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Taken from India Today (Sep 13, 2019)

A night out with the Punditz

The gifted electronic duo is all set to woo the city tonight

by Antara Raghavan

Gaurav Raina (L) and Tapan Raj (R) of the MIDIval Punditz.
Gaurav Raina (L) and Tapan Raj (R) of the MIDIval Punditz.

All those who keep up with what's new in the music industry have a good reason to look forward to this evening. Tonight, at Delhi's Mango Kitchen and Bar, the MIDIval Punditz are going to give a live performance.

The Punditz, comprising the dynamic duo Gaurav Raina and Tapan Raj, are acknowledged to be one of the pioneers of electronic music in India, and are still one of the biggest names in the country. Over the past 15 years, they have been credited in the soundtracks of many major Bollywood and Hollywood films as well as TV shows. Their recent contribution to the soundtrack of Gully Boy, The Train Song, was one of the hits in the film's score. They will be joined on stage by the acclaimed producer Jitter or Jayant Luthra, who Raj affectionately refers to as their younger brother.' Speaking on tonight's show, Raj says, "We are prepping a heavy-hitting Indian electronica breaks and DnB (Drum and Bass) set for this show." He goes on to drop more hints on what to expect this evening. "Our new set features our recent new tracks and remixes along with some surprise gems that we collected from artistes from all over the globe."

Raina elaborates, "We will also be playing out all our new tracks at the show." This is another reason to not miss this gig. Earlier this year, the Punditz, after a fouryear- long-hiatus, had released the widely successful single Rootha Yaar.

The end of last month, they released the equally successful Nukhta, for which they collaborated with renowned Rajasthani folk musician Kutle Khan. Giving the background of the song, Raina explains, "We've been working with Kutle for many years. Nukhta was a traditional track that Kutle brought to the table. I found it to be extremely haunting, and thus we all took it into a whole new space. We wanted the track to have a deep, dark and earthy touch, so we produced it with heavy beats."

Kutle Khan corroborates this adding, "I heard many versions of the song from senior musicians in my community to other versions from legendary musicians such as Abida Parveen. I studied more about its influences from different folk music cultures. So I decided to create my own version by keeping Rajasthani folk sensibilities and adding fusion to it." He goes on to say, "Re-recording and releasing it from the Punditz' space was a 100 per cent satisfying experience for me, given my regard for this song." Raina stresses the positive experience on this particular collaboration, stating, "We share a certain synergy while working together, and that comes through in the pace and quality of work we put out."

Given that these unique new singles along with several other old and new favourites will be performed live by the Punditz and Jitter, Delhiites will be in for a show to remember. It will be an even more special experience, as Raj says, "It's always exciting for us to get to play in our hometown, Delhi."


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