Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Downloads: Aeroplane treat their 10,000 FB fans

Self-described as 'psychedelic disco pop' - Belgian duo, Aeroplane are fast becoming legends. Regulars at various festivals such as Coachella and Pukkelpop - these guys are awesome in the nerdiest possible way. Quirky, subtle, 80s, contemporary, vocal driven, lush... this is what comes to mind when I hear their stuff. I have a few of their mixes and I must say, they never fail to surprise. It isn't random, it's clever and catchy. What's interesting about these guys is they can create sounds from what are your cheesiest guilty pleasures in music and make it sound uber cool. They've just put up this tune for download, it's a mash up which uses Friendly Fire's Paris. Total feel good music, definitely worth a listen. If you like what you hear, get on their Essential Mix taken from their live set in Liverpool from this year, it's on their SoundCloud page.

Download Aeroplane vs Friendly Fires vs Flight Facilities - I Crave Paris: Click here
Join Aeroplane's Facebook Fan page: Click here 

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Movie Review: Robin Hood - The Medieval Che Guevara

Watched Robin Hood (2010) early last week, must say I was rather excitable. Huge fan of the folklore that is Robin Hood. The Ridley Scott - Russell Crowe combination tends to be a winning one (wtf was A Good Year (2006)?), and it has to be especially good when you've got a story line based around history's greatest outlaw. Was looking forward to a more violent rendition of this and was keen to see what Ridley Scott did with the depiction of archery. 

In general, the casting was well thought out. Russell Crowe made for a great Robin Hood... but maybe with a few too many grey hairs. It was cool to see Cate Blanchett playing the role of Lady Marion, she embodies the spunk of the character. Can't hate on the Lost pick with Kevin Durand as Little John, though the script could have stuck with the 'crossing the river' direction instead of the hammed up gambling angle when he was introduced. The staple characters such as King John and Friar Tuck were done well. Mark Strong was a brilliant villain, but I was left a little confused as to why he wasn't playing the role of Sheriff of Nottingham considering he has always been Robin Hood's main antagonist. Thank god there weren't any American accents to be heard, sorry Kevin Costner.

You expect something historically relevant when you have Ridley Scott at the helm. Movies like Black Hawk Down (2001), American Gangster (2007) and even Gladiator (2000) are a testament to this. Let me start by saying that this movie isn't exactly what you expect from a Robin Hood story a la Disney's animal portrayal (anyone remember that? The wily fox and all...) or even from the Costner portrayal. This isn't the story of the Merry Men (the boat scene and bar scene did have its moments), Sherwood Forest, 'Stealing from the rich, giving to the poor,' an unjust Sheriff of Nottingham and a dickhead King John who pillages his people (ok, the dickhead King John part is there). This is very much an origin story which rids of all these elements. It's about how Robin Longstride becomes Robin Hood. That's something that is important to know if you haven't watched it and will save you some puzzlement and a tad bit of frustration if you're expecting those plot lines. I walked in with expectations of a bad ass Prince of Thieves, instead we get socialist mercenary participating in identity theft. Which if I'm being fair isn't such a bad take on the legend.

Not going to complain about historical references because I thought a lot of the ways the characters were tied up was quite clever. However, there were just too many characters and a few of them got a bit too much focus - the time could have been spent on building Robin Hood's identity. There are several Marxist one liners delivered by Crowe, it would have been nice to have a little more depth to them. Which is why the big speech leading up to the war is painfully contrived. This in many ways tells us how weak the plot elements are that lead up to the point. The speech itself is supposed to be akin to William Wallace's "They can never take our freedom!" and it falls flat on it's face because Robin Hood's character isn't developed enough. Also, where the hell was the archery? I can count on one hand the amount of times Robin Hood used a bow. The script and overall plot needed to be a lot sharper. This could have been the result of several script changes for this project over the years... it was originally planned that the protagonist of the movie would be the Sheriff of Nottingham, played by Russell Crowe.

War totting, sword wielding Robin Hood isn't what I remember and this is where the movie fails - plot wise as well as in the weaponry department. We needed more bows and arrows and a lot less politics. This would have made for a brilliant origin story, if the script gave the characters we remember to be important a little more face time. Little John and Friar Tuck are such colourful personalities and we barely saw any of him. I'll always remember the part where Robin disguises himself and takes part in the King's archery contest, sadly this was omitted. Having said of all this, this story is unique (as loosely as it's written) and it's a different take on a well known story. 

Production, cinematography wise, it's lush - you can't get enough of the greenery and old times England. Acting wise, the movie is spot on. Mark Strong, Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett and even Oscar Isaac as the detestable King John were all great. This script just needed to be tighter and a little more enthralling. The action scenes were good, but far from epic. A tad bit random if I'm being honest. That being said, if this is part one to what will be a Ridley Scott trilogy (which is peculiar), fair play and I look forward to seeing what is done with the Robin Hood story we all remember.

Hmm. This was weak and yet still watchable. Execution was great, script was poor. 6.5/10.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Bangalore Events: Submerge presents Vachan Chinnappa (DOWNLOAD his latest mix!)

It's been a while since I've given a healthy endorsement to a Banglore event and I couldn't think of a more perfect event to endorse than the cult Submerge Sundays @ Fuga (June 27th, 2010). The x factor this week? Vachan Chinnappa. He's the Bacchus music director and resident, he's been working the Bangalore circuit for well over a decade (maybe even two?) and if I'm being perfectly honest, he's nothing short of a legend. Without fail this man has destroyed my legs each and every time. He's the kind of DJ you catch and then end up having mad cramps the next morning from going beserk.

I kinda want to interview the man and do a proper profile, so I'll hold on all the descriptors for another time. Instead I'll urge you to make it on Sunday for his auricular assault. Chances are you're going to be taken by complete surprise by his programming. Expect a twisted variety of minimal, tech house, TECHNO and I'm talking about 'real' TECHNO. Maybe even a little Drum n Bass and nutty breakbeat as well. Submerge have described him as an 'Electronic God from Bangalore.' Here, here, I say. Hope to see all the YHIHF homies there... it's going to be intense.

