Lighting up the scene

Updated: 20 November, 2019 09:11 IST | Shunashir Sen | Mumbai

An electronic music festival that promises a visual spectacle returns this weekend

Cutting-edge visual design has always been at the forefront of Disrupt
Cutting-edge visual design has always been at the forefront of Disrupt

Take yourself back five years. Think of where the Indian electronic music scene was placed then. Sure, there was a pretty robust list of artistes populating it, with people like Nucleya and Dualist Inquiry starting to make the audience eat out of their hands. The quality of the sound at the gigs wasn't, well, world-class. But it was getting there. What the scene lacked, though, was the ability of most promoters to put up the sort of visual spectacle that would knock your socks off. Technologies like projection mapping and motion graphics to accompany the music were still rare. And what you normally had were just a bunch of LED lights in bright colours creating patterns on the floor and walls of a room (though the production quality at outdoor venues was often better).

But with time, things started literally lighting up. Proof of that lies in the idea behind Disrupt, a three-year-old electronic music festival that's returning to the city, and which puts technology at its forefront. Music management firm Mixtape is organising it. Naveen Deshpande, its founder, tells us that the Internet and increased physical access to festivals abroad have given local visual artistes the knowledge they need to replicate the environment at, say, a club like Fabric in London. "A lot of youngsters also write to me these days saying they want to learn about lights, and the experts we work with get the same requests," he says, adding that that's why he's introduced a new element of workshops and masterclasses on visual design that will precede the gigs at night.


The festival was held at Famous Studios in Mahalaxmi last year, and the place had been turned into a neon wonderland of sorts. But it's being shifted to a recently relaunched venue at a mill compound in Lower Parel this time, while the masterclasses — which are proof of how the appetite for cutting-edge ocular technology is only growing in this part of the world — will be held at another venue in the same premises. The musical line-up, too, reflects changing tastes. The curation is decidedly experimental. There's DJ EZ, one of the earliest purveyors of UK garage music. Then there's Acid Arab, a French duo who play what can be termed as Oriental techno. There are also nine other international and local acts like Sandunes who would probably thrust you in the middle of a violent moshpit if you termed their music as EDM. And together, they are likely to give the city a spanking electronic music fest that promises to be lit, to use a millennial pun.

On November 23 and 24, 4 pm
At antiSOCIAL, Mathuradas Mill Compound, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel.
Log on to
Cost Rs 2,000

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First Published: 20 November, 2019 08:58 IST

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