Ex-Jalebee Cartel, now one-half of Bit of Both, Ashvin Mani Sharma is regarded as one of the most phenomenal DJs/producers in India in the electronic dance music space. Under the moniker of Calm Chor (His solo project) where he puts all the energy, mostly, Ashvin recently dropped a minimal deep techno track The War Inside. As the name hints, the track is as powerful as it could be. We caught up with the Soupherb Records chief for a chat on the single, Soupherb’s first official showcase in Berlin that took place on 5 March 2018 at Suicide Circus Berlin and a lot more. “I wrote this track when I was fighting a state of complete emotional unrest due to some major upheavals in my life, which made me realise how fragile we really are as human beings. More often than not we create a prison of insecurities that hold us back from breaking out of our self-created prisons. I’m sure everyone at some point goes through similar stuff, so, I hope the track strikes a chord with you too,” Ashvin told us.
Tell us more about the single The War Inside?
Well in many cases it starts with a sound or a melody. In this case, it was the melody and I built the rest around it. Sometimes one is just channelling some higher inspiration and before you know it you have a piece of music.
What gears/equipment are you using nowadays for those electrifying tunes?
Over the past year, I have been in the process of shifting houses, so I have not had all my synthesizers and toys with me. I have been exploring and using Ableton Live thoroughly. I must say that what matters is the output and I’m pretty happy with mine.
What was the thought behind Soupherb Records? How do you maintain the balance between managing the label and your own production?
It was fairly simple. We are keen to release the kind of music we like to play. A lot of it comes from Indian artists because we share the same background. There is no business side of this for now apart from making sure we develop a good brand and stand by our musical vision. It’s indeed a long-term investment.
Time management is important and one has to make the time to do all the things one needs to. I just try to keep up with all of it.
Recently you have been to Soupherb’s first official showcase in Berlin. How diverse was the experience altogether?
It was great to be able to bring our sound to a new city in the way that we like and the response was amazing. It gave us a lot of confidence that we can do things as well as anybody else in the world and that our music is world class. Electronic music crosses many barriers now and it will bring many more people together in the future.
Being the pioneer of techno, how important is it to be skilled at mixing before getting the hang digital?
In today’s age, it’s a personal choice and the scope is tremendous. There is no advantage other than having the skill set. How you use it is totally up to you. I think mixing itself is learnt over many years and gets better with practice. Any equipment you use doesn’t matter as much as what is coming out of the speakers.
Having played at several venues and festivals across India and abroad, according to Ashvin, one good gig can ‘keep the spirit going’ for a long time. Adding on to that, he is also playing some wicked tunes at Freqs of Nature Festival (4-9 July in Berlin) this year. To finish he told that apart from touring, there is nothing but music and more music for him.
Calm Chor – The War Inside (Original Mix)