Double the magic

Double the magic
Their set is minimalist and their style, simple. The band is young and their genre, a delightful one from yore. ‘By2Blues’ is a pathbreaking acoustic set that has been rocking the City for three years now. Comprising Ananth Menon on guitars and Vasudev Prabhu on the harmonica, the duo have mined through all the stereotypes and conventionalities that surround music from their sonic ensemble to the instruments that they use.

The popular and much-loved boys recently finished a short and sweet concert at International Tech Park Bangalore for the ‘Go Green Month’, a celebration to create awareness about an eco-friendly urban lifestyle.

 The duo came together when Ananth decided to collaborate and jam with Vasudev.  Their home-grown style and chemistry, comprising gritty grooves on Ananth’s guitar and a caress to the clamour on Vasudev’s harmonica is ready to beat any sort of ‘blues’. 

Ananth says, “It was a conscious decision to start an acoustic piece as there was no simple format like this earlier. Electric is catching on but acoustic music is not yet sinking with singers/songwriters and clubs hosting acoustic artistes.”

In today’s clamour and clutter of electric music, Ananth feels that acoustic becomes more special because of its sublime sound, warm vibes and legitimate mode. “It seems that in Bengaluru any kind of genre can survive. It depends on how the artiste works his music out.”  

It is a challenge for ‘By2Blues’ to work with minimum people and instruments as they constantly arrange and re-arrange harmonies. However, they work on how best they can finalise their songs so that they churn out a ‘full’, refreshing sound. It comes down to being their labour of love.

Vasudev adds, “We try to bring in dynamic rhythms and chords. It is not easy since we work with limited instruments but once we get these patterns straight, it’s gratifying.”

The artistes are not only trying to break a myth or two in their set but are also using the harmonica, which is considered to be an instrument away from the mainstream realm.

Vasudev says, “There are a very few musicians working with these instruments. People mainly think harmonicas can only be used in Bollywood where it’s soft and melodious. But one can experiment with harmonica sounds which can turn out to be quite rude.”  

Influenced by a variety of genres, they engage the audience in stories of love won or lost, struggles and triumphs, hoodoo and miracles, honesty and skullduggery... and hence, about life itself.

They have a few recordings lined up and will also be touring the country soon as part of music festivals. Resisting the perception that technology in music has killed creativity, Vasudev says, “It depends on how the artiste uses the medium and tools to his benefit.”

Firm believers of the blues, they feel that the genre will stick around for a while. For somebody who would like to experience the feel of ‘live’, meaningful music in the clutter and blitzkrieg of high-end supersonics and recorded music, ‘By2Blues’ goes against the grain and comes as a breath of fresh air in the sonic rat-race.

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