My first introduction to Dualist Inquiry happens this evening – over the sound of thunder and rain and with much reluctance on my part. Winter is over now, yes? Sigh. Beautiful gloomy Radiohead weather that I’m not particularly interested in wasting on electronic death music. The description of Music Project (a series of lovely videos that cover independent artists in some very unusual and pretty places) calls Dualist Inquiry a brainchild and solo project of Sahej Bakshi, a producer, guitarist and cerebral agent. Cerebral agent is all I can think of through the live mix of a Japanese song that he does at a bookstore and for a brief moment leaves aside the knobs, buttons and board (ICU equipment) and picks up the guitar. I’m looking a little sheepish when my brother walks by (this is not called Amon Amarth and no one is screaming) but only because he catches me grooving.
On my second track now and I’m very involved. Red light flashing, headphones on, volume loud, groove mode activated. Have decided to go in a chronological manner starting with the 2011 EP Dualism. Orbital, the first track of three begins with very Floydian Echoes-esque crazy noises and smoothly transitions to a breezy tune, I like very much what goes on in the background, nothing like a phone ringtone. Qualia is again a pleasant tune but with a deep club beat – boom high, boom low, boom deep. Another version of the same has the beautiful (drool) Monica Dogra reciting some spoken word, unfortunately, not adding much to the music*, maybe a cerebral quality, one learns that Qualia is unfamiliar term for something that’s actually very familiar to all of us. Gravitat (sensing a cosmos theme here, very cerebral again) is my favourite track so far, suddenly feeling like quite the fan girl imagining screaming for him to play this (once I figure out if its Gravitat like tit for tat or like start). The tune is a little darker than the rest- an easy entry to my morning gangsta playlist (that I will listen to every morning on my way to work. If the time comes.)
Keeping up with the Dualism theme, his second album Doppelganger has some elaborate track names. Specter, the opening track is a good 5 minute track which has it all – its ambient in the right places, some cool rough guitar riffs to add an edge, and sick drops* throughout. This continues to the next track 6 am which I find a little monotonous. One More Thing which follows is far more 6 am, upbeat but not chaotic, the perfect tempo for an after party, everybody stumbling around looking for their things, mumbling byes, ready to leave. While I’m wishing that this song were a bit longer Exile plays, which starts out with much promise but fades into the generic,– the violin (I presume) while attempting to make it a little poignant, makes it quite ordinary, not helped by the minute long no beat interlude. Anathema starts weird with repeated whisperings of Anathema but is a heavy loopy track with some distortion that I liked very much, with the surprise robot voice (like a guttural daft punk) not for the light hearted. Origin is the happier cousin of Anathema – clean guitar, an alt tune with a pop feel. Blitzkrieg opens with what sounds like drone warfare(big surprise). I’m quite confused by this track – finding nothing particularly that I like about it yet unable to stop enjoying it- a slow gradual blitz. Sneak attack. Multiple listens earned. Isoterra has too many strange voices saying isoterra and what what what what (what what what, I ask too) for it to be a favourite, but I don’t skip it. Soleil is the mellow track on the album, a nice easy background listen, a good finish to the album. What I love about the album is the track order(what I love about every album and every playlist) – its perfect and somehow even the ordinary tracks are quite uplifted by the tracks that keep it company. Don’t forget to stare at the fab album art
The rain has long stopped and the world is asleep (come on, let me be a little cerebral. Just can’t let it go whattodo) and everything feels eerily silent and odd. The quality of a good artist is his ability to take you somewhere else and Dualist has managed that and more. And not once have I mentioned how good looking he is. My grouch at our lead act*** being ‘electronic’ has turned into pleasant anticipation**** (not excitement, because I’m a lady). An inquiry worth your time, no two minds about it (oh how I’ve been dying to say this).
behold the good spoken word+music by Drop Electric
**I have no idea what a drop is but you see why I had to use it.
***Dualist Inquiry performs on Saturday, 1st March 2013 at NLU Delhi
****Those of you that still need convincing https://soundcloud.com/dualistinquiry/naanedaari