Critical musical angle
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy and rainbows inspire adman-musician Ashutosh Phatak's latest venture, 42. Head to Blue Frog for their maiden gig tonight
The first thing that strikes one about 42, ad-film composer Ashutosh Phatak's latest project, is the obvious reference to Douglas Adams' seminal The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy series.
He laughs and says, "That was the main inspiration, of course, but 42 is actually a very significant number in many ways. For example, it is the angle at which light has to exit raindrops in order for us to see a rainbow."
42 includes Ramona Arena, Warren Mendonsa, Papal Mane and
Jai Row Kavi apart from founder Ashutosh Phatak
Phatak, fondly known as Ashu to everyone at Blue Frog (of which he is co-founder and co-owner) as well as in the advertising fraternity, is the brain behind 42, a project that is influenced by New Age and Industrial Rock.
Handling production, composition and arrangement duties along with vocals and keys, 42 boasts of an all-star backing band that includes Ramona Arena (vocals), Warren Mendonsa (guitars), Papal Mane (bass) and Jai Row Kavi (drums).
"This is a genre I've wanted to explore for a while a dark Nine Inch Nails sort of sound, with more of a melodic touch to it," says Ashu. Their initial demos, named Deep Dark and The Wall, bear all the hallmarks of that sound slow vocals, intense and loopy grooves with layers that make the sound grow bigger as the tracks progress.
Amazingly, 42 already has ten songs ready within a time-span of just three weeks. Ashu laughs, "I tend to work backwards. I book a gig date and then work as fast as I can to get my material ready before the show."
Surely it's his advertising background that enables him to work this quickly? He agrees, "My ads are usually done in a matter of hours. For 42, I've literally been making songs in a day or two.
This is the way I work I like the pressure." How does this affect the quality of the material, we ask. He responds, "When you work this quickly, you tend to get into a meditative sort of flow and avoid over-thinking. I think this makes the whole song-writing and compositional process very natural and organic."
Ramona is also a key collaborator on this project as well. She says, "This is an exciting project for me to be part of since it combines elements of Rock and Electronica genres I've grown up listening to in such an interesting manner.
I've co-written some of the songs with Ashu, and it's been very satisfying because the two of us gel together really well!"
ON Today, 9 pm onwards
AT Blue Frog, Mathuradas Mills Compound, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel.
ENTRY Free before 9 pm, Rs 300 after