Till Apes on the long-drawn making and release of ‘Yuh’

Bengaluru neo hip-hop band Till Apes talk about their latest release ‘Yuh’

March 12, 2024 11:50 am | Updated 11:50 am IST

Till Apes

Till Apes | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

In the early days of Bengaluru neo hip-hop band Till Apes, they began writing ‘Yuh’ but it is only five years later that the song has been released. Saxophonist Gautam David from the six-piece band says they have been going back to tinker with the song to the point that it felt like a tradition.

He adds, “Playing this song for so long actually allowed us to make several small changes when we finally recorded it, making the most of the pocket that was created with rhythmic quips and alterations here and there.”

From its pendulous synth/piano intro by Philip John to slick guitars by Amrith Raghunathan that welcome Hanumankind’s rap, David’s saxophone takes centerstage soon enough to let ‘Yuh’ soar. Bassist Soorya Praveen and drummer Sange Wangchuk back up and even lead the rhythms into dexterous spaces, making the most of the two-and-a-half-minute song’s runtime.

Till Apes

Till Apes | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

It is easy to compare it to Till Apes earliest singles such as ‘World Domination’ and ‘Scissor Salad’ and David points out that the song’s place early on in their live performances meant that it never got old as they relied on it charge up the crowd. He adds, “It’s short and crisp, plus the intro always has us tensing up right until the big release where Hanumankind comes in with his lyrical flow.”

How does the band explain the five-odd years it has taken them to release ‘Yuh’? David says it was more to do with the challenge of having enough material ready to follow-up on once they were released. “We wanted to make sure we’re steadily releasing songs in 2024, hence the long wait,” he adds.

With the song out now, Till Apes performed as part of Jameson Connects on March 10 at the Lalit Ashok, alongside singer-songwriter Frizzell D’Souza and Belgium-origin “organic electronic” band Stavroz.

“This is a gig we are super excited for, mostly because of several new instrumentals that we’re debuting and a completely re-arranged set that also features songs we haven’t played in a really long time.”

Till Apes

Till Apes | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Playing in Bengaluru might be the easiest bet for Till Apes right now, considering all the band members have their own set of projects that are active. David says there aren’t any tours in the pipeline with the focus going into planning and releasing new music.

However, the journey has been “surreal” so far for Till Apes, according to the saxophonist — from playing across the country and hitting up festivals such as Lollapalooza India in Mumbai in 2023. He adds, “There’s a lot of new material that we’ve been writing and we want to make sure it’s produced to the best of our abilities.”

There are more singles, EPs and albums in the works from Till Apes. David says they spent most of 2023 “polishing the many ideas” they had with them. He adds about their plans for the year, “Maybe the odd show here and there, but 2024 is all about getting our new material out because Till Apes’ soundscape is evolving and we want to have you along for the ride.”

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