music.

BEST FAN - We had this mad gig in Madras Christian College in Chennai. After five years, this guy walks up to us with a crooked neck. Apparently, he jumped off the stage at the show but nobody caught him. So his neck is screwed permanent-‐ ly. That was quite mad! INSPIRATIONS - Geeta Dutt, Kishore Kumar, Deep Purple, Sting and The Black Eyed Peas!

Photography: Kunal Kakodkar

THE ACT - While performing in Delhi at a college, Vishal fell of the ramp since he was blinded by huge strobe lights. “I hit a concrete floor and my face was swollen. I was breathless and we had to call the doctor. Was quite terrible. (Randolph calls this “Vishal’s disappearing act!”) ON TOURING - Vishal loved touring with Prodigy. “We are friendly people and will tour with anybody. Anybody touring with us should be an experience for them too. We are a pretty damn special circle and we know it.” INSPIRATIONS - His band mem-‐ bers, Mumbai and his country. “We are so different from any other country. The way we function and live is unlike any other place in the world. Here, there is so much magnificance yet bleakness at the same time.”

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SWATI NAIR

FOR YOU! What would it feel like to wake up one day to find that your home videos have gone viral with 12 million hits on Youtube? Ask Tyler Ward! ou cannot swing a dead cat in the YouTube alley without hitting at least 2 in 3 people who have heard and love Tyler Ward! He is the perfect example of how there are still ways to explore and chase your dreams and still be the same person as you were before all the fame.

Y

It is not often that you see a regular, around-the-block, school-going kid grow up to become a music sensation. Tyler Ward attended military school (who would have thought!) and then switched to a music school after which he began to host music competitions worldwide. His favourite thing about all this? “I love being able to share my music with people. Whether they live down the street or across the ocean, it is the best part about my life.” How is that for humility? Another peculiarly interesting thing about Tyler Ward is the variety you can observe when it comes to the artists he covers. Kings of Leon, Justin Beiber, Flo-Rida and Mumford and Sons are just some of the bands/ artists he has given a new voice to. There is no denying that he brings in an element of softness and pleasant surprise to each song. His interpretation of tunes and melodies, and his singing have never failed to strike a chord with me.

The inspiration he gets is evident in the songs he writes. I remember when I listened to “Pages of Life” for the first time. I kept listening to it for an entire hour. What struck me the most about the song was the lyrical simplicity. What he said about the song made me smile because that is exactly what I thought after listening to it. “Pages of Life” is a song about inspiration; about realizing we all write our own story.” An impressive fact is that all his recordings, both audio and video, are created by his family. It is an entire family production! With his Mum on the keyboards, his Dad’s production and his brother with the accompanying vocals, it seems to be a pretty fascinating package. So does family support really help in the industry? According to him it does! “I love my family so much, and am grateful for all the support they have given me! I would not be who I am without them.” It is a refreshing change to see someone down-to-earth in today’s music scene. When I asked him what was the ONE thing he would do before he left this earth, Tyler said something only a person with some depth in his thoughts could say - “In the end I want to be able to give back to others because God has given me so much.” That may be why his music is so fulfilling to listen to. Because he tries to give a fan what they both love - his music.

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SCRIBECORE They are non-conformists, play Bollywood inspired Hardcore Metal, are critically acclaimed madmen and overall winners of the recent Jack Daniels Awards... What's not to like? THE SCRIBEDOM AKSHAY A.K.A ‘COOLEST GUY IN THE METAL SCENE’ -

VIRU A.K.A ‘DRAUPADI’-

PRASHANT A.K.A ‘PRA’ -

SRINIVAAS A.K.A ‘VAAS’-

VISHWESH A.K.A ‘VISHWESH’ -

(the funny guitarist)

(the apparent drummer replacer)

(the SMS-ing guitarist)

(the philosophical bassy)

(the chicken-loving vocalist)

t Inspirations include

t Hardcore Bollywood

t The spokes on the

t “...logging adventures

t An introvert at heart

1940s pinup girls and cloud formations.

t Enjoys Dubstep and Jazz music.

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fan

t His new haircut makes him look like the Fuhrer.

wheels of his new bike are heavy gauge bass strings.

t Has a cooking show with Sahil ‘demon-‐ stealer’ Makhija!

of the band in an 8 million page journal and releasing it with the next CD.”

t Android Addict

and actually enjoys sanity.

t Indian Classical

dancer during Scribe concerts.


SIDDHARTH RAGHUNANDAN

“First of all, Score should sponsor our next album. Help with the lack of venues, gigs and soundgear. Buy us better gear. Bring cotton candy for jams. Help us paint the Vidhan Sabha blue and give us a lifetime supply of salted peanuts. After that, they can push for bands by promoting albums, highlighting the problems that bands face so that the next batch knows what’s going to hit them.” In a day and age where bands have genre prefixes like proto-ambient-jazzcore-altfunk metal (Yes! I know a band of this category), what the country needs is some simple, heavy, unadulterated dose of ORIGINALITY. A few bands however, have seen, survived and evolved the music scene for the country. One such is the epicness of a metal band - SCRIBE. They are a Mumbai-based Hardcore act which formed in 2006 and released their EP Have Hard Will Core the same year. Initailly, though these cool guys were actually from well-established bands at the time, they were quite unfortunate with the reception. As Vaas says, “In the beginning, playing to just about five people in the audience was an extraordinary thing. It made them feel special!” Of course, getting the word through was almost impossible in the day when internet speeds were clocking at 56.6kbps! Viru adds, “The internet has changed the whole scenario. Now, it is the accessibility to more music as a listener from any corner of the globe via social networking sites that is a big advantage now.” Soon after, Confect, their first full-length album was released. At this point of time, Scribe came in as a slap in the face for the whole metal scene. This was mainly due to the fact that it was one of the most original, tight and massive sounding albums in that period and did twice as well live. Now what happens when this band of influences ranging from Sikth to Dillinger Escape Plan indulge in Bollywood films? Awesomeness! Mark of Teja (as some ‘hardcore’ B-wood fans might know) is inspired chiefly from the ‘kvlt’ classic Andaaz Apna Apna. Vishwesh, the vocalist has the imagination of a

modern day Shakespearean under the influence. The album follows the story of the fictitious Jindal, Jetli, Malhotra and the invincible Singhania, in an otherworldly battle between good and evil . Infact, you will need to write the story down in order for you to keep track of the plot through the CD! The video “Dum hai to aage ah” was one of the most acclaimed in the industry for it featured the downtrodden hip-hop talents of Bombay tied with a haul-ass punk metal number with a vocal line you would not forget. Other forms of brilliance in the album include “I Love you, Pav Bhaji”, “Street Archana Vs Vice Varsha”, “1234 Dracula” as well as the title song. Having played all over the country and gained fans abroad, especially at Oslo, Norway, they got some heavy recognition. The band recently bagged and cleanswept almost every relevant award show in the country, most notably the Jack Daniels Annual Rock Awards 2011. So what do they have to say to their fans?

“All 12 of you are very important to us. Please buy our next CD so we can fund our trip to Amar Juice centre which has amazing Pav Bhaji all the time. We hope you guys have Spongebob boxers and watch Gossip Girls on your sister’s computer when she’s outta town.”

IN CONVERSATION WITH AKSHAY, THE COOL ‘METCHUL’ GAI! This guy is so damn hilarious, we could not help but give him a space. His quotes will literally leave you in splits. BABA SEHGAL (GOOGLE HIM!) Baba is effin’ superb! ‘Aagey Aagey ladki peeche main hoon sayana, sab log kahein Baba ho gaya hai deewa-‐ na.’

SCORE TALK

I

OBSESSION WITH PAV BHAJI You know why the English love hash browns? Or the Mericans, burgers? Or the Aurtraliansm, Kangaroos? Yes, it’s because of the colour Brown. Pav Bhaji has been our staple diet though thick (no money) and thin (me). We love it, adore it and to prove that, we have ours with a helping of 18 dollops of butter and lump of cheese that can put a hole inside a treadmill. HIS DEFINITION OF SCRIBE? Scribecore resides in all of us. It’s the ‘unrelenting surge of masti’ that doesn’t let you sit still like a ‘frozen potrait’ but asks you to unleash the ‘Dennis’ in you and ‘return to dark-‐ ness’. I need someone to play me an A ‘power chord’ before I can explain further.

Photography: Varun Sikka

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TARA THOMAS

In a country where ‘clubbing’ is still taboo, and partying till the morning is considered immoral by the authorities, how far will Electronic Dance Music go? Who better to answer that than DJ Pearl,

THE FIRST LADY OF INDIAN EDM

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F

rom eyeing her father’s Akai turntable to haveing her mixes being released by an international DJ label, Pearl has come a long way. We take a look at her journey and the growth of EDM in India.

EARLY EXPOSURE As her career began, while working for an airline and simultaneously pursuing music and art, Pearl had her first clubbing experience. After a night at The Roxy in Amsterdam, she began to search for new DJs. She then decided that she had to bring the culture back with her to India. “I started collecting records from obscure record stores. In Amsterdam, I learnt from my first ‘Guru’ Michael Kleiss. He taught me all about record shops and playing vinyl. While assisting at a club in Delhi, I received great help from DJs Tnu and Ash. I observed them and always asked loads of questions.”

SUBMERGE EMERGES It is well known that Pearl, along with her husband (DJ and MTV VJ, Nikhil Chinappa) have been pioneers of Electronic Dance Music (EDM) in India, with their company Submerge. The origins? “Nikhil, Hermit Sethi and I set up a club night in 2002 in Bombay. The name Submerge seemed apt since it was in a club called Rock Bottom in a basement! We were basically tired of the fact that no club culture existed here. DJs were forced to play popular tunes or requests with no concept of stringing a set together. We knew there was a need for a platform where they could play with a sense of freedom. We started booking DJs to come play in India, invited our friends to play and received a huge response. (Sounds a lot like what we at Score are trying to achieve with our Score Nights!) Things just snowballed from there. Hermit was in charge of the décor, branding and PR. Nikhil was the visionary and PR and I was in charge of the music... and you guessed it! PR too!”

