Hotel Kali on its debut album and its diverse influences
A FEW YEARS ago Theresa Stroetges, a Berlin-based guitarist, came to India for the Border Movement Residency organised by the Goethe-Institut. Here, she met producer Varun Desai, double bass player Debjit Mahalanobis and singer Suyasha Sengupta, better known as Plastic Parvati. “It was originally supposed to be a one-off showcase but we ended up forming a band and recording an album,” Suyasha tells us about the origin of the band, which they decided to call Hotel Kali. The band has now launched that self-titled, seven-track EP.
The name Hotel Kali was born out of an inside joke. “Varun was telling Theresa how almost every band in Kolkata soundchecks to Hotel California by the Eagles. The name stuck,” Suyasha adds. The music of the band cannot be categorised to any one genre, but rather it draws upon elements of classical, electronic, pop, disco and avant garde.
Hotel Kali opens with the song Intro, an experimental ambient number that’s a sneak peek into what’s to come. With tracks Say When, Viola Rave and Buntes Schwarz the album traverses through techno and melodic rock.
While the album has inspiration from both India and Berlin, as well as elements of many genres, it is not a typical ‘fusion’ album. As Suyasha tells us, “More than just musical elements, each member brings their personal histories, styles and philosophies to the band. Music is a truly universal language and Hotel Kali is our attempt to tell our stories, above all else.”
Available on online streaming platforms