House music is suffering a slow death at the hands of millennials, whose taste is in a constant flux. The first thing you notice about Jayanth Ramachandra (pictured), while skimming through his SoundCloud, is his ability to prance around different variants of the genre. Jayanth is what The Sine Painter was known as before his stint at the Red Bull Music Academy (RBMA). His debut EP, URL Utopias, is a testament to his post-RBMA catharsis.
Pt I,which opens the four-track EP, sets up a chilling atmosphere before metallic synths and stabs pierce through and drive the whole production to an unexpected-yet-stunning industrial soundscape. Laden with tinny and ominous screeches and clangs, the minimalist underlying bassline balances the track perfectly. This is a stamp of an authoritative producer.
After creating a near-perfect dystopia, Ramachandra amps it up with Pt II and sonically transports you to a war zone. Midway through the glitch-heavy track, a mechanical tribal rhythm takes over, with periodic spurts of tactically placed white noises. Both the tracks form the “negative” half of the conceptual album.
+ Pt. I is where the fun starts as Ramachandra takes you on a journey filled with melodic leads and synths. If the dystopian structure of the “negative” tracks left you low, the “positive” tracks would rejuvenate you with euphoria. The soft synth pad reminds you of the indie game FEZ, whose music was produced by Disasterpeace. If that was the intent, Ramachandra definitely looked in the right direction for inspiration.
Pt. II takes some time to take off which is not a bad thing. However, if structurally + Pt. I was the buildup, then + Pt. II falls flat as it adds nothing to it and wanders off at the end.
To accompany his highly conceptual EP, Ramachandra has designed a 360-degree interactive website to “create an enriching aural and visual journey for listeners”. Gimmicks can backfire, but Ramachandra jumped in nonetheless. The site is populated with what can only be described as emojis from the future and glitch effects which make up a not-so-abstract concept on a digital canvas. It could’ve worked in a world where everyone was peeping at alternate realities through VR glasses. But, in a 2D space, it feels like an unscripted music video.
URL Utopias stands out from the moment you press play. Ramachandra’s ability to construct a narrative through chaos sets him off in the right direction.