WHAT IT FEELS LIKE FOR A GIRL Initially Pearl was quite nonchalant about being a woman in the EDM Industry, as well as her parents concerns about her security and choice of career. “I didn’t give it much thought, but the significance of what I was attempting to do soon became apparent to me. I had a few surprised faces at clubs but this has changed. I think we’ve come really far with accepting a woman at the helm in a club. I’ve had some strange experiences though. Healthy competition is one thing, but having your wires broken or settings messed with is another. Luckily, these instances have been few and far between. I’m now at the receiving end of a lot of trust and respect which makes it all worth it.” Her parents too, have understood her vision and are now some of her biggest supporters, attending her gigs and the Sunburn Festival which she plays at every year. What lies in store for Pearl in the future? To keep promoting EDM in India. And of course, to open a Submerge Club! She is reluctant to reveal details but I am sure it will be freakishly awesome!

THE PEARL COMPILATION As a DJ, making a great mix is the best way to express oneself creatively. It is similar to story-‐telling. The compilation is the first DJ Session on JOOF Recordings – a label owned by John 00 Flem-‐ ing. “I made this mix for another project and they liked it enough to release it on the label. A real honour. All the tracks are from the JOOF Recordings catalogue and this is a purely digital release. It is available on joof.co.uk and many other popular music sites like Beatport and Juno.

EDM IN INDIA WHAT’S HOT, WHAT’S NOT! Pearl begins with the positive. “There is a lot more awareness today for this kind of music ever since everything went digital. Everyone now has access through the internet to their favourite djs, latest releases, mixes and podcasts. This has led to a huge au-‐ dience for electronic music in India in the last few years.” Inter-‐ nationally, every DJ and agency is aware of India being their next big market. As for the negatives, “Right now, only big names or top DJs draw the crowds into the clubs. If this formula fails even once, there is a lot on the line for the promoters and sponsors. We need to treat our market and audience with a view to developing it for the long term. The clubbing scene, unlike ten years ago, is taking a back-‐ seat with most cities clamping down their club timings. Having a rich nightlife is important not only for the international image and positioning of a city, but also it’s security. Contrary to what some people believe, emptying the streets out of a city does make it unsafe.

MOST MEMORABLE CLUBBING EXPERIENCE

That would have to be our dancing holidays. Nikhil and I would take off once a year for a month every time, looking for festivals and clubbing destinations. We’d pack it in with the best clubs and DJs that we could find playing in that city.

PEARL’S PICK Amongst the DJs, there is Vachan Chinnappa. A producer from Delhi named Hamza. I love Indian classical music and put that on every once in a while. I had the privilege of listening to Pandit Bhimsen Joshi live in Delhi once and that to me is a once in a life-‐ time opportunity I’m happy I didn’t miss out on. The

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MRIDULA ARJUN

YOUR ADREN

ESS NG L

ONS

ALINE RUSH

Perfor ming live is an in sane experience . Thousan d s people yelli of ng out my name and reactin g to whatev er I’m doing on st age; it’s cra zy!

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USIC S M N O CTOR DIRE with

ists art nd a edi you v g i r n es rki t T Wo Ami m giv urage a r o like u Nig enc bette a Son ense come BEST CO imm t to be MPLIME n e m st. R E C i EIVED NT One p art erson upto me a actually c nd am sign a 100 asked me e 0 rup for th to em. A e nd he es note ‘Pleas e w never sign it! I sw as like, spend ear I w It was this in ill d weird amn swee my life!’ t. but st ill, sw A little eet.

OU THINK Y O D T A WH USION’ ABOUT ‘F

nds ian ba ve d n I y lo an and I are m There abroad now It is great g ts. playin ck to my roo eeps usic k he a b m g d n i n o a g t ix t erimen is cool to m t of p x e o t i it little b ng. So evolvi h the old. A it re. new w ny gen a o t n India

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those

10

things

SECRET HOBBY My mum and close friends tell me I co ok well. Eve n though my mum is the ‘Queen’ when it comes to cooking, I th ink I am good at creating m y own type of cuisine - a mix ture of Thai, Chinese and C ontinental.

ADITI SINGH SHARMA is the newest kid to hit the block with hits like “D, d, dilli” (No One Killed Jessica) and “Kaun Hai Ajnabi” (Game). She is spunky, cool and besides playback singing, is the lead vocalist of the popular Indian band, Groove Adda. With a great sense of dressing, she sets the stage on fire everytime she performs and with her talent, she is definitely here to stay.

AGES A D VA N T W O O D Y OF BOLL song,

ock do a r r, a I can umbe n a w a slo e. There’s n m fast o t more roo lo in just a er results t t e for b . wood Bolly

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ING There is a H ence UGE di w a rec hen it com fferordin es to g a per for mi artist and ng ar is no tist. I t an easy t some job a peopl nd e can recor do we di ll but n ng in a studio ot on vice v stage ersa. and

E V E RY D A Y HURDL

OURSELF Y E B I R C DES WORDS IN THREE

ES I find it diffi things cu my w lt to do bling ay. D w a record ith timings bings a f or n mance s and d perforeither w with m hat not, for a y band sh scared ow. I mean or , I t it, m hat if I ov ’m y boy erdo fri break up wit end will h me.

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Photography: Varun Sikka

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Score’s

Top 7 Ad Jingles!

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We at Score decided to go back in time and unearth the third category of ad tunes just to jiggle them out from the back of your head to your lips.


PRASHANTH IPE

1. WASHING POWDER NIRMA

5. LIFEBUOY

The moment you hear the word Nirma, you remember bubbles, Auntyjis in white saris, clothes drying and buckets. When I was young, I thought that one could blow bubbles with Nirma. Sadly, I blew and blew but no bubbles came. Another fascinating thing in the ad was the little girl in the white frock keeps spinning and then suddenly morphs into an uglier version while appearing on the cover of the detergent. Over the years the ads of Nirma have changed. Newer women have come but the song has stuck on and on and on.

“Lifebuoy hai jahan, tandroosti hai wahaan, Lifebouy.” Lifebuoy was probably the first soap that made the most absurd connection. Apparently, if you have a bath with Lifebuoy you will be able to score a goal in an amateur football match. In those times, lifebuoy looked like a red vim bar. The worst thing about the soap was that your hands smelled worse after washing them with Lifebuoy. The latest ad has a bunch of fat school kids bragging about the effectiveness of their soap while all the time showing the audience the “tasty tasty lunch” that fat kids bring to schools these days.

2. VICCO TURMERIC CREAM (VAJRADANTI) Aaaaaargh! I have tried for years and years to banish that tune out of my head but it keeps coming back, “Vicco turmeric, nahi cosmetic Vicco turmeric ayurvedic cream, Vicco Turmeric Ayurvedic CREAMMM!” Apart from what looked like something yellow made locally in Aminjikarai (I am not doubting the effectiveness of this product), I always wondered how the singers could so cheerfully sing “Vicco turmeric”. Mentioning the name can make some people go epileptic again.

3. HAMARA BAJAJ Let’s be honest, the first time you saw this ad you liked it! It had some sort of Indian feel to it; the music, the guys on bike who avoid the rangoli on the road and the foreign chick in front of the Gurudwara. What particularly stood out was the fusion music and the final scene where you see this guy holding a sitar and riding the bike. It so perfectly depicted the so-called emerging India that you and me think we are a part of.

4. COMPLAN Apart from the girl saying she is a Complan girl and the boy saying he is a Complan boy, I also remember that this was one of the few ads where the jingle was actually in English. Also, somewhere in the ad, the girl takes a little dog and and puts it on a kitchen shelf and the mother in an old matronly voice sings, “You put doggy up so high, can you please tell me why?” and the girl replies, “But I am growing Mummy.” Hmmm... Nevertheless, the kids in the ad were Shahid Kapoor and Ayesha Takia. In Shahid’s case, it is pretty obvious that Complan did not work for him. He is still pretty short.

6. LIJJAT PAPAD If you have never seen this ad, I suggest you go to Youtube and see it immediately. I saw this when I was a kid, and it has tarumatized me ever since. It had a scary looking bunny rabbit that spoke about the qualities of Lijjat Papad and how it could be eaten. The rabbit would suddenly appear in the living room, at the dining table and in the family photograph. The worst was in the end when the rabbit would say “Lijjat paaapad” and then give an evil laugh. Overall extremely scarring effect if watched at an impressionable age. Phew!

7. CADBURY DAIRY MILK Ahh! Boyfriend batting on 99, hits six, girl eats Dairymilk chocolate bar and goes bananas, jumps onto the field much to the embarrassment of her boyfriend and starts dancing like a total idiot. Really looks quite whacky. The final scene shows her hugging him with Dairymilk in hand. The tagline goes “Zindagi ka asli swaad (the true taste of life)”. I watched this ad a long time ago and I as I watch it now, I still think the same thing - “That girl in the ad. Man! Isn’t she super hot?”

ALL THE ADS SHOWN IN THE MOVIE THEATRES It is mandatory that if an ad needs to be shown in a theatre, it has to be worse than terrible and must be shown a minimum of three times. They are all the same - the Saravana stores one, Jewellery and sari ones and of course, the Isteel ones. God! The worst is that you can not escape them every time you see a movie. God help us. This article would be incomplete without the special mention of: 1) The Fevicol ads which were simply awesome. 2) The ‘ting ting ta ding’ of the Britannia ads. 3) The memorable piano riff of the Titan watch ad. Respect.

