From Hotbox To Happy Hours: Our Favourite Music Releases This Year
HOTBOX 1.0 By YUNG.RAJ
Yung.Raj is one of the latest names in the Indian electronic scene, and is known for his signature bouncy rhythms and basslines, as well as his knack to beatbox, and flip samples to his will. The artist has consistently put out impressive projects and isn’t dedicated to one specific genre, as he dabbles in almost everything. With Hotbox 1.0, he uses the momentum he built from his previous projects to deliver another great album, with 10 great tracks that will get you moving.
HAPPY HOURS By PETER CAT RECORDING CO.
Peter Cat Recording Co.has been putting out some magnificent projects since 2009. They started last year with Bismillah, which won equal love from fans and critics. This year, they decided to go down the memory lane, and bring out a special collection of their old, unreleased work. In true Peter Cat method, Happy Hours, takes you on a rollercoaster of sounds and provides a unique listening experience, and reinforces their quality of versatility.
22-2 By VARIOUS ARTISTS
Electronic producer Oceantied used the lockdown to eliminate creative burnouts, and decided to challenge himself and other producers. 22 producers, including him, chose a specific sample, and had two days to put their own spin to it. The result, was 22-2, a collective project that highlights some of India’s most prolific electronic producers and their capabilities. The project initially started as a fun beatchallenge, but eventually became very special to them, given the mood it was created in. They have offered all the profits made from 22-2 to Goonj, a non-profit organisation.
HEARTBREAK PARADISE By DHRUV KAPOOR
19-year-old Dhruv Kapoor released his debut EP, Heartbreak Paradise, and introduced listeners to his indie-folk sound, honey-soaked vocals, and acoustic melodies. Every song from Heartbreak Paradise serves to be the perfect companion for the times you stare out your window on a rainy night, with a glass of wine while you reminisce about the time you spent with someone special.
2° By TARUN BALANI
Producer and drummer Tarun Balani’s project, 2° is inspired by the 2015 Paris Agreement, which aimed to limit global warming temperatures below two degrees Celsius this century. Balani was in Delhi, at a time when the city was blanketed with thick, polluted air, which primarily inspired him to produce the project and encapsulate the world around him. Heavy synths and mesmerising vocals from KAVYA, sonically hypnotise you, and a sense of urgency can be heard in every track, an urgency to do something about the world around you.
LIFT OFF By T.ILL APES
Lift Off is T.ill Apes’ breakthrough album. The band is known for perfectly fusing rap, classic rock, and jazz, and the album is a testament to their unique sound. Lift Off is breezy, jaunty, and feel-good, while offering a barrage of sounds that include everything from rap-jazzy numbers to lo-fi instrumentals.
SHASTRIYA By HIP HOP VEDANG
Apart from being a music producer, Vedang is a software engineer in Hyderabad who has an undying love for hip-hop. Even though he’s been producing since the 12th grade, Shastriya Hip Hop is Vedang’s mainstream foray into the sample flipping form of production, inspired by international producers like Madlib and Knxwledge who have globally helped make the style popular. The project is an ode to his Maharashtrian roots, with every track sampled from a Marathi classic song that was played regularly in his home while growing up.
DHRUV RAJPAL By DRV
Delhi-based rapper DRV is one of the newest voices to come out of Delhi’s underground rap scene. The rapper started releasing music a year ago, but already has an impressive 10-track album under his belt. His project — Dhruv Rajpal — is a strong and loud signal of DRV’s arrival and his capabilities as a rapper and producer. The album makes for an entertaining listen, with the project offering slow and emotional tracks as well as aggressive, lyrically-heavy ones, produced by Sez on the Beat. While the initial tracks showcase the facets of the rapper within him, the project ends with beautiful melody-laden slow tracks that also show off a hidden, softer side.
SLEEP By ASWEKEEPSEARCHING
Less than a year after releasing a stellar project — Rooh — Aswekeepsearching surprisingly returned with a brand-new project — Sleep. The band moves away from their rock roots, and strum their way into the world of soothing instrumentals. The album is stacked with eight tranquilising tracks meant to get rid of your quarantine blues, and to help take your mind off the chaotic world outside. The project is Aswekeepsearching’s official certificate of versatility, and proves to be an act of artistic prowess.
MULBERRY DREAMS By VRIDIAN
Vridian is one of India’s young, techno artists, who brings the spotlight upon himself in India’s booming techno scene with his latest project — Mulberry Dreams. The four-track EP is stacked with tracks that promise you a traditional techno experience, which is something you could never go wrong with. The grooves and rhythms flow seamlessly from track to track, and snares with soft, ambient melodies, tying it all beautifully together.