After the utter traffic chaos in Germany and barely making it to our flight from Frankfurt airport, we made it to Mumbai on the 22nd of December in the wee hours of the night.
This city is still immense in all its extremes, its noisiness, its poverty and extreme differences. After our performance tour in India in 2009, I left the country with a feeling of despair- this time I am a little bit calmer, and feel that I was better prepared than last time. But it still is quite an overwhelming experience to be here. But more about that in a later post.
We arrived at our hotel on Tuesday 22nd at 5 in the morning, and already had to leave to soundcheck for the first show at 11am- enough to take a nap and to have a quick breakfast.
First up was a DJ gig at the Mood Indigo Festival at the IIT Mumbai, all the way in the north of the city. The venue looked like this:
The promoters got me a massive array of 16 speakers, but sadly no turntables first (I actully had to pull out a 12” to demonstrate that they don’t fit into a CD player!)… the technicians were trying really hard to help by surrounding the mixer:
I had to improvise a little until those arrived, and play a DJ set with one of those programs I usually use with vinyl control. But most importantly, the crowd seemed to not notice that parts of my equipment were simply not there, and a few minutes after the doors were opened, the place looked like this:
DJ culture here looks very different from where we come from. There is much more of a culture of requesting songs (it’s customary to even have a pile of sheets and a pen to write down wishes and to write who requested it, and to whom it should be dedicated):
Sadly, we had to run off after playing for a bit longer than an hour and a half, since we had to go to soundcheck at the evening venue for our live show, the Blue Frog, where “The Tilt Festival” took place, where we were supposed to be the final show of the evening.
The night went really well! Strangely, the entire city has xmas decor all over, and the Blue Frog was no exception.
(This image was stolen from missmalini’s blog)
We were told that it became somewhat fashionable to celebrate Christmas… this is what they put up in front of our hotel:
The last thing I want to share in this post is a quite hilarious article that was published in the Hindustan Times. Funnily, the “quotes” from us are made up, nobody ever talked to us, and my music was now filed under a new category: “Glitter Music”. lol… but read for yourself! The original article can be found here.
Sounds of Cologne
by Sharin Bhatti
Visuals form an essential part of any live set that cuts across genres. Music producer and DJ Till Rohmann understands that. The German producer has found an apt accomplice in Israeli photographer and visual artist Ronni Shendar. They have created a unique outfit that plays music to visuals, and pairs the visuals with live music.
Rohmann adopted the name Glitterbug and created a new media art form that one could club to – ‘glitter music’. Mumbai will play host to Glitterbug and Shendar at the two-day music festival Tilt at Blue Frog, tonight.
“I developed my own sound in the ’80s when I would spin at underground parties. Cologne was open to new music and new sounds by the early ’90s, and that is when I discovered an audience that was receptive to a new art form – visual music. I didn’t want the same regular club music. I wanted to do something different,” says Rohmann, who met Shendar and found in her visual talent -something that he could spin live to.
“She had an eye for everything historical. That really interested me and we started working together,” says Rohmann, who spins to Shendar’s evocative visuals that include urban landscapes, nature, wildlife and abstract road travels.
During their time in India, Rohmann is certain that Shendar will document her travels through Mumbai. “We capture frames of every place we visit. Mumbai, I believe, is pictorially very rich. It would be interesting to make music to the cityscapes,” says Rohmann.