Austrian band Bauchklang gets candid in interview before SulaFest performance

Updated: Jan 30, 2018, 10:31 IST | Dhara Vora Sabhnani

Ahead of their performance at SulaFest, Austrian vocal groove band Bauchklang speak about the beatboxing genre, and their musical journey

(From left) Philipp Sageder, Alex Bock, Christian Birawsky, Gerald Huber and Andreas Fraenzl, the members of Bauchklang
(From left) Philipp Sageder, Alex Bock, Christian Birawsky, Gerald Huber and Andreas Fraenzl, the members of Bauchklang

From Indian classical to EDM, you perform in various genres. What do you enjoy the most?
We enjoy translating musical styles that are exciting for us into our musical setting. If we can create a mood, a track or a song to dance or cry to, then the mission is achieved.

What new styles of music has the band been exploring recently?
Right now, we are working with some fantastic artistes from Colombia on a movie project.

What do you plan to perform at the concert?
It's been a while since we last performed in India and these days, we do just a few concerts worldwide throughout the year, so it's going to be something special for us! Our set will feature some of our new material and some older tracks. We have the privilege of closing the festival and we hope to have a big party with all the people present.

In what ways has your music changed over the years?
We started out singing traditional a capella arrangements; it's where it began — three-part harmonies, soul songs and a lot of improvisation at small venues and weddings. Back then, we were curious to explore the possibilities of performing a capella music in different ways. Now, that's really far from the beat-driven sets we do these days at 2 am in front of big crowds at EDM festivals. Fifteen years ago, when this art form was not so common but electronic music became popular, we wanted to compete with a well-produced DJ set in a club or at big festival stages, and we found out that it is possible. Akusmatik, our previous album (2013), is the most club-music oriented album so far. Then again, throughout this journey, we find ourselves — on and off stage — singing simple three-part harmonies, and loving it.

What is your advice to those keen to give beatboxing a shot?
Imitate whatever you hear. Kids, babies, a car engine, traffic horns, animals, ringtones, the keyboard you write on, squeaky doors, the booming stereo in the car passing you by, waves, birds, instruments, and anything else that attracts you sonically. Then pick your favourite ones and start making rhythms
with it.

While in India, what do you plan to explore and do this time?
Some of us will come earlier or/and stay longer in India. We will catch up with friends and colleagues in Mumbai before the show. We also plan to explore the city; I'm sure exciting new places, artiste areas, creative agencies and clubs have sprung up.

Do you feel beatboxing needs to be popularised any further?
It doesn't! With YouTube, everyone shares and explores new ways to practise and think about this art form. The beauty lies in the fact that everyone can do it. You don't need expensive equipment.

ON: February 4 (festival starts on 3)
AT: Sula Vineyards, Nashik.
LOG ON TO: bookmyshow.com
TICKETS: Rs 4,300

The band
* Andreas Fraenzl: lead vocals, vocal sounds
* Gerald Huber: human beatbox, vocal sounds, human bass
* Christian Birawsky aka Bina: human beatbox, mouth percussion, vocal sounds
* Alex Böck: human bass, vocal sounds
* Philipp Sageder: vocal sounds, mouth percussion

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