Oh, I'm adding a download link to his latest techno mix. DO IT!

RSVP Submerge Sunday @ Fuga w/ Vachan Chinnappa, June 27th, 2010: Click here
Download Vachan Chinnappa's latest mixed set: Click here

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Giveaway: Win a Paani Puri T-Shirt!

So if you've been following YHIHF regularly, you would have come across my interview with Rish Oberoi, CEO of Paani Puri Clothing. If you haven't then take a look right here! (click)

Well, we have two Puri t-shirts (thanks a ton Rish!) up for grabs for two lucky YHIHF readers... Here's what's on offer:

I know you're feeling the Andy Warhol vibe and the mangled smilie is class too - so why don't you participate and it could be yours! 


  1. Follow Paani Puri on Twitter - CLICK HERE
  2. Follow YHIHF (left hand side of the blog, right under the fish) with a Google or Twitter account
  3. Visit the Paani Puri website and email me (, subject line should read 'PURI/YHIHF Competition' with the answer to this question: Paani Puri (online) is on sale right now, how much is a Paani Puri t-shirt?

PS - Don't forget to send me your mailing address, phone number and size/choice of t-shirt you'd like to win in the email! Winners will be announced in a week!

Monday, June 21, 2010

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Arjun Vagale (Jalebee Cartel) - Twisted & Sweet

It's not too often you hear about our homegrown artists getting major playtime from the likes of the big league DJs around the world. It's not too often you hear about Indian electronic acts touring around Europe on a consistent basis and having their production work signed to some of the best labels (around the world) this genre has to offer. In these times, it's certainly not often where you hear about electronic albums selling big in the country. Jalebee Cartel have achieved all this and more.

I first heard Jalebee at the Big Chill Festival, Goa, 2007 - they were playing the late afternoon slot and had what seemed like a pretty cult following. Big room prog with wonky vocals, wires and gadgets all over the place and four grungy looking dudes who kinda reminded me of an Indian version of Joy Division meets The Doors. Got to see them at the Sunburn Festival in 2008 and they absolutely rocked, very dark thick synth heavy bass lines with droning vocals, reminiscent of that 'old school' progno sound from a decade back. Soon enough, Jalebee released an extremely in demand album, they were one of the first Indian acts to have a music video on VH1, they blagged themselves a spot on the legendary Frisky Radio, and more to the point, gigged it big around the country, as well as making appearances in Germany and the Netherlands. 

It was up until recently that I really began to take notice of their music. Come late 2009, picked a random Submerge Sunday night to catch the Cartel's main man Arjun Vagale play a DJ set. Expecting it to be a fairly prog heavy affair, much to my surprise it was refreshing to be given a taste of lush deeeeeep tech house early in the night. More often than not, many of our Indian DJs seem to embrace the opportunity to bust a nut and open their sets at 130+ BPM, from my personal point of view I can't tell you how wrong this is. Which is why Arjun's set that night really made a difference in my perception of who Jalebee Cartel really are. Was easily one of the most well programmed performances I had heard in a long while, in a time where I was pretty jaded about the kind of music and DJs this country was churning out. A soulful funk driven opening hour, moving into dirtier hands in the air tech, powering into full-on in yer face Nintendo techno. To this day, I will say, Best.Set.of.2009.

Which is where I come to my main point about Jalebee Cartel - you just cannot pigeonhole them into any sub genre of electronica. These guys are a lot more than that, their sound is a lot more than that. Whether they're playing individual DJ sets, playing together live as a unit, whether you're listening to their tune Richie Hawtin is belting out or the one that's in Hernan Cattaneo's favourite list - they have a deep understanding of what works in various genres of electronica and they exploit it to it's bare bone adding their own unique Jalebee twist to it.  It's no surprise they're the go to guys when it comes to playing alongside the big international DJs that tour in India.

Evolving is essential in an industry where products are literally disposable within weeks... Jalebee Cartel are all about evolving and this shows in their vast discography. Do yourself a favour and get on their music... there's a bit of something for everyone. Techhouse like it used to be, techno beasts that make you feel like your heart is being ripped out and brooding prog which makes you think about your life... definitely not of the Kraft variety. If you're reading this in Europe - make sure to note down the dates of their upcoming Euro tour... you won't want to miss India's finest electronic act.

Jalebee Cartel YHIHF Gold Standard Picks (available on Beatport - HERE):
  1. FunkinA (Neurotraxx Deluxe)Quirky funk driven techhouse with infectious saxophone stabs that gives it an organic feel. The Aki Bergen remix is a Jalebee bestseller - peaking at #4 on the Beatport Deephouse Charts. 
  2. Mouse & Cheese (Neurotraxx Deluxe) - More yummy Jalebee techhouse with a funky vocal sample running through, reminded me of Joris Voorn work for some reason and no it has nothing to do with the use of 'mouse' in the title.
  3. Dub Drop (Beef Records) - All about the bass line on this baby. You can't help but shake and bounce to this.
  4. Chasing Sushi (Frequenza) Monster. This is scary techno. I see Richie Hawtin dropping it at 5AM at a grimy club in Berlin.
  5. Animaltek - Ghanjah (Jalebee Cartel remix) - Deep house goodness with the most ridiculous drummage. 

In an exclusive interview with YHIHF Jalebee Cartel's Arjun Vagale gives us the low down on the band, their latest releases and their upcoming summer tour in Europe, MakTub - his label with his DJ/producer friend in Uruguay, his opinion on DJ polls, the blossoming Indian EDM scene and getting feedback from the likes of legends such as Josh Wink and Richie Hawtin.

Who are Jalebee Cartel?  How long have you guys been around?  How did you guys form, what's the story there?
Ah… the age-old question! Jalebee was formed around 2004, basically because we were tired of doing the same old stuff and wanted to take things to the next level! Since we started producing our own tracks, we decided to experiment and see if we could play our music live… and thus Jalebee was born! All four of us are from different places: Ashvin - Bombay, Ash - Calcutta, G-Force - Pune, Arjun – Bangalore. Who are we? A bunch of freaks wanting to play music and party! :)

Can you tell us what role each of the band members play specifically?

