“Consciousness in contemporary music is expanding exponentially. The number of artists in my musical family that help critique each others’ works of art and support each other has been steadily increasing since we started creating. Same with the number of musicians in my scene with the environmental positivity.” – Narkatta, IDM artist
Our generation is defined by a melding of diverse influences, styles, cultures, and concepts. Take, for example, the world of American cinema. The top grossing films of 2013 included an animated musical drama set in Scandinavia (Frozen), a Marvel comic-book hero installment (Iron Man 3), and a dystopian novel (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) brought to life with the help of a pseudo-rock icon (Lenny Kravitz). It’s cliché to point out effects of globalization and the internet, but necessary.
There are instances when this cultural agglomeration is highly embraceable. Mix a dance track that features David Bowie and Indian raga themes, and I will swing like a gibbon. The blending of great music is a refreshing gift, a shaking of proverbial dust off old records.
I remember being at house parties early in the night with Narkatta spinning. Good music came along with every flawless transition. Recognizable Notorious B.I.G. tunes would blend easily into Dead Prez. Jimi Hendrix would meet Wu-Tang within carefully planned beat parameters.
Narkatta deviates from conventions, but still manages to make you dance. His wide range of styles bring about a special groove and charisma. His most recent work has aimed to incorporate deeper relevance to his productions. MalLabel Music describes the latest EP, Cosmic Currency – EP, as follows:
His newest EP, Cosmic Currency is a shining example of how that light illuminates each of his pieces as an artistic expression of the divine. ‘Divine DNA’ opens the EP with a glitchy exploration within ourselves while ‘Genoeconomics’ explores a multi-faceted journey of Eastern tones. ‘Decommodification of the Modified’ guides us through various elements of consciousness and finally, ‘Chrematophobia’ closes the EP with an almost confusing amalgamation of textures over a subtle Eastern rhythm meant to reflect the idea that the existence of money in society only confuses our purpose.
This would ordinarily evoke critiques that the music is pretentious. However, when you listen to the tracks, you can tell that a lot of effort and thought went into each creation.
I sat listening to the track “Invocation of Lakshmi,” trying to figure out who would be a good comparison to Narkatta’s work. The truth is, I couldn’t do it. This is a good thing. There are times when artists are so blatantly imitating or contriving, it’s a noticeable distraction. Such is the case with the band Jet (that’s a whole other argument). Narkatta is pure and idiosyncratic. The music draws from unique concepts and great sampling work. In “Funkraum” (labelled Dispatch 003 mix), Lauryn Hill precedes “Respect” by Aretha Franklin. This is a combination that’s polar yet intuitive. Two powerful feminine souls from two very different generations. His blending and melding is an aptitude that can keep your attention for hours.
On a final note, Narkatta gives his Zarathrustrian take on artistic endeavor.
“There are two massive forces of darkness and light that are consistently at odds with each other, and the stronger the darkness may be right now, the light is just a strong and equal. It’s all about which side one chooses to perpetuate.”
We suggest these NoonTec ZORO HD headphones when listening to Narkatta.
Some tracks have now been featured on the #HMPYG Spotify playlist.