There is a scene on the rise in a country where you might not expect it at first. We’re not talking about upcoming hotspots in Middle and South-America, nor are we talking about Johannesburg or the Balkans. India is the place we’re referring to, and to its most populous metropolitan area in particular: Mumbai. A team of nightlife veterans there, who’ve garnered experience and know-how from looking at the underground scene in the West, are celebrating their 1 year anniversary of event hosting with a bold new adventure, India’s very first open air, mainly focused on house and deep house.
The dance music industry in India has grown significantly over the last few years, spanning from commercial to exciting underground efforts. It has sported a whole range of international artists, festivals and brands flocking to different cultural hubs in the vast country. Amsterdam’s very own Bram Fidder even did a tour across the country this year. Bram: “What i love about India is that the people I’ve met and played for, were all completely dedicated to creating a scene in India and their different cities. The beautiful Indian crowd just wants two simple things, pure happiness and a big party!”
One could make the compare it to the 80’s era, when pioneering artists were relatively obscure in their US home country, but were hailed as demi-Gods when they arrived in the UK, spawning the explosion of house and techno in Europe in the late 80’s early 90’s. Regenerate was formed on these exact principles, Aneesha Kotwani (co-founder) explains:
“While Bhishma Sagar (co-founder) and myself lived in London we were exposed to one of the best nightlife cultures in the world. We were spoilt for choice sometimes having to choose between 5 different acts on the same night. Being music whores we were in a state of depression when we got back to India, and we’re inspired to bring about a change”.
The team behind Regenerate started their endeavour last year. During a chill-out session Booka Shade’s “Regenerate” was played through the speakers, sparking a discussion about how music and clubbing can be rejuvenating, and the name of the organization was born. Their debut event took place last year in Mumbai’s Sitara Studio, with Geddes and local acts Moniker & Moon Shine behind the decks. An underground vibe was emphasized through the production influences of a street artist who created a raw back alley vibe in the club.
After its kick-off October last year, the next two events were focused on promoting local talent, like Kini Rao and Ash Roy – who was proclaimed best techno DJ in India. After the Regenerate concept struck a three-month residency at The White Owl club in Mumbai, flying in international artists Nils Hoffman, Daniel Steinberg, Tigerskin and a season finale with Brazil’s HNQO, while the last months saw the likes of Okain and Anna Leevia stepping into the DJ booth at various Regenerate parties.
Now, one year later, a celebration is in place. And they are meaning serious business. Because visitors of the event are going to be the witnesses of India’s very first open air. A mix of local acts and a more than settled artist from abroad will make up the line up, spreading love and funk at Mumbai’s Radio Club. Located at the city’s coastal line.
Headlining is Kevin Knapp, who you’re likely familiar with through collaborations such as “Stay Glued” and “These Days” with Audiojack. Kevin also lent his talents to Matt Tolfrey’s recent debut EP on tracks like “Downtown” and “Distant story”, among others. Next to Knapp, various frontrunners of the Indian DJ scene will tend to the music during the festival. Major players are Blot!, or ‘Basic Love Of Things’. This New Delhi-based multidisciplinary duo has traversed the globe in their relatively short spanning career. International highlights have been gigs at Bar25, global festivals C/O Pop in Cologne, Electron Festival in Geneva, London South Bank Centre and much more.
Blurry slur, Twokid Wickid, Oozeundat, Orbs&Zen and Folic State make up for the rest of the predominantly Indian line-up. Although heavily influenced by the West, it has not kept them from creating their own definitive sound that mixes musical cultures into something new and exciting. Find out for yourself this Saturday, if you happen to be in Mumbai that is.