Ash - vocals + percussions

G-Force - bass guitar

Ashvin - FX + synths + electronics

Arjun - synths + electronics + live sampling + the occasional scratching

In Pic: Arjun, G-Force, Ash, Ashvin

For those who aren't familiar with Jalebee Cartel - can you describe the band's sound?  How has it changed, evolved, matured over the years?
We don't really like to pigeonhole ourselves, but in a very broad sense I would call it tech-house. We believe in evolving with every gig and therefore our sound has also evolved over time.

Don't usually like asking this question, but since I love Jalebees, how did you guys come up with the name?
Been asked this one a million times now and the truth is we needed a name! Like I said, the whole live business was an experiment and we never thought it would get to where it is today, so back then when some club promoter asked me, ‘Do you have a name?’ I just thought let’s call it something really random and Jalebee happened. The Cartel came a month later… and it’s worked out for us! 

You guys are one of the few artists from India who have been getting some serious playtime from big league DJs around the world, who are some of the legends that play your tunes?
We have had feedback from so many people that it’s amazing, but I guess getting a message from the likes of Laurent Garnier or Josh Wink or Richie Hawtin has to be special. Regular supporters include Hernan Cattaneo and Anil Chawla.

What kind of feedback do you get from someone like Nick Warren or Josh Wink?  You guys must be interacting with DJs of this stature on a regular basis, what's their perception of India and the scene here?
Well, Mr Wink heard some of our stuff on Soundcloud and sent me a message saying he'd like a copy of it to play out and that he was really impressed to hear stuff like this coming out of India (the track was Dub Drop on BEEF Records). I do network a lot with DJs from all over the world and it’s really satisfying to get feedback from guys who we’ve been looking up to for years. Most people are still not too sure of the scene here, since predominately trance DJs have been coming to India… the techno/ house crew are pretty confused! Though India is now getting some serious attention - I just read that Yousef is dying to come and play here.

Tell us about your album One Point Nothing. 
The album came out early last year and we were really pleased with the response. Dance music owns about 0.75% of music sales in India and for us to have sold 85% of the stock was amazing to hear. The reason we did an album was so that people here could have something they could find in stores and pick up. Buying music online is still not that popular in India, so it was important to have something at the local music stores.  

The future Jalebee projects we can look forward to?
We have signed tracks to some seriously hot labels this year, so expect some bangers. We recently hit the Beatport charts, and as everyone knows, that’s like the Billboard charts for dance music. 

What labels have Jalebee Cartel produced for?
I can’t even remember all of them, but the few biggies are Ostwind | Frequenza | BEEF | ALiVE | Vapour | eVapour8 | Neurotraxx Deluxe | Save Room | Mashtronic | Baroque – and, of course, my own label, MakTub Music.

Who from the band DJs? I know you're a great DJ, who else DJs on a regular basis?  How do your DJ sets differ in sound from your live sets?
Thank you! Ash and Ashvin also DJ and have been doing so for the last 14 odd years. The three of us do plenty of solo gigs. The DJ sets are naturally filled with music from all over, stuff we dig and stuff that inspires us and our live sets are 100% Jalebee productions!

What kind of equipment do you guys use in the studio and during your live sets? What are some of your favourite gadgets to use and why?
In the studio, we produce on Cubase 5… it’s dope! Plus I have a bunch of hardware synths; I just got a Moog Little Phatty so that’s being used like crazy. 
Each of us have our own live rig, Ash has a bunch of different percussions, including a Hand Sonic and the new Korg Wave Drum; Ashvin uses a Mac + Ableton, a nano keyboard and a Koass Pad 3; G-force has a Gibson Bass and a Line 6 bass pod, and I have two Macs + VCM 600 + Korg Keyboard + NI Machine and a few more bits here and there! We are gear-junkies and are always on the lookout for new additions!

Tell us about Maktub - how old is the label?  What kind of sounds does it strive to push? Besides Jalebee, who are the producers we should be looking out for?  Where can we purchase MakTub's music?
MakTub is a label I started with my good friend Nico (Logiztik Sounds) from Uruguay. We started early last year and so far have about 14 releases out and many more in the pipeline. The label was created so that we could help promote young and fresh producers and stuff produced by friends. Almost all the producers on the label have been working with us in some way or the other for years, so it’s a bit like a small family.

Again, we don't really define our sound – it’s a mix of tech-prog-house! I'm also really happy that I've gotten a lot of budding producers from India on it and have given them the platform to showcase their productions. We signed Praveen Achary's awesome track ‘Crossover’ and got Fiord and MOS to remix it and everyone from Sasha to Digweed played this out. I signed an EP by Pawas as well, who is a close friend, and if you follow Hawtin on Twitter you'll see he's dropped Pawas – ‘Romeo’(Ray Kajioka Remix) a few times.

You guys have a two-week tour in Europe coming up, give us the low down on all the dates and cities you’re playing at?
The tour is actually five weeks! We are super excited that we're doing a proper tour. Here are the dates:

Jun 24 (Thu) - C/O Pop Festival // Cologne, Germany 

Jun 25 (Fri) - Fusion Festival // Germany

Jul 02 (Fri) - Puppenfabrik // Sossen, Germany

Jul 03 (Sat) - SodraTeatern // Stockholm, Sweden
Jul 10 (Sat) - M.I.K.Z // Berlin, Germany
Jul 17 (Sat) - Paradiso // Amsterdam, Netherlands
Jul 23 (Fri) - Tresor // Berlin, Germany
Jul 24 (Sat) - Love Parade Festival // Duisburg, Germany
Jul 31 (Sat) - Juicy Beats Festival // Dortmund, Germany

Jalebee Cartel have done their fair share of touring around India and outside India, what are some of your favourite cities to play at and why?  Can you tell us how the Indian crowd is unique?
We absolutely love Blue Frog in Bombay - every gig there has been really special, because the club has an awesome vibe, the crew are spot-on, they know their shit, and the crowd is always up for it, so that’s our No. 1 venue in India! I personally like playing in Bangalore as well, because it’s home! Pune is another place where the kids really dig our stuff.

