• Thu, Sep 20, 2018
Reviews

EP Review of Just Some by Random Gyan

gig Reviews Mar 05, 06:57pm

Ahmedabad-based indie rock outfit Random Gyan released their debut EP Just Some a month ago, and the four-track studio effort is a sophisticated, conscious and successful effort to create a first good impression.
 Photo Courtesy: Random Gyan

Musicians, especially independent musicians trying to figure out their approach, will always invite suggestions from people around - good meaning folks, relevant music scenesters, musician with a couple of bedroom EPs to his/her name and, definitely, that guy who’s watched Skyharbor twice and possesses a selfie with Tajdar Junaid. Ahmedabad-based Random Gyan is one of the impressively rising ‘indie’ acts whose musicians share a common distaste towards this global phenomenon that essentially became the name of their band.

 

Random Gyan is a relatively new band. They released their debut EP – Just Some - only last month. But calling them ‘new kids on the block’ does not justify their existing experience as freelancing and/or session musicians. The band kicked off its initial proceedings to adopt an ideology, create the sound that will define its journey and musicians that will complement the purpose, when vocalist and guitarist Anubhav Shrivastav teamed up with violinist Protyay Chakraborty to develop on the acoustic arrangements of his original compositions. What began as a duo acoustic set-up evolved into a full-fledged band with drummer Shivang Kapadia and guitarist from another Ahmedabad-based jazz outfit Time Wise, Raag Sethi. The band ended its search for fifth and saxophone instrumentalist with the arrival of Harmish Joshi, another Time Wise member. With violin harmonies, original lyrical content, rhythmic ideas for the existing patterns, jazz influences and texture to the entire sonic set-up, every musician offered something to the process that eventually resulted into the inception of Just Some.

 

With ideas into place, Anubhav Srivastav said the words (that have the potential to become a meme in future), “Let’s call ourselves Random Gyan. Sabke paas hota hai, sabko dena pasand hai.”

 

Sitting down in a studio and patiently recording the four tracks for the EP, later promoting the studio effort through viable social media options remained as the only effective option for the band, once they realised the inconsistent display of live performances in Ahmedabad does not yield strong results. “That was the Plan A from Day One. A lot of bands make music, play a few local gigs and fizzle out. It’s also hard for us to pitch for a gig outside the city,” said Protyoy Chakraborty, the violinist. In order to understand if the compositions are “good enough for the record”, the musicians performed the originals at music festivals like Fangirl Live and other local gigs to review and rework on them. What also helped in the process is the Compass Box Studios, the bassist’s recording studio whose easy accessibility provided the much-needed relief on the financial front.

 

Another one of the band’s conscious effort revolved around ensuring there’s no single theme or message tied to the essence of the EP. And the total lack of theme not only restricted to the sound but extended to lyrical efforts too. The lyrical responsibilities were executed by Anubhav, the vocalist, who’s shared everything between personal, real-life experiences to relating fate to the connection with the stars through the EP. The opening track ‘Outbox’, as the name suggests, is about the anxiety revolving the calculations and flurry of thoughts involved in sending a text to someone you’ve met and fell in love with. A big, catchy chorus with a violin solo drives the song into the most ‘single-worthy’ track off the entire EP. The song speaks about the roller coster of emotions one goes through when the text remains to be sent from the outbox. ‘Outbox’ follows with ‘Hoi-An’, a quaint little beach town in Vietnam where another personal experience dominates the lyrical essence of the song. The song features an ukulele, to capture that summery breezy feeling of Hoi-An, and there's some subtle violin and sax interplay with a Latin-ish groove to give it a pleasant, rolling feel. ‘Hoi-An’ acts as a tribute to those short-lived love stories that only last only as long as those journeys in a foreign land do. The third track ‘Bills’, yet again appropriately named, describes the regret that follows with the monthly paper document that forces you to pay for your unnecessary purchases and parties where you tend to be more generous than usual. Pulling another one from the personal bag of experiences, ‘Bills’ is Anubhav’s stories from his early professional Delhi days. Sonically, the song lets saxophonist Harmish experiment with his instrument resulting into cool dual sax solo coupled with some drum patterns and bass interlocking. The concluding track ‘Intergalactic Lights’ explores the concept of fate and fortunes being written in the stars. Again, on the sonic front, Intergalactic Lights brings a diverse approach with ambient, spaced-out overlay with slow, atmospheric violin and sax and an ethereal synth pad to complement how it would feel to float amongst the stars. “A very conscious effort on our side was to keep every song as different as possible from the others. We have a ton of influences: I'm a Western classical trained violinist and a huge prog rock/metalhead, Raag, Shivang and Harmish are jazz and world music aficionados, and Anubhav has a penchant for singer/songwriter and indie folk, so it made sense to work in as many influences as possible and have a record that offered something for everybody.”

 

Listen to the EP Just Some: 

 

 

Currently, busy promoting the EP everywhere possible minus a major label backing, the band hopes to capitalise on the freedom of being ‘independent’. “We also have other songs cooking, so with a studio at our disposal, we hope to get recording again whenever we can. We weren't looking for an aggressive or heavy sound for this album, because the song themes didn't lend themselves to that kind of music, and we also did want to keep it towards the more accessible side. But like I said, all of us listen to and play a lot of different music, so it's more than just possible that the music to come will explore new ground. Already, a couple of ideas we have tread some electronica, and blues territory, so we'll see where it takes us. As a band, our image is of the "fun guys", partly I feel because of our interactive and spontaneous stage act, and frankly, I'm cool with that. So yeah, I'm not yet sure if death growls and blast-beats will find a way into a future Random Gyan record, but we'll definitely be trying new stuff,” adds Protyoy on the short-term plans concerning the band.

 

“Overall, Just Some, is somewhat in line with the philosophy behind our name, in that it is a collection of varied, everyday stories and experiences, which hopefully people will relate too,” concludes the violinist.

 

 

 

 

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