Monday, September 10, 2018

#BassMondays - Rohan Kalé (Interview + Dubplate 031)

Adding to our forever expanding 'Dubplate' collection, this month we have 'Rohan Kalé'. A former Radio Program Manager at, [an online radio station focusing on alternative music and culture in India], he enjoys an array of genres [apart from DnB] like Jazz, Hip hop, UK Bass/Techno, etc. and also curates a fortnightly Jazz show on boxout called Reflections. Discovering an unfading love for DnB during his college days in London while first listening to 'Calibre', Rohan is a sucker for Liquid DnB. He strongly believes that for artists 'Experimentation' is the key to evolving and pushing the boundaries. With him starting a residency at 'Auro, New Delhi', with intentions to push the DnB sounds and growing the clan, we had a little talk with him to find more about his plans in the near future. Read and learn more about our artist of the month and don't forget to hit play before you move ahead, for you certainly don't want to miss this super smooth and groovy set he has put together for us.

1. We all know how passionate you are about Drum & Bass. Tell us how did it all begin for you?
A - I went to college in London and it all started there for me. Initially I was more into the UK house/UK Funky sound and actually disliked DNB whenever I went to Fabric and experienced it. Then one of my housemates introduced me to Calibre and his music just connected with me instantly. After rinsing a few of his albums, I got the opportunity to experience the Music Man play a phenomenal set in Room 3 at Fabric - that was the turning point. He just did his thing and won me over effortlessly. I returned in October 2013 and started DJing house music and such. It wasnʼt until 2015 that I rediscovered DNB and I havenʼt looked back.

2. Q2 - Your inclination towards Liquid Drum & Bass is evident and itʼs refreshing at the same time because of how Drum & Bass listeners tend to get drawn towards the heavier Neuro sounds. What was your inspiration?
A -  Phew, where to start. I could write a thesis on Liquid DNB but Iʼll keep it short and simple. I like my music with a heavy dose of soul in it, something that comes from deep within and plucks at your heartstrings. Liquid has all the elements you need for a great song - Tight drums, beautiful vocals, ethereal soundscapes, melancholy chords and soulful pianos. It instantly puts a smile on my face, makes me feel hopeful, feels like love, you know. Like falling in love over and over again.

3. We have seen the way Drum & Bass has evolved from the conventionalities of Neurofunk, Liquid, Jump Up and Halftime. What are your thoughts on the experimentation the genre has gone through?
A -  I absolutely, 100% support it.
I think as artists we should never stop experimenting. We work in a creative field, so why be mundane and churn out no risk music.
Experimentation is the key to evolving, creating new sonics, pushing/breaking boundaries. It also leads to learning new skills/methods.
This is what music should be about, it is to me.

4. We hear youʼre starting a DnB residency at Auro, New Delhi. Thatʼs huge for the scene in India. How did the idea of a residency come about and how do you plan to take it forward?
A - It actually started as an Instagram chat between me and Sanil Sudan. I was posting about how we need to push DNB forward in Delhi/India now that Techno and House have been established. He DMʼed me with a proposal to start a DNB residency. I didnʼt have to think about it much because it sounded perfect - so we had a 5 minute meeting few days later and decided a date and that was that! The best part is that I am handling every aspect of it, from decor to placement of the DJ to the creatives and so on. It really gives me a chance to experiment with the space too and my plan is to have a different environment for each night. For the launch I collaborated with a friend and an exceptionally talented 3D artist Adhiraj Singh (@adhiwave). He created all the visuals from scratch and VJed for the first time and absolutely nailed it. The launch was a success and gives me hope for the future.
The main aim is to push the sound and grow the listenership of DNB. Once the residency is a bit more established Iʼm hoping to start booking DJʼs from all over India that are pushing the same sound and eventually, if all works according to the plan, book international artists under the same property. Good luck to us!

 5. Do you ever see yourself producing something really different from your signature style? If yes, would you like to release it under the same banner?
A -  I always like to experiment, itʼs the key to continuously evolve and keep it fresh as a producer. Sometimes drifting away from your signature style helps when you come back to it!
I have produced some hip hop/jazzy beats kinda stuff. If I ever do release it, itʼll be under the same banner indeed. Iʼm also starting work on an Ambient/ Experimental concept album which I hope to release in 2019.

6. Time for some fun questions : 
A -   I donʼt like choosing nor do I like favourites but I guess Iʼll have to play along.
• Calibre or LTJ Bukem?
- Calibre

• LSB or Tokyo Prose?
• The North Quarter or Integral Records?
- Canʼt answer this. There is no comparison as Integral is 10+ years old and they have many more releases to their name than TNQ which was established late 2016.

7. Genres you dig other than Drum & Bass?
A -  Jazz (I curate a fortnightly Jazz show on called Reflections), Hip hop (Jazzy, boom bap kind of stuff not todayʼs lame trap shit), UK Bass/Techno, Ambient, IDM.

8. Five tunes you are feeling at the moment?
A -  1. Rainforest - One with the Universe
2. Sara Mitra - She Moved Through The Fair
3. Hailu Mergia - Yefikir Engurguro
4. Julianna Barwick - Nebula
5. Bop x Subwave - Clair De Lune

Follow Rohan Kale - Facebook | Soundcloud | Mixcloud | Instagram

Dubplate #031 - ROHAN KALE


1. Commix - Time Has Come [Metalheadz]
2. S.P.Y - Midnight Blue [Hospital Records]
3. Frame - Primitive Jungle [The Dreamers Recordings]
4. Ulterior Motive - Jungle Jam [Shogun Audio]
5. Quadrant, Method One & Iris - Airbrake [Vandal Ltd]
6. Hugh Hardie feat. Maverick Soul - Camera Obscura [Hospital Records]
7. Ricky Force & Mecca - The Essence [Jungle Syndicate Recordings]
8. Ricky Force & Mecca - Youʼll Never Know [Pressinʼ Hard Records]
9. Fushara - Pathway [Next Phase Records]
10. Frame - Nerina [The Dreamers Recordings]
11. Gremlinz & Jesta - Untitled (Responsable) [RuptureLDN]
12. Ricky Force - Celestial [Pressinʼ Hard Records]
13. Earl Grey - Rain [Inperspective Records]
14. Ricky Force - The Touch [Pressinʼ Hard Records]
15. Photek - Consciousness [Metalheadz]
16. MAC-V - Junglistic Matter [Next Phase Records]
17. Seba feat. Blackeye MC - War on Music [RuptureLDN]
18. Reso - Echo Loss [Hospital Records]
19. Ricky Force - What To Do [Pressinʼ Hard Records]
20. David Louis - Crystalize [Mettasonic]
21. Maverick Soul - Chandra [Emcee Recordings]
22. Om Unit - Twilight [Cosmic Bridge]
23. Reso - Coming Back To You [Hospital Records]

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