Like every Wednesday night in Mumbai, once again Mixtaped! keeps it fresh this week with another rare-performance-slash-debut-of-sorts). Kit Weate & his wife (Juhi Sharma) have been regular supporters for our nights since last year. After being introduced to him by his lovely wife, I quickly realized that Kit had recently shifted to India from Australia & had dabbled with DJing & music production in his younger days. After some discussions with him on each other’s listening preferences, I immediately offered him a slot at Mixtaped! Kit aka.Tactik (sick moniker name :P) was born in South London where he grew up listening to old school drum n bass, jungle & techstep that dominated the UK soundscape in the 90s. After shifting to Australia his musical palette gradually evolved by exploring eclectic pastures. He also learnt to use a small collection of analog gear & sampled sounds through extensive crate digging. Kit & two of his friends later started the brilliant vinyl pressing & event company called Acoustic Weaponry. They’ve made thousands of dubplates/promos for an international clientele. Now you know who to get in touch with if you (or any other DJ/producer/musician) ever need to cut any music/edits/DJ battle tools on wax ;) Besides that, they threw a lot of parties in & around Melbourne. Since he shifted to India with his photographer wife, they started The Pockets Factory & have been using their design & production skills in documentary films, photographic work & music events. They are huge animal lovers too & have sheltered & taken care of a lot of stray cats in Mumbai. We’ve been talking to each other a lot about the music for this Wednesday since some weeks and every time Kt has politely asked me on how “wild/left field/experimental” he could get on his night. And every time I’ve told him that there are absolutely no limits on that. Lol. I know one thing for sure. There is going to be all sorts of breaks…. & lots of jungle :) He told me more when I asked him our 5 questions….
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….