The mainstream comes to you, but you have to go to the underground Frank Zappa. The Underground never did care much for the mainstream. However, HMV Saregama has decided to do something about this.
The idea, conceptualised three months ago, was to scour four Indian metros - Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore - for fresh talent composing original music and put them together for a project, which would then represent each city.
Plan and plot
"Each album comprising 10 young bands/artistes will provide an overview of the city's music culture," says Shatadru Sarkar of Saregama.
<b1> The tentatively titled Kolkata underground album flaunts names such as The Supersonics, Span, Cassini's Division and Jack Rabbit while the Mumbai version has bands such as Shaair + Func, Bombay Collective, DJ Nasha and DJ Chris Correa. The bands in the other two projects are yet to be finalised.
"The interesting aspect is the diverse culture of each place. Kolkata treads the traditional route with its rock ‘n' roll bands and penchant for live music. Mumbai is driven by electronica and club music generated by deejays and music producers.
"Most musicians in Mumbai have home studios and experiment with technology," beams Sarkar.
Selected artistes/bands could bag a contract with HMV Saregama after the albums are released in November.
"It's a big platform. Since albums will be released nationally, more people will listen to us. If you talk about commercial feasibility I would cite the suc , cess of the Great Indian Rock tapes, distributed free with Rock Street Journal 10 years ago.. we still remember those artistes," says bassist Nitin Mani of The Supersonics.
Sarkar points out, "With the advent of digital download and ringtones, it has become easier to foresee the economic potential of alternative music."
Sarkar continues, "We felt that the time is just right to test the waters to produce rock that is not mainstream."
Meanwhile, the music company has planned live shows and other promotional events around the release of the four albums throughout the country.