Lifestyle and sports brand Puma has joined hands with NH7 to bring vinyl back in the market and into the lives of listeners by releasing a compilation of seven Indian indie artists on a 12” vinyl. Divya Naik was at the launch gig at Mumbai’s Mehboob Studios to get a feel of what’s to follow.
Get over alcohol brands. Now, sports and lifestyle brands are seeing marketing potential in the music space. Puma has in fact gone a step further and collaborated with NH7 to curate and promote vinyl as a medium of consuming music by pressing seven indie artists onto a 12” LP – namely, Gaurav Raina of Midival Punditz, Karsh Kale, Reggae Rajahs, Dualist Inquiry, Tough on Tobacco, Ankur Tewari and the Ghalat Family and The Supersonics. This entire exercise is to be furthered by acoustic sets and vinyl listening sessions at Puma stores across the country.
The bands and artists were given a melange of different words thrown at them by their fans on their respective Twitter handles – the song for the record was to be composed with those words.
DJ rayG who hosted the curating and listening session at the launch gig at Mehboob Studios on 23 June 2012 explained the logic behind the effort by saying, “Vinyls are never out of fashion as most artists use vinyls for spinning at the turntables. Though CDs almost about killed vinyl, a seasoned DJ will be able to tell the difference and ease of spinning using a vinyl record, which the CD cannot offer. You will usually find experts using records rather than digital files or CDs. Also, the best sounds are found on vinyls and not on CD formats.”
rayG presented some interesting loops, mixes and hooks from records such as Best of the 80s Disco – the mix of Cruel Summer by Bananarama was rather an interesting listen. Explaining the importance of pieces from film tracks, he demonstrated how one can hook a few simple phrases to a compelling rhythm and create their own mix. Demonstrating via a famous phrase from the movie The Karate Kid, he broke down the technique rather easily for audiences to understand. Next, he played out some very common samples, used as basics by most DJs and how they could all be mixed and matched to form our own original tunes. However, his mix of the nursery tune Mary Had a Little Lamb turned out to be rather annoying for audiences who were expecting something heavy duty to come out of his stable, considering his expertise and qualification, which demanded much respect.
This was followed by the artistes’ and bands’ performances, first up being the Reggae Rajahs from Delhi whose soundcheck never seemed to end with their set being a complete technical blooper – a rare instance of mismanagement on part of the organizers, NH7 who have pulled off large scale festivals before. While the sound from the console was messed in such a manner that the emcee wasn’t able to co-ordinate with him, what annoyed the audience entirely was that the sound from both the outputs constantly seemed to fluctuate and never seemed to sound rightly balanced. Despite constant attempts by the engineers to fiddle with the mixer, the set came to a disappointing end with the Rajahs playing out the track they had pressed onto the record, not much of a treat, either. We are sure however, that it all would have sounded much better had the sound been right. For first timers listening to them, we hope that they understood that the music was right and only the sound wasn’t.
Tough on Tobacco presented some of their familiar tracks, Taxi Driver, Love Love Love and Happy being a few – Sidd Coutto was as spirited as ever, entertaining the audience with his usual antics. The track gave out the message of being free, doing what you felt like, on an impulse and to live life on your own terms. Their music was just as it should be – easy on the ear, heavy on the bass.