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Label is changing, not dying

Ashu Phatak of the Blue Frog fame to release his new album online. The album Petri Dish will available on the internet for free. Read on.

music Updated: Jun 21, 2010 15:43 IST
Sharin Bhatti
Sharin Bhatti
Hindustan Times

Ashu Phatak was a Pink Floyd fan and a classic rock musician — until he co-founded Blue Frog in the city. “Life changed,” says Phatak, who is the co-director of Blue Frog Club and Records. “I got introduced to the nightclub culture. The music opened my ears so much more.” Since the opening of the club, Phatak has developed an ear for electronic music. That’s how his new album,

Petri Dish

, was born. It is a far cry from his previous album,

Sigh of an Angel


“I conceptualised and recorded nine tracks on the album in nine days flat, before my show at the (Blue) Frog. I used old analogue loops and created orchestral pieces to use as samples in the album. This is my electronic catharsis,” says Phatak, who has collaborated with Anushka Manchanda, Suman Sridhar, Monica Dogra and Ashima Aiyer on the album.

Petri Dish

is set to release end of August, but here’s the twist. Though it will be distributed through Phatak’s label Blue Frog Records, which is also the biggest indie label in the country,

Petri Dish

will be a download album and distributed for free. Each song from the album will be put online for free download every two weeks. The first song,


, has been online for a while now.

Notes of Change

Phatak describes this a music project. “The label is changing, not dying,” he says. “We have a bunch of ideas for the songs that we put up online for free. Every song will have its homepage and a section where you can give instant feedback and even make your own video of the song and paste it online.”

When people stop buying records, you just sell them merchandise, is what Phatak feels. “I agree that people would rather download music for free. But the basic CD jacket is a collectible people like to own. But that won’t be sold. We’ll come up with merchandise then,” Ashu asserts.

Is the free download option the way Blue Frog Records should go as well? “I think the Internet has called an evolution of the CD,” he says. “We need to build a live music culture because that is where the money is. Even a best selling album won’t sell more than 5000 copies.”

First Published: Jun 21, 2010 14:36 IST