Illustration: Francis

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ONE NIGHT OF

SALVATION! Daniel Gildenlow is no ordinary man. Fronting one of the most legendary bands of all time, he was in India recently, chatting away all his many thoughts and ideas with the fans who idolize him. Here is my account of the POS gig that left us all awestruck! 24

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Photography: Paul George Vedanayagam

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MADHAV RAVINDRANATH

W

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hen IIT Chennai announced that Swedish prog-metallers Pain Of Salvation would grace the stage at Saarang 2011, the college’s annual fest, I could not contain my excitement!

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Photography: Pretika Menon


Music; a forum for expressing thoughts and feelings. Trying to create that everyday magic and still, make 1+1 equal 3.

For as long as I can remember, POS have been at the forefront of my musical odyssey and to watch them live would literally be like a dream come true. This is a band that over the years, has pushed the envelopes of musical experimentation to different levels and has opened up new musical portals; seamlessly connecting the worlds of haunting melodies with that of polyrhythmic patterns. Their ambitious lyrics and intricate concepts have marked one of the most stylistic jumps in modern progressive music, flirting with a multitude of genres in their quest to attain the perfect balance between good and bad, light and dark; between pain and salvation.

THE WORKSHOP I caught up with Daniel Gildenlow, the charismatic guitarist/vocalist and life-force behind the band. He started speaking about the actual song-writing procedures that were employed across the 7 studio albums the band has released to date. “Every single album has a different point of departure,” said Gildenlow as he sat crouched up in his little chair. “If you change the scenery, if you change the way you produce or record it, you change all the different premises for the album making it new and fresh.” He went on to talk about the processes involved in the song-writing of Pain Of Salvation’s music. “Sometimes, I come up with a riff on the guitar or there’s a rhythmical idea. Sometimes, I just hear the whole song as it’s supposed to be and then transcribe it on to the instrument.” One of the most notable features of the band’s music was the theme highlighted with every album. “Our concepts include topics that matter a lot to all of us - humanity, philosophy, war, whatever it maybe as opposed to entertainment music. It’s funny ‘coz once I suggested the name ‘This is not a Concept’ simply because we did not have one!” Fortunately, the band did not approve! “Life takes you to crossroads and it keeps changing giving you a perspective. Those songs with those messages are the keypoints for our audience.”

-Daniel Gildenlow I don’t experience the aggressiveness.” He explicated the importance of having a white to contrast the black, rather than just play music which is ‘grey’, or one-dimensional. Gildenlow ended the workshop with an improvised jam on his 7-string guitar while many from the audience clamored around for autographs and pictures.

THE GRAND NIGHT On Saturday, the 29th of January 2011, as the sun set and the lights dimmed on the hallowed stage at the IIT Open Air Theatre, the massive crowd that had assembled to watch Pain Of Salvation on their first ever tour to India, screamed in delight as Gildenlow, Per Shelander, Daniel Karlsson, Johan Hallgren and Leo Margarit took to their instruments and burst into “Of Two Beginnings” .The two-and-a-half hour long concert consisted of tracks from their latest release, Road Salt as well as from their earlier albums. Despite the technical glitches midway through the show, the band appeared unfazed and continued through their set before abruptly leaving the stage, leaving the crowds quite lost and confused. A few minutes later, the band burst back on to the stage, hanging out of one of our very own yellow-and-black auto-rickshaws and commenced Act II of the show. Exchanging instruments with each other, the band went on to play “Come Together”, “Don’t Talk To Strangers” and “Hallelujah” before a blackout enforced by the city’s police ended the show and sent everyone home for an early night. Right from the sound and lights to the energy displayed and the music showcased, everything was top notch. I am pretty sure POS went back to Sweden with tales about their Great Indian experience, having made a lot more fans than they could have hoped for.

THE INDIAN CONNECTION Daniel did get to see the Taj Mahal but it was his observation of the people that had a stronger impact on the artist. “People here are very happy with what little they do have. The more protected the life you live, there’s a bigger risk of being depressed because you will start to question the meaning of your life and become aware of your insig-‐ nificance. The things that you at-‐ tach as decorations to your life are so many that it’s very easy to lose track of what your real purpose is.”

Over the length of the workshop, Gildenlow played the guitar and even spent a few minutes on the drums as he talked about the vagaries and intricacies of Pain Of Salvation’s music. “Mathematics,” he said, “is a way of describing what you’re doing. In music, you play with numbers. Every riff is nothing but a mathematical progression.” Sitting behind the drum-kit, he played patterns from different songs and explained how he came up with the famous 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 beat on the track “Hand Full Of Nothing”. He also attributed Pain Of Salvation’s signature sound, the heavy breakdown into clean, melodic parts to contrast and comparisons. “When it’s only aggressive, then

Photography: Paul George Vedanayagam

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SNEHA BANERJEE

The Ultimate Destination for Pure Silks #61, USMAN ROAD, T.NAGAR, CHENNAI 600 017

Subhiksha Rangarajan a.k.a. Susha has

made quite a name for herself in the recent past with the success of her band Yodhakaa. A student of all genres, she quickly moved from learning classical music from her mother and grandmother to more Hindustani and western styles thanks to her father. She has previously released albums, her most recent ones being “Sudha Tarangini� and “Yodhakaa� and has performed in many countries. She is currently pursuing her masters in Media Management and Psychology.

WHY SCORE LOVES HER She is quirky, free-spirited and hates the thought

of being culturally bounded. Thoughtful, dreamy, imaginative and pleasant are the adjectives that best describe her.

Has a beautiful, sweet voice! Something very rare these days.

Is a painter and works with children who have OCD using art.

We thought it sweet that she would like to be reborn as a pup. Her two pets are J LO and Dime.

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Photography: S. Srirama Santhosh Stylist: Rashmi Watwani Wardrobe: Sri Kumaran Stores Acessories: Jhilmill Hair & Makeup: Page 3 Location: Le Waterina


Subhiksha Rangarajan

FACETS OF A DIVA ON FILMS AND RECORDING I had recorded “Kandanaal Mudhal” for Yuvan Shankar Raja when I was 15. It was simple; the song was rehearsed once and recorded soon after. Getting fake emotions into music is something I can’t do which is why I have not tried recording for any more movies.

FOR YOUNG INDIAN MUSICIAN People should be proud of their work and pursue it. Organizers should promote other genres of music rather than focusing on TRPs alone. This would help in having a positive impact on the music fraternity in our country.

CLOTHES! They have to be comfortable and hippieish. I have discovered that performing ‘bare foot’ is very liberating and have started wearing short dresses which make me feel springy and free-spirited. I love trying out different things!

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E L B U O D TAKE

SNEHA BANERJEE

Neil Mukherjee is one of the most sought-after sessions and recording guitarists in the country. His better half, Betty Jardin from France, is a music teacher and has her own choir in Chennai. Together they have a band called ‘Masala Bossa’. For these two, ‘Love knows no boundaries’ isn’t a cliché.

How in the world did they meet ? B: I was new in the city and was looking for a musician. I got to meet him through Alliance Française. Us performing together was like “falling in love”. It was a very novel and romantic thing that happened to us.

N: Yes, music is definitely an important factor in our relationship. Since both of us were music students it definitely helped us interact better and bond with each other.

Their Daily Schedule B: I teach music at this school called Abacus for little kids. This helps in bringing about some kind of regularity in my life. Neil on the other hand, practices his guitar early every morning. N: As freelancers, we need to cope with certain irregularities of our workfield. Otherwise, we have a normal life. Nothing very exquisite.

Their Love Song B: I can’t think of anything. Neil is not a very romantic person. He just likes eating chocolates and his music! N: Well, not entirely. I recently completed composing a set of contemporary songs for a Bengali album and she helped me as a vocalist in it. It is special for me because we worked on it together.

After a fight, you... ? B: I go ahead and buy a new dress for myself ! N: (Smiles) I end up eating chocolates to make myself feel better. We have our own habits which aren’t very fancy.

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Photography: Navneeth Balachandran


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Photography: Madhana Gopal


KNOT MESSING AROUND Braving the Indian music scenario, four guys had given it all up to go Pro and bridge the gap with their rock counterparts. Are they getting their due?

eing around the members of Escher’s Knot, is like meeting an old bunch of friends. They are instantly likeable and genuine at the same time. The band was formed over two years ago when Abijith Rao(Vocals) found Anshuman Mishra (Guitars) at the SAE College of Engineering. To fulfill bass duties they roped in Bangalore musician Madhav Ayachit (Bass) and a few weeks before their first show, Manu (Drums) came into their lives. With a rapid two weeks of composing, they played their first gig at Alliance Francaise, Chennai and there has been no looking back.

B

What’s the ‘Scene’? Playing at venues all over South India in the past year won them competitions such as IIT Chennai Saarang, VIT Riviera and BITS Hyderabad. They have also opened for the likes of Hammerfall, Drank Tranquility and Lacuna Coil. However, they still are not happy with the scenario. “Competitions have rock and metal bands trying to outdo each other and that is quite sad. At the end of the day it depends on the judge’s taste. Why aren’t there more festivals? On our part, we try our best to collaborate with artists like Undying Inc, Skyharbour and Eccentric Pendulum as much as possible.”

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Photography: Madhana Gopal

Bridging The Divide “Sometimes, we feel like outcasts among the music community. We have a good rapport with most bands but people still have a mental block with our genre. The divide between the Rock ‘n’ Roll guys and us metal bands is unfair. We DO have other influences apart from metal!” So what was their least favourite part in the music business. “Talking to the organisers and not getting money on time! We are giving up a lot by doing music FULL TIME - but film music still gets preference. Maybe if the British had ruled for longer, we would have had a better music scene here. Who knows!” Point, maybe?

The Band Member Borrowing Syndrome All of them have played in different bands before Escher’s which ranged from Power to Thrash Metal. Manu, too, was once a classical mridangam player! “So, it’s sort of like chow chow bath or avial!” The band admits to finding it difficult to get by with only one band since they are fulltime musicians. They also think playing in mutliple bands is good exposure! “More people should enter the scene and experiment. Our message to the audience - Don’t stop at listening. Pick up an instrument and start playing!”


