bangalore experimental

LAST WEEKEND I saw three local bands I’m very fond of: Parachute XVI at HRC, and Lounge Piranha and Bicycle Days at B Flat.  I’ve  written about all three of these bands before.  They, along with Drones from the Turbine (and I’m sure several other bands around town that I have not yet heard/heard of) seem to be slightly and gradually – and maybe somewhat purposefully – gelling into a particular sub-genre within the larger Bangalore rock soundscape. Variously termed experimental, post-rock,  alternative, or psychedelic, a couple of these bands and some others will play Saturday’s Mushroom Cloud Festival at Suburbia. I’m thinking it’s gonna be a good and fun day of interesting music. See a good Bicycle Days video HERE.

I’ve been mulling over the dimensions of this particular emergent sub-genre for a while. I’ve hesitated to partake in the dreaded practice of genre-defining because so many musicians here have expressed that they find it limiting and/or artificial –  that it makes static the flexible process of making sounds.  And the three bands I saw last weekend do have very different sounds: Parachute – maybe because of members’ heavy metal backgrounds – have a classic Bangalorean hard rock foundation under Ananth’s Jimi-reminiscent, psy-blues solos. Bicycle Days’ spacey, phased sound effects support Karthik’s resonant vocals and sometimes spare instrumental layers; LP’s fuzzed melodies enhance Kamal and Abhijeet’s indie-plain vocal delivery…in short all are particular, specific and immanently aesthetically satisfying.  And what these bands have in common sonically is, then, up for debate.

I guess in the past (in bands I was in in Brooklyn) it felt like being aligned with a particular genre was useful, (if of peripheral concern most of the time) because of community. Opening for friends’ bands and then having them open for you, having mutual fans, working together to put on shows…that’s beneficial – and not just a marketing ploy or a facile definition.

Published in: on April 14, 2010 at 4:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

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