• Thu, Apr 2, 2020

Delhi Sultanate Talks Bass Foundation Roots Sound System

Apr 01, 08:35pm

The Delhi-based reggae/ska/dub artist on the crowdfunding campaign and finally taking his very own sound system on the road
 Photo Courtesy: KRUNK

The capital’s top reggaeman Taru Dalmia aka Delhi Sultanate got up to speed on everything there was to building a sound system for his live shows – from crowdfunding $19,000 to learning how to make speakers and even applying for a driver’s license for the tempo van he was buying to transport it around. It’s all finally taken shape and up for experiencing at Champa Gali on April 2, where the Bass Foundation Roots Sound System will have its first gig. Dalmia told us, “We (Delhi Sultanate and singer Samara Chopra/Begum X) are just going to sing and play records for five hours.”

About their setlist, he adds, “Reggae is really versatile. It goes from '50s to now. You’ve got everything from really hard electronic music to super rootsy analog stuff. Because it’s a soundsystem, I have a feeling I’m going to play more analog, instrumental stuff.” The Bass Foundation Roots Sound System has been in the making for a year now. He explains that the wheels were actually set in motion by his fellow Ska Vengers bandmate Stefan Kaye. Dalmia says, “Stefan knows that I’ve been wanting to build a sound system my whole life and he casually mentioned to me, ‘Oh, my cousin Taus specialises in building sound systems and he lives in Goa’. I’m like ‘How did you not mention this to me in all the time you’ve known me?’”

In addition to all the crowdfunders, Dalmia says there were many others who helped build this bass-heavy wall of speakers from scratch. “One of the biggest supports has been Samara – she’s part-owner and learned graphic designing just to help do the artwork. A big help is Balu aka Dakta Dub from Monkey Radio Hyderabad – we have a relationship that’s not money-based at all. It’s a nice, reciprocal relationship. Rahul Mangal – our manager, in addition to the whole (artist managers) Krunk team. Narinder Pal Singh – he does sound for the Social venues –  got us the amplifiers for zero profit, for just the wholesale price. We saved lakhs on that.”

After the Champa Gali launch show, the Sound System will move around the capital, first to educational institutes such as Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Ambedkar University and later to the Film and Technology Institute of India in Pune, in May. He also says the sound system might make its way to Tibetan schools in Dharamsala.

Dalmia adds, “The dream is to be really on the road and go to the North East, set up base in Shillong and do shows around there. It’s also very daunting sometimes. Suddenly you look at the speakers and think, ‘What did I get myself into?’ Gotta get the car (tempo van) and get the permissions. If I think too far ahead, I lose heart. So one step at a time.”

Watch the crowdfunding video for the Bass Foundation Roots System. More details about the launch gig on the Facebook event page.

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