Talking ‘Pandal’ EP With The GAKS

We had a conversation with the recently formed trio about their first EP on Welupt Collective, which draws inspiration from Mumbai’s neighborhoods.

The post-pandemic era has seen an upturn in fortunes for bass music as a whole, and it wouldn’t be absurd to say that dubstep’s revival has outpaced its initial evolution. India isn’t too far behind on the revival train, with initiatives like Neckwreck and The Welupt Collective leading the country’s renewed dubstep movement.

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Joining the plethora of highly talented dubstep producers in India, a new act has rocked up to deliver some head-turning sound system music. Bringing a concoction of influences from Mumbai and Delhi, C4GE (Ganesh Murthi), Kartik (Kartik Adhikari) and Daaku (Aniruddha Khavale), formerly known as Poshak, have come together to form GAKS with their debut ‘Pandal’ EP.

Drawing inspiration from the peculiarities of some of Mumbai’s famously known neighborhoods, the four-track EP is yet another entry into the global dubstep fraternity. Dropping on Welupt Collective, known for their forward-thinking dubstep output, the ‘Pandal’ EP features a myriad of Indian samples that are weaved seamlessly with the genre’s hallmark bass growls.

Following the release of their debut EP, we brought the GAKS trio in for a candid chat with us about how they came together, some creative aspects of the release, and their plans going forward.

Big congratulations on the release of your debut EP. How long was the ‘Pandal’ EP in the works? 
GAKS: Initially when we started GAKS in 2020, it was not about making any official releases or any specific sounds around GAKS. We were still exploring new music together and trying to work our way around to start working on a project together. It took a while to come up with arbitrary ways of collaborating and making music over the internet. Then, almost after a year, we gave a break to GAKS, got more focused on our individual projects and stopped forcing ourselves to create the right sound for the project. 2023 was the year when we started taking things seriously and got fixated on the agenda of providing a different sound reflecting our influences and our approach to bass music. 

Talk us through the time when you guys came together to form GAKS.
GAKS: It was mainly just three like minded people coming together on Discord, exploring different kinds of music, and having a good time. From having laughed at the idea of forming a crew one day to eventually becoming one, it was a fun trip. Then, we came up with the name GAKS, which is the initial letter of everyone’s real name, Ganesh, Aniruddha and Kartik. S stands for Kartik’s dog, Shimbi, who is the crew dog. 

Tell us about the creative approach you guys took on the ‘Pandal’ EP?
GAKS: It was about incorporating our Indian sounds, sounds from the streets, and fusing it with the modern approach towards bass music. Taking influences from different genres and blending them together, eventually we got there and made our first track together, which later got named ‘Mujrim’.

How was it like working with The Welupt Collective for the release?
GAKS: It was a smooth experience while working with the team at Welupt Collective. They were open about our sounds being very new and also the storyline which we were trying to convey. The visuals they came up with were completely blending and complementing the EP.

We’re keen to know the inspiration behind naming the four tunes on the EP. Tell us more about it? 
GAKS: The first track, ‘Mujrim’, was named after a classic Bollywood dialogue, again, ‘Jumaku Jhu’ was also taken from a Tamil movie dialogue. While travelling in a local train in Mumbai together, being a Delhite, Kartik was not aware about the fact that Chichpokli was an actual place and not a made-up slang.

There’s a short story behind the last track, ‘Yidaki of Mankhurd’, Yidaki is a traditional name for the instrument Didgeridoo that is used as the main sound of the track which was played by Aniruddha, and the Tasha was played by Ganesh at Aniruddha’s place, which is in Mankhurd. In the second half of the track, we tried to deliver the local sounds of Mumbai, used on various occasions.

There are some subtle meme references on ‘Mujrim.’ How did that come about?   
GAKS: Using memes was merely a happy accident and also an attempt to use elements with which the audience can easily connect with.

It’s so refreshing to see the quality of production coming from an Indian collective on the EP. What are your thoughts on how India has taken on dubstep’s global revival? 
GAKS: We are still at ground level in the global dubstep community. There are some really amazing producers in India, who are pushing the dubstep sound at a global level, and we are glad to be a part of the journey and trying to achieve our objective slowly and steadily. 

What do the GAKS have in store for us for the rest of 2024?   
GAKS: We are exploring and experimenting with different genres and trying to come up with new sounds. We are currently working on our next few releases and are planning to drop a few singles in the coming months. 

The ‘Pandal’ EP by The GAKS is out now on all platforms.

Follow The GAKS on: Spotify | Instagram | Soundcloud

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