Attempting to keep up with new releases is exhausting. And the never-ending quest to discover an act before they hit >1000 plays on Bandcamp is all but rewarding. Having given up full time music writing a little while ago, more often than not I find myself feeling a mix of FOMO and IDGAF about new, local music while compiling my Spotify playlists. With this feature, we (that is, I) aim to put together a weekly mixtape—without being judgemental assholes.
For this week’s edition, I’ve put together a bunch of tunes from the line-up of the ever-so-awesome Control ALT Delete, now running into its 11th edition—sourcing the reccos from the peeps who run the festival as also the subculture think tank 4/4 Experiences. Fuck me, but when did this democratic, truly DIY and noble endeavour enter its adolescence? Put together by a bunch of hardworking, gritty AF mofos, CAD is one for the books, each and every time. A calendar date you just cannot miss if you’re even remotely into alternative music in India.
STFU and contribute here.
“The Warli Revolt” by Swadesi
“This one's a wake-up call. The groove doesn’t leave your system for days after hearing it. It’s a modest question to a complex problem. The sound is unique and refreshing. The details in the music video give me goosebumps every time I watch it.”
—Himanshu Vaswani, Director @ 4/4 Experiences, bringer of greens at Ziro, 2014
“What Have I Done” by Riatsu
“This track perfectly encapsulates Riatsu's ability to take the abstract and build a rich atmospheric cocoon around it that feels like a brain massage. The sound of the track has a very optimistic vibe right from the get-go. It brightens up my mood every time I listen to it. Every little musical element adds to the composition without being too hectic making this song a very immersive experience. Highly recommended track to listen to when you are at work and need to plug in and disconnect from the rest of the world, or if you are just taking it easy on a late evening.”
—Mohnish Rathod, Graphic Designer @ 4/4 Experiences
“Mahaul” by Daira
“Among other songs on Daira's latest album Itni Jurrat?, "Mahaul" sheds light on the skilful and polished outcome Daira consistently brings to the table—in the studio or live. The basslines are the nerves in many of their songs, and this song is a small example of the dynamics the band is actually capable of producing, given their multiple musical influences and the need to constantly evolve. I think Daira has been my pick for a loooong time till something hits me hard enough to change that choice! From the day I walked into a show seeing the band for the first time, I fell in love with the sweetly woven but complementing guitar parts, soaring vocals, basslines that form the backbone of the songs, and the exhilarating drum parts.”
—Pratika Prabhune, Marketing and Communication @ 4/4 Experiences
“Manasinde Vingal” by Beard of Harmony
“Came across Beard of Harmony when I heard their delicious cover of Tool's "Right in Two". Though I'm not much of a singer-songwriter kind a guy, I absolutely dig the somber ambience, the stripped-down acoustic sound, and dual guitar and vocal harmonies from these Bangalore dudes. They just released an EP called Roots and their songwriting is beautiful and moving. My pick from it is a song called "Manasinde Vingal": a nice introspective number, the kind you listen to your eyes closed.”
—Nikhil Udupa, Director @ 4/4 Experiences and the hero the scene needs
“Shahenshah” by Chabuk
“This is one of the best debuts by any band. With a solid and dynamic drum and bass bedrock, the guitar riffs add to the energy of the track. But it's the refreshing and quirky lyrical content that stands out throughout the song.”
—Savi Shriastava, Artist Management and Programming @ 4/4 Experiences
"Happy Sad" by The Derelicts!
"Kochi indie pop band The Derelicts! are probably the happiest sad band on the 11th edition of the Control ALT Delete lineup. They released their self-titled debut EP in July last year, and an earworm was born. As the weather gets ever warmer, this is that cool summer anthem, à la "Pumped Up Kicks". And of course, being a Kerala band means that I have never seen them live. This is my chance. And yours too."
—Mae Mariyam Thomas, founder/host of Maed in India
“Stars” by Plastic Parvati
“The memory of listening to this song for the very first time is a hazy yet distinct one. It was in Kasba (but obviously), and in the very room where the song was written, partly recorded and produced by Suyasha Sengupta. Having known Sengupta for a few years now, first thanks to her now-on-hiatus band Ganesh Talkies, and later, as a friend, hearing unreleased music never gets old. Enveloped in a balmy afternoon, synonymous to Calcutta’s mood, we sat in her apartment listening to variants of this song: first scratches, then unmixed and then the real, mastered, mixed and finished product. For what? To ideate, of course.
At the time, and as I do feel now, the entirety of the EP has a flailing, honest, partly discomforting and partly relatable arc, but "Stars" is the one that will wrap you in its soundscape. Cushioned in the middle of an otherwise antsy, jarring and perhaps unpolished body of work, "Stars" is reminiscent of Sharon Van Etten, Lykke Li, Rilo Kiley and Billie Eilish all at once, yet retains its own voice. Plastic Parvati may have begun as an alternative outlet for Sengputa, but has taken on a more refined, specfic and sharp direction over time, and I can’t wait to see where she goes from here.
As for "Stars", well, I hope we make that music video one day.”
—Naman Saraiya, Producer, VICE Media who is hella excited for CAD 11
Control ALT Delete 11 takes place on March 9-10 at Roaring Farm, Malad. DO IT.
Check out our previous editions here.