Located in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, Raag Sethi’s Compass Box Studio has been a sanctuary for not only independent musicians in the state but has regularly hosted bands and singer-songwriters from all over the country. With the first compilation having been released earlier this year, the new compilation boasts of an equally impeccable selection.
Having its foundation laid more than 2 years ago by Raag Sethi, audio engineer and producer, Compass Box studio was founded with the intention of producing music for independent artists in the city. “It was after this I realised that there isn’t too much demand for original indie music to be produced in Ahmedabad, there weren’t too many bands or artists looking to get EP/LP recorded. Most of my friends who were writing original music ended up moving to Mumbai or Delhi. Since there was so much downtime at the studio, I wanted to replicate the live recordings of NPR, Audiotree etc.” said Raag in an interview we conducted with him earlier this year when Compass Box Studio’s first compilation came out. This compilation had featured 8 artists with known indie artists such as Hanita Bhambri, Second Sight, Aditi Ramesh, Navya Sharma and more. Now the studio is back with it’s second compilation within less than a year. Compass Box Music: Unboxed, Vol. 2 features 8 more artists whose songs have been recorded live in the studio. “Each song is a one take live recording. The idea is to have one unadulterated live take akin to NPR tiny desk and what coke studio used to be, but more indie musicians. These live sessions are done completely for free for the artist, and they get their music on their artist handle when we publish this.” says Raag.
Some solo versions, while some with a band setup, the compilation features tracks by Nisa Shetty, Rohan Chaudhary, SAAR, Sharad Singh, Malay Vyas, Samar Mehdi, Fame The Band and Abhin Joshi. When asked about the recording process for the compilations, Raag said “I engineer, produce and have played bass for these sessions. But this would not be possible without the amazing friends of mine from Ahmedabad who I call based on the arrangement of the song. Aside from Fame the Band, Saar and Samar Mehdi, the rest of the songs had session artists who took their time off to record, these are all musicians from the Ahmedabad circuit”. Raag Sethi’s bandmates from Heat Sink, Chirag Todi, Meera Desai, Protyay Chakraborty, Pritul Chauhan and bandmates from Raag’s second band Time Wise, Shivang Kapadia and Harmish Joshi; also played a part in producing the compilation with their roles ranging from doing backing vocals, playing instruments and band coordination. Protyay, who is a violinist, has handled mixing and mastering for most of these tracks. Each recording in the album is accompanied by a live video, now available on Compass Box’s YouTube channel. Click on the name of musicians above to check out their respective YouTube videos.
Compass Box Studio is not only helping bridge the gap for musicians between access to proper recording studios and the means to afford recording, but also helping unearth fresh indie musical talent. With a second successful compilation under its belt, what lies ahead? Raag proclaims “This is vol 2 of the compilation album, and we are hoping to continue this tradition, and publish a new volume with 8 of our live sessions every 4 months.”