Watch Jalebee Cartel's sound check at Blue Frog, June 19th, 2010: Click here 

It seems like dance music is taking a major hit in the West with big name clubs shutting down and various labels folding, at the same time I think it's kind of blowing up in the East... Describe EDM culture in India - the popular sounds, the crowds, festivals like Sunburn, how things work in clubs here?
Yup, the East is exploding big time, you just need to see the influx of international DJs coming down. That said, these aren’t necessarily the best DJs - promoters are still getting the ‘cheese’ down because they know it will sell! To really make a mark, we need to get the real underground guys here, the one who really set the trends, not the has-beens who play the Beatport Top 10!

What's Deep Fried Jalebee all about on Frisky Radio?
It’s a show I started on frisky and it's almost three years old now! Wow! I push a lot of Asian-based DJs on it and we average a listenership of 3000 people, which is super! The idea was to represent India on frisky and Faisal, the owner, has been super supportive.

In your opinion, name three Indian DJs who you think are really pushing the boundaries of DJing and EDM culture right now?  Why should we be making it a point to be catching them?
Dheeraj Sareen is a DJ to keep an eye on! Very talented and the guy plays some dope tunes. Two others are Arnold from Mumbai and Praveen Achary. There is a lot of talent in this country and I try and do as much as I can to help them.

The question has to be asked, Jalebee Cartel didn't participate in the My Favourite DJ (India) poll - can you tell us why?  What are your views on polls in general? You don't feel like you're missing out on a perfect marketing opportunity?
Firstly, Jalebee is a live act and a collective of DJs, so that would be just wrong to enter a competition! Second, I've been doing this for 14 odd years, so I know where I stand and I don't really need an ego boost to be named No. 1 or whatever. The fact that I played over 130 gigs last year and people came to hear me at every single one of them is reward enough! I do feel that the young DJs should use opportunities like this to get ahead.

If you could pick out one Jalebee tune you would recommend to a listener who has not heard you guys, what would it be?
It has to be one of the first few ones, ‘Beautiful Rising,’ it still has an amazing vibe.

Download Jalebee Cartel's classic track 'Beautiful Rising': Click here (right click, save as) 

Who are some of the producers and DJs you think have truly stood the test of time?
Hawtin as a DJ! He's back with a vengeance. Producers… I love everything Underworld do, so they are still my favourite - the new album should be amazing, can’t wait! Other than that, I generally look for new guys on the block.

I see you guys rocking Adidas Originals gear all the time - what's the obsession and connection?
We firstly love the brand! Classic + Old Skool stuff. When they launched in India, they invited us to be associated with them, which we were well chuffed about. Now we get some clothes and shoes from them on and off!

What are your favourite restaurants around India and why?
TK's and Ai in Delhi – especially TK's coz it’s been around forever and the teppanyaki is probably the best in the country, me and the wife do this really often! Blue Frog in Bombay, because the food is just amazing... they play with a lot of flavors and have some unique combinations. Wasabi for Japanese hunger pangs.

Pick three of Jalebee Cartel's favourite movies and tell us why?
It's All Gone Pete Tong – classic dance music shizi!
I love classic war movies, so I guess all of them; The Guns of Navarone, Patton, Sahara, Where Eagles Dare etc.

Jalebee Cartel are stuck on a deserted island with a life supply of batteries and a boom box, list out 6 life changing must-have albums you’d like to have with you and why?
Ah… Can’t really think of 6, but off the top of my head: 
Joris Voorn – Balance 014: Such an amazing album, the man took over 100 tracks and transformed this double CD into a piece of art!
Shpongle - Are You Shpongled?: Yes, this one changed my life for sure, Posford is truly a genius, the way he just mangles soundscapes.
BT – ESCM: Flaming June! Nuff said.
Underworld: Everything, Everything

A big thank you to Arjun Vagale and Jalebee Cartel for taking the time to do this interview... hope you guys have a rocking time in Europe! Do us proud! :D - SG

Download Jalebee Cartel's classic track 'Beautiful Rising': Click here (right click, save as)

Preview and purchase Jalebee Cartel releases on Beatport: Click here
Follow Jalebee Cartel on Twitter: Click here
Become a fan of Jalebee Cartel on Facebook: Click here
Check out fresh Jalebee Cartel releases on Sound Cloud: Click here
Check out MakTub Music's website: Click here

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bangalore Events: B52 presents NIGHTSHIFT w/ Sailen & Azhar, June 19th

Flyer Design: Pia Alize Hazarika (click image to enlarge)

Woot! The Nightshift Boys are back! It's been three long weeks, Azhar and I are literally foaming at the mouth to play out!  With the World Cup happening, B52 have come up with a pretty cool offer - Unlimited Booze and Grub for a sweet Rs. 800 (optional). The frills aside, let's get completely wasted together... and fill our tummys while we're at it!

On the music front - we're very very very close to getting done with the Nightshift promo mix, we've been sifting through tune after tune for the past three weeks, so right now we're looking to do a couple of test runs on a few of the songs we've locked down on. We've also completely updated our record box with a whole bunch of new music that is sure to get your bootays shaking!  We'd love to see all the YHIHF homies there... hope you can make it!

Directions: Get on to Inner Ring Road heading into Koramangala, pass the Oasis Mall/Sony World traffic light, it's the fourth building on your left towards the BDA complex, it's the floor above Ambrosia. Valet service is available so don't trip about parking.

RSVP - B52 presents Nightshift w/ Sailen & Azhar, June 19th, 2010: Click here

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Event Review: Sunburn presents Paolo Mojo w/ INTERVIEW

It was exactly five years ago (or was it six?) when I first heard about Paolo Mojo. He'd just got his name out there with a reputation for being one of the hardest working DJs in the circuit. He was starting to get regular sets of gigs around the world and his production work was getting signed to some big labels - the Discotech EP on Honchos Music will always be a mainstay record in my box. Was fortunate to catch him at an extremely intimate venue on Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles back then... the set was one of my heaviest influences as a DJ. More than anything else, it was his ability to gel together such a diverse variety of house music with such ease that really held my interest. It was one of the few nights where the music by itself was what made the night fun.

