With new and innovative genres cropping up in the music capital, Allan Moses Rodricks trips on Bangalore’s trending soundscape and discovers why the city plays hub to a deluge of sonic species

Gone are the days when musicians would group themselves up as a simple rock or metal act or play covers. With more and more bands popping up in the music capital, MetroPlus finds out why trendy new age genres are becoming the latest fad. From future garage, post-dubstep, indietronica and cloud rap to industrial metal, drumfunk, darkstep, psychedelic rock and many more, music in Bangalore has never been this trending and abundant in the variety of music it offers to music lovers before.

Arpan Peter of Overture India, a city-based music consultancy firm explains that there is a market for it. “Right now people are more open to listening to a range of genres and sub-genres. The early 2000s saw the turn of new metal and alternative rock that took Bangalore by storm. Now, it’s the time of electronic dance music which will also give way to something else soon. Bangalore has always been open to change which is why any kind of music thrives here.” Looking ahead, he says it’s very tough to predict their course. “There are definitely no disadvantages. As long as there are people ready to accept any kind of music, it works for everyone. There is something for everybody in the city.”

Geeth Vaz of soulful folk rock fusion band Lagori believes this trend is a good thing. “New music caters to an entire listening base and we have a wide array of audiences in Bangalore. Different people have different tastes and there is a listener for almost any kind of music here. This also helps expand the independent music scene here.” So what makes Bangalore a hotspot? Geeth says it’s because the city is very cosmopolitan. “There are people from across the country here. I believe the cream of India’s population live here. So we have good quality music and good listeners as well. It’s a win-win situation for bands and music lovers.”

Rahul from trip-hop, post-dubstep, down-tempo electronic band Sulk Station recalls that this whole genre fetish started when bands started bringing out original music. “Earlier, there used to be just covers bands so we didn’t really have anything to speak of as an identity. When bands started making their own music, they had to create their identity and genre was one of the tools to describe their music. In the last five years, a lot more bands and new genres have been popping up, especially in Bangalore.”

The advantage is that it obviously simplifies things for others, he says. “Describing an artiste’s own sound is difficult since the process is deep and complex, hence genres help give that sound a name. The disadvantage is the compartmentalisation. People tend to expect a certain kind of music from a particular genre so living up to those expectations or meeting those standards can be arduous.”

Rahul says the tagging mostly happens due to fans and reviews. “A lot of people blog about music and they end up adding tags to their pieces. So this genre thing has become very democratic with people having different opinions. It’s really not that important. It’s just there to make conversation easier. New genres will keep coming in and others will keep dying out.”

Michael Dias of Mad Orange Fireworks agrees that the music scene has definitely evolved. “Today bands are all about originality. I’m from Kerala and I moved to Bangalore because it’s the ideal place to be in the Indian music scene. The whole music community is growing and having so many genres helps musicians try and create something niche, unique and different.”

However, he quickly adds that the whole idea of genres is completely overrated. “Every band has its own unique sound. As long as it can produce good entertaining music, that’s all that matters. Irrespective of the genre, as long as people like you, that’s what makes you special. For instance, we call our music orange rock since it’s a blend of everything from jazz and funk to pop and rock but people like us because of our music and not because of our genre.”