Raghav Soni's debut Apollo 7+4 is an evolving ambient post-rock instrumental.
Raghav is a Mumbai-based guitarist and musician who strives to experiment with chords, polyrhythmic time signatures, and genres as well. He is self-taught and heavily influenced by the Australian guitarist Plini and draws inspiration from classic 80’s rock and roll as well. He doesn't identify as a music elitist but listens to a vast variety of genres and also works on contrasting genres like lo-fi, chill-beats, post-rock, and progressive metal. He prides himself in his love for experimenting with dissonant chord tones and using unusual notes to bring flavor to his music. His latest release Apollo 7+4 features ambient tones, polyrhythms, heavy riffs, and a catchy guitar solo. The song was conceived as a random idea and inspired by a starry night sky.
We spoke to Raghav on his latest track Apollo 7+4
Apollo 7 + 4 what is the significance of the name?So Apollo 7+4 refers to the environmental feel and hints at the time signature as well. Apollo I chose because of the astral vibe the ambient tones bring to the song and 7+4 is a reference to the time signature. The song features both 7/8 and 4/4 time signatures which I thought was very interesting. I also like that 7+4 adds up to 11 like the Apollo 11 spaceflight.
What can the listeners expect?So the song was meant to be very catchy and memorable. The song starts slow and then develops into post-rock with a soothing and yet energetic feel. It features a lot of the elements that Plini would use in his songs like the strings, bells, and piano. I’ve also used non-diatonic chords, experimented with unusual chord combinations and Lydian modes to enhance the feel of the song.
I think the wide range of influences in your playing is part of the reason why it feels like astral melancholy. The main hook sounds so Aaron Marshal and Plini inspired. Where do you get your influences?I worship the ground that Plini walks on. His music is not only an inspiration it also helps me overcome mental blocks and I use it as a reference as well. I was into Aaron Marshall’s music much before Plini’s, what I like about his music is that he uses catchy melodies in a progressive metal format and Plini’s guitar solos are cinematic and epic. I’ve tried to marry the two in Apollo 7+4. The elements around the song are straight out of a Plini handbook.
There are a lot of great tones on the new release. What gear were you using?So I don’t use the expensive gear, I use an Ibanez guitar, Beyerdynamic headphones, Focusrite, Reaper, and Ableton with the only saving grace being the Plini Archetype Plugin. So a very typical modern age rock guitarist gear.
What about the non-musical influences in your playing?Apollo 7+4 was inspired by a starry night. I like emulating feelings and emotions one may experience in a variety of different environments. I also draw ideas from photography and I dabble in it a little myself. I like how a photograph can capture a memory of a feeling and I try to do the same with my music. I want to address psychological issues on a nuclear level with my music supported by animated videos.
What three qualities make a good Guitarist?Well, firstly it's important to always want to learn new things and progress with your art. Secondly, I think experimenting with music theory and exploring different sounds is also vital to stay fresh. And most importantly a guitarist must think as a musician and play to support the song.
What’s next for you? Any exciting upcoming projects? Studio sessions?
I'm planning on a Lo-fi album of about 8 songs next because that is one of my other passions. I'm also planning on releasing a couple of post-rock singles.