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Kohra’s Interview


Kohra is the deep, hypnotic and often grungy mirror image of Madhav Shorey. Kohra’s raw analog signals and lush soundscapes mixed with percussion sounds and sharp glitches are what can be heard through his mysterious productions. Kohra’s style is intelligent enough to mesmerise, yet simple enough to move you. It’s hardly surprising then that Kohra is a regular at Bangalore concerts and on the Chennai nightlife scene.
Madhav Shorey and his alter ego Kohra have constantly paved the way for a new sub-culture of underground dance music changing the way people party in India. At Bangalore concerts and at Chennai nightlife events, fans have seen his fantastic live sets, which comprise his own productions performed in a deconstructive format with a constantly evolving component of granular synthesis, vocal sampling, various percussion and effect units. Kohra has performed at some of the best Bangalore concerts and Chennai nightlife gigs, festivals in India, Dubai, Italy and Australia and is also the official label Dj for Zenon Records. He speaks with Hennessy artistry about what he’s been up to recently and the scene in the capital.

For everyone else outside of the capital, the scene seems to be dead. But Delhi mushrooms with venues. Is there enough of an audience for the gigs? How do you position yourself in this vibrant scene?

With other cities grappling with timing issues and new laws, Delhi definitely has a lot going on. I’m not so sure if we have enough of an audience for all gigs though. There is a lot to choose from now; often, that can compromise the turnout for each gig, specially if the events or the artists playing caters to one particular genre of music. I’m quite happy being here because the scene is pretty solid, plus a lot of my friends who are great producers and listeners happen to live here.


How did the Matador tour pan out? Resident Advisor recently listed him in the top 20 live acts of 2012; it was a forward-thinking move on your part to bring one of the non-starry M_nus names down…

Well, the tour was quite exciting for me personally, though we had definitely anticipated a larger audience. I wasn’t surprised with Matador’s RA entry into the live-act charts this year. His fiery climb into most major techno festivals and club line-ups within the previous year along with amazingly precise productions and a well-packaged live-act to back it all up was just too good to be true. I’ve also known him for many years now and had released him previously on my label Qilla Reocrds, much before M_nus put out his first release.


You work closely with the B.L.O.T. crew. How much do you’ll influence each other’s sound?

I think we influence each other more as independent artists rather than influencing each other’s sound. Gaurav has an amazing understanding of new-age alternative electronic music and Avinash has his own experimental psychedelic down tempo playlist that he plays while he works on his amazing artworks. I think I have my own sound, but to be able to influence each other in a way where new things are happening all the time for all of us is what’s amazing.

Can you list some of the labels that people should keep an eye on besides Qilla itself?

Apart from my focus on Qilla – I’ve really been digging what labels like M_nus, Plus 8, Suara, Monocline, Open, Frucht, Tonkind, Sounds Of Earth, Truesoul and Ellum Audio have been doing in the recent year.

What are the five things you’d like to change in the scene in the New Year?

Firstly, I’d like to encourage promoters and major festivals to dig deeper while booking artists as opposed to the usual players. I’d also like to see more smaller venues and cult underground clubs supporting individual styles of electronic music. I don’t think I could ask for more really, considering the fact that the last year the scene has had a lot of positive development in the area of underground dance music, especially techno.