A City Guide to Delhi by VridianMusic
VridianMusic is the shared moniker of Vir Rattan Chowdry & Siddhant Jain, two Indian producers who have recently released their Depth Perception EP on Rennie Foster’s Vancouver based RF label. Having already won support from the likes of Brothers Vibe, Alexi Delano, Rodriguez Jr, Paco Osuna, Danny Tenaglia and John Osborn, theirs is a rich and diverse house sound that’s set to catapult them to great things. India’s strongest upcoming talents, we’re sure to be hearing much more from them over the next while.
We caught up with the guys recently as they talked us through some of their favourite spots to chill, eat, drink and much more in their hometown of Delhi…
1) Best place to buy records:
This one would have to be Amarrass Records. The passion project of Ankur Malhotra and Ashutosh Sharma, this is not your usual Indian record store. Its the first of its kind in this generation, considering India shifted to other music consumption technologies with full force many years ago. They are the first record label / store to have their own facility and are the only independent establishment that are currently printing their own dub plates / LPs / EPs. Amarrass are currently producing their own roster / catalogue which boasts all kinds of music…including traditional folk and fusion and will be expanding their base to other artists in the future. A lovely step into teaching the new generation (and reminding the old) about the essence of listening to and collecting music. This may not be directly linked to dance music, but they are an important part of the vinyl revival in these parts and also therefore globally!
2) Best Big Club
None of the actual ‘big’ clubs out here are worth mentioning as they don’t care much for the curation of the event and the care behind maintaining and providing a space for music cultures. The money bug is big here in this case, therefore a lot of venues that fall somewhere between social spaces and bars do the trick. Clubbing is for the masses in places like Europe, here it is a concept enjoyed only by the privileged. This is because of the current demographics in our country. It definitely makes the whole situation slightly more niche, but it is nice to know that the movement is growing. Shout out to our artist and event agencies such as UnMute, Slick, Gently Altered and SoundSpeaks for constantly bringing down international talent and providing a base for local acts to go international as well. Its because of these folk that any venue is turned around into being a superb dance / musical experience. In order to answer the question, it would have to be Auro Kitchen and Bar. This venue is not exactly a ‘club’, but provides the perfect ambience for a good evening and has hosted various international artists from labels like Innvervisions, Diynamic Music etc.
3) Best Underground Party
New Delhi is a city where the law dictates venues to be shut by 1 AM. Just like anywhere else, it is upto the people of passion to do as they must to make sure the groove sustains. Without risking the sanctity of these soirees, lets just say that these are solely DIY initiatives that extend into the morning sun. Sustained, maintained and curated by the artists, regulars and enthusiasts of the scene. The locations are not disclosed and these are exclusive, which is what makes them super fun ! The wonderful thing about these is that all the ones I’ve been too so far have been cross genre bonanzas ! It’s nice to see that out here. Just for the sake of naming (and revealing nothing else), I would have to place ‘Warp Core’ and ‘Danza Occulta’ up on the mantle. Everybody involved knows who they are !
4) Best Pre – Club Bar
There has been a recent influx of these wonderful microbreweries in town. It’s nice to have a decently priced non franchised mug of beer now and then. An establishment called ‘Uptown Cafe’ takes the cake. This one is located in Gurgaon, which is just a thirty minute drive from South Delhi (where everything happens). Firstly it has the advantage of being close to where we live as well as the public transportation that usually takes us to the party. No complaints about the 70s / 80s rock music and 90s pop that seeps out of their sound system and they have got it right it with the slick wooden furniture and this orange yellowish lighting.
5) Best Restaurant
For those that don’t know, South Indian food is simply superb for any situation possible. Whether you are starving, hungover, in pre party mode or on the wind down. The non vegetarian stuff is super heavy and the vegetarian stuff is super light and both are extremely filling. For the non vegetarian variety, the best can only be found at my south Indian friends homes. For the vegetarian fix, ‘Sagar Ratna’ restaurant in Defence Colony has been a staple for many years. We have been visiting to eat there since our childhood and it will not ever get old. Even to this day there is a long waiting queue but its super worth it ! Gotta get at the thali or just a simple plate of Idli – Sambhar. They whip up a superb ‘Kulfi – Falooda’ which is basically an Indian ice cream combined with sweetened vermicelli noodles. Also, we are big on street food. There is a particular kind of chick pea curry made by street side vendors, along with this Indian bread called ‘kulcha’. You can’t get that anywhere else in the world…not even in a proper restaurant in the same city ! Getting hungry while answering this !
6) Best Coffee Shop
This would have to be Blue Tokai coffee shop. Situated in a secret corner somewhere in the hustle and bustle of Hauz Khaz (Delhi’s own hipster heaven), sits this wonderful establishment. Not only can you sit there and enjoy a cup but you can also pick from a variety of beans and brews to take home. The store takes the liberty of grinding the coffee based on however you prepare it at home. There is also a fine selection of snacks to go along and a lovely ambience.
7) Best Spot for Live Music
Delhi has always been a strong city for bands. Before the electronic rush came in, the band scene was out of control. Even still, electronic and live music are slowly starting to join hands as there is a solid cross breeding amongst its musicians. This is wonderful as it releases an air of open mindedness and creates space and possibilities for some exciting collaborations. The Piano Man Jazz Club is a new establishment, that upholds an intimate environment keeping the artist(s) up close and personal with their listeners. Super quaint, moody lighting and the charm of an old new york jazz pub this place is a definite go to when one needs a break from the untz untz.
8) Best Park
Delhi is not exactly the best city for nature as it is in the ‘developed’ phase. The parks around here are usually crowded with people and old monuments with really cheesy graffiti. The advantage however is that you are simply a few hours drive away from places like Corbett National Park, Ranthambore Wildlife Sanctuary or even simply the foothills of the himalayan range (Almora, Nainital, Manali etc). Any time the concrete based hustle bustle, the heat or even simply the variety of fumes get to ones head….pop in the car / bus and off you go !
Vridian Music’s Depth Perception EP is out soon on RF Music