Elektro Raga Collective (ERC) is an unique initiative by Joy a.k.a. Kaushik Bhattacharya and Amitesh Biswas where the rich traditions of Indian Classical Music is presented in a contemporary electronica soundscape. The uniqueness of the concept lies in the fact that the electronica played with synths, samplers and computers, is treated as a dynamic performance component, that complements a live acoustic performance. It is an attempt to celebrate the free flowing improvisational aspect of the Indian melodies which is possible with traditional accompaniments like Tabla. The key objective of this project is to expand the audience of traditional music from connoisseurs to the youth, who are often underexposed or uninitiated to India's rich cultural heritage.
Amitesh is a versatile and seasoned Hindusthani Classical vocalist with influence of Benaras, Patiala & Gwalior gharana. Amitesh is an accomplished solo artist who has performed in many prestigious conferences all over India. He is also a regular performer in the A.I.R. and Doordarshan. In addition to being a performer, Amitesh is a groomer and a teacher. Amitesh’s vocals shape the lush classical vocal soundscape which is the trademark of ERC.
Born into a family of musicians, Kaushik was exposed to the best of Indian classical music from a tender age. He was introduced to sitar early in his life and was privileged to study under great masters of classical music. Kaushik eventually moved to a career as music producer and practiced his trade in Mumbai. After working on advertising jingles and film productions for many years, Kaushik started delving into the territory of live electronic music inspired by the likes of Talveen Singh, Karsh Kale, Shpongle, Prodigy and Jo Jo Meyer’s Nerve. He started to explore the possibility of presenting classical music in an electronica soundscape. His deep experience and expertise in electronic music production and the lure of going back to his love for classical music has always motivated him to explore new territories of sonic and musical possibilities, without losing the charm and authenticity of either genres. Kaushik is currently based out of Kolkata and the founder of ERC.
It's been 4.5 billion years since planet Earth was born. It's been 40000 years of human existence in this planet. From discovering fire and wheels to making clones of themselves and everything in between - they are getting smarter. The maddening pace of technological progress is disrupting their basic nature. Does it disrupt the way they feel? Or is it the basic emotions that is the only constant in the human evolution?
The album Noy explores the basic human emotions like heroism, anger, wonder, disgust, sorrow, delight, peace and fear in an imaginary world, deep into the future. The feelings separate the humans from the machines. It's the only hope of survival of the human race.
The nine songs in the album represents one of these emotions, depicted through a ultra short storyboard.
The album is a result of our first hand experience of living in the rapidly evolving modern world - The give and take of basic human values and benefits of industrialisation - The dilemma of choosing between the nature and the unnatural. The rapid pace of life and endless ambition have pushed ourselves to the threshold of breakdown. But it's the priceless moments of deep feelings that help us overcome the fear of survival.
Musically speaking the drum machines and an array of synthesisers represent the modern times in this album. The industrial grooves, deep baselines and the growling synths creates the sonic bed for our imaginary future world. The nagging electric sitar riffs reiterates the repetitive, uninspiring everyday life we live in. The vocal melodies based on Indian Ragas depicts the deepest of our emotions - both positive and negative - but emotions nevertheless.
The album travelled from my bedroom studio to Souma’s synth abode to Amitesh’s farmhouse to Adeep’s studio, not necessarily in any specific order. It's been a celebration of our deep friendship and shared passion for music. It's slow cooked in the bylanes of our beloved home city - Kolkata, over endless cups of tea, fights, emotional meltdowns and tearful reconciliations.