Kolkata based duo Hybrid Protokol has been pushing a wide variety of electronic soundscapes in the last few years. In the digital world, Soumajit Ghosh and Aneesh Basu are two guys who play all their sets live, using a variety of gears. They recently released a three-track EP Sounds in Place – I on Mumbai-based label Nrtya (10 May 2018), two tracks have already been released, while the third track will be released on 24 May. Adding on to that, the EP is mastered by Israel based sound engineer Nadav Kaz who has been dominant in many projects by Loud, Perfect Strangers, Iboga Records, BNE, Drive Records, Magnanimous Records, Echoes Records and Aware Records.
Music Plus caught up with the dynamic duo on this release, how they collaborated with Nrtya, about their sound which has changed from their previous works and more. Read on.
How different is this EP from your previous releases? How is the overall sound shaping?
The earlier sounds of Hybrid Protokol were underground and experimental, when we hear them now. But in this EP and our present sound have evolved with complete song structures, depicting certain meanings. Each track in this EP brings out specific emotions and tells a story. We have still used breaks and unconventional songwriting approaches to create these stories. We are focussing more on building complete tracks/songs, which incorporates sampling, melodic harmonic motifs and grooves.
Tell us more about Sounds in Place – I? How did you guys team up with Nabarun Bose for the song Tetsuo?
If you break and dissect all the tracks into individual bits and pieces of sounds, scatter them across and listen each one of them, there would be monotony. Hence, we combined all these individual sounds, weaved it together, put them in place to create individual tracks which depict certain emotions. Sounds in Place is a two-part EP, first of which has three tracks, and the last part would be having approximately five tracks.
Teaming up with Nabarun was easy as he is our common friend and a great musician, who willingly agreed to collaborate with us on this track Tetsuo.
See, most of us are caught in the wrong jobs/work to support ourselves and our families in life, and our true wish to do something we are passionate about remains buried inside. Tetsuo is all about bringing out that emotion from oneself and to experience the same, in the short span of time. What better instrument to depict that emotion than a Piano…that’s the reason we collaborated with Nabarun.
How did the collaboration with Nrtya take place? What about the distribution part?
We had sent these demo to several record labels distributors nationally and internationally; we knew Raghu, Parth, Sharan from Nrtya since last year, and we casually sent the demos to them as well. They were kind enough to revert in time, to have this release through them, and publish it online through Horus Music.
What are the instruments/samplers you guys are using currently? How difficult is it to carry all the gears while touring?
Our usual array of synthesisers include the Elektron Analog Machines (the Trinity), Moog Bass, Roland TB03, Access Virus TI3, Twisted Electrons Acid 8 & Ableton. We have added the SOMA Labs Organismic Synthesiser Lyra 8 to our arsenal to provide rich drone textures and weird expressions.
It is very difficult to carry all gears while touring, setting them up and then packing ‘em back post the show. But, it’s for our love of synthesizers, our love of performing live electronic music, to let people know, we don’t mind taking that extra burden and crossing the hurdle.
We believe that Electronic Music has the biggest market in the Indian Music scene right now. Do you think Live Electronica is/can be the next big step? How do think the audience will grab that?
We definitely think that there is a market for the same. And that’s why we have been ONLY doing Live Electronica performances since the last three years wherever we have performed and we would continue to do that. We are even ready to conduct workshops, share knowledge with the audience and educate.
There is a handful of true live analogue electronica performers in the country. We should all come together to form a community, to make it the next big thing. If we, at the end of the day, just playing and getting gigs, end up DJing, live electronica can never grow.
The audience do support Live Electronic performances. This we say, because, wherever we have played Live, people have actually appreciated and come forward to understand what’s going on (at the performance space); hence the market and acceptance is there.
Hybrid Protokol has pointed out that their sound mostly caters to the big stage open air/festival kind. Asking on what’s there in the pipeline, the duo stated that they have some launch tours lined up in Guwahati and Kolkata in a closed room space. But yes, asking us to back them up to get inside that open-air festival space, they said “we need more of that,” before siging off.
Listen to it: Hybrid Protokol – Sounds In Place – I