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Bangalore band Sulk Station formed by Tanvi Rao and Rahul Giri

Bangalore band Sulk Station formed by Tanvi Rao and Rahul Giri  

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Bengaluru’s own electronic music duo Sulk Station, on why a good audience only wants decent music, regardless of genres

It’s been nearly three years since Bangalore electronic music duo Sulk Station’s debut album Till You Appear released.

Between then and now, there have been nation-wide gigs, a one-off show in the UK and marriage. Producer Rahul Giri, one half of Sulk Station along with vocalist and synth player Tanvi Rao, says marriage hasn’t changed their relationship as musicians. “We were together for a while before marriage, so we are used to making music while being in a relationship. It hasn’t made a huge difference in terms of how we make music etc. but obviously priorities change.”

Giri says marriage has made both of them more responsible, and made them realise that “making music is still very important to both of us, but it’s definitely not the only thing in our minds.” Sulk Station still take their music very seriously when they have to. While they might have just released one single, ‘Aur Nahi’, in October this year, they’ve played far and wide – from major metros of Mumbai and Delhi to showcasing their blend of trip hop, electronica with the occasional hint of Hindustani classical vocals at destination festivals held in Arunachal Pradesh, Ooty and Rajasthan.

They returned to perform at the second edition of the experiential festival Magnetic Fields in Rajasthan, which took place this weekend at the Alsisar Mahal. Giri says about what sets the festival apart from its large-scale competitors in electronic music festivals, such as Sunburn and Vh1 Supersonic, “The festivals you mention have a singular agenda – Dance. This is not the case with Magnetic Fields. Although it’s primarily an electronic music festival – with some exceptions – the line-up is very diverse and covers a major chunk of the electronic music spectrum. Also, a 17th century palace in Rajasthan as a backdrop sets it apart. It was quite an experience, more intimate for sure.”

The producer adds that Sulk Station doesn’t exactly have a specific preference for club shows over festival stages or vice versa: “The way we perform changes with every performance… they are not drastic changes, but little tweaks here and there.” The duo manages to keep things simple, taking into consideration festivals run on a tight schedule, but experiment much more when they play in clubs in Bangalore and across the country. New material, news song structures, collaborations – everything is fair game for Sulk Station at a club gig.

Giri adds, “The club set up especially in Bengaluru is more like a playground for us, where we get to do cool things every once in a while.” The duo have gained a following with an unconventional sound that’s not simply put together to get people on the dance floor. Unlike most electronic music that’s doing the rounds, Sulk Station have always delved in the moody, melancholic throes of dark electronic music that’s often categorised as downtempo.

Says Giri about their growing popularity, “I think people just care about music. They are not so much bothered about the genre and other such things. If you put out decent music, the scene will in one way or the other make room for you. Of late, a lot of people are making electronic music that is not geared towards the dance floor.”

And there’s more of that around the corner coming from the Sulk Station camp soon after Magnetic Fields, as Giri assures us. “We recently put out a single. More will follow early next year. Basically, we are sitting on a bunch of songs – enough to make an album – we have been performing them live for a while, but we are not really sure about the format i.e. EP/LP as of now. I think after Magnetic Fields, we will basically sit down, consolidate, make all the decisions and hopefully something put out something in first half of 2015.”

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 10:30:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/onward-journey/article6691027.ece

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