TARA THOMAS

Abi :

Madhav :

»

Works at a Studio in Chennai. Loves PJs/ Mokkais .

»

Works at a studio in Bangalore and loves his rice and sambar.

»

“The angry kid of the band.” (Abi’s response: What the f*** I’m not angry!)

»

Is rumoured to drive around in a BMW in Bangalore (unverified information)

»

Celeb Crush: Justin Bieber!

»

Sai Kumar?

Manu :

Anshu :

»

Teaches drums at a Music School.

»

»

Would want to have the superpower of looseness and flexibility?

Has started a teaching project called Studio Green.

»

»

Janis Joplin

Given a choice to be an inanimate object, he chose ‘stone’, ‘grass’ or a ‘pot’. Interesting.

»

Manu from the band Escher’s Knot. Killer guy.

WHY ‘ESCHER’S KNOT’? “It is a Knot by MC Escher who is an artist and illusion-‐ ist. It is a math-‐oriented knot, that has no beginning or end. It defined our music!”

LYRICAL ORIGINS Surprisingly, the lyrics range from subjects like alien abductions (if you have not heard “Anonymous Origins”, check it out now!) to the power of a kid’s smile (aw!). The

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THE

NORTHEAST REVIVAL

They have sung for Obama and audiences-alike and were the winners of India’s Got Talent 2010. Hear the Shillong Chamber Choir’s story as they set out to spread their message of peace and love through their work.

THESE ARE A FEW OF THEIR

FAVOURITE THINGS

The choir travel a lot by road or rail and love adventure sports. “We are planning for a roadtrip to Nepal soon and river rafting is on the list!” Another secret: The boys love to shop! A nice change from convention. “We have a lot parties. Mostly birthdays including our relatives who come stay with us from time to time. We also LOVE to eat. “ Any favourites I ask. “We cook so many dishes and a lot of gourmet food.” Donna replies. “Neil loves his spaghetti bolognese and garlic bread.”

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SHIRIN ALBERT

M

eeting the members of Shillong Chamber Choir was good fun. Virtually unknown in the south, unless you watch Hindi Reality TV, these youngsters are probably the most loved choir presently up north. My first meeting with Damon, manager and ex-member of the choir, gave me a better understanding of the choir. The group was started in ‘01 and grew popular by word of mouth. The present group have stuck together for the past five years.

They literally live, sleep, eat and train together while being tutored at home. Damon attributes their success to Neil, their conductor. “He is our guru. He would rather train us for an hour and teach us humility for the rest of the day. These kids have made a choice to stick together because of him.” On asking him about the music scene back home he replied saying, “There is so much music where we come from. It is flourishing.” The Northeast has always had to face issues of National security. Life on a daily basis can be quite a struggle and most assumptions of them being disconnected from the National scene are quite true. That was the beautiful thing about this choir - they managed to get an entire country to take notice of them, purely for their talent and warmth, eradicating all negative publicity. Neil, a concert pianist of 18 years,

taught lessons back in England. One of his students included Radiohead star, Phil Selway, whose family still attend Neils concerts. When he moved to India, he started the choir. “My main inspiration is God and not religion. I started this choir to try and keep these wonderful youngsters on the right track. We live in a world with an extremely perverted value system. It is alarmingly scary. Everybody screams that there is so much consciousness in the world now but where is the evidence?” Before he could explain any further, it was time for the rehearsal. For the show, they chose a wide range of numbers from popular hits and choral pieces to regional tracks like “Chinna Chinna Asai” and “Tu Aashiqui Hai” which charmed the audiences. While listening to them, I wondered - Has the global audience and the music industry lost their sense of right and wrong? How much is too much? As he says, “80 percent of the music produced now is negative.” And I could not agree more. Pushing limits for the sake of expression is clearly not justifiable. One thing is for certain. As much attention SCC may receive, the choir will always remain a testimony to the lives of the people in it.

NEIL’S

FIRST PRIORITY “My kids have been through a lot. Each one of them have a different story to tell and have learnt to resolves their issues the peaceful way. They represent what the average youth deals with on a daily basis. Through the choir, they learn love, patience, forgiveness and acceptance. A doctor can help you with most things but there isn’t a cure for lust or envy now is there? People always try to chase that rainbow or that pot of gold. They don’t understand it exists within themselves.”

Photography: Madhana Gopal

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Akshay (Yodhaka) ‘Lose yourself’ Moonarra: ‘Let the good karma flow...’

Yodhaka: This is Chennai, Bring it on ! Jagadeesh and Wilson (Moonarra) ease into the groove

Vasu (Swarathma) Belting it out

Sanjeev (Swarathma) -‐ Nice Jacket!

Spinifex ‘Why thank you India!’

Rahul (Bicycle Days) ‘To oblivion and beyond.’

Karthik (Bicycle Days) Setting the mood

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Karthik, Setting the mood bicycledays Photography: Praveen S. R.


ROHAN SEN

THE

INDIAN MUSIC REVOLUTION

5000 music lovers gathered to celebrate what India is creating - a unique blend of sounds from across the country. The musicians under the great banyan tree gathered to pay homage to Lord of Music... This was Fireflies 2011. he stage was set, the bands were intoxicated and so were most of the audience by the sheer imagery that lay before them. Fireflies Intercultural Centre, located about 30 km from M.G.Road in Bengaluru, was where it was all happening. The Great Banyan Tree, at the ashram, stood with its new found adornments. Apart from the brilliant ambiance and exquisite music, the Jazz-Carnatic tunes of Spinifex left the crowd mesmerized. The brass section seemed to seamlessly blend into the Carnatic violin and percussion, setting the entire venue into a tizzy. But the best was yet to come.

T

The Awesome Threesome Among the many bands who played that night, there were a few who truly outdid themselves. Though Thermal and a Quarter played an awfully short set, the crowd went ballistic with their rendition of The Beatles hit “Hey Jude”. Swarathma’s performance was mindblowingly insane. Their single “Pyasi” is exceptionally good. Yodhakaa, who you may have read about in our previous issue, is what I would like to call the future of Indian music. Their brilliant rhythms and grooves with their insane voices mesmerized the crowd from the first note. The only let down was the final act by Something Relevant. They came, jumped around and got one whole member of the audience on her feet! Was not the ending I was hoping for.

Mesmarising Geetha (Esperanto)

The Passion The Fireflies Festival completed its ninth year with this event. From 2000 people last year, the ticket sales this year jumped to 5000 making this event a huge success. Akshath Jitendranath, Festival Director, told The Score Magazine that the motive of the festival was “to provide a musical platform to enable artists to communicate and spread their music to their audience with no corporate hindrances.” He went on to say that initially they focused on tribal and regional music. But as the years progressed and the positive responses grew, they started featuring bands that have managed to capture our Indianness and blend it with our love for any form of music. This is the reason why Fireflies scores above the other major music festivals in our country. Though the motive of giving a platform to artists to perform remains common, this festival captures what Indian music is moving towards - original music that has its ethos in India. The bands that performed were a heady mix of traditional and contemporary, making this festival the best thing to happen to the Indian music circuit. The revolution will begin when we make that extra effort to pick up an album by an artist from our country and support the music festivals in this land. So go out there and support our music.

Aazin (Something rel-‐ evant) ‘Hello ladies!’

Bruce (TAAQ) ‘It’s all about the feel.’

Taaq Chorus

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Jonas (right) with long-‐time friend and idol, John McLaughin (left)

THE HELLBORG THEORY Facing a musical identity crisis or searching for life’s answers? Let Swedish Bassist, Jonas Hellborg, show you the way. H

ow many times have we heard these five little words “Stay true to your music” from the greatest music legends of all time and yet failed to make it a reality? Too often I suppose. When dealing with artists, the safest thing to do is stick to the questions and hope you get away unscathed. This interview was rare. Rare in the fact, that a) the artist I was interviewing

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was Jonas Hellborg and b) it turned out to be an an all-exclusive two hour interview. This internationally renowned Bassist from Sweden, who was previously a part of the Shakti fame with John McLaughlin, took me by surprise with his humility, insightfulness and freethinking way of life. I am not far from the truth when I say that Jonas is not your ordinary musician. He was recently in town for the benefit concert held by The Shakti

Photography: Madhana Gopal

Location: Taj Coromandel, Chennai.

Foundation and it was a real treat to see somebody of his caliber perform live with V. Selvaganesh and Steve Smith! Our chat led to so many intriguing topics of discussion including his love for Indian music, philosophy and world fusion. I really cannot do justice to this article but I noticed a lot of the points mentioned could potentially help any person or musician deal with life’s struggles and setbacks. To make things clearer for every artist to whom this might aid, this is my account of...


SHIRIN ALBERT LET’S GO SAILING! I have done a lot of crazy things but what qualifies as crazy? When I was 15, I was in school and bored. So I took my boat to Copenha-‐ gen, played my violin there and hitchhiked throughout Europe for a month or so. Made money by playing here and there. You can imagine, my mother was totally beside herself when I got back.

stems from a deeper connection. “I cannot come at an adult age and learn Indian music. I am not Indian. I can learn elements of it though. It is very important that the music be a part of you, your upbringing and your culture. That is why this genre helps you improvise. After all, the music is a reflection of your personality.” TAKE OWNERSHIP BUT LEARN TO LET GO “I’m very much a believer in following life as it unfolds. Any musician puts a lot of effort into what they are trying to convey with their music. But what they fail to learn is that once they play it for somebody else, it no longer belongs to them. Everybody perceives things in different ways. The same goes for your music. You cannot control it.”

