Rarefact is the title of Vishal Unni‘s upcoming release on Qilla Records and the track we happily host its premiere. Smoothly and gradually, its subterranean groove shakes its foundation and provokes, in turn, an unintentional mood elevation and body participation. Thus, complemented by tender pads and flickering background noise, the loop embraces us as it carefully unwinds. Leading, then, to a delightfully rewarding drop that introduces us to the track’s closing chapter. A high-quality dance composition reminiscing adventurous excursions to obscure and dark dance floors. Or, in Vishal’s words: “an ode to the Indian dance floors”. Along with it, a discussion with the producer about his last release for 2022 with some intriguing details.
There’s a very distinct artwork for your EP. How’s that stand as a reflection of the tracks and what’s the inspiration behind them?
One of the reasons I’ve always been a fan of Qilla is the amazing artwork by Aniruddh Mehta aka The Big Fat Minimalist. It’s an honor to have my music alongside his visual art. The beauty of his style is that because of its minimalism, it is very much open to interpretation. There are so many things I could say to make sense of it. Like maybe how there are three ‘star-type points’ which could reflect the three artists involved in the EP. Or how there are 6 ‘flat-end lines’ that could reflect the six tracks. This is of course stuff I just made up as I looked at it now 🙂
I think a single interpretation takes away from the fun of his work, as it could mean a lot of different things to different people. The truth is, this was part of a sequence, and my release just so happened to align with this artwork.
What are you trying to explore through Rarefact and how does that connect to you as a person and as a producer?
Before I made this, I felt I could not arrange tracks that were efficient enough for the dance floors I was playing. This led me to sit and critically listen and analyze a bunch of music I loved to play and this track is essentially a result of that process. The exercise opened my mind to the different possibilities you can unlock when you change up your approach, which is something I realized is a useful tool that can be applied outside of the music production world as well.
Basically, would you like to tell us what the title means? And how is it connected with the track’s aesthetic and sound?
The name comes from the word ‘Rarefaction’ – to reduce in density. I came across this word while doing some basic research into acoustics, and reduced the density of the word to ‘Rarefact’. There’s a significant amount of story told in the first four minutes which eventually bubbles into a more focused stripped-down groove, which I think connects with the word. More than that though, I think it just looks crisp, haha.
Did the composition behind this release affect you somehow? Have you gained something new or tried a different composition approach?
The whole EP covers a relatively wide range of techno sub-genres that have inspired me. ‘Speck’ stems from my deep and melodic techno influences and ‘Asthayi’ from breakbeat + acid vibes. ‘Rarefact’ for me serves as an ode to Indian dance floors, and the more recent ‘Pseudocerastes’, has a simpler approach that explores ‘middle-eastern’ notations fused with my minimal and hypnotic techno inspirations. I’m also happy that Abdallah (ZRK) and Martyn contributed remixes that add another dimension to this EP that the originals didn’t get into. I’ve been a fan of their music for a while and it’s great to have them a part of this release.
I’ve learned some things with this EP. How to improve my production workflow and the stylistic direction I want to evolve to. Overall, I just have a clearer picture of what I intend my music to be, which would not have been possible without the continuous trial and error process of this release.
Would you like to share what comes next after this release?
Now that I’ve fulfilled a long-time ambition of mine, while also having an active role in the label alongside my mentors who I now call friends, it’s exciting to think of what comes next. All I can say for now is that there is a lot more music in store for 2023, and I’m happy to end this year with ‘Rarefact’.
The EP will be officially released on December 5th and is available for purchase via Bandcamp.