Loud and live

Loud and live

It was a gala event for music lovers when two of the most popular music groups came together to perform at Hard Rock Café last week.

The first band to perform was Swarathma. The Indian folk-rock band from Bangalore Swarathma’s sound is rooted in Indian folk traditions even as it draws on rock, blues and reggae motifs. With a visually electric, high-energy live act, they are among India’s busiest bands, playing over 90 shows to thousands of people each year.

Swarathma’s live act was all about infectious on-stage energy. Their act is high on interactivity with sing-along sections, ad-libbed repartee and the occasional couplet. It also features faux folk-horses and band members sporting Nehru topis. This has made Swarathma a great festival band; they have played at The Great Escape, Lovebox and Larmer Tree festivals in the UK, Parramasala in Australia, Kalaa Utsavam in Singapore and Awtar Festival in Morocco. They are one of India’s favourite festival bands with shows at the South Asian Band Festival in New Delhi, NH7 Weekender in Pune and The Great Indian Octoberfest and Fireflies Festival of Music in Bangalore.

“It was a pleasure to have come here and perform live in front of such an amazing audience. Our music is strong and beautiful, contemporary and relevant, hard-hitting and tongue-in-cheek. Our band ‘Swarathma’ stands for a cause that resonates with music and that’s why we support the nation-wide movement against corruption with our track Topiwalleh,” said Vasu Dixit, vocalist of the band.

They have also lent their voices to support the Bell Bajao campaign against domestic violence, the Small Steps cloth bag movement aimed at reducing usage of plastic bags and Twestival Bangalore in aid of the Dream-a-Dream Foundation. Swarathma’s Action Replay series is about gifting music to those who may not have access to it. These concerts are free, self-funded productions that are held at venues such as Leprosy Centres, Blind Schools and Alzheimer’s care homes.

Their performance was followed by Dualist Inquiry, which is the brainchild and solo project of Sahej Bakshi, a music producer, guitarist and cerebral agent who graduated from the Thornton Music School at USC in Los Angeles, CA. Since returning to India in 2010, Sahej has grown to be considered one of the leading producers and live performers of electronic music in India, releasing original music and touring extensively.

Electronic Dance Music (EDM) which is getting immensely popular in India now has Dualist Inquiry in their list, whose sound is broadly categorised as a fresh mix of live electronica and guitar-based rock. His mixes won the audience in the venue. He also has been the preferred supporting act for international producers and DJs, including David Guetta, Fatboy Slim, Basement Jaxx, Koan Sound and Hexstatic.

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