BE RELEVANT Jonas was a part of the revolutionary ‘60s when information was power when social relevance was of utmost importance. “MTV was a revolution in itself. Facebook and Twitter are the current ones. They changed the way people thought. When people attain a certain social status, most of them ignore their responsibility towards society. Life doesn’t stop at making music, it doesn’t stop at performing. Make what you do count. That is the secret of every successful musician or legend.” So there you have it. The Hellborg Theory to finding your path. Let me know how it works out for you!

INDIA & I

BEING JONAS 101 BE CONFIDENT In today’s world, where every bit of music composed is over-scrutinized and critiqued, mostly by over-ambitious teens, there is a lot of pressure to please. But the ugly truth is you cannot please everyone. “The more visible you are, the more criticism. Listen to the ones you respect. Otherwise, who cares about the other 56 billion people. Just don’t be a hypocrite.” PRO FUSION? Jonas often indulges in ‘World fusion’, often collaborating with Indian Classical performers. The reasons

Now here is the glitch. Are global audiences interested in bands who have Indian influences and that are more Carnatic based? While most of us English music lovers might have our contentions on this topic, hear Jonas out. “I think the problem with Indian bands is that they are not allowing themselves to be Indian enough. It does not mean singing ‘Sa Re Ga Ma’ but it should be individualistic in approach. Take something like Abba. They are so damn Swedish, it is embarrassing! But they did it so well. But if you have been playing certain genres you love from a young age, play without any hesitations.” FOLLOW YOUR BLISS Jonas quoted Joseph Campbell, the American writer’s most popular saying “Follow your bliss”. The underlying meaning is that we all have a journey destined for us. If we work hard in finding the one thing that makes us more unique than others, we would be fulfilling our destiny without having to give in to social pressures. Much like when we cannot decide on our musical path; on where to go and what to create. “Stop trying to imitate other genres. You can contradict music. Why not Indian funk? Just do it your way.”

THE INDIAN CONNECTION

BE YOURSELF

“I was used to unconventional circumstances from an early age since me and my parents traveled a lot. So I wasn’t unprepared when I came here. My connection with this country goes a long way back and this country is radically different from other places. It is pure CHAOS. But there is so much fluidity, it all just fits in without anybody getting hurt. It floats somehow. You think you are gonna crash just about every second but you don’t and you never stop!” Jonas also cited that Gandhi is one of his biggest inspirations and music and yoga keeps him young.

THE BEST INDIAN FOOD “In Calcutta, I was taken to this concrete, box-‐like place with a dirt floor and rickety wooden tables. There were dogs running about and the kitchen was terrible. I thought to myself, ‘If I eat here, I will die. I won’t get sick and die. I will die instantly. Turned out to be the best food I have eaten so far!” he finished with a smile.

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KEEPING UP W

Traditionalism vs New Age. OH MY GOD MOMENT! THE MUSIC AND THE MENTOR -

ZHAKIR BHAI!

Selvaganesh has been collaborating with his mentor Zakir Hussain for over 21 years now. He has immense respect for the tabla King and would like to work with him on his next album. He says, “Zakir bhai is known as a great tabla player, but no one knows how well he can sing! I intend to make him sing on the album.” It is going to be very interesting to see what they come up with.

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The gent happens to love Michael Jackson and has even met the global icon in person while they both just happened to be playing in Russia. Unfortunately, he did not have a camera to prove it yet recalls very bit of it! “He was a great man and more importantly, extremely shy and humble.”


ROHAN SEN

WITH SHAKTI Is it really a battle anymore? W

TIDBITS & TRIVIA

hen I was only 5 months old, my grandfather used to hold me in his lap while he taught Carnatic music, so those rhythms have been infused in my system since then.” From being surrounded by a musically-oriented family, to having his Uncle as his guru, to his Dad being a world renowned musician, it is safe to say that V. Selvaganesh was born into music. His father Vikku Vinayakram’s constant touring with world-renowned Jazz guitarist John McLaughlin to different places made him want to travel and he did, from a very young age. This kind of exposure led to Selvaganesh playing the ghatam, kanjira and other percussion instruments with artists from India and around the world such as Jonas Hellborg, Shawn Lane, U. Srinivas and Shankar Mahadevan to name a few.

still is considered ‘confusion’. “People don’t realize it is an opportunity to enhance one’s performance and understanding of the different layers of techniques and melodies involved. You can only comprehend that by mastering your skill in your own respective areas of expertise. It is not easy to fuse different things and make it sound naturally good.” Selvaganesh also admitted that he seldom resorts to conformity and prefers changing things including his car every two years! Music is being spread around the world because of artists like Selvaganesh who believe that music has no boundaries. Though fusion has become a very lucrative market for most musicians to gain popularity abroad, Selvaganesh feels that authentic Carnatic music is too heavy a dosage to enjoy for the average audience and interested amateurs. Whether critics agree or not, I guess it depends on the listener.

Recently, Chennai witnessed a once-in-a-lifetime musical bonanza right at her doorstep. Steve Smith (Vital Information and former Journey drummer), Jonas Hellborg (Swedish bass virtuoso) and Selvaganesh performed for the Shakti Foundation Charity Concert. The show was a huge success generating rave reviews from members of the local music fraternity. It was astounding to see how he manged to sustain notes on percussion instruments longer than any other artist!

Selvaganesh recalled a time when students used to come to his families’ school, the Sri Jaya Ganesh Tala Vadya Vidyalaya School, to learn Carnatic music and would not really be that keen on absorbing every element of the style. But of late, he has noticed a change in the mindset and behaviour of the students. “They take their music seriously and are not doing it just to add something to their ‘matrimony profile’!”

After watching the concert, it got me thinking about the growing popular trend of ‘World Fusion’. in my chat with the artist, he mentioned how Fusion was natural to him since his father, his biggest influence, was part of Shakti in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s with John McLaughlin. They were considered the pioneers of the genre. When asked about the scorn attached to fusion by traditionalists he mentions how it was and

Music in India is rapidly evolving into a global entity. We must respect the beauty of the enormous span music is capable of and allow it to spread it’s wings at its convenience. Artists like Selvaganesh will continue on their path of discovery, intertwining cultures with their music. He has a couple of movies that are in the pipeline along with a new album and we eagerly await to see what this maestro has in store for us.

His Chennai calling: The ‘sundal’ across the road from his studio! He considers it his best indulgence. His childhood super hero: HIS DAD! For a person of Vikkuji’s status, who would be surprised! Who would he want to be in his next life?: (With sudden excitement in his voice) Rajnikanth! Selvaganesh loves the way he conducts himself with so much humility inspite of his “Megasuperstar” status. Did you know he endorses his own line of percussion instruments by American percussion brand Remo? He has had the liberty of developing a sythetic Kanjira, his personalized instrument of expertise. The

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Anil Srinivasan is a Western Classical Pianist. Sikkil Gurucharan, a Carnatic vocalist. Yet, they strictly oppose the term ‘Fusion’.

W

itty and entertaining may be the last thing on your mind as you open a conversation with two young practitioners of classical music. Equipped with their keen sense of humour, over a casual evening chat, Anil and Sikkil presented us with an engaging spectrum of their lives as musicians and as individuals. With the common passion for music, the duo has gathered a huge fan following. Being in demand, they have performed in many countries all over; Korea being their most recent tour.

To Fuse or Not to Fuse The duo, who had been introduced to each other at a music workshop, were instantly connected by their music. “Within five minutes of meeting each other we knew we were onto something quite tremendous. It was the right moment with the right people and the right notes of melody making magic happen.” Despite invoking two diverse genres of music, their approach always involves choosing the composition which is familiar to the both of them to ensure that it would work with the experimental combination. As Sikkil put forth, “the composition has to match both of us without killing the ‘classicism’.” The labelling of their music as a form of fusion music was received with strong denial. “Fusion is a term best left to physicists.” Anil stated. Referring to their format as classical music presented in the contemporary form, he adds, “Random musicians get together and call their music fusion. Even if a definition exists, it’s identity seems to be lost now.” Does this notion arise from the fact there are too many mediocre acts these days experimenting without the end result being a significant one? Maybe. Anil and Sikhil insist on keeping the two melodies significant while accompanying each other. Like Anil says, “The sound has to be very integrated. When you listen to it, it shouldn’t sound like ‘this is Western and that is Indian’. Too much analysis kills the whole spirit of the music. Ultimately, If we don’t enjoy it, it is not going to touch our audience.”

Future Plans With the existing four audio CDs, a video recording and the fifth audio slated to release, their prospects seem to be very bright. Despite having fans from the film industry, this duo would like to think twice before entering the playback music scene. Considering themselves to be very loyal to the quality of music they produce, they do not want to compromise with their standards. Anil, rather dramatically, added, “We don’t want a ‘Shiela ki Jawani’ beat in the background. Since we’re still young in terms of the genre, and until we can say it is reasonably complete, it is better to stay off from getting into other media.” The unique combination of Indian and Western definitely strikes a chord. If you wish to indulge in a little classical twist, as Sikkil says, “Please keep buying our CDs and support our music!”

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Photography: Madhesh

X men

Gen


ARITA SARKAR

Random musicians getting together and calling their music fusion is very common now. Fusion is a term best left to physicists. Even if a definition exists, it’s identity is now lost.”

- Anil

AGNIPARIKSHA WHAT THE! A: I once jumped into a village well on Chennai’s East Coast Road though I didn’t know how to swim, just because somebody dared me to. ADDICTIONS S: Gadgets! Tech savvy by nature, he is an iPod fanatic, music blogger and loves playing cricket both on the field and on his Xbox (Topspin 3 being his current muse). FAVOURITE MUSICIANS A: Norah Jones and Cassandra Wilson. They are not considered experimental but I do think they manage to make their music sound different. S: Shakti and Karaikudi Mani. Mani chose songs that already existed and created pieces with various ragas. He also collaborated with the Australia Chamber Choir too! At the end, the music should sound integrated. PASS TIME An alumnus of Columbia University, Anil was part of a “Wine and Cheese club”. As he says, “Quite frankly, some people thought it was for networking but we had no agenda and it wasn’t ‘high funda’ at all. We just sat in a corner, chatting, drinking wine and getting away with it!”

