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Bandish Projekt
Having sprung from the very unlikely precincts of Ahmedabad, Bandish Projekt was formed out of a love for musical experimentation. Mayur, Udyan and Mehirr came together in 1998, to “redefine the sound of India” and while the last six years have them travel far and wide, they now work out of Dubai. We caught up with Bandish and their manager Pritesh and this is what they told us.

TR: Explain Bandish Projekt.
Udyan: Sure. Bandish and Projekt are two different terms that we combined. Bandish in Indian classical language means a composition made out of Sur (keys). On the other side there’s Projekt which depicts electronism, sounds made out of anything, probably (knocks the table) this sound. So when you combine Bandish and Projekt you can say that Bandish Projekt is the future of new age traditional sounds.
Pritesh: What’s important for the artist is to listen to everything, from Britney Spears to Talvin Singh to appreciate the sounds that are there. The classical element comes from Mayur whose the classically trained tabla player. Udyan: The thing is to keep you ears open. So it’s important to create sounds as per your requirements, keeping in mind that the original flavour of the track is not lost. For example, if I’m mixing Indian classical and electronic sounds it’s very important that the classical base is not lost. That’s where Mayur comes in.

TR: Tell us about your musical background and what made you turn toward electronic music?
Mayur: I’ve been playing tabla for sixteen years now, from when I was very young. And my dad told me, “you’re not going to learn any other instrument” because tabla is like a base, if you can play the tabla you can play any other percussion instrument. So that influenced me and then I started working with sounds that were internationally really big, like dance and electronic music.
Pritesh: Mayur has been on the tabla since three years old, he’s played all ranges of precessions and when he’s performing live he has his Arabic darbouka with him, his Indian duff, his tablas, bongos, a djembe which is an African drum.

TR: Do you think that the new album ‘Bhor’ is accurately representative of that sound, the ‘balance between new and old’?
Udyan: Yes. Talking about the title track ‘Bhor’, what usually what happens is that when someone makes a remix they either start it with a beat or whatever. We heard the track so many times before remixing it that we thought the main flavour of the track is contained in the initial Alaap, originally sung by Lata Mangeshkar. So we decided to start the remix with the Alaap as well. And when you listen to the track you will notice that the first beat on the track is a traditional beat instead of an electronic beat. The best part is that the original flavour of the track is intact.
Mayur: ‘Bhor’ was on our minds for the last two years. We were studying these different sounds during that time, like hip-hop, garage, Drum n bass, club. My dad gave me the idea to remix ‘Bhor’ I thought why this song? Then he explained - because he’s a musician also, that the song has a semi classical feeling which people in India will understand.

You can read the rest of our feature on the Bandish Projekt in the June 2004 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.

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