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More tracks by Vinayak^A விநாயகா
India is bubbling up as a new dance music hot bed with some hardworking artists creating a wide variety of sounds all with a unique, Subcontinental flavor. Vinayak^A is perhaps one of the most ambitious of these artists, moving far away from the traditional constraints of the dance floor, delving into cinematic landscapes and high quality ambient music before diving headlong into jacking, four-on-the-floor beats. His new album Lonesome Train is the most complete expression of his sound to date. It’s being released by New Delhi artist Hamza Rahimtula’s Wind Horse Records, both driving forces in this Indian worldwide expansion and a natural home for Vinayak^a’s album. Lonesome Train is hard to describe just by simile alobe but it does feel like a soundtrack to a film that hasn’t been made yet with some driving, dance floor friendly beats in between just to remind listeners this is still house music, we think.
While many dance music albums provide a very brief overture to introduce an album, “Introduction Mantra” is a full five-minute ambient composition that feels like a train leaving the station as the music expresses a variety of moods that set the stage for this strange album.
“Out To Score” is exactly what the title implies, a deep and trippy film score track, something Vinayak^a seems to excel at. He drops some grimy, DJ Shadow drums about midway through the track to introduce some of the dynamic action that appears throughout the album.
Good old Bill Shatner gets sampled for the part ambient, part bass line house track “Come With Me”. When Vinayak^a gets his groove on, he’s quite good at that as well, and comes back to it again from time to time on the album to add some dramatic tension.
Cocaine is the theme for “Jonny Sniffs a Line” with a clever dialog sample and some paranoid skittering bass beats that recall a heavy crack bender, at least musically. Be careful not to inhale as Vinayak^a does an excellent job of creating an atmosphere of druggy claustrophobia. There are some hints of BT’s cinematic work to be found in here as well, if you listen closely enough, giving this guy’s music some rooting in reality.
What soundtrack inspired electronic music album is complete without a tribute to Alan Howarth and John Carpenter? The title track is a mix of ancient synthesizers and A.R. Rahman-sized strings that conjure romantic visions of the vast size of India as traveled by train. Tablas take over the back half of the track for a brief John Carpenter-meets-Bollywood excursion that has to be a first.
“Double Face Think Alike” returns to the driving bass line house sussed out on “Come With Me” and adds bells and other cinematic elements for an ambitious dance floor cut that lies somewhere between bombastic and just plain odd.
Eastern philosophies come front and center on “Be Like Water”, is this a new genre of music – perhaps yoga house? Here various themes of the album come together on what is an obvious dance floor single smack dab in the middle of an artistic statement of an album. Vinayak^a balances the two on this track and delivers a track that meets the needs of both home listeners and weekend clubbers.
What better to follow-up a bangin' dance floor cut with than a massive cinematic orchestration, right? For most artists this would be career suicide but somehow this guy comes out unscathed on “Pleadin To Be Forgiven”, seeming more brilliant in the process of taking such huge musical risks. “Hyd To Bang A Tear Drop” puts those beats back after building even more tension adding sitars and chanting to the mix.
The album concludes with “Step Out and Root a Note”, a broken beat post dubstep track that is about as unlikely an album closer as just about everything else on Lonesome Train. While sticking to the standard dance and ambient music templates, Indian artist Vinayak^a turns them both on their heads and shakes out a new expression using the same old elements on this album. Let’s hope other artists will take note.
Words by Sean-Michael Yoder - Ibiza Voice
Photography & art - Pyiush Goswami
Release/catalogue number: WHR015
Release date: Oct 23, 2012