Ground Zero

Nov 16, 2018, 08:25 IST | Shunashir Sen

Ahead of his hotly anticipated gig, Sam Hardaker from DJ duo Zero 7 catches up with The Guide

Ground Zero
Sam Hardaker

The year was 2010. The setting was a trip to the Dooars in north Bengal. And the song was In the Waiting Line by Zero 7. We remember playing it on loop with our school friends while travelling by car to our holiday destination in the middle of a tea estate. Nothing, we felt then, could be a better soundtrack for our winding drive up the foothills of the eastern Himalayas, and we still remember that journey as if it were yesterday. And that really is the magical thing about music — a four-minute track can bring forth such an avalanche of memories and emotions that they help capture a moment in time for the rest of your days.

Now, Sam Hardaker from the British DJ duo will play a set in Mumbai at Disrupt, a two-day electronic music festival. The buzz around his performance has reached fever pitch. So we caught up with him, and here are excerpts of his answers, which are part informative, part cheeky.

How did the idea of joining forces with [long-term vocal collaborator] Sia Furler come about, and can you describe the early days of your working relationship?
We got introduced as we were beginning to play around with the idea of making our own music. She showed up at our studio and things immediately started to happen. Our few prior attempts at songwriting had been pretty arduous affairs but this was really different. It was the first time that we'd been in the room with someone whose input was transformative in terms of the music. We started to feel like it had a vibe and was becoming something.

What's the most important thing that an electronic music producer must keep in mind when collaborating with guest vocalists?
I heard Quincy Jones saying that when he started to get goosebumps in the studio, he knew something was happening. Maybe them feelings are what we're looking for, whatever we're making?

How is it necessary to keep turning an ear back towards the past, when new sounds are changing the way music is being produced?
It's a bit like the last question. Styles, methods and sound constantly change, but the thrill of hearing something for the first time and being blown away can come from anywhere, past or present.

What can the audience expect from your gig in Mumbai?
Country and western. ;) [Note: This is a tongue-in-cheek response since Hardaker's set will have nothing to do with these two genres]

Other Disruptors


The two days of Disrupt begins today and ends late on Saturday night. It will feature a host of Indian and three international acts, with a vinyl-listening session thrown in for a breather from all the electronic music. Some of the artistes who will play include the UK-based Lefto and the American act Free the Robots, apart from Spryk, DJ Uri and BLOT! (in pic, above) from India.

ON November 17, 10 pm
AT Famous Studios, Mahalaxmi 
LOG ON TO insider.in
Entry Rs 999

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