SECRET OF SUCCESS

with the

of classics

“Our phones are our weapons!” With phones as their reference medium, they attributed their success to their round-‐the-‐clock phone conversations to figure out which compositions to keep. “Messaging Sikkil is another of my hobbies now,” he added jokingly. “We have both developed an instinct for each other’s music through it,” Anil stated.

DONT WE LOOK FAB-ULOUS! Clad in ethnic kurtas, and with their Indian flavoured public image, the obvious mention of Fabindia was predictable. “Both of us should endorse FabIndia not only because of the clothes we wear,” Anil remarked, “but also because, our music is quintessentially Indian and cloaked in a way that westerners can understand. It comes in varied colors, but no matter what, it always sounds good when you take it home.” The

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1. 3.

I used to sing since I was 3. Apart from playing the harmonica and guitar, the “Coca Cola Theme” from the World Cup and “Hotel California” were my first two songs.

2.

I’ve done a bunch of small roles in a few movies. Watch out for my character ‘Nakul’ in My Friend Pinto - a Sanjay Leela Bhansali production.

4. 5.

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I used to play for the school and district cricket team. I loved Waseem Akram and Shoaib Akhtar’s style. An older cousin of mine once hung me upside down over the balcony claiming it was a travesty to support our ‘enemies’ when my father was fighting in the Indian army. Now I support India of course.

My current job at Furtados allows me to see products like processors, guitars and amps before the rest of the world gets to. Plus, plan how to market and promote them as well.

8. 9.

Daniel Gildenlow and Michael Jackson – The only two artists who’ve made a huge impact in my life. Their vocals are so powerful and touching. They inspire me to want to sing a song that can make a person cry or smile if I’d want him to. That’s very rare these days.

I would like to collaborate with Orianthi. Or maybe Amy Lee for sure! She seems to have disappeared these days. But that is probably because she is finding her way over here... to me!

6. 7.

‘Chiq’ came about in college, because of my sexy ‘teenage girl’ body type and my long silky hair. I’ve been mistaken for a girl many times.

Unusual habits? I do cook. On a certain Valentine’s Day, I cooked for my girlfriend a combination of two favourties - a very nice steak and pasta. I used a bit of creativity and it was sort of like an ‘own comp’ household chore? I can... vacuum too?

I don’t let people eat on my bed. I also don’t like sticky food being anywhere around me. And when I eat food with my hands, none of the components on my plate can touch each other. It is like food OCD!

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I have a dog named Zooey and I love her to bits. She’s allowed to sleep only on my bed. Never anywhere else. I guess she’s spoilt?


TARA THOMAS

QUIRKS & QUERIES with

Arjun Dhanraj Arjun ‘Chiq’ Dhanraj

is a treat to talk to. Cheery and affable, he is one person who is not afraid to tell you about the most fun, serious, convoluted and downright bizarre experiences in his life, all in his unique narrative style. We spoke to the Vocalist and Lead guitarist of the band Nerverek about his acting career and his role as a Brand Manager at Furtados, Mumbai – and realized he was one person that really personifies passion for music.

Photography: Varun Sikka

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Artist Discovery SID VICIOUS John Simon Ritchie was just another star-‐crossed kid who barely knew how to hold a bass guitar. With his spiked hair, ripped attire and shabbily painted dark nails, Ritchie earned the name of “Sid Vicious” and was the personification of punk! It is said that he spent an entire night listening to The Ramones, and woke up the next morning with the knowledge of how to play bass imprinted in his mind. The Sex Pistols bassist’s life, though short, was filled with tragedy. His downward spiral included his relationship with Nancy Spungeon (a prostitute and drug addict), blinding a female fan by throwing glass on her face, attacking a journalist with a bicycle chain and etching “Gimme a fix” on his chest with a razor blade. He overdosed soon after being released from prison (was charged with murder of his girlfriend), a suicide attempt and bail. Ritchie was found dead with leftover heroin by his side which was supposedly delivered by his mother. -‐ Nazia Jassim

REBECCA BLACK

BLACK’S FREAKY FRIDAY

“It’s Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday. Everybody’s looking forward to the weekend, week-‐ end.” Well I’m not! Rebecca Black aka “The worlds most annoying girl” is just so bad. She is an autotune evangelist and a first class twat. I’m sure the people in her school hate her more than ever, now that she has 22 million people all over the world watching her. She is even on her way to becoming the next Justin Beiber shemale but that is another story! In very simple words, RebeccaBlack’s “Friday” made the eponymous day, the most dreaded in the week. Thanks Rebecca, for it will now forever be known as the Black (blech!) Friday (fried egg). -‐ Ashwath Nair

Score Picks Three tunes every month from the past and present that you must listen to. EMILIE SIMON OTT A NECESSARY END 48

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FLEUR DE SAISON / GENRE: FRENCH ELECTRONICA, EXPERIMENTAL If power-‐packed and spunk-‐filled French singing is something that you have never heard, then trust Emilie to show you how it is done. If only her English album was as good.

ROGUE BAGEL / GENRE : DOWNTEMPO PSY This music is perfect to sit back to and relax. You may like it for the groovy bass line, for the corny Punjabi lyrics, the classical dance vibe or the melodious female vocals that take the track to a whole other level.

SALTILLO / GENRE : TRIP-HOP, DOWNTEMPO A solemn melancholic string score. Enter drum beat and keys and you have yourself a win-‐ ning formula. The lyrics are from ‘Julius Caesar Act 2, Scene 2’. Sounds Bizarre? Just lis-‐ ten to it on Youtube right now.



“SOUND IS THE EMOTION BETWEEN US”

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“Kids aren’t listening to music of good sound quality. I want my fans to listen to a new sound with these headphones.”


Got what it takes? Be a monster today! “People aren’t hearing all the music the way they should; the way I do. In the existing headphones, the only element missing are the ‘beats’.” These powerful and popular lines are by the legendary sound engineer and music producer Dr Dre. Monster Cable, the world leader in cable technology has collaborated with Dr. Dre to produce the iconic Beats by Dre. These extremely popular headphones and earphones define style and music equally. Monster Cable is famous for powering and wiring the studios of artists worldwide and earns much adoration and popularity. As a token of appreciation, many stars have endorsed it as a part of their regular public activities. The famous is seen in countless number of music videos. So much so that now, beats are synonymous to great music and unbeatable style. After the successful launch of Heartbeats by Lady Gaga, we have a new offering for the Indian market. Inspired by Pop sensation Justin Bieber, of the biggest YoutTube teen sensations of the decade. Justin’s tagline “Sound is the emotion between us” has probably already knocked a legion of teenage girls off their feet! Available in both in-ear and stylish on-ear versions, JustBeats™ by Dr. Dre™ are the first high quality headphones bringing a new level of sound quality and enhanced audio experience for younger audiences. Available in a stylish purple hue, inspired by Justin Bieber’s favorite colour, listeners can enjoy all your favorite music for hours with comfortable, cushioned ear cups that fully seal in crystal clear tones and powerful bass. Two versions are available, an on-ear set of JustBeats headphones finished in matte purple and an in-ear set finished in purple and chrome. It has a new super-durable headband constructed to virtually eliminate cracking and breaking. ControlTalk’s built-in mic allows hands-free talk on your music phone. It also works with online voice or video chats on the iPad, iPhone or iPod touch and gives you on-cable playback control including pause, next track and volume. The touring case solos fold up for easy packing too! The headphones come with a one year limited warranty. These earphones will be available in all iStores, select iMagine Stores and major retailers shortly.

PARTY THE NIGHT AWAY MONSTROUSLY

Until now, listening to the signature Beats sound was a solo activity but now with the advent of Beatbox by Dr. Dre (which was declared as the Audio product of the year 2011 by Gadget Guru), it unleashes the driving bass, lush midrange, and soaring highs of a multi-speaker club system with a multiple range clarity. Beatbox retains the vivacity and taste of the music being played even when the volume is increased to the maximum. It fastens the energy of hip hop, the dynamics of rock, the delicate detail of jazz and the intricate texture of a symphony in one amazingly compact and portable box. Recreates the wholesome experience in music lovers filling the room with sound you can feel and hear bass so deep, you’ll need a permit! It has a multi-purpose remote which controls power and volume even for iPod®/ iPhone®. Includes fast reverse and fast forward so you can easily get to your favorite parts. No rude volume surprises even if you left the volume on full blast. Beatbox instantly drops it and ramps it back up gradually to eliminate startles. Beatbox visually acknowledges your commands and keeps your device’s volume bar visible which you can adjust from your touch screen. It includes a handle which makes it portable. The box contains a Beatbox High Definition Audio System with Integrated iPod/iPhone Dock: 10” H x 22.5” W x 8.75 D, 2 feet for height adjustment, remote control with lithium battery, an iPod/iPhone adaptor, a power chord and a year’s warranty of parts and labor. For more information please email: sales@zemaxindia.com

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SCORE

Wilbur Sargunaraj SIMPLE SUPERSTAR CONCERT

r Wilbu , Mr. Youtube f l e s m t an hi a’s bigges rst leg he m Yes, t araj, Indi y for the fi What n r. it Sargu s in the c erstar Tou lled a p fi w u star ple S ght of fun time off i s Sim of hi d was a n also took lls and e ar g ski follow m! Our st mmin to raise u e r h d y s a m f hi n icks ow of ned his st h was wo to sh c o i i h t c w y au later for charit . a y v e i n h o S , m actor e h t by

As the crowd gathered at our special screening of Warner Brothers’ Hall Pass, no one knew what to expect from the movie. However, from the minute it started until the end, the audience could not stop laughing! A great night for the Score Team and friends of Score to sit back and enjoy themselves.