Five years have passed and Paolo is globetrotting all over the world, more than you can imagine, hell he's in Tokyo this weekend. The Mojo discography has electronica's finest music ranging from the best of Techno, Progressive and Techhouse. His mixed compilation for the legendary Balance series still has people talking, he's got an extremely in-demand record label - Oosh with an equally popular podcast known as the Ooshcast. Looks like the tireless hard work has paid off for Paolo Mojo and I couldn't think of a better DJ more deserving. 

REVIEW - Sunburn (PDM in association w/ Nikhil Chinapa) presents Paolo Mojo@Pebbles, Bangalore: I'd be surprised (in a bad way) if you didn't know Paolo Mojo was touring all over India late last month... get out of your cave! Well after five long years, thanks to the people organizing the Sunburn Festival, I got the opportunity to catch Paolo rocking a dance floor in Bangalore. Held at one of my favourite venues in the city, Pebbles, it was a big night to look forward to. 

In Pic: The Pebbles crowd

Unfortunately, the event being held at an outdoor club backfired with the monsoons hitting the city in torrential fashion. Mind you, this didn't do much in deterring the Bangalore crowd from losing their minds with Paolo Mojo and the rest of the big Indian DJs who played that night. Massive kudos must go to PDM and the rest of the event organizers who did a brilliant job in moving the the party indoors - though the speakers at the back were kaput.

Kicked myself, due to the heavy traffic, I missed Arjun Vagale's (from Jalebee Cartel) set. Friends tell me it was perfect, feel good techhouse with funk filled basslines that stood their ground. Walked into Paolo Mojo just killing it... and totally working the crowd (a bit of sausagefest, but very very up for it). It was a sweaty mess, throbbing and all round mental. The kids were lapping up Paolo. When I saw him in LA, he was relatively shy, pretty focused on his mixer. In Bangalore he was vibing it with the punters, all smiles, hands in the air, clapping and jigging. He's a star, no doubt. 

In Pic: Paolo Mojo

Musically, in all honesty, there were tons of ups but a few downs as well. As usual, you could tell he felt the need to play a few recognizable remixes (Prodigy and 'Sweet Dreams' to name a few) for the Indian crowd - which in my opinion isn't required of a DJ of Paolo's caliber. Having said that, the really special part of his set came during the last half hour. He played a combination of Nathan Fake's 'Outhouse' and an acid infused remix of Donna Summers' 'I Feel Love.' Took me back to the good old days for sure, so maybe you got to respect his decision to take the recognizable route. 

[rantmode/]I do feel the need to comment on something though. Can we all stop making requests when your favourite DJ is playing? Be it his own productions or a tune you heard in one of his sets you downloaded? I can promise you, the tune you want to hear becomes all the more special when your favourite DJ plays it without being told to do so. By making requests we're not getting a DJ's true art of programming. FFS I'm not here to hear your favourite playlist, I'm here to hear Paolo's playlist. No matter who the DJ is, can we please fuck off with the requests and leave it to the DJ to decide what he should play? I mean, that's what being a DJ is all about isn't it?[rantmode/]

In Pic: Nikhil Chinapa, Arjun Vagale  

In Pic: Vachan Chinnappa

Anyways, with Vachan Chinnappa capping off the night with some absolutely mind boggling stripped down Detroit techno, the Sunburn Festival's Bangalore gig turned out to be wicked awesome. The heavy downfall of rain didn't prove to be a downer, like proper troopers we rocked it hard. With a diverse combination of EDM ranging from feel good techhouse to brutal techno courtesy of Arjun Vagale, the one and only Paolo Mojo and the Bacchus Beast Vachan Chinnappa - you can't help but think about how big the actual Sunburn Festival is going to be. More to the point, fingers crossed, we'll have the pleasure of seeing Paolo Mojo work it on the beaches of Goa in December, at the actual festival. Holding tight for the next Sunburn teaser event... :)

Check out pictures from the Sunburn Tour presents PAOLO MOJO album: Click here
Photographs courtesy of Lucky Malhotra,

Paolo was kind enough to take some time to answer a few a questions about his latest tour in India... Enjoy the interview homies. - SG

In an exclusive interview with YHIHF, Paolo Mojo discusses his latest seven city tour in India with the Sunburn organizers, his legendary Balance CD, the story behind the cult track 1983 and much more!

You recently did a five-city tour in India – that’s pretty much every big city in this country. What was your perception of the crowds and the scene in general? What was your favourite Indian city?
They were all good in different ways. I did two additional gigs as well so I saw seven cities to play at. The enthusiasm of the people shines through, I would suggest India is one of the healthiest growing scenes in the world at the moment, for electronic music.

Judging by your experience with the organizers of the Sunburn Festival – how much of a success do you think this annual event is? Has the deal been brokered for your India comeback in Goa this December?
Well, I have no idea how the festival is because I've never been to it, but if my tour was anything to go by I'm sure it's going to be a huge success. I have no idea if I will be asked to play this year or not, but I would love to do it.

Who have inspired you inside and outside of music and why?
Everything inspires me or has the potential to. Books, films, documentaries, your environment, the people who you spend time with. I think this feeds into music just as much as music itself.

It seems the sheer numbers in which mixed compilations use to be released have slowed down a great deal over the years, can you comment on this?
Well it's slowed down because ten years ago a mix cd was still a desirable thing. Nowadays people don't need to buy music in its physical format and you can make your own DJ mixes very easily.

You’ve done a mix for the legendary Balance series – can you tell us what it was like working with this label?  
Working with Tom Pandzic and Balance was a hugely rewarding experience. They are great people.

You’ve always been an extremely popular DJ, but I think when Eric Prydz remixed your tune 1983, you really propelled and achieved real global status. I remember hearing it on Nic Fanciulli’s Mixmag mix very early and suddenly two years later it became cult on the dance floor. Tell us the story behind this track...
I decided to write a song at my house, that reflected a lot of the early 80s vibe that was happening at the time. It was Spring, 2004. That demo tune sat around for a year before Eric heard it and put it on his own Mixmag CD and subsequently signed it to Pryda. It took him an age to remix it and I remember being annoyed with him because he hadn’t done it in time for me to include on my Balance CD haha. Anyway he took my elements and made something classic I think. A proper epic record. I'm just glad people still enjoy it.

