• Fri, May 24, 2024

Rearview 2014: Most Memorable Moments

features Jan 26, 04:17pm

Looking back, 2014 had a great number of special and memorable moments that in their own way defined the Indian indie music scene; some great, some not so much. So, we decided to put together a list of some memorable moments that shaped the year and had us on the edge of our seats. 

Tajdar Junaid's 'Dastaan' Selected for Iranian Film The President

Perching another feather in his cap, ‘Dastaan’ off of Tajdar Junaid’s 2013 debut album, What Color Is You Raindrop, was selected by Iranian film maker Mohsen Makhmalbaf as part of his 2014 movie release, The President. “I love the simplicity of Iranian cinema,” Tajdar told us, “And their powerful story telling. Mohsen Makhmalbaf is such a storyteller. I was just trying to reach out to people that I admire. And, I learnt something valuable on the way, if your intentions are good, things fall in place like a jigsaw puzzle.” It seems as if Tajdar’s music has been inherently favorited by a series of different film makers since its release; with music from the album also featured in Jeffrey Brown's 2014 short film, Sold. In fact, rumor has it that Tajdar has been in conversations with many international artists and film makers of possible collaborations in the future. At the moment he seems to be taking it easy, he said, “I've started working towards my next album but I'm no rush at all. It'll fall in place when it's meant to.”

Listen to 'Dastaan' by Tajdar Junaid below:


Bonobo And Snarky Puppy Live at Mehboob Studio

Photo Courtesy Claudia Jaime

December 2014 witnessed Oranjuice Entertainment pull a rabbit out of a hat, bringing down British electronica act Bonobo, and progressive electronic jazz ensemble Snarky Puppy to Mehboob Studio for 'Johnnie Walker The Journey', in front of hundreds of buldging eyeballs still trying to fathom the reality. The concert attracted hundreds of die-hard fans from across the country to come experience this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Having performed across four continents, in over 25 countries, at venues that range from the Sydney Opera House in Australia to Coachella festival in the United States, Bonobo is one of the most sought-after musicians across the world, wrapping up his world tour at Mehboob Studio last year. Among the many hundreds that showed up for the concert were hardcore Snarky Puppy fans and post fusion band Advaita, who ended up cancelling one fo their own gigs scheduled the same day to come watch Snarky Puppy live. “It was an awesome experience,” bassist Gaurav Chintamani told us, “A lot of us in the band are ardent fans of Snarky Puppy, and to get to see them at a stage in their evolution when they’re peaking was just great. We were supposed to play a gig in Jaipur and it was a pretty big show; public gig, near the Vidhan Sabha, and apparently the CM was supposed to be at the show too. But well, it’s not everyday that you get to see a band like Snarky Puppy live! So, we took a call and called the Advaita gig off.”   

View a photo gallery of Bonobo and Snarky Puppy live here.


Superfuzz Release Debut EP

After first hitting the scene back in 2004, Superfuzz had created a cult following for themselves in the last decade; with the Delhi-based rock n’ roll band’s name being as household as sambaar. Ever since Superfuzz first formed, the band rocked stages across cities in India winning over competitions like Campus Rock Idols and Channel [V] Launchpad, and more; all this without any album releases. The band was off the grid for the last six years ever since drummer Aditya Paharia left the country in 2008 to pursue a career in accounting, before coming back together again in February last year with renewed vigour. The members moved in together converting their apartment into a rock n’ roll paradise, and started spending their energies into jamming – perfecting old songs and working on some new material which would soon be released as the band’s long awaited debut EP. Finally, after a decade of its formation Superfuzz released their EP, Inner City Waster, to a following of rabid fans who had their mouths foaming at the idea of the band’s debut release, making this one of the most surreal developments of 2014.

