Ash Roy and Ashvin Mani Sharma are not alien-names to dance music fans in India. Both are India’s prominent music producers who have heralded the underground Electronic Music movement in India for nearly two decades. They conceptualised Jalebee Cartel—one of India’s most successful live underground music act. After disbanding Jalebee Cartel in 2012, the duo has set up Soupherb Records—India’s fastest growing underground independent music label. They have now collaborated to produce music as Bit of Both and their new album ‘Prequel and Sequel’ is coming out this month.
Their new live electronica act merges percussive elements with house, minimal and techno beats. Their album, ‘Prequels and Sequels’ features collaborations with producers like Grain, techno producer Kohra, singer Anushka Manchanda and guitarist Bhrigu Sahni. Bit of Both is a project where they go back to aspects of live electronica.
Bit of Both was established in 2014—this experimental electronic outfit emerged as a result of their wish to be able to produce and perform with live elements. “Ashvin and I have been working together for a long time. We wanted to relive the feeling of performing live and wanted to keep Jalebee Cartel’s vibe alive so we decided to start producing tracks which had live elements. It took us two years but now we are ready with the album,” says Ash about the ideology behind Bit of Both.
“I always feel that the power of a song is the greatest when someone can hum along or sing along, the song stays with them much more. We have attempted to make music along those lines,” says Ashvin, who also performs under the alias, Calm Chor. They have gone on to play alongside top names in the underground dance music scene like Richie Hawtin, Sasha, Ambivalent, and Nic Fanciulli. And have performed at major music festivals across India and abroad including Fusion Festival in Germany, Burning Man Festival in Nevada, the United States of America and others.
The Bit of Both sound is dancefloor friendly but not limited to it. Minimal grooves are paired with vocals to create atmospheric soundscapes that are gentle yet not feeble.
Playing live also presents an opportunity to collaborate with other musicians—ones they relish. “We wanted to collaborate and create with a lot of our friends.” says Ashvin. They collaborated with producers like Grain and Kohra; singer Anushka Manchanda and New York based guitarist Bhrigu Sahni for seven out of the nine tracks on the album. In September 2015, they introduced Bit of Both with a video for their track Time featuring singer Anushka.
To promote their new album and project, Bit of Both will be travelling to cities across India this month.
Date: January 22
Date: January 23
Date: January 29