On the first release since their 2015 album Light, New Delhi electronica duo Midival Punditz conjure an entrancing groove over solid synth work and powerful vocals from classical singer Sukanya Chattopadhyay on "Rootha Yaar."
The new track - which you can hear below a day ahead of its official release - was born out of music originally written for T.V. series Made In Heaven, which was helmed by Punditz's Gaurav Raina aka GRAIN and producer-singer Tarana Marwah aka Komorebi. While the Punditz have contributed to several music projects for Indian films such as Karthik Calling Karthik (2010) and Monsoon Wedding (2001), Raina calls Made In Heaven "a big learning experience."
Midival Punditz called on Chattopadhyay (who has previously worked with Mumbai electronic duo Burudu) to sing, based on how her contribution turned out for Made In Heaven. Raina says, "Tarana suggested Sukanya's name as someone who was apt for it. We called her up and asked her to come in for a recording. At first listen itself, we knew that we had found the right singer for the job."
There's a few vocoder vocals from the duo as well, but Raina and Tapan Raj stick to building a bass-heavy beat and throwing in folk and Sufi instrumentation over it, proving just how well they can nail the fusion electronica sound even as trends come and go around them. Chattopadhyay sings the lyrics of Sufi poet Bulleh Shah, which Raina says was suggested to them by music director and singer Balkrishan Sharma.
The song is bundled with four versatile remix versions - from the signature warped style of London-based producer-DJ Gaudi, to the percussion-centric rendition by New Delhi's Curtain Blue and a more wistful rework by Komorebi and something even dreamier by DJ-producer BLOT!.
There are two more tracks being prepared for release later this year. Raj says "there is no set direction" with this new material, but adds that they wanted to "keep the production fresh and retain our love for Indian folk and Classical music for which we are most recognized." The producer-DJ notes that they're also keen on working on the visual representation of the tracks with different artists. "Rootha Yaar" features artwork by Nikhil Kaul aka Frame/Frame.
In addition to the singles expected this year, Raj shares that the Punditz are also working on a project "linked to folk music from different parts of India." He adds, "Some amount of reconnaissance has been done by our team and the project is shaping up to be very interesting. We can't wait to reveal this project as it reaches a further stage of maturity."
Stream "Rootha Yaar" ft Sukanya Chattopadhyay below. Pre-order it here.