Week on Week: The VICE India Mixtape
A song for each day of the week, throwing in a mix of new releases and some #throwbacks too—everything from homegrown hip-hop to Bollywood (uh-no?) and K-pop—we gotchyu.
Illustration: Fawaz Dalvi
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 asshole(s).
For this week’s edition, we’ve got The Revolver Club (TRC) gang to send in reccos for tunes they recommend you should check out on a vinyl player right in time for Record Store Day, 2019. TRC—a cute little, amazing record store in the suburb of Mahim in Mumbai—has been pushing vinyl culture in India for a few years now, and are also the official partners for #RSD19. They’ve got a bunch of events lined up at the store tomorrow (deets here), and we’re also giving away an LP player + some records on our Instagram. CHEGGIT.
“Liability” by Lorde
“Lorde’s "Liability" is the epitome of why I love piano ballads—raw, vulnerable and exceedingly emotional. Although the song is completely stripped back, the production is impeccable. It stuns with its rawness, every plunk of ivory hitting wood and every hairline fracture in her voice vividly audible. The piano goes soft for the refrain of the song, as though this is hard enough for her already, and she barely whispers the impossibly cruel words to the chorus. It’s a beautiful song and definitely worth a listen.”
— Uma Trivedi, one of TRC's youngest collectors at age 15
“Communication Breakdown” by Led Zeppelin
“The first track I ever listened to on a record player and probably my favourite Zeppelin song of all time. Punk rock riff with my favourite Jimmy Page solo of all time. So different from anything I had heard at the time (I was 16).”
—Jude D’souza, Owner and CEO, The Revolver Club
“Cycles of Existential Rhyme” by Chicano Batman
“If a dreamy surrealistic painting were to be heard, it would sound like Chicano Batman’s music. I randomly came across one song by Chicano and that’s all it took to make me fall in love with their tropical, psychedelic funk music. Their album Cycles of existential rhyme is made of pure passion, great rhythm and soul-stirring vocal melodies, which makes it really tough for me to pick a favourite. The music is fresh and groovy with lyrics alternating between English and Latin. I’d listen to this record on a Sunday morning, sipping on some coffee while I think about life, the universe, and everything!”
—Vibhuti Kadalbaju, journo grad working her dream job at a cool record store and knows the lyrics to most of your favourite songs
“Behind The Wall” by Tracy Chapman
“It's a song that blew my mind when I was about 10. I was hit by the fullness of a voice in a vacuum, holding and playing with the space so resolutely that any instrumentation at all would have been a terrible intrusion. Up until then, a lot of the music I had heard was heavily orchestrated. I couldn't stop listening to Tracy Chapman's quivering androgynous voice, singing simply, vulnerably and powerfully. It messed me up and broke all the singing paradigms I had begun to regard as standard. It led, later on, to 8 years of studying the capabilities of voice as a separate musical language and gifted me a life that I'm truly grateful for. If I could hear this on vinyl, I would entirely lose my mind with joy.”
—Vasundhara Vee, vocalist and a believer that this song changed her life
“Mustt Mustt” by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
“The song captures the essence of Nusrat's music. Michael Brook, the producer of this track, really managed to lock in the ether of Nusrat's vocal range. He also adds that backdrop to the song with the mesmerising beat and bass line which follows the whole melody like a shadow. So tight! The way NFAK kicks back in the second verse of the track is something you should look forward too. I'd recommend you check out NFAK's entire catalogue that he did with Real World Records. Each and every track/album is pure class.”
—Parth Pandya, Real Estate Developer and true beneficiary of #Fab2Fit
“Brimful of Asha” by Cornershop
“Cornershop are a British indie rock band formed in 1991. "Brimful of Asha" is based on the history of film culture in India. Since their beginnings, Indian films have relied heavily on song and dance numbers; almost always performed by background singers while the actors and actresses lip sync. This song also captures the essence of vinyl records, specifically 45 RPM (singles). In this song, Asha is a pun. It refers to Asha Bhosle, but the word also means hope. This song reached #60 on the UK Singles Chart in 1997, and was subsequently remixed by Norman Cook (Fatboy Slim) and went on to become a radio hit. The song was re-released and reached #1 on the UK chart in February 1998.”
—Shalom Benjamin, Co-founder + vinylman at TRC and bassist at Lawntuba + TLE
“Amber” by The F16s
“The new tune from Chennai alt-rockers dropped last evening, and the natural progression to a synth-driven, unstructured form, less-AM, more-Impala is excellent. The accompanying video, however, is what we need to talk about here. Deepti Sharma churns out one of the finest music videos I’ve seen in recent times, alongside this Sandunes, Parekh & Singh and Peter Cat Recording Co ones—all from home turf. While I’d obviously love to listen to this album on vinyl, it was hard to not make this recco for the week. If you’d put a gun to my head and ask me to pick another album for this, it’ll be a close one to their sounds, but Tame Impala’s Live Versions is genius!”
—Naman Saraiya, Producer trying not to spend money on records for a bit
Check out our previous editions here.