If there’s any DJ who knows the ups and downs of a DJ lifestyle it’s you (a couple years back, while Paolo was globetrotting on gigs, he came down with a very serious stomach infection and without exaggerating it was a near death experience for him). What are the pros and cons of being a world class DJ?
The same as anybody else really that involves travel and commitments to do things! It's really not that different or special. I guess the only thing is that because it's nightlife you're exposed to a different set of circumstances than a politician or a tennis player. That can make getting on flights difficult sometimes.

Is there any advice you would give to the budding DJs/Producers/Promoters here in India?
Just keep following the things that inspire you.

You are stuck on a deserted island with a life supply of batteries and a boom box, list out five life changing must-have albums you’d like to have with you?
This would change tomorrow, but today would be;
  1. Massive Attack - Protection
  2. The Stone Roses - The Stone Roses
  3. The Human League - Love and Dancing
  4. LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver
  5. Blur – Think Tank

Follow Paolo Mojo on Twitter: Click here
Join Paolo Mojo's Facebook Fan Page: Click here
Check out pictures from the Sunburn Tour presents PAOLO MOJO album: Click here

Monday, June 14, 2010

Threads Interview: Rish Oberoi - CEO/Founder of Paani Puri Clothing


There were murmurs in Bollywood and media circles of a chaat based t-shirt company in the works with some really unique and vibrant prints last year. Up until a few months back Paani Puri was still just a concept, with samples of the art work making random appearances on the internet and blogs - today it's a fledgling company, two months old, causing waves across the country.

Being sported by the likes of Bollywood star Imran Khan and hipsters all over the country, it seems like Paani Puri is being dished out with a zing, much like the street snack it's named after. Eye catching, sleek, unique and trendy; t-shirt junkies should really take to this brand. Got in touch with the founder of Paani Puri Clothing, Rish Oberoi, to tell us about his very cool company.

What is a Paani Puri? Click here!

In Pic: Eureka and Rish Oberoi

In an exclusive interview with YHIHF, Rish Oberoi, Founder of Paani Puri clothing talks about his t-shirts and his brand, the bizarre combination of the street snack paani puri and Heath Ledger's Joker inspiring him to start a company, the power of brands made in India and more!

Who are the people behind Paani Puri?
Rish Oberoi- Founder, Eureka- Hungry for creative, Suyash- I am just the man and our first intern, Arjun.

How did you come up with the name Paani Puri? 
It was about 5:30AM and I was simply hungry, I was watching The Dark Knight and I thought it would be funny if the Joker was eating Paani Puri. It started off as a thought. 

In a nutshell tell us what Paani Puri as a brand represents? 
FUN (you may think this is the shortest and “nutshell” answer but it's true!).

What made you start a clothing company? 
Well when I thought of the Joker eating Paani Puri, I thought would be cool to see that on a t-shirt, and bags etc… it was just a spontaneous thing. I am very much in love with it now. 

Tell us about your main t-shirt illustrator Eureka! 
She is the one person who believed in this project. She has become a sister to me, and she means the world to me and Paani Puri. There are no words to express how much she has believed in us. Thank you E.  

What and who are the main sources of inspiration behind Paani Puri’s art? 
You, me, Eureka, my mom, my dad. Inspiration is amongst us. We encourage people to think of ideas, so please make sure to tell us… the Paani Puri team likes that.  

Paani Puri is about a year old now, what’s the response been like internationally and domestically? 
It’s not a year old. It’s actually only a month old, it’s a concept that I marketed for nine months but we launched officially on April 20th, 2010. The response has been very good, we are happy.  

What components of the Paani Puri t-shirt make it a superior choice over other brands? Styles, fit, feel, print, colours? 
All. We have worked really hard on our fit so it lays on your body softly and comfortably. I am excited that everyone who owns a PPC T has said that the fit is amazing and the fabric is soft and comfortable. It’s honestly something which I spent a lot of time on.

With so many brands, primarily international, flooding Mumbai’s market over the years, Ed Hardy for example – how much aspiration still lies in Indian brands? Especially in a city like Mumbai, where what you wear is who you are, in many ways. 
I was born and raised in the United States. I lived there till I moved to India in Sept of 2008. After moving here I realized that Indians are proud of an Indian brand because they always give brands a chance. I love that about India. Makes me proud to see that we still stand up for the national anthem in movie theaters and really love our country. It’s awesome. I feel we won’t let international brands blind us.  

What are some of your favourite t-shirt brands, the really innovative ones that you couldn’t get enough of? 
Junk Food Clothing, American Apparel, Diesel and FcUK

 In Pic: Junk Food Clothing

Noticed the Puri team are getting some heavy support from Bollywood star Imran Khan, what’s the connection? 
He is one of my best friends… more like a brother to me.  

In Pic: Rish Oberoi, Imran Khan and Miss Malini

Check out Rish Oberoi, Imran Khan and Miss Malini on Radio One's Pirate Radio: Click here

You’ve named your company after this street snack, so tell us, where do you get the best paani puris in Mumbai? 
Well you can get the best Paani Puri at Sobo, Attic and Flo right now. Just kidding! My favorite is the guy down the street. Every area has its “rockstar” paani puri vendor... we have ours.  

The Dark Knight's Joker inspired you to start Paani Puri – are you guys comic book/graphic novel fans?  If yes, what have been some of your favourites?   
Comics, yes. Graphic novels, yes. I love all of Marvel’s work, Asterix, Tin-Tin and my all time favorite Calvin and Hobbes.  

If I’m looking to purchase Paani Puri t-shirts, where can I find them? 
Right now: Also; Attic - SantaCruz (w), Mumbai, Sobo -Tardeo, Mumbai, Flo - Lokahndwala, Mumbai, Just Around the Corner - Delhi, Purple –Vizag.    

Tell us about Paani Puri’s current collection and it’s future projects, I totally want a trucker hat with the samurai on it… posters maybe? 
Currently we have 20 designs out. Each tee is concept based, showing how we have incorporated Paani Puri into each one. They are out for both men and women. In the future…there is so much going on. I am excited to share it once we are ready to launch it.