Listen to Inner City Waster by Superfuzz below:


Crowd Funding and DIY Festivals


Last year saw a big shift in the Indian indie music scene sensibilities as artists, producers, and festival organisers turned toward crowd funding  to realise their projects. While bands and artists like The Vinyl Records, Baiju Dharmajan, Vasudha Sharma, Mame Khan, and others, worked towards crowd funding albums and music videos, even festivals like Bangalore Open Air, and Control Alt Delete head the same way. Of course, the biggest question on everyone’s mind was whether it would work; surely enough some did and some couldn’t. While Bangalore Open Air organiser, Salman Syed, expressed dismay with the culture of crowd funding in India in an interview with RSJ in July 2014 saying, “I don't think the concept of crowd funding works in India”, organisers like Control Alt Delete’s Rishu Singh seemed hopeful and said, “Very frankly I believe the audience is very sensible, they understand if you’re giving them a shit product expecting them to pay for it. I don’t think crowd funding will ever work in a scenario like that.” Surely enough, with the success of DIY festivals like The New Wave Musicfest that was headlined by Japan-based rockers Shonen Knife, Control Alt Delete, DIY Day, and many more, 2014 has broadened horizons for homegrown festivals and DIY organisers by an immense fold.


Vishwesh Krishnamoorty Parts From Scribe


Nearly a month into the release of Mumbai-based hardcore metal band Scribe’s much awaited album, Hail Mogambo, vocalist and founding member Vishwesh Krishnamoorty announced his departure from the nearly decade old band to pursue other artistic ventures. Marking the end of more than memorable era of amazing music and performances, Vishwesh’s departure was a pretty heavy blow to the fans causing a huge cry in the community. The vocalist  expressed that his job as a film maker and director demands much more time from him, and often doesn’t allow him to commit to tour dates with Scribe. Scribe went on to induct vocalists Siddharth Basrur and Viraaj Saxena into the line up, taking to a stage in Bangalore sometime in November 2014 without any previous announcements of the line up change, to a much surprised audience. Bassist Srinivas S told Rolling Stone India in an interview in November 2014, “We were nervous before the gig, but one song down, we thought, ‘Let’s just have fun’. We didn’t play any bum notes, so we’re happy.” Perhaps for better or for worse, but one can’t deny that this moment marked a huge flagstaff in Indian indie music scene history. 

Listen to 'Cops Cops (Cops Cops)' by Scribe below:


Nischay Parekh Selected By Red Bull Music Academy

Photo Courtesy Naman Saraiya/ Artwork Courtesy Ayesha Kapadia

In July 2014, the Red Bull Music Academy announced the selection of 60 producers, vocalists, DJs, instrumentalists, and more, from across the world to have the opportunity to attend a series of lectures and workshops with some of the best mentors, and new age facilities available in the music industry around the world. One such musician among these choice few who visited Tokyo was Kolkata-based singer/songwriter Nischay Parekh. Nischay applied to the academy with five tracks; off his debut LP, Ocean; a song by experimental-pop act The Monkey In Me; and an unreleased electronic piece he had composed a few years ago. Expressing hesitation at first, Nischay decided to embark upon the journey when he was encouraged by fellow virtuso musician and percussionist Jivraj Singh. “I remember the application being very organic”, he told NME in an interview in July last year. “I didn’t even see the divisions in the questions. Honestly, I did not expect to get in, let alone be the only Indian to get in this year. It’s all quite surreal, from an outside view the Red Bull Music Academy looks a little too cool for the likes of us mortals. It felt like only geniuses like Flying Lotus or Jivraj Singh have a place there. I look forward to manipulating synthesizers in a non-virtuosic manner because it’s still going to be incredibly fun.”

Listen to Ocean by Nischay Parekh below:

Leave you comments below and tell us what you think about the list. What were your most memorable moments from 2014?

Facebook twitter Google Plus Pinterest
Related Stories

Leave a comment

Recommended Stories

Top 25 Songs of 2013

We racked our brains for days to come with this list of 25 of our favourite songs released by Indian indepedent artists in 2013, from rock, jazz, electronica, fusion, experimental, and so forth. Point us to all the songs we've missed out on.

Jan 10, 2014 

By RSJ Staff  

Emerging Artists of 2013

It’s been a good year for young bands, with crowds far more receptive to new artists – young and old alike – and promoters also taking punts on these new bands. Plus, with the internet and Bandcamp and Soundcloud allowing anyone with an internet connection to upload new music, the opportunities for musicians to be heard, reach out, and get attention have naturally increased. So yeah, it’s not all gloomy, even if the weather here in Delhi really is.  

