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Iconic Indian Ocean band upset that 'nobody buys CDs any more'

Indian Ocean on their new album, the changed scene of music consumption and the band's bonding

(From left) Nikhil Rao, Tuheen Chakraborty, Rahul Ram, Himanshu Joshi and Amit Kilam make up Indian Ocean
(From left) Nikhil Rao, Tuheen Chakraborty, Rahul Ram, Himanshu Joshi and Amit Kilam make up Indian Ocean

"When there are no shows, we meet every day to jam, play cricket, gorge on delicious food and drink endless cups of chai over jokes," says Rahul Ram, bassist and one of the voices of the iconic Indian Ocean, when asked about the camaraderie within the group. The band was launched in 1990 and became popular for their World Music sound. It witnessed the arrival and departure of a number of musicians, including founder members Susmit Sen (guitar) and the late Asheem Chakravarty (vocals and percussion), but mutual respect and love for the core sound keeps them going. "We have always stuck to our workshop-style of making music. It is only about the music as opposed to any competition," he adds.

They are now working on a new album which, unlike their 2014 collaborative album, Tandanu, is likely to be a standalone record, barring a couple of tracks. "It will have two songs with Pandit Vikku Vinayakram and saxophonist George Brooks," they inform. But the medium of release remains undecided. "We might release the songs as singles. We have recorded three songs and are in the process of recording two more," says guitarist Nikhil Rao.

Following a string of albums - Indian Ocean (1993), Desert Rain (1997), Kandisa (2000), Jhini (2003) and Black Friday (2005) - under renowned record labels, the band released their sixth studio album, 16/330 Khajoor Road, independently in 2010. They were frustrated negotiating with labels. The disappearance of the CD culture has upset them. "Nobody buys CDs any more, and music companies preferred a limited release. They would insist on owning the copyright of the songs, but the experience with Tandanu has been satisfactory," adds Ram.

The band will be playing an assorted set, comprising their signatures like Bandeh, Leaving Home and Bhor at a concert tonight.

On: Tonight, 9 pm
At: The Finch, John Baker, Marol, Saki Vihar Road, Andheri (E)
Log on to: bookmyshow.com
Entry: Rs 3,000

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