If you could pick one favorite from the Paani Puri collection, which would it be and why? 
This is the hardest question. I love them all. I know how much heart they were made with and the thoughts/the processes it took to create it… I love them all. 

You are stuck on a deserted island with a life supply of batteries and a boom box, list out 6 life changing must-have albums you’d like to have with you and why?
  1. Linkin Park - Hybrid Theory: This was the album I listened to when I had my heart broken for the first time.
  2. Michael Jackson - Dangerous: He is my favorite artist…we have a t-shirt dedicated to him, and also the company is closed on the day he passed away. My dad gave me this album on the world premiere of his video "Jam" on MTV… RIP MJ.
  3. 112 - 112: I grew up on this album…reminds me of high school years…all the silly things we did.
  4. Lil Wayne - Carter 3: I have loved lil Wayne for a long time….but this album I was waiting for because I had a. moved to India, so I couldn’t buy it the first time it hits shelves, and also the song lollipop is my favorite song of all time.
  5. Jay-Z - R.O.C: Me and my best friends in college bought this album together, all 8 of us, it was awesome…we listened to it probably a million times.
  6. Drake - Thank me Later: It's unreleased and comes out on June 15th.
I won’t lie this is my favorite question in the world. Whatever I have heard, I listen to it all the time. It inspires towards PPC.

Check out the Paani Puri Clothing website: Click here
Watch Rish and Eureka on Channel V talking about Paani Puri Clothing: Click here
Follow Paani Puri Clothing on Twitter: Click here 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Downloads: Bedrock VIP Jonathan Lisle hands out some free tunes! Acid is back!

In Pic: Jonathan Lisle

Bedrock regular and a John Digweed favourite, Jonathan Lisle has been MIA for a couple of years now... word is he's working hard in corporate law (a suit that DJs good!) as a partner at a big firm in London, and was taking a little time off from DJing.  A couple of months back I saw him make an appearance on a few forums talking about how he has an album in the works... if it sees the light of day, it's going to be something you'll want to listen to. To this day his Bedrock OS continues to amaze me, a mix truly way ahead of its time, with dynamic atmospherics, nasty break beat and proggy D&B to make things a little different from your standard 4/4 mixes. 

Yesterday, he comes from nowhere and posts two absolutely amazing tunes for a FREE download.  I honestly don't know how long he's going to have them up, so please pick them up while you can.  There is a lot of acid sounds incorporated in these tunes, a mix of progressive in a journeyesque way and minimal in a quite sinister way. Loving it to bits. 

Download Jonathan Lisle - 1 in 100: Click here
Download Jonathan Lisle - Cancel Holmes: Click here

In Pic: Digweed @ Matter, Bedrock 11

Also just to make your lives easier, even though you should be ashamed of yourselves if you haven't already heard it... John Digweed recently did an Essential Mix for Pete Tong.  To say that it's otherworldly is an understatement.  This is Diggers at his vortex relentless best. It just doesn't want to stop. Here's the track list and download link: 

1. Digital Dirty Doering — Loco (Vince Watson Ambient)(Damage Music Berlin)
2. Digital Dirty Doering — Loco (D- Func Remix)(Damage Music Berlin)
3. Darko Esser — Bofkont (King Roc Remix)(Wolfskuil Records)
4. Kev Obrien — Valentines & 909`S (Manik Remix)(Deep Vein Audio)
5. Triangle — 5 / We Found It (Feat. Mark Ridout) (King Unique Remix)(CDR)
6. Juspio — Frozen Light (Chris Fortier 40oz Remix)(CDR)
7. Chaim — Love Rehab (Dub)(Bpitch Control)
8. Loco Dice — Definition (Nic Fanciulli)(CDR)
9. Flavio Diaz & Kaiserdisco — Jaune (Drumcode Records)
10. Gmj — First There Was Sound (Jamie Stevens Remix)(Open Recordings)
11. TDR — Squelch (Koen Groeneveld Remix)(Doorn Records)
12. Danilo Vigorito — Primal Scream (Plus 8 Records)
13. Pryda — Tumble (CDR)
14. Ian O`Donovan — Aurora (Bedrock Records)
15. Pryda — Untitled (CDR)
16. Slam — Room 2 (Pan Pot Rave Tool)(Paragraph Records)
17. Humanio — Life (Music Man)
18. John Digweed & Nick Muir — Meteor (Bedrock Records)
19. Abe Duque — Hypocrisy (John Digweed & Nick Muir Remix)(CDR)
20. Secret Cinema — Glad Chord (Psycatron Remix)(Gem Records)
21. Marco Bailey & Tom Hades — Brabant (MB Elektonics)
22. Luis Junior — Bg (Bedrock Records)

Download John Digweed's Essential Mix 2010: Click here

I find a lot of amazing music on the Bedrock Forum.  If you like this, join Bedrock, the quality of mixes and tunes available from the underground DJs who post there are A-GRADE. - SG

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Movie Review: Shutter Island - Scorsese's homage to Alfred Hitchcock

Got to watch a movie that isn’t made for children in the year 2010; yes, I’m referring to Iron Man 2, Shrek 4 and Prince of Persia (How To Train A Dragon was thoroughly enjoyable). Utter nonsense made with only $$$ in mind. I can see the gaming fan boys coming for my throat, so I'll say Prince of Persia (though I did find my friend's criticism about Jake Gyllenhaal being the whitest actor in Hollywood and yet still playing the role of a Brit-Persian quite hilarious) wasn't that bad. Anyways, you can imagine how excited I was to finally watch a movie with substance, a movie definitely worth talking/blogging about! - SG

Based on the psychological thriller novel by Dennis Lehane, Shutter Island (2010) is directed by Martin Scorsese with the customary lead role played by Leonardo DiCaprio and stand out supporting roles from Mark Ruffalo and the Sexy Beast (2000), Ben Kingsley. Thankfully, Kingsley redeemed himself with flying colours in this movie, after the atrocity that was his performance in Prince of Persia. He hasn’t sold out just yet.

