MyRecordBag – Works of Intent’s top South Asian electronica cuts

Formerly known as R.O.S.H., Works of Intent, aka techno artist Roshan Chauhan is gearing up for the release of his latest long player, Richer Sound, on Laurent Garnier and Scan X‘s COD3 QR label this month.

In recent years, Chauhan has emerged as a leading voice in the electronic music underground – penning a number of critical essays, including a lengthy article about the dance music press’ lack of coverage of emerging black artists – while also releasing on labels such as Turbo, Rekids and Monkeytown.

He’s also project manager and visual designer for DAYTIMERS, a collective that celebrates the sounds, stories and voices of South Asian creative communities.

With this in mind, as part of 909originals #MyRecordBag feature, we asked Works of Intent to identify ten tracks by artists of South Asian heritage that are rocking his speakers at present.

As he puts it, the selection is “hopefully a broad sketch of the movement that’s building in the UK and abroad. There’s so many more I could have mentioned, but what matters most is there is a growing air of solidarity and connection between South Asians in music that was not really there in the same capacity as it was just a few years ago. Long may it continue.”

Raveena – Secret (feat. Vince Staples)

“Raveena was humble enough to grace the very first DAYTIMERS livestream back in lockdown and it’s been life affirming to see her reach redwood-level heights through her incredibly unique sound. This track glides up and down your spine like a first kiss and Vince Staples is a sonically-perfect shoe in.”

Mya Mehmi – Parivaar (Interlude)

“Mya, host of one of my favourite podcasts of 2023, Straight No Chaser, describes this as an interlude, but it feels emotionally so much more substantial than the parentheses would have you think. Regardless of status, she committed to the full video treatment and I couldn’t have been more glad.

“It’s slick, sexy, and dripping in an absurd level of attention to detail. She, in classic multi-hyphenate fashion, also co-runs the best party in London, Pxssy Palace, and to round off the year DAYTIMERS are teaming up to run a mega event at EartH Hackney in December.”

SUCHI – Danshaug

“SUCHI has gone from strength to strength and she’s got plenty of big things coming soon in the pipeline, but reminiscing on Danshaug for a moment – it’s a breaks manic bopper, relegated to ‘third-track B-side’ status on an EP bursting with bangers. This one might have gotten overlooked.

“You only need a few seconds to check when she drops it on her Hyderabad Boiler Room how it was destined for the big rooms.”

Kahani – New York Giddha

“Indo Warehouse came to London for the first time last month. I was so used to associating tech- house to a predominantly white audience that it kind of broke my mind to see a 2,000 capacity venue filled to the brim with 99% South Asians.

“Kahani, who closed out the night, was the highlight, with some of the slickest multi-deck mixing I’d ever heard. He’s a deft producer too, fusing South Asian samples over a tech house platform in a uniquely effortless and patient way that absolutely pays dividends on the dancefloor.”

Ahadadream – Little Pakistani Boy

“Ahad has accelerated to outrageous heights in recent times and no doubt has a slew of new music coming. But before his current tracks get buried under Grammy-nominated hits and collabs with pop stars, I wanted to dig deeper and highlight this criminally underrated back catalogue pick. The way the lead flips in the second half gets me every time.”

Zar & ManDeep – Secret Sun Place

“Fellow DAYTIMER, and blast beat capable drummer, Zar teams up with poet/singer ManDeep to deliver a sublime record. It’s simultaneously classic sounding but with a specifically late 90s hip hop edge that spins you with that bansuri flute drop and absolutely chugging low end. Love it!”

Nikki Nair – Trunk

“Nikki Nair is an absolute machine, a hit factory, designed to pump out distorted, yet incredibly impactful club music of all tastes and varieties. Someone who lives to create that constant screw face when the subs hit. There’s a ‘Cher – I Believe’ edit he made that turns every festival crowd I’ve played it to into a full throated tears-in-the-dance sing-along moment. Unfortunately, I can’t find that anywhere so we’ll have to settle with Trunk.

“A disgustingly warped drum & bass tune that constantly teeters on the edge of falling apart. Also shout out to Scuffed Records, whose artist scouting chops are simply unmatched.”

GoodMostlyBad – Safe Word

“A nice segue then into my next pick, an artist who absolutely smashed the DAYTIMERS party at Jazz Cafe in May this year. GoodMostlyBad takes the aesthetics of overproduced UK bass, defined by labels like Hessle Audio, Livity Sound and contributed to by Timedance, flips it over and asks to ‘throw it back. Safe Word is a perfect embodiment of this, focusing a rumbling, warbling bass under foley percussion.”

Manni Dee – Just A Touch

“Manni Dee produces music that sounds solely at odds with his demeanour. As his gently spoken Wolverhampton accent washes over the table when we discuss politics and philosophy over a serving of Brick Lane’s finest cuisine, you wouldn’t think that his music would be so abrasive and upfront. Perhaps that’s part of the reason behind the naming of his imprint/party Steel + Silk? But here he is, at full tilt on every release.

“In the booth, he’s a maestro of the industrial-cum-hyper pop hybrid he’s gradually carving his own sound in. The constant evolution of Manni Dee is absolutely one to watch.”

Monophonik & Riva – Morsing

“Speaking of Steel + Silk, holding dual residency at both Manni Dee’s Party and London club FOLD, we have Riva with live techno wizard Monophonik collaborating on a bounding acid number. Complete with old school synths and that beautiful trance gate vocal.”

Thanks to Works of Intent for the playlist. Richer Sound is released on COD3 QR on 27 October.

About Post Author

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: