In India, pre-pandemic, the electronic music scene was mostly made up of techno and house music artists. There was nothing wrong with that, but it did inhibit an evolution that is a characteristic of any diverse system. When the pandemic struck, there was a break in live programming. We know how much the music industry suffered, so we don’t say this lightly. One of the things it did was to create an open space that needed something other than dance music. One of the genres to emerge during this time was electronica.
While it wouldn’t be true to say that nobody made electronica before the pandemic, artists who actively pursued the sound that is so recognizably electronica, the dreamy melodies supported by waxing and waning rhythmic beats and lush pads, were few. Blanketed in the anxiety that the pandemic brought, and in the absence of a dance floor, artists began to explore electronica more deeply.
One of the artists who has been making waves since last year is Finding Mero, the creative outlet of Indian electronic artist Gillian Kharshiing. His experimental nature and constantly evolving sonic palette, combined with a penchant for creating emotionally effective aural landscapes make him a promising live act. In the past, he’s featured on Billboard’s 2021 Electric Asia VA Compilation and released a collaborative EP “Thinking About You” with Scarr. He’s also featured on the powerhouse labels Qilla & KRUNK.
His latest offering is the EP ‘A While’ that he has launched on Export Quality Records. ‘A While’ is a deceptively simple EP. The drum breaks are clean and straightforward, the pads are melodic and lush and the lead and melodies are superbly interwoven with each other for a seamless musical experience. A lot of care has been given to ensure that the sounds are well designed to coherently speak in the tracks, rather than add to a muddle. There is no paucity of sound elements in the tracks, and that is where the mixing and mastering prowess of the track shines through, with each sound playing an important role in the mix.
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The first track, ‘Breakfree’, is a perfect introduction to the laidback, melodic quality of the EP, set against a clean drum break. ‘Bubble’ the second track, further establishes the play between melodic elements such as the single hit of a xylophone against the precisely timed percussions. The third track ‘Dolorous’, is a signature of the EP, with a surprisingly well-placed tabla beat placed in the mids. The last two tracks ‘Crave’ and ‘Sweet Escape’ are more on the chill side of things, with easier drum patterns and dreamier melodies, closing the EP on a hopeful note.
We spoke to Mero about his experience of working on this EP.
The answers below are edited for readability
- What was/were the most challenging part/s in the process of creating and releasing this album?
The biggest challenge while creating this EP was that I was constantly finding myself in positions where I found it difficult to come up with cohesive & coherent ideas, and struggled to get them to a point I was happy with. Listening to a lot of different music consistently helped me overcome this. Ideas began to flow, inspired by so much great music across genres. Fortunately, everything else surrounding this EP fell smoothly into place once I finished it.
- Which is the track you feel most close to and why?
Every track in the EP holds a special place in its own right. They all came from a very personal space, but the one that stands out a bit more for me is Dolorous. It stemmed from one of the lowest points in my life so far, & served as an outlet for self-expression. This was also why it took the longest time to finish, as I wanted to make sure I was completely happy with it & gave it as much time as it needed.
It took A While 🙂
- Do you have any advice for producers who are in the process of launching a debut?
I’d say trust the process & constantly finish more & more music without focusing too much on the end result. Don’t rush things either.
- What are you working on the days?
I’m working on a lot of music currently. I’ve just finished up another solo EP, & collaborated with longtime friend & producer Haen on a couple of EPs as well.
The second half of 2022 looks pretty sweet 🙂
We, for one, can’t wait to hear what Finding Mero has planned for us and attend one of his live acts! Follow his work at [finding.mero].