Viewing Shutter Island, I think it’s blatantly obvious to see the movie is conveying comprehensive reverence to the legendary director, Alfred Hitchcock. The post-WWII based timeline, the setting of an asylum for the criminally insane, the theme of schizophrenia and it’s origins, combed with the mystery of a missing femme fatale patient - it’s all very 1950s noir.  Even the manner in which the actors deliver their lines is classical – it’s almost like we’re watching a play on stage. There are several nods to the great English director; acute, uncomfortable focus on details both in characters and setting (Shutter Island can be just as claustrophobic as Rear Window (1954)), the awkward choppy editing and use of dream sequences depicting psychosis, and more than anything else, the extremely sinister use of a very creepy background score. If the cliff scene and lighthouse scene at the end of Shutter Island don’t take you back to Hitchcock’s classic Vertigo (1958), I don’t know what will. Given Martin Scorsese’s reputation for being the leading voice in film history, there is no doubt this is reminiscent of old school film noir psychological thrillers, based around the style of Mr. Hitchcock. It is a perfect homage to a bygone era in cinema, in which psychological thrillers were touching on a subject that was still relatively unknown and was yet portrayed exceptionally creatively and to be fair, accurately.

In Pic: Shutter Island's inspiration - Alfred Hitchcock

Without sounding like a pretentious twat – I think this movie will be more appreciated by purists who are well versed with film history than those who enjoy a good mystery with jaw dropping plot twists. From the get go, this movie is painfully predictable, what you think is essentially what’s going to happen, barring a few inconsequential surprises. My brother who watched it before me, warned, “The ending will be the cause of quite a few debates…” I asked him “Was it good?” He was quick to answer, “Yes, as obvious as it was.” When I read The Wall Street Journal's critic John Anderson’s suggestion for the viewing of this film, I felt a little vindicated about my belief in the film’s quality; "Shutter Island requires multiple viewings to be fully realized as a work of art. Its process is more important than its story, its structure more important than the almost perfunctory plot twists it perpetrates. It’s a thriller, a crime story and a tortured psychological parable about collective guilt." Essentially, if you watch it appreciating the techniques in which the story is told – Shutter Island's story becomes secondary. The real highlight of this movie is the vivid imagery relating not only to the main character's life and struggles but also the demons he's fighting. The rats from the cliff and the haunting imagery of the holocaust and infanticide are going to stay with you for a while. The answers may be obvious but they're by no means spelt out for you.  

I have harped on about how this movie pays homage to 1950s psychological thrillers – what made those movies special, during those times topics like schizophrenia and psychosis were still obscure and unfamiliar… which made the movies quite scary. People are truly afraid of what they don't understand. Take Psycho (1960) for example, as legendary as the shower scene was, the movie was really frightening because Norman Bates was the first character to depict schizophrenics and the violent obsessive behavior many of them are prone towards. In 2010, we’re all fairly well versed about psychosis and the criminally insane (thanks to classics like Psycho and The Collector (1965), as well as your abundance of contemporary movies centered around serial killers such as Silence of the Lambs (1992) and Seven (1995)) – which makes Shutter Island’s plot a tad foreseeable. Having said of all of this, I do think the plot was beautifully tragic – Teddy Daniels’ final philosophical words to Mark Ruffalo’s character did well to bring the whole story together.

All the personal jealousy aside, it’s high time Leo wins himself an Oscar, especially for his performance playing the role of the grief stricken WWII veteran, Teddy Daniels in Shutter Island. He takes intensity to another level in the role – brooding, resentful and doomed. We may have lost him during the Titanic times (I was in high school, so it’s forgivable) – but we just cannot deny he is currently Hollywood’s finest actor. Just can’t remember a time I haven’t enjoyed one of his movies. In Blood Diamond (2006) he redefined the adventure hero by making himself an adventure anti-hero. He was outstanding in The Departed (2006), giving Donny Brasco (1997) a run for his money as the most cursed undercover police officer. He gave a really underrated performance in Revolutionary Road (2008) with Kate Winslet and it completely undid any preconceived notions I had about him thanks to Titanic (1997) and The Beach (2000). To be Martin Scorsese’s go to lead and to be releasing a movie with Christopher Nolan (Inception (2010)) in the same year is something very special. Can we start categorizing him with the likes of Sean Penn, Johnny Depp, Tom Hanks? I don’t think it would be far off to say in time he’ll be bigger than Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and even Jack Nicholson.

    In Pic: Leonardo DiCaprio as Edward 'Teddy' Daniels

We’ve seen Scorcese do his fair share of mafia movies: Goodfellas (1990)Casino (1995) and The Departed. He’s made epic biopics: Raging Bull (1980) and The Aviator (2004). We’ve also seen his versatility in his powerful documentaries inspired by the world’s greatest musicians: Shine a Light (2008) and No Direction Home (2005). In Shutter Island, we have the best of everything that is Scorcese with a little twist, he isn’t telling us how great he is, he’s telling us how great Alfred Hitchcock was. There are also a few instances where I see inspirations from the psychological classic Persona (1966) in this movie. Intelligent yet quirky editing techniques, a keen eye for lush rich cinematography matched with a sharp understanding of imagery and colour contrasts, a reliance on actors who are passionate to the point of being obsessively ‘mode’ and of course, monumental settings spurred from larger than life production. Add a plot line that deals with very dark yet classic themes ranging from the holocaust, infanticide, dementia, treatment of the insane, and you have a true culmination of Hitchcock-Scorcese cinema. In so little words, the tension is so high with all these components coming together; as you float through the misty opening scene only to be dragged right down through the black ominous gates of Ashecliffe Hospital, you can’t help but think Shutter Island is going to be one hell of a mind fuck. And oh boy is it a mind fuck.

In Pic: Martin Scorsese - cinema's living legend

I'm easily swayed thanks to the garbage that's been released in cinemas recently, so to finally watch a movie with real depth and which keeps you thinking is refreshing. Scorsese proves (yet again) why he's an absolute legend. What do you think, is he the greatest filmmaker in American history?  I'm beginning to think so. 8/10.  Bring on Ridley Scott's Robin Hood and Christopher Nolan's Inception!
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