Brief history on Electronic Music in India!

Head banging has been giving us, our painful pleasures for over 40years now. But, our ignorance has made us believe that EDM is the greatest gift bestowed upon us in this very immediate generation. It is fascinating how the disco era of the 60-70s peppered up the entire alternative musical scene. Our ears needed a new treat and we had welcomed the new wave of fresh experimentations in mainstream music and it was only then that the legendary electronic sounds creeped in.

Then in the middle of 1960s something revolutionary happened, the Moog synthesizers were born and with it the musical stage  exploded with a bang.

The Beatles and other rock bands stormed the market with their experimental rock and rolls, heralding a new era of ‘progressive rock’. Electronic sounds still had its roots firmly set in the foundations of  good old rock and rolls. But, soon, Giorgio Moroder’s Chase changed everything. Not only it got a lot of new people into loving a tenderly growing piece of art, but it also inspired an entire generation of new musicians. But, Giorgio infact, was inspired by the German band Kraftwerk. The musical characteristics of this new sound was promisingly different for it had a wonderful fusion of electronica aesthetically blended  with vocoder sounds.

In the 80s however, the Moog synthesizers,  and the multi-sonic keyboards were passé, MIDI sounds were breaking the new ground . Audiophiles were now embracing and basking warm in the sunshine of the new found love.

However, the revolutionary move in the electronic sounds was made possible by the advent of the incorporation of MIDI sounds with the rock and rolls by bands like the Pet Shops. New experiences were being sought after and gently came the tide of dark waves and the roar of drum machines. Before the new millennium could kick-start, the music of the times have already come of the age.

One would be surprised to note that the highly anticipated Atari ST boosted the MIDI music experiences to another level altogether. Now, it was getting real fun to work with the analog sounds and marrying it with the digitized MIDI beats.

So electronic sounds by the 90s have been through a lot of evolution, and so long it was only all about commercialization but now experimental techno sounds surfaced propelling in mainstream musical scene.

So for the first time, the hard rock techno bass gave way to trance and house alternatives. The feeling was ulterior. Creativity was setting up and pushing the mark up for the weird and wonderful.

Another significant achievement of this era, has been the fact that the electronic music production for the first time was getting highly mainstream. Overall, it was not an underground art from any more. Thanks, to the mushrooming of home computers that people could actually see and emulate their own set of music in their own set up. Henceforth, musical instruments were challenged to another level of competency while the new born musicians sun bathed in the light of their newly found democracy.

In Europe, people went crazy searching for newer sounds and music for the best kind of experience. Experiments would not make a person zone out from the mainstream musicians but would rope in some brownies for the uber cool and provogue post-modernism as far as the musical tastes are concerned.

With the advent of the new millennium, there seemed to be a nuclear fission in the vast family of musicalities that the ears could welcome. The world of ‘feats.’ evolved. It became sensationally useful and utilizing to use, electronic sounds alongwith the main music charts. So we have a David Guetta featuring in somebody else’s song and such becomes the craze for the remixed versions that every other song started having a peppy twin of its own in the early and mid 2000s. Artists found preferences in specific music freaks and used their capacities as their weirdly sounding odd music. The spirit of the millennium was high and awake. The new age was the time to take risks, mainstream artists partnered with newer artists and sound designers.

On the other hand, dubstep and trance got so popular it amused the fancy of every other singles’ artists. They were now themselves getting into a singing style which is different in both form and their style. So, this again nullified the requirement of the new age alternate musicians to take heed of partnering, and they also in turn, went for their own musical journey. Thus, solo shows of the alternative musicians were also getting popular by the day, and thus everybody craved for EDM festivals now.

This particular trend of electronica getting in mainstream is much appreciated, but that does not mean that one will consider the specific genre as an extension of the populist pop genre. In fact the sanctity of the new millennium music is upheld by underground musical festivals, which purely caters to an audience who hates everything conventional.

The democratic nature of this kind of music has been the highest selling point for the market. Almost anybody who has a musical ear and love and passion for music world, atleast once tried his hand at fiddling around to create some amazing experiments.

The explosion of the social media in particular and the Internet in general had further helped in the information exchange and it led to total unleashing of all the potentials that the ears could ever welcome. People had not only many platforms to make music but also many more platforms to share and show. YouTube channels and SoundCloud links flooded the industry with all sorts of varieties.

In India, the electronic sounds’ revolution has brought along significant contributions from artists like Anish Sood. This child prodigy has been making the buzz right from the age of 16, and has slowly gone into big shot collaborators like Afrojack and Hardwell. Another such, master blaster of a collaboration happened when Tom Swoon declared a collaboration with the Delhi based artist Kerano.

Lost Stories turned out to be another sensation in this alternative musical scene. These guys have an inkling for bringing the unconventional Bollywood twang in their electronic soundscape. Their innovations are daringly different and have earned them a place at the illustrious Tomorrowland festival in Belgium.

The most successful of the lot however has been the name of Nucleya. Not only they had a sky rocketing success story but also, they had the most insane chartbusters like the innovative Bass Rani. They also worked alongside the big shots like Skrilex and Diplo, Nucleya also performed with Bandish Projekt which is another one of its euphoric extensions.

2016 had been special for the alternative musicians, consider the success of Hamza’s Gitano or the celebration of the disco era Mumbai city, in Pimp the Disco by Mink. So has been the intoxicating work of Shantam.

Thus, electronic music in India, though at an underground level, is slowly heating up and readying to explode like a dormant volcano, festivals like Sunburn has always had this psychedelic crush for the ethereally trippy music. However there is still a very long road ahead considering the acceptance of the EDM in mainstream media, or atleast in Bollywood.

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