Midival Punditz, unplugged
It's been six years since Electronica band, Midival Punditz released an album. Featuring Delhi duo Gaurav Raina and Tapan Raj, the band is finally ready with its fourth album, Light, along with an all-India tour that kicks off from Mumbai, today
Q. The album, Light has artistes from across genres making guest appearances. How do these new elements influence the sound of Midival Punditz? Is this an attempt to offer more than just your known sound?
A. This album has a great ensemble of collaborators who have added a new dimension to our music. When we are writing a new track, roughly half way through the writing process, we know who we would like to collaborate with to complete the story of that track. Now, with this record, we have had a lot of Indian Folk music influences such as Malini Awasthi from UP, Kutle Khan from Rajasthan and Baiju Dharmajan from Kerala. It's not a conscious attempt to offer more than our known sound, but it's a natural progression of our music.
Gaurav Raina and Tapan Raj, the duo behind Midival Punditz
Q. What's the story behind the album title, Light? Does this have anything to do with your performance-oriented gigs you have planned across India?
A. Yes, absolutely. Our music is always like a narration of our experiences, our travels, and our lives. Our lives and experiences always inspire us. During that time, we were playing at a lot of music festivals, and were inspired by the sheer theatrics of the festivals. That led us to conceptualise the album as a show, a full-fledged show — where the tracks were dramatic enough to create a lot of dynamics within a live performance. We realised that today, the lighting — where it's used on stage, for visuals or in the music — is important. Even in music, darkness and light relate to moods. For us, we would always visualise the level of light in that song or that part of that entire show. Light was very important to the conceptualisation of this album. The album goes through degrees of brightness or darkness and that is the reason why we called it Light' It encapsulated the essence of the album. We have worked with a talented Delhi-based duo, Santana Issar and Naasha Mehta, who have created visuals for each track of the album and these will be displayed on a screen behind the band during our performances. These visuals and also the lighting production are in sync with the music. We believe it creates a more impacted experience for our audience.
Light by Midival Punditz, Times Music. Album releases on April 28
Q. How long have you guys been working on this album?
A. We'd been working on Light for almost a year-and-a-half. We wanted a single string of thought to tie-in the album. So to maintain that continuity of treatment and thought, the tracks were all written one after the other. It was the natural way to
go about it as this particular album is a performance-based concept record. The album is like a full Midival Punditz show performed live.
Q. Which are your favourite tracks in the album and why?
A. This changes every few weeks. For some time, we individually like a track and think it's a favourite, and then, it changes to another track.
Q. Do you have roles and responsibilities defined within the act, or does it change with situation and time?
A. We write our music individually in our studios and then pass it on to each other to take the track forward or sometimes we start working on a track together if we are in the same studio at a time. Our roles and responsibilities interchange within the band often, depending on the situation. However, the role of engineering and recording the album is done primarily by Gaurav (Raina).
Q. Midival Punditz has been around for a while now. Do you see a change in tastes among Indian Electronic music fans?
A. Now, there is more acceptance of our style of music and even more for Independent music. This in turn is encouraging more young aspiring musicians to see music as a viable career option. This wasn't the case when we started.
Q. For the last few years we have been seeing an influx of foreign DJs performing in India. Do you see India as the next hotspot for Electronica or EDM?
A. We see India as a hotspot for entertainment in general. This means international comedy acts, dance acts, live bands, DJs - in every genre, and not just Electronica or EDM. The Electronica scene in India is growing rapidly and that's got a lot to do with the emergence of more festivals and venues. This wasn't the case when we started and it's exciting to see the scene push forward.
On: Today, 10 pm onwards
At: blueFROG, Mathuradas Mills Compound, Lower Parel.