About half a decade ago, the general perception of mainstream electronica was pretty different. It was often thought to be a mixture of rock and computer-produced beats. It was more recently that dubstep and drum & bass — both genres connected to the umbrella group of electronic music — became massive in the mainstream. Suddenly, it was all about waiting for the bass to drop and the breakbeats to kick in, or other such phrases.
Whether you like it or not, India’s caught the massive buzz around the new wave of electronic dance music (EDM). It’s not just the party crowd; there are a good number of upcoming DJs and music producers who are experimenting in various forms of electronic music. Mumbai-based drummer Aditya Ashok — who plays with electronica band Shaa’ir + Func and alt rock band The Colour Compound — has been steadily plotting his own solo drum & bass release for the past year. This comes in the form of a four-track EP titled Any Minute Now.
There’s a mostly steady programming of beats on all four tracks, between 170 and 180 beats per minute. That matters because it brings out the ambient/liquid quality in each song. The opener ‘Any Minute Now’ is nearly six minutes in length, but sets the tone in conveying to the listener that this album is as much about the chill-out soundscapes as it is about the beats.
Ashok’s main tools include a MIDI keyboard and a laptop. So before you dismiss it as just pushing the play button on a computer, listen to ‘Northern Lights’ and the dark ‘Wolves’. These will change your notions about ‘computer music’. ‘Northern Lights’ was one of Ashok’s earliest compositions, containing a perfect mix of bass drops and borrowing from house and synthpop.
There’s a lack of vocals on Any Minute Now, but Ashok throws in a few samples here and there for effect, and not as a gimmick. If you ever wondered what electronic music is all about, listening to this album may straighten this out.
Bottomline: As much about the chill-out soundscapes as it is about the beats
Any Minute Now; Ox7gen, free download on ox7gen.bandcamp.com