South Asian electronic music blends modern production styles with classical instruments and nostalgic sounds, offering a fresh take on traditional music. While some tracks evoke nostalgia, others experiment with new-wave sounds and textures, creating a vibrant and rich scene. If you're a fan of classical or electronic music, give South Asian electronic music a listen to experience the best of both worlds.
Jhinjhoti by Kanishk Seth
Kanishk Seth is a master at combining classical music with modern electronic sounds, and his track 'Jhinjhoti' is a prime example of his musical prowess. The song is an interpretation of Pakistani poet Jaun Elia's ghazal titled 'Dil Pareshaan Hai, Kya Kiya Jaaye?' and navigates the complex emotions of love, transitioning from confusion to acceptance as it progresses.
Seth expertly uses the sitar and flute to evoke the essence of the raag jhinjhoti, a Hindustani classical music composition known for its light-hearted and playful character. The song strikes a perfect balance between the heavy synth sounds and the soulful melodies of the Hindustani classical instruments, preserving the heart of the original ghazal.
Khoyo by Tech Panda and Kenzani
Tech Panda and Kenzani, a dynamic duo in the world of electronic music production, have taken a Marwari folk song with deep roots in Rajasthani traditions and created an elevated and spiritual soundscape. The duo's unique vision breathes new life into the traditional song, which speaks to the transience of material possessions and the fleeting nature of attachment in the physical world.
The song's melody is placed on an atmospheric beat in a minor key, which perfectly complements the mysticism of the lyrics. The lush soundscape created by Tech Panda and Kenzani crafts a world of reflection.
Buttons by Baalti
'Buttons' by Baalti is an energetic track that fuses elements of electronic music with an unidentified Hindi vocal sample. The Hindi sample is layered over a growling bassline and accompanied by an intricate drum pattern, creating a unique sound that is at once playful and unprecedented.
The bassline is rich and textured, adding depth to the sound and helping the vocals bounce off the percussion-heavy production. Despite the melée of elements, Buttons is a cohesive track with great experimental value.
Gum by Anhad + Tanner ft. Kamakshi Khanna & Vibhor Mathur
Gum, by the duo Anhad + Tanner, seamlessly blends together elements of different genres and styles. The song begins with an organic instrumental half that features a melodious flute and Kamakshi Khanna’s honeyed vocals. As the song progresses, it transitions into a high-energy Drums and Bass inspired segment, which is unexpected yet seamlessly integrated. The juxtaposition between the two segments of the song creates a sense of tension and release, with the energy building and subsiding in a natural and organic way.
Aayati by Firaaq
‘Aayati’ by Firaaq is an energetic club-happy track that combines elements of melodic techno and traditional Hindi classical music. The song's driving force is in its percussion-heavy bassline, which keeps the energy high throughout the entire track.
The intro features a hypnotic traditional Hindi classical taal or musical meter, which adds a layer of authenticity to the track. The drum pattern sets the tone for the rest of the track. As the song progresses, the percussion becomes increasingly complex, weaving in and out of the mix along with the taal.
Siachen (Jog Rework) By Fake Shamans ft. Aizaz Sohail, Rakae Jamil & Farhan Ali
Lahori duo Fake Shaman’s track ‘Siachen (Jog Rework)’ is a beautiful fusion track that combines the traditional sounds of the Hindustani classical raag Jog with contemporary electronic beats. The track features the sitar and guitar, creating a unique sound that is informed by both sensibilities.
The use of raag Jog creates a meditative quality to the track, along with the airy electronic beats and subtle percussion give the track a lightness. This creates a soundscape of spaciousness that lets the old and the new breathe life into each other.
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