From Krazy Electrons to Layer Music Project – journey of a Soundscapist
Chaitnaya Bulusu, fondly known as Chatty in the Electronic Music circle in India, is happy to acknowledge that the audience no longer categories his creations in the EDM genre only. Being a Soundscapist, Robotic Humanist, Automation and Electronics Engineer and Synesthate (who sees colors as waves!), he is moving beyond the boundaries with his independent venture Layer – which in his words is a pathway to a boundless repository of music in its purest fractal form transcending genres and styles.
A seeker of hedonism through rhythm and philanthropy through music-making, Chaitanya is a self-taught electroninca wizard who started producing at the age of 18.
This moniker – Layer – was formed by him in the summer of 2016 after successfully leading the so boho Ethno-Electronia band KRAZY ELECTRONS (KE) for almost 8 years. From building his own console to being a consummate livewire performer on stage, Chaitanya was the driving force that kept the band members on their toes. Leading KE, he earnestly pushed the limits as an electronica artist and developed an appetite for collaborating with various artists from different musical backgrounds.
His understanding of electronica is envied and appreciated among his peers and was one of the differentiation that set the band apart and gave it a unique identity. The band had a successful string of gigs at almost all sought-after venues across the country resulting into a niche following.
The conception and provenance of Layer are based on a simple idea- creation and promotion of quality music, minus the little labels and the big boxes.
The oeuvre has myriad compositions experimenting with swing, melody, vibe and atmosphere. The only constants that remain are deep, groovy bass lines, dark atmospheres and a trajectory that ultimately crescendos into high energy music.
Coming from a DnB and Psychedelic trance background, Chaitanya’s creations include a generous and innate dose of live sampling, layering and an overall vibe that could be truly and easily defined as ‘eclectic.’
He uses Zaquencer, Spark Altruia Drum machine and his customized MIDI controller in his live gigs and his influences run deep and vast as Infected Mushroom , Prodigy , KSHMR , Royksopp , Enigma , Deep Forest and Illayaraja.
In its nascent stage, LAYER has already given people a reason to like him on dance floors around the globe. His first 5 releases on Soundcloud and Facebook has garnered him more than 8000 plays and 100 + reposts.
Pushing the envelope further, Layer has just come up with its Ist EP released across all major online music portals in India. Acknowledged as the first ‘Hi-Tech Minimal compilation’ on Ok Listen (one of the key online music shops in India), it is certainly an impudent step ahead not only for Layer but also for the artists who have been dabbling with the niche genres hitherto unheard and not-really-followed in India.
“The audience are either going to like it or hate it. There is no mid-way”, says Chaitanya while wrapping up the release arrangements of Layer’s EP-1. He has named it as Synapses at Work. The album comprises of six tracks all having a different story weaved around the theme.
Explaining the theme, Chaitanya divulges that Synapses are the little patches in our brains; they are like islands in the mystic and deep, cobbled ocean of dendrites , providing the bridges for thoughts to leap over from one neuron to another so as to make them reach their logical destination – like a conclusion – akin to the shore of the ocean.
The album further manifests the theme via a ‘hi-tech minimal ’ musical journey where a listener experiences varied milieus. The first halt is a serene groundswell of devotion and reverence which is eternal and not ephemeral ; honoring the supreme and super-naturals in its own euphoric ways ; just like a super liberated and coveted soul in the faction selected by GANAPATI (one of the most revered Gods in India; worshipped for removing obstacles)
The next destination is the dwelling of paramours, who desire to commune with each other only through eyes; their whole affiliation is a beautiful amour – thriving only on the pathways in their brains encompassing optic nerves and optic chasms.
Then comes an unerring arithmetic equation – solution to some of the world’s largest and ambient problems saving immeasurable destruction and agony.
And then appears an all new, unseen, unheard-of ghostly creation of a parallel world! A tunnel of pain, fear, panic and pathos ; full of milky mist, engulfing and vanishing travelers and porting them to another time loop.
In the end, the listener begins a new journey , it’s the beginning of an imbecile journey hell-bent on self-destruction like a poisonous flower engulfs its favorite bumblebee.
“The outcomes, all of them, are wild, are unseen and are hitherto unfelt for so many of us. For the rest, it’s the ultimate ineffable and forbidden world, the only way for the brain to survive for and to justify its existence and feel worthwhile in this mortal world”, shares Chaitanya while explaining the philosophical and metaphysical aspects of the album.
This evidently indicates the amount of contemplation and reflection which goes into creating music at Layer. According to Chaitanya, “The purpose is to make the audience groove, make them dance and make them experience a meaningful trance by introducing them to an ecstatic special musical story – something which the aficionados yearn for. I also wish to break the perception that music has to be accompanied with drugs to experience this ecstasy. There are many more ways to represent underground music and celebrate.”
This vibe was quite evident in Layer’s last gig which happened at a popular café at Mumbai in the month of September. Believing that gigs are one of the best ways to build an instant connect (which can swing either ways) , Layer is all set to perform two more gigs , again at Mumbai, in this month.
“If I am able to really groove while making the tracks, it’s like passing the first stage towards validation that somewhere people will develop an affinity for this music” says Chaitanya while explaining the conundrum and anxiety a musician faces while making music which has a very niche following.
Coincidentally, while talking to him we realized that today is the 66th anniversary of the Studio for Electronic – the beginning of an epoch for a ‘new’ genre of music worldwide. Chaitanya feels that the EDM scene has evolved well in India and people have started understanding it in the right manner however more can be done to expand the reach. One of the best, most simple ways is to create a ‘melody’ and marry it with ‘groove’. All his tracks have this innate bond and harmony.
The album has been garnering rave reviews with some of the tracks gaining noteworthy attention for their production value at par with international nuances and standards. They oscillate between House, Minimal and Techno notes.
While House delivers melody, Minimal lends instincts of good grooves and Techno brings in aggression. One of these tracks is GHOST TRAIN OF ZANETTI (PART 2). It’s an invite for the listeners to hop into this train. It’s spooky, cursed, and haunted. It will never reach Zanetti but will vanish in a miasma of milky mist as soon as it enters this tunnel. It comes at number 4 in the album. Rest of the tracks also have bohemian and intriguing themes as shown below :
1. STATE OF GANAPATI : Step in and get disconnected in this euphoric celebration of the super liberated techno souls in the faction selected by GANAPATI . Sans the rules of devotion, they dance their way towards ‘eternal’ reverence , through the gardens donning all kinds of flowers, through the paths less followed, through all that is ephemeral !
2. OPTICAL AMOUR: Roam around this secret dwelling of paramours, who desire to commune with each other only through eyes! Just imagine what goes on inside their minds? Love and conversations travelling only via the pathways created by the vivacious fabric of optic nerves and optic chasms
3. CODE OF ENIGMA: Trudge into the mind of Alan Turing – the genius mathematician. He is at work deciding the impregnable and notorious Enigma codes during World War II.
4. ICARUS: Air-dash to the world of the creator of Labyrinth and his son Icarus. He is little imbecile! With his wax wings, flying too close to the Sun means the end of the world. However, he still yearns to feel that sunny warmth!
5. MIRRORS OF METAPHOR (Introduction to EP2)
I see myself as a Soundscapist who is on a journey, traversing from Drum & Bass to Electronic & Minimal , from Ethnic & Analog to Tech & Synthetic – sums up Chaitanya as we wrap up this tete-e-tete. He checks something on his phone and his eyes twinkle. “ Synapes at Work is in the Top 10 Selling Albums now!”
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