Deedz – Magellan [EP]

Deedz Magellan EP

We might be barely two months in, but 2019 has already gone on to deliver a slew of stunning homegrown releases over the last few weeks. And to keep the proceedings moving forward, stepping up to the plate next is Mumbai-based producer and sound designer Abhi Malhotra who has finally unveiled his ‘Magellan‘ EP as part of his Deedz project. Released via fellow act Spryk’s Skip A Beat label, the four-track effort announces its arrival as a gritty, yet extremely calculated piece of bass-influenced work from the man himself.

Led by the thunderous ‘Karmarmour‘ which comes down hard on listeners right from the start, its murky basslines and brutal half time -influenced rhythms make sure to offer a proper welcome before we progress further with the frenetic, tribal-inspired ‘Doses‘. ‘All Naturale‘ feels like a complete sample driven, pulse-pounding hit before ‘Assassin’s Riddim‘ finally wraps up this seriously impressive offering with its heavy bass and twisted drum patterns, guaranteed to cause some heavy damage on the dancefloor.

A ruthlessly executed body of work by Deedz which already sounds like one of the most refined projects to come out of the country in 2019, ‘Magellan‘ offers us with a complete taste of what to expect from Abhi and his latest musical endeavor. Fresh out of the oven, we also managed to catch up with the man himself behind the project to talk about ‘Magellan‘, producing for various acts from India, future plans and much more.

Read on.

TBB: Congratulations on the release of your ‘Magellan’ EP! Can you tell us a bit about the whole project?

Deedz: Thank you so much! This EP is part of a collection of music I’d composed thats inspired by sound design in Sci-Fi classic films such as Dune and the Alien series. Each track is kind of a soundtrack to a scene, such as encountering an alien entity, traversing through a treacherous asteroid belt or a machine that becomes a sentient being. These concepts had a big part in shaping the sonic palette of the series, such as heavily distorted and layered bass that can be menacing and visceral or ‘hi-tech’ timbres that have a futuristic sound feel to them. The half-time beats serve as a perfect canvas to present such ideas in a rhythmic and funky manner and really create that dynamic atmosphere. I was first inspired by Sci-Fi sound design while i was working as an audio producer at a studio in Los Angeles and the EP series is my ongoing interpretation of this.

 

TBB: Having been a part of the music scene in the country for several years now, and with production credits on works by the likes of Monica Dogra, Reggae Rajahs amongst many others, can you shed some light on your new project, Deedz?

Deedz: Working with talented artists over the years and having the opportunity to be a part of their creative process is really inspiring and allows an individual to really explore and expand their own methods of creation. It becomes your responsibility to help conceive an idea or interpret an artist’s vision and give it form, shape and structure. Often you literally have to create what someone else is thinking and hearing in their own mind, which in turn, allows you to better interpret what you are hearing in yours. Deedz is an alias for my music that is a result of this ongoing process.

 

TBB: On the 4-track EP, listeners are treated to a cutting-edge showcase of a unique blend of bass music and thunderous sound design which you also like to term as ‘Thunderfunk’. What’s the central idea behind that?

Deedz: My work in audio production began with sound design for motion pictures in Los Angeles and I absolutely loved the process of creating and designing a sonic environment that is hyperreal by nature. So for example, in a scene where a spacecraft is descending, you really have to create and stitch together everything from the imagined sound of the craft and how its movement would be perceived, to the impact of its descent on the environment; whether its crashing down into the trees or landing on a rocky surface. This involves thinking completely out of the box and using the faintest of sounds such as dust and debris falling, in order to make the scene come alive. I have always wanted to apply the same principles in music, using sounds that are not necessarily musical in nature, but have emotion conveyed through texture, rhythm and tone; creating an imaginary movie in your head, of sorts. The idea started with an EP I’d released in 2013 with a UK based label under the alias Khafru, and what started as cinematic sound design has shaped into ‘Thunderfunk’ over the years.

TBB: Who are your main influences in the music world? Any standout producers to you that have been inspiring you of late?

Deedz: My mentor Damian Wagner, who produced for Michael Jackson and David Bowie, played a big part in shaping me as a sound designer. Working with him on projects with bands like OK Go and The National was my real education. The homegrown music scene here is booming and it’s super refreshing and inspiring to hear what producers are cooking up. The Skipabeat label and radio show is doing an amazing job of pushing these sounds. They’ve got some awesome EPs lined up for the future and label bossman Spryk’s project Strange Movements with Big Fat Minimalist is super cutting edge, both musically and visually. Amon Tobin, Eprom, Timbaland and Noisia are some of the artists that have influenced me over the years.

TBB: Talking about future plans, what are some of your goals for 2019?

Deedz: More and more music! I’ve got a few releases lined up including collaborations with singers and other producers (www.producedbyabhi.com) in addition to the Sci-Fi based Thunderfunk. Also just launched collaboration with bass-don Su Real called Real Dutty Beats which is an online catalog of trap and hip hop music where singers, rappers and MCs can purchase beats and songs for use in their music. We’re putting out a mixtape soon featuring a bunch of MCs. My bucketlist goal though is definitely producing a track for M.I.A. (just putting that out there, universe do your thing)

Listen to Deedz’s ‘Magellan‘ EP below.