Hyderabad-based artistes talk about the city's growing love for techno
Infected with electronica
The track begins with a rhythm so stark and insistent that you cannot help but groove to it. It is only upwards, a flowing tide of sound multiform, coherent, breaking here and there into the countless shades of melody with a sturdy bass that is never-ending. At one point, it is no longer capturable. It takes grim silent pauses, then breaks into a rhythm — akin to the tone played a moment ago, with a new hypnotic twist.
That is ‘techno’ for you. Or that’s at least what city-based artistes Aardy, founder of Hydrozoa Recordings; and Shrii, a classically trained DJ, think it to be. According to them, it has infected Hyderabad. Techno — the electronic music genre — has become exceedingly popular among audiences in Hyderabad, who enjoy and explore electronic dance music (EDM). A relatively young genre in the city, it has made its way in the last four years.
“The music is a much deeper and darker version of house music. It doesn’t involve too many vocals and is purely electronic. One cannot stop dancing to these dark beats. The country has many techno artistes but, there is no influence of Indian or classic. Still, in the last four-five years, it has made a special place for itself in the city,” says Raj Dorai, a.k.a Aardy, who is also a producer, an artiste and repertoire (A&R) for Octopus Recordings — a top selling techno label in the world. He is known for his track, Catch You in The Light.
Aardy has been pushing this genre for way beyond a decade. “Techno is about different shades of emotions which are conveyed only through various electronic sounds. It speaks the language of music which is universally understood, with less or almost no vocals. My music is dark. What I feel may not sound the same to another person. My tracks always hovers around rolling sub-bass and haunting stabs around a propulsive groove that fits perfectly on the dance floor,” he says.
Aardy, who has been a DJ for over two decades, recently released his latest collaboration track with Shaun Moses, called Mixed Signals, on Senso Sounds. He is also the founder of one of India’s longest-standing Sunday parties, ‘Sunday Playground’.
In a male-dominated version of electronic music — Shridevi Keshavan, a.k.a Shrii, has found her true calling in this genre. Four years ago, she shifted from Carnatic music to techno, and it has earned her a fortune with international recognition. “I have played in many cities and particularly in Mumbai, where I have lived most of my life. But, I’ve been in Hyderabad for four years now because of the greater response from the people here. I don’t know why is it so, but Hyderabadis are different, they love techno and everything about it, maybe it’s because they love to dance,” she says.
Echo and Flame are two songs are from her first solo electronic production. Echo was released on a Chile-based label called Lump Records, while Flame is being re-released on Buddha Bar, a legendary electronic music label. Shrii has toured across India and the USA, and performed on various stages too.