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Bedroom Beats and Snowshoe Scenes
NIDHI GUPTA  16th Sep 2012

Rahul Nadkarni

t has been a long journey for Rahul Nadkarni, lead guitarist of Mumbai-based band Sky Rabbit. Having travelled through the foyers of progressive rock and into electro-rock, he has finally landed at the doorstep of electronica. Around February this year, he floated his solo project, titled Snowshoe, straight out of his bedroom. But his tryst with ambient music began while the band was still working on the post-production of their self-titled album from last year.

"I had an idea about a live set that could be broken down and put together slightly differently each time. Apart from that, it was just a whole lot of experimenting with sounds and recording these little ideas at home. Eventually it got to a point where I had a bunch of songs which banded together nicely. I arranged a live version for it and asked Harsh Karangale (also from Sky Rabbit) to play drums; and we took it from there," he explains.

On his Soundcloud page, one accosts a bevy of melodies, parts and bridges recorded live and mixed up with scraps from older tapes, looped around to create a dreamy space for the listener to hop around in. Much of this music, including Ditty, Winds and Rockets and Spacebird, with its repetitive harmonies, soul-moving bass and spikes of vocals is the kind that will imprint itself on your brain, calm your mind and introduce you to a 'zen' space unlike any other.

He has also kept this oeuvre largely wordless, letting himself and his listeners sink into expanses of pure sound. Though he refuses to call himself a vocalist in the making, there are parts where you'd hear his voice too. "I don't know if there's any one particular thing that inspired this, but maybe it just comes from a basic urge to create something. I wanted to create a set that was unbroken, and travel through it every time I played it live," he muses.

So how is the music different from what he was creating for Sky Rabbit? "Feelings translate bit differently when I'm working alone and when I'm working with the band. There are literal differences of course – there are no lyrics, no vocals, the guitars are more subdued. Basically, the mood on these songs is different," he says.

Now, having stitched together a reasonable amount of music to qualify as a set, he is keen on entering the performative space. He has already debuted in this respect at Mumbai's Live from the Console and next week, he will be bringing his moody, 60-minute set to Delhi at The Living Room on 21 September. Join him for an exploration of expansive spaces, and for images brought to mind by the name that will stay with you through his gig.

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