Dec 31, 2013 

By RSJ Staff  

Best Indian Metal Albums - 2013

Though 2013 abounded in gigs, it was a pretty low-key year for Indian metal bands as far as album releases went. Quite a few promised albums never dropped for various reasons, the ones that did oscillated between ho-hum and downright unlistenable, and much of the year was given to bitching and moaning about the state of the scene. It wasn’t all that bleak, however; there were a few notable releases that made the top lists this year.

Dec 30, 2013 

By Deepti Unni  

Introducing: The Quirky Sounds of Mumbai's Madboy/Mink

The Mumbai duo, Madboy/Mink, have been making generating quite a buzz with their eclectic music and engaging and energetic live sets. We had a short chat with the band about their music and their identity, among other things.

Dec 03, 2013 

By Medha Singh  

Barefaced Liar Set to Release New Album

Delhi's Barefaced Liar have made a name for themselves with their indelibly catchy modern-rock vibe, keenly intertwined with a degree of virtuosity. The band is currently in the process of working towards releasing their second album in the next couple of months, while also gigging heavily. We chat with them about the new album, opening for Hoobastank, what the future holds, and their songwriting process, among other things. 

Oct 25, 2013 

By Aditya Varma  

Street Stories Release New Single, Titled 'Stuck in Today'

Street Stories, the very energetic indie/pop-punk three-piece from Shillong, have released their new single, called ‘Stuck in Today’ with RSJ. The song has been recorded and produced at Element Indie Records, Dimapur. We chat with the guys about what the song is about, and what their future plans are. Scroll down to check out the song.

Oct 25, 2013 

By RSJ Staff  

Introducing: The Dreamy, Experimental Pop Musings of Nischay Parekh and the Ocean Orchestra

Nischay Parekh has quickly garnered a large fanbase following the release of his debut record, Ocean, an optimistic and pleasant collection of delightful pop tunes driven forth by a perceptive aesthetic of melody, dynamics, and progression. We caught up with the singer, multi-instrumentalist, and composer for a short chat about his songwriting, the process of setting up a tent in his room during recording, and current and future plans.  


Oct 21, 2013 

By Akhil Sood  

Vasuda Sharma: Discoveries and New Beginnings

Vasuda Sharma’s debut record, Attuned Spirits, is an amalgamation of western and traditional Indian classical sounds, with an underlying aesthetic of exploration and experimentation that lends it a clear direction. Collaborations feature heavily on the album, yet the continuity of her vision springs forth at every juncture. Vishad Sharma speaks to her about writing for the album, setting up a live band, and her journey of self-discovery and new beginnings.  

Oct 17, 2013 

By Vishad Sharma  

Reptilian Death Release New Single Titled 'Emerge, Hatred, Emerge'

Reptilian Death, the death metal band from Mumbai, have released their new single ‘Emerge, Hatred, Emerge’, from their sophomore album, The Dawn of Consummation and Emergence.

Oct 07, 2013 


Gibson All-Star Clinic for Guitar across Five Cities in October

The Gibson All-Star Clinic Tour takes place through October across five cities.

Oct 03, 2013 

By RSJ Staff  

Asylum from Mumbai Finish Recording New EP Titled Inmate

Mumbai’s groove metal band Asylum has finished recording all five tracks for their debut EP, Inmate, due to release sometime in November. 

Sep 19, 2013 


Mumbai's Hindi Progressive Act Coshish Release Debut Album Titled Firdous

Mumbai’s Hindi progressive outfit Coshish have released their debut album, titled Firdous, with Universal Music India.

Sep 03, 2013 

By RSJ Staff  

The curious case of Alien Sky Cult and the strange beast that is Delhi's metal scene

Alien Sky Cult have been the object of much internet curiosity due to their unexpected showing on the Rolling Stone Metal Awards polls. However, the Delhi-based metal band are neither

Jul 13, 2013 


Breaking the Babble

Some wag – may he rest in peace – once claimed that writing about music was like dancing about architecture. Very clever. He's passed…

Jul 11, 2012