A master of pulling out street music from different corners of the country and tossing them with contemporary basslines, Nucleya’s sound is a spicy mix, unique to new India. When I first heard his stuff, I immediately thought of Ganesh visarjan day in Bombay. So when he took to the streets to release his new album a few days ago, it was, to my mind, perfection — I can’t think of a better way to introduce Bass Rani.
There was also a fair build-up before the drop — Nucleya (Udyan Sagar) in a sari, spoofing a cooking show; former Scribe frontman Vishwesh Krishnamoorthy playing news anchor warning you about the next Nucleya bomb; a satsang situation; and a teleshopping quickie featuring stand-up comics. It was random, hilarious, effective.
For those who weren’t in Mumbai during visarjan, you could catch the entire launch on a SnapChat story, another fantastic use of the social media tools we otherwise love dismissing. It was great because of how casual it was — no fancy shooting, DJ MoCity took over Nucleya’s feed and seemed to just be walking around showing us snatches of behind-the-scenes action leading up to the release. Also hooked up to the bass bins before Nucleya were Su-Real, Naezy, Alo Wala and Divine. Beats were pelted into the streets for everybody to play with. As if the crowds aren’t already in an alarmingly frenzied state during the processions, this one was a special one to watch — it looked and sounded like a baraat on steroids.
Eight deliciously punchy tracks feature a range of artists including rapper Divine, playback singer Shruti Pathak, Tamil folk singer Chinna Ponnu, Copenhagen-based Danish Julius Sylvest, RJ Gagan Mudgal, and Guri Gangsta, Nucleya’s ridiculously cute four-year-old son. The voice samples he’s used will make you laugh, from the guy imploring “I need some beats for one song, you are drummer, no?” in Chennai Bass, to RJ Gagan Mudgal announcing the next “madhur sangeet” in Jungle Raja.
With all the tracks clocking in just around the three-minute mark, they avoid the endless build-up-underwhelming-drop routine so much electronic music nowadays follows. The 25-minute album is tightly packed and leaves you wishing it would keep going.