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Hall Pass

SPECIAL SCREENING FOR SCORE AND THE SPRING HOTEL


RE EVENTS Yodhakaa

What was quoted as the best ‘Score Night’ by several audience members, a soulfully-stirring evening with our HMI’s Band of the Month for February, Yodhakaa. ‘Darbuka’ Siva, Susha, Pradeep, Satish and Akshay proved to us how beautiful and soothing good contemporary Indian music could be. If you have not already, pick up their self-titled album and listen to the songs. You will not be disappointed.

Metal Mania with

Escher’s Knot Score witnessed the very TIGHT performance by Score’s and HMI’s first Metal band of the month - Escher’s Knot. Abhi, Manu, Madhav and Anshuman drove the crowd crazy from all the moshing and headbanging action! Special mention to Trojan Horse, Protégés of EK, for their impressive opening act.

NOSTALGIA NIGHT

WITH SWARNABHOOMI ACADEMY OF MUSIC The students and staff of SAM made it a night to relive covering artists from the likes of Gloria Gaynor to Pink Floyd. Special mention to the staff band and the last batch of students, including the talented young drummer Yohan, who really outdid themselves!

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J’S LITTLE SECRET

JESSI

Want to be as outrageous as her? Here are a list of qualities that we feel make her unique in her own way. Read on and take some tips!

HER FIERCE ATTITUDE She is not afraid to wear her hat low, perform crotch-‐ grabbing moves whilst rapping to her audi-‐ ence about how she can ‘do it like a dude’. Why be scared? Just say it as it is.

THE BRITISH BAD-ASS TENDENCY Most British musicians are born with this inherent quality. Jessie is a mix of The Rolling Stones and 21st century Power Pop -‐ street style!

WILLING TO INTERACT WITH FANS The only way of getting them to lis-‐ ten? Speak to them! Jessie never fails to put up impromptu per-‐ formances at stations or on the streets. Tweets and blogs are a must!

She has been in the news ever since her single Do it like a Dude hit the airwaves and is out with her new album Who you are. Bold, scandalous and provocative...

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TARA THOMAS & SHIRIN ALBERT

IE J : Love her or Hate her,

You just can’t ignore her. J

essie J is the next big shiny thing on the block. She has got everybody’s attention - be it for her eye-popping fluorescent outfits, her jet black hairdo or her street-style-cockney tinged voice. Her fresh new sound style and outrageous video, “Do it like Dude”, has set Chinese whispers world over.

Lost in Translation Quite honestly, watching her video of “Do it like a Dude” was beyond painful and vulgar! It was the worst possible way of trying to get to know her music. She has definitely crossed the line and deserves every bit of criticism the video could attract. What is ironic is that the song is about showing how hurtful a man’s actions could be and how she chooses to not do the same.

The Catch Countless number of times in the past decade we have seen women pushing boundaries in terms of attire and lyrical content in the name of empowerment. “Do it like a Dude” is possibly the worst case scenario. They say spreading messages of self-respect regardless of shape, size and sexual orientation e.g. Lady Gaga’s “Born this way”, Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful” (a long time ago). Most people do not buy it and over time, audience numbers dwindle due to irrelevance and distaste.

The Pen is her Sword With research, we were surprised to find that this girl is unconventionally talented. She writes her own lyrics

which have propelled her to the league of women who use their voice to help those going through depression, self abuse and even binge drinking! “I want to use my music to help people who are bombarded with negativity through the media and in some cases day-today life. I want to bring them hope. Songwriting is a weird balance to get right, but I think if you do it continuously, there will be a thread.” She never fails to get audiences transfixed to the hook of her songs. Her repertoire includes writing for artists like Miley Cyrus (“Party in the USA”), Britney Spears (“Being Britney” failed to go through for selection), Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown (with whom she has toured), Alicia Keys and Christina Aguilera. Infact, “Do it like a Dude” was initially meant to be sent to Rihanna but Jessie’s record label made her reconsider.

The End Result She recently baggd the award for BBC Sound of 2011 and is looking to break into other big markets like the United States. The girl from Essex explained how fame has changed her public behaviour: “Until recently, I was a stranger. I could cry on a bridge in the rain and nobody would bat an eyelid. Now if I did it’d be: ‘Jessie J breaks down. Why can’t she cope?’” Her fans have shown her that she cares and are ever ready to support her in her causes. A fact I know from the massive feedback for her video blogs! She never fails to leting her fans know that there is a soft side to her. The girl has a lot of untapped potential. Guess we will have to wait and see where it takes her. Until then, you can listen to her album Who you Are and decide for yourself.

TRACKS YOU MUST LISTEN TO DO IT LIKE A DUDE The lyrics could be termed offensive but after a few listens it does grow on you. The acapella version (Youtube!) has a very seductive and smooth vibe which completely withdraws all hesitations.

WHO YOU ARE Powerful and moving, this song makes her an unconventional diva.

MISSING A BEAT Jessie was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat at the age of 11 and even had a minor stroke at 18. She does not smoke or drink and has told news-‐ papers that “having bad health has made me re-‐ alise I can't take anything for granted and that I must look after my body.”

PRICE TAG A big hit in the clubs and on the radio. Her raspy vocals get you to listen up. The message: Forget your money. Just dance!

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VIKRAM VIVEKANAND

Score Tech

MUSIC FROM YOUR HEART TO YOUR HARD DISK Got a tune in your head but can’t record it? Now you do! Here is Score’s guide to setting up your own Home Studio! Part One: How to find the best microphones in the market for you!

S

o say you are a musician who sings, plays the acoustic guitar, a flute, a violin or even the kazoo. While singing to yourself, you chance upon this really awesome tune in your head. to avoid forgetting it, you run around searching for a recorder but eventually settle for that old desktop microphone on your computer producing wimpy, uninspiring noises You immediately hit the delete button, and about a couple of weeks later, you find yourself doing the same thing. Not everyone who wants to record their music these days is tech-savvy or know how to use digital recording software. Fortunately, the audio companies heard about this and developed products for people

like music students, teachers, housewives who used to sing when they were younger, the quintessential bathroom singers, and even the people who want to have a Skype call with good audio quality. The list is endless! Enter the USB microphone. It has been around for the past 7 years after the podcast boom. Initially, the USB microphone was used for better voice calls and podcast quality. Soon enough, better microphones were developed and musicians started using these microphones for recording their material at home. Why are we talking about it now? Well, India has always taken time to catch up, with home recording becoming popular only in the past few years.

MICROPHONES THAT CAUGHT OUR ATTENTION

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SAMSON G TRACK - ` 8,945/-­‐

SAMSON Q1U DYNAMIC USB MIC - ` 3,190/-­‐

Considered an all-‐in-‐one pack-‐ age, it is a great condenser micro-‐ phone and is an audio interface. You can record your voice, any acoustic instrument and simultaneously an-‐ other instrument like a keyboard or electric guitar by plugging straight into the audio interface part of the microphone. Comes with a Cake-‐ walk Sonar LE recording software as well. Neat huh?

This is a nifty little handheld dynamic microphone that is great for recording both music and voice. It is handheld and is func-‐ tionally simple. Very useful for musicians, vocalists, business professionals, academic groups, classroom situations, etc. It comes with a bundled Cakewalk Sonar LE record-‐ ing software too.


Score

SCORE EVENTS

Tech

BLUE MICROPHONES THE SNOWBALL, YETI & THE YETI PRO - ` 4,440*/-­‐

Snowball

These are amazing microphones for recording music. It is easy to capture a professional recording of an acoustic guitar on the Snowball. On the whole, great for recording acoustic instruments and vocals. The Yeti records in stereo and these microphones have variable polar patterns which can be set according to your recording needs.

zĞƟ WƌŽ

SAMSON GO MIC - ` 3,300/-­‐

IRIG MIC - Price on Demand

This is a neat little condenser microgphone that may not look like it, but is VERY powerful. It is ultra-‐small meaning ultra-‐portable and ideal for recording interviews, voice-‐overs, webcasts, iChat, VoIP calls, vocals and acoustic guitars. It can also switch between cardioid and omni-‐ directional modes.

With the whole world raving about the iPad and the iPhone, IK Multimedia joined the bandwagon and developed the iRig for guitars, and now, the iRig mic. It is a condenser microphone brilliant for vocalists, singer-‐songwriters and acoustic guitar players. It comes with a free VocaLive app, which is a voice processing app, and the iRig recorder, which records directly into your iPad or iPhone. Easy as pie!

HOW DO I USE IT? Really simple. Plug them into the USB ports in your computer, open up your Windows sound recorder and hit the record button. If you use a Mac, use Garage Band which is free. For the more knowledgeable, download a free recording software like Audacity. Also, the Samson G Track comes with a bundled Cakewalk Sonar LE recording software. It is not too difficult to learn. Use your friends Google and YouTube!

BLUE MIC ICICLE - ` 4,389/-­‐ It is a great product if you already own a mic. The Icicle is Blue’s new stylish USB converter and mic preamp combo that allows you to connect any XLR microphone directly into your computer via USB! It features a studio quality microphone preamp, analog gain control and driverless operation. Setup is a snap!

WHO CAN USE IT? Anyone! Music students can record themselves and track their progress, music teachers can record video lessons, composers can quickly lay down rough ideas, flautists, violinists, acoustic guitar players, vocalists, pianists, basically any acoustic instrument player can record or practice with these microphones. Bands can record rehearsal sessions and new song ideas for future reference. Choirs can record themselves with just one or a couple of these mikes. You can even have a great sounding online phone call. The list of possibilities is endless. The only limit is your imagination.

Product and Tech support from Sudhin Prabhakar of ProMusicals

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LET’S GET TR AVIS BAR KER Hip Hop – Rock The notorious drummer from Blink 182 has released his debut solo album. And it’s Hip Hop? And let me tell you, this album is INCREDIBLE. Biggies featured include Lil Wayne, Kid Cudi, Snoop Dogg and Ludacris. The album’s got slight rock influences here and there, but the fusion really does work in the album’s favour. Easily one of the best debut albums of all time!

