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Meet the duo who play the hang, a new-age instrument

HT48HRS_Special Updated: Apr 14, 2016 14:27 IST
Manali Shah
Manali Shah
Hindustan Times
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Hang Massive is known for their song, Once Again

Is it a wok? Is it a UFO? It’s the hang, a curious-looking instrument that sounds slightly like the ghatam and will be played live this weekend

The new age percussion instrument — hang — is unlike any other instrument you have ever seen. Don’t go by its shape, however, as it produces melodious tunes. And the music band Hang Massive, featuring Danny Cudd and Markus ‘Offbeat’ Johansson (from Britain and Sweden), is dedicated to producing tunes on it.

The hang or hang drum, as it’s sometimes referred to, was invented in 2000 by instrument makers Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer in Switzerland. Cudd says, “We both discovered the instrument in 2006 when it was still new and unheard of. It was before there were videos of it on YouTube. I met somebody playing at a festival in Slovenia, and Markus met somebody around the same time playing in the streets of Barcelona.”

Also read: Experimental jazz meets Hindustani classical in Helen Gillet’s music

Launched in 2010, Hang Massive has released two EPs (Extended Plays) and two albums. Their first big break came in 2011 with their hit song, Once Again (has more than 16 million views today on YouTube). “People are touched by the hang’s sound and also the music that we make with it. People often find a profound sense of relaxation and enjoyment,” says Johansson.

Largely self-taught, the duo is interested in mixing the sound of the hang with a variety of genres. “We are working with electronic fusion [right now] and have released drum ‘n’ bass and breakbeat-style tracks. We have also collaborated for remixes and created some house and techno tracks,” Cudd says.

For over a decade, Cudd and Johansson have been spending four to six months of the year in Goa, and the rest of the year travelling across Europe. Johansson says, “Even now, it’s April and very hot, [but] we just love it here in Goa. The vibe is beautiful and super-relaxed. We have a great relationship with the locals as well as many international friends that spend the season here each year.”

Be There

What: Hang Massive will perform on April 15, 9.30pm

Where: Blue Frog, Mathuradas Mill Compound, Lower Parel

Price: Rs 600 onward (Free entry for ladies post 9pm)

Call: 6158 6158