THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:Meeting DJs who are professionally-qualified sound engineers isn’t uncommon. However, finding an artiste who is the international ambassador to the prestigious Berklee College of Music is definitely rare. Tuhin Mehta ticks both those checkboxes. The Bengaluru-based musician—who claims that he will always remain a Chennai boy at heart—has also remained the go-to ‘Pro DJ’ for the Indian subsidiary of Japan’s musical equipment manufacturer, Pioneer, since 2007. Now, prior to his performance at Awakenings, one of Europe’s biggest techno festivals, the music producer who has garnered over two decades of turntable experiences returns to Kochi.
Having started DJing at the age of 12, Tuhin has witnessed first-hand how the creative environment in India has transformed over the past 20 odd years. “The internet has pushed the boundaries amongst musicians. Nowadays, the listeners are aware of global trends and expect the same from regional artistes,” begins the SAE Institute alumnus. “Trouble is, composers who tend to keep driving to the frontiers, experiment and outgrow the internet’s learning curve, eventually hitting a wall because the audience still wants whatever the majority listens to,” he adds.
Five years ago, to overcome this very obstacle, Tuhin underwent a complete musical overhaul. He shelved his tribal/tech-trance Brute Force project—where he co-produced chart-topping tunes like Arrival alongside Shane Mendonsa, son of famed Indian musical icon Loy Mendonsa—and embarked on a new symphonic direction, starting with a techno-influenced podcast called The Index. “Despite leaning on techno, my soundscape will always allow me with the space to navigate and include old-school acid basslines, heavy percussive elements, ‘trancy’ riffs, and hypnotic elements stemming from my psychedelic roots,” shares the 37-year-old.
Into the wild
Tuhin will soon be releasing a four-track EP called The Mutants on Soupherb Records and hopes to road-test some of these tunes in Kerala. “The last time I performed in Kochi was in 2009, I think. I’m super-psyched to be back in this city and sneak in some of my unreleased tunes into my set, as Kochiites love the harder side of techno,” states the co-founder of Go:Madras, a festival which is poised to celebrate its 10th edition in 2018. A little-known fact about the veteran DJ is that he’s immensely passionate about wildlife photography. “It’s an exercise in patience. And the switch from booming basslines in clubs to the deafening silence of jungles is a remarkable one,” explains Tuhin. “Be it Africa or India, it’s humbling to watch how life works in the wilderness. It keeps me grounded,” he concludes.
On May 5 at Casino Hotel.
From 7 pm onwards.