CAN A DRUMMER GET SOME (FEAT LIL WAYNE, SWIZZ BEATZ & RICK ROSS) This epic opening track has all the elements of a perfect hip hop song. The drum beats are just an incredible add on.

CARRY IT (FEAT RZA, RAEKWON AND TOM MORELLO) – “MY UZI WEIGHS A TON, SON. CARRY IT.” HIGHLY addictive. RATM’s Tom Morello’s guitaring is just the icing on this delicious cake.

KNOCKIN’ (FEAT SNOOP DOGG, LUDACRIS, E-40 & DEV) Starts off with an interesting drum roll that makes you want to listen to the rest of the song which turns out to be quite awesome!

Britney Spears. A name that requires no introduction. Her latest album, Femme Fatale is certainly not her comeback album, and is definitely not her best. With this album she tries her hand at blending in with the pop culture of today. There is definitely no pretence and most of the songs are suited for dance clubs and the likes. So was all the hype worth it? Give it a listen and decide for yourself.

TILL THE WORLD ENDS This mammoth of a dance anthem is a perfect opening track, setting a pace that does not go out throughout the album.

BIG FAT BASS (FEAT WILL. I. AM) The song’s got Will. I. Am’s absurdity which I think for the first time in my experience, adds to the credibility of the song!

CRIMINAL An unexpected flute accompaniment works really well and gives the album a good finish.

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BRITNEY SPEAR S Pop - Dance


POPPED

ARJUN RAJKISHORE

JENNIFER HUDSON

Grammy and Oscar award winner, Jennifer Hudson, recently released her second studio album titled I Remember Me. Hudson wanted this album to be “more personal, and taken to the next level in every possible way.” This album features songwriters like Alicia Keys, Swizz Beatz, Ne-Yo and more. The songs in the album have a very interesting ‘70s R ‘n’ B feel to them. Something much needed in today’s over-jazzed and autotuned world of soul.

R&B – Soul

I GOT THIS StarGate’s amazing production coupled with Jennifer Hudson’s voice makes this song my favourite in the entire album.

STILL HERE (NATASHA BEDINGFIELD COVER) Diane Warren’s amazing songwriting stands out in this epic rendition of Natasha Bedingfield’s masterpiece.

NO ONE GONNA LOVE YOU Soulful and poignant track about convincing her man to not leave her.

WHAT’S AROUND THE CORNER? ROME – DANGER MOUSE & DANIELE LUPPI POP/HIP HOP/R&B

Best known for his work with Gnarles Barkley, Danger Mouse has recruited Jack Black and Norah Jones to sing for his new album along with Italian composer, Danielle Luppi. The album is set for release in May this year and was recorded directly onto tape without using any computer effects!

ELECTRIC LOVE – DIRTY VEGAS POP/HIP HOP/R&B

British House music never sounded better! The infamous trio is back, and their new album Electric Love is scheduled to come out on April 26th. The single “Electric Love” is available for free download on their website and the video featuring Jena Malone looks pretty good.

ALL OF YOU – COLBIE CAILLAT POP/HIP HOP/R&B

The Bubbly songstress is back! After her record breaking album Coco, she is taking a new tangent. The first single from the album, “I do”, was already high up on the Billboard Charts in February. Look out for the new track “Favourite Song” where she collaborates with rapper ‘Common’. The

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Keeping true to the seasonal motifs of renewal and resurgence, R.E.M, Radiohead and Yellowcard are back! These are the albums you must listen to right away...

LET’S GET ROCKED R ADIOHEAD

Electronic alternative rock Radiohead have made a whole art form out of irreverence. Their music and the ideas are often strangers to convention but brilliantly work in their favour. With The King of Limbs, they released the album online four days ahead of schedule, when people least expected it. Unfortunately, die-hard fans were not impressed as opposed to those listening to the band for the first time. There are some ideas, in spaced out guitar loops and Thom Yorke’s extended howls. But at just thirtyseven minutes, most of their promises remain unfulfilled.

CODEX This is similar to their previous “Pyramid Song” only trippier. Jonny Greenwood’s guitaring rolls back the years.

GIVE UP THE GHOST Their ‘piece de resistance’ which exemplifies the ambiance of the album; going nowhere and loving it.

FERAL Listen to this only because it is so fascinatingly weird! Let me know if you can decipher it.

REM

Alternative Rock

So after 15 albums and a host of chart toppers, could relevance still be worth fighting for? Push play and let these grand daddies of Alternative Rock come hard at you, ripping their throats and guitar strings to still be heard. Featuring guest vocals from luminaries such as Eddie Vedder and Patti Smith, Collapse Into Now will not bore you. It is full of mid-life maturity which entices you to think and delve deeper. And still, it does not give up on celebrating the freedom of living.

ÜBERLIN Even without any apparent context, it is breathtakingly lovely. Michael Stipe doing what he does best.

BLUE This song is an ode to Jacknife Lee’s production, as well as being one of the two songs Patti Smith guest appears on.

ALLIGATOR AVIATOR AUTOPILOT ANTIMATTER

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Well, if the title does not pique your curiosity, you could try it for it’s awesome guitaring.


MIHIR SINHA

With When you’re through thinking, say yes, the band sounds like they have turned the corner after the previous album’s let down. This is pop punk, but it is mature. Sean Mackin’s violin gives the album a strangely operatic ambiance while Ryan Key keeps it going throughout with beautiful lyrics. Newbie Sean O’Donnell makes a difference on guitars too. It does not matter if you are not a pop punk fan. I strongly suggest to get this album!

HANG YOU UP Beautiful song, with a melody to bring back that beautiful lazy day at the beach.

SING FOR ME This one is a rock ballad executed expertly. It ticks all the boxes without getting cheesy.

YELLOWCARD

Punk/alternative rock

SOUNDTRACK Yellowcard push into Offspring territory on this one and come away unscathed. Shout along to it.

WHAT’S AROUND THE CORNER? FOO FIGHTERS – WASTING LIGHT ROCK

Probably the biggest album this year might bring with the return of Pat Smear. The band is feeding the frenzy, with social network updates and tour announcements. “Rope”, the first single from the album is already No.1 on the Billboard Alternative Songs charts.

AUGUSTANA – AUGUSTANA

ALTERNATIVE ROCK

Even though they have been unable to sustain their momentum, the band never really left our consciousness. The new album marks the return of original member David Lamoureux, for the departed John Vincent. The first song, “Steal your Heart”, has already hit radiowaves.

THE STROKES – ANGLES HARDCORE PUNK

When The Strokes first burst onto the scene, they were hailed as revivalists and saviors. Their next album was one made under the most duress, with singer Julian Casablancas’ self imposed distance from the band and Albert Hammond’s persistent drug problems. I sincerely hope they come through. The

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ASHWATH NAIR & MRIDULA ARJUN

Romance Of The Gramophones The Grammies, in popular culture, were considered unimportant and a source of mockery. With this year’s show, does it continue to remain so? he 53rd Annual Grammy night was one of the few rare ocassions when I switched on the TV this year. The fashions were quirkier; the performances, stellar, but most importantly - what the hell was up with the vague list of winners and nominees of the awards? Inspite of the numerous speculations, raised eyebrows and confused faces at the the event, nobody till date has manged to come up with an answer. In my opinion, it felt more like a polished version of a Teens’ Choice Award Show. I personally show dissatisfaction towards the decision that seemed to be made by a bunch of 15 year-old teenagers instead of “highly professional music critics”as it ought to be.

T

For starters, Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind” was the winner for both categories Song/Record of the Year with Eminem’s “Love the way you lie” and Cee Lo’s “Forget You” as its strongest contenders. Why were songs like Janelle Monae’s “Tightrope”, Arcade Fire’s “Sprawl” and LCD Sound System’s “I Can Change”, which seemed more commendable, completely left out of the field?

SCORE’S TOP 3: WORST GRAMMY 2011 PERFORMANCES. LADY GAGA

What was amusing was everything about this performance yelled out ‘freak’! The stage had numerous dancers, all in yellow… cloth and GAGA entered in a space egg? She was in yellow too and her usual cool pointy thingys all over. It seemed like a tribute to The Adams family, the bunch of them with the vague, cacophonic organ and the choreography.

MIRANDA LAMBERT Country has been redefined. That is our opinion when Miranda Lambert stepped on stage. Guess the pink guitar and the ever-‐so-‐refined hillbilly vocal twang in her voice helped her take away Best Female Country Vocal Performance. Ladies and gentlemen, the new “Avril Lavigne of Country.”

I honestly do not know the mysterious ways that critics chose the winners and on what grounds they base their final decisions; is it popularity in the charts, radio airplay or the overflow of artistic creativeness, artistic quality and originality that makes it really shine amongst the other nominees? The only winner that intrigued me was Best New Artist, Esperanza Spalding. She has that rare X factor of being able to transmit a certain personal kind of vision and energy that is all her own. Arcade Fire’s Album of the Year win came as a pleasant surprise too making most people believe it was a ‘fair and square’ ceremony to a certain extent.

THE ARETHA FRANKLIN TRIBUTE

Even with the last few points in mind, I am still convinced that the Grammys sucked. The good news is, Rebecca Black made “Friday” the most dreaded day of the week AFTER the Grammys were over. But as any diplomatic award nominee or runner-up would say, there is always next year.

I can summarise this performance in three simple words. It was HORRIBLE. All I could see were a couple of women (Florence, Mar-‐ tina Mcbride, Ms.Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson and Yolanda) in ugly gowns trying to outdo each other. To top it all off, Christina broke into one of her ‘I’m-‐so-‐awesome-‐and-‐I-‐cannot-‐lie 20-‐minute solos’, and failed.

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