Tonight’s Mixtaped! edition is a very special one. It marks the debut of United Machines, a project by long time Mixtaped! regular & supporter, Himanshu Pandey. Himanshu is not someone who is new to the scene. I met him for the first time when he used to work in the programming team at Blue Frog. Since then all that I knew of him is that he is a chilled out guy who is well adept with his guitar. My whole notion of Himanshu got really interesting when I was invited to his house once for a party a few years ago. That’s when I realized that Himanshu not only lives with his lovely wife, Antara, but also with a big heap of analog synthesizers, drum machines & other interesting hardware. I also stumbled upon a Roland SP808 & a Quasimidi Raveolution 309 in his collection, two pieces of hardware that I had worked with during my nascent DJing days back in the late 90s. That’s when it struck me that we had a analog gear head in the sly amongst us all this while. However, Himanshu’s story was much older than my discovery. He started out as a guitarist for Southern Cross, back in 1996-97, during Razz Rhino’s heydays. He was already fooling around with Propellerhead’s Rebirth software, when a visit to Furtado’s made him fall in love with Yamaha’s AN200 drum machine. Since then he started acquiring all sorts of analog gear through Ebay & various trips abroad. He was working at Lehman Brothers for a while & after the firm shut down, Himanshu decided to switch to the music & events industry. Since then, he has worked with almost all big Indian promoters like Submerge, Blue Frog, Krunk & sLick! He currently manages Kini & Vandana exclusively. After doodling around with all his gear for more than 15 years, tonight we have the rare opportunity to witness him perform live for the first time, under his United Machines moniker at Mixtaped!. Here is what he had to say when I asked him the usual 5 questions….
What do I say about Sanaya Ardeshir aka. Sandunes?? Well, for starters she is much more than a pretty girl playing with MIDI gear, bleeps, bloops & blinky lights. In my books, she is the leading lady of contemporary Indian electronic music at the moment. I’ve been in awe with her music right from the first day that I heard it. It was just the change that was needed for the Indian indie music movement back in 2012. I literally leaped out of my couch when I heard Running With Claws for the first time. I still do leap when I hear it again. After meeting her personally, I was charmed to see that in reality she is a very simple girl who simply loves, breathes, eats & drinks music. Sanaya has always been working with music since her college days, when she used to play in college bands that play classic rock covers. After studying for some years in UK, she came back to Bombay with fresh new sounds from the London underground. And like that, this artist called Sandunes was born. Since then, she has carved out a unique sound & space for herself in the current Indian music scenario. At the moment, she stands all alone in her own space in the scene, as I haven’t found any one else over the years who produces or plays music within her spectrum of sounds. She has been on the Krunk roster since the start & has released 2 EPs (Temper Tonic & VS004) & a full fledged album (Ever Bridge) so far. She is also a part of The Dualist Inquiry Band. Her recently released EP (Slybounce) has been released on High Chai Recordings & was on #28 in the Beatport Chillout Albums Charts last week! So after booking her months ago & as it coincides around her latest release, this moment can be no better to have a Mixtaped! session with Sandunes. She has been a regular & a supporter since the start of Mixtaped! and she is all stoked up to dish out the beats this Wednesday. Here is what she had to say